Why this project needed our help
A 7.8 magnitude tremor on 25 April 2015, followed by a 7.3 aftershock two weeks later, killed almost 9,000 people. More than 740,000 homes and 32,000 classrooms were damaged or destroyed throughout Nepal but nowhere was worse hit than the steep, crowded and poor mountainside dwellings close to the epicentre in the Sindhupalchok District and the villages between Jiri and Lukla.
Situated 120 km south of Lukla, the school in Balakanya village was destroyed forcing the 75 children, which were thankfully unharmed, to continue with their lessons in temporary shelters. With Nepal in chaos, there was very little hope for any help from the outside world.
How Juniper Trust helped
The Juniper Trust, in its search for 10 schools to rebuild, met with the villagers and school committee in December 2015 and agreed a plan for a new 7 room school. Work began the following February, the foundations completed by April and in June the school was officially reopened. The school cost $18,000 to rebuild with an additional $2,000 to provide new uniforms, school bags and equipment for all 75 children. A special thanks to Pasang Sherpa who has helped with this project.
A promised delivered but continues
Almost 3 years after the earthquake, daily life is returning to normal. A joint fundraising by the Juniper Trust and its partners has so far raised over $250,000 to help rebuild 14 schools in the most affected areas which were unlikely to receive any other help. The fundraising also provided for the delivery of new uniforms, winter coats, shoes, bags, books and pencils to almost 3,000 children. The difficulty of sourcing and delivering materials into a remote region, the complexity of permission, new earthquake regulations and the vagaries of the weather, was occasionally daunting but with the invaluable help of our local teams, the Juniper Trust was able to deliver quickly.
The reputation of Juniper Trust has spread to other villages and we already have several requests of help from other schools. Our latest three schools will be completed by November 2018 (see 2018 Siruwa, Saraswati & Namuna School Project) and our search continues for more schools that need our help.
Our thanks go to the individuals in the field who made all this possible, the voluntary help from our contacts in Nepal and, most of all, for the generous donations from everyone who donated to help make this happen.