Earthquake-hit school in Nepal rebuilt thanks to the passion of Theirworld supporter
Christine Donald mobilised expertise, raised funds and battled bureaucracy to ensure the school was constructed in an area prone to earthquakes and floods.
A long-time supporter of Theirworld has realised a dream with the opening of a rebuilt school in Nepal.
As a regular visitor to the country, Christine Donald had seen the devastation caused by the 2015 earthquake, which destroyed or damaged more than 8,000 schools.
Christine – who has fundraised for Theirworld for many years – wanted to do something to make a difference.
As a member of the Faculty of Engineering at the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow, Scotland, she mobilised the expertise of the architecture and engineering staff and students to plan the rebuilding of one of the affected schools – Pashupati Mandir School in Fenhara village.
“Of all the schools we looked at, this seemed to be in greatest need,” said Christine, who is now the university’s Director of Strathclyde Engineering for Development. “It is in one of the most disadvantaged areas of Nepal and is subject to both earthquakes and floods.
School classroom before…
… and after
“The 2015 earthquake destroyed part of the school and floods in 2018 and left one leaking and damaged building, which meant the school roll fell from around 150 to 60, with the nearest school two hours away.”
Christine worked tirelessly to raise £98,000 for the project, which included a large donation from the university. After a lengthy battle with government red tape, planning permission was granted and the new school was completed in December.
Using interlocking bricks to withstand earthquakes, it has seven classrooms, a toilet block and a landscaped play area. About 150 trees were planted in the school grounds to provide shade and fruit for the students and the community.
Christine is just back from another trip to Nepal to see the finished school. She said: “We are all delighted that it is now up and running. The community, the children and the teachers are delighted and the school roll has gone from 61 to 125 – a great outcome.”
The students agree. Krishna Chaudhary, 13, said: “The new school is cool even in summer. I used to cry when I came to school. Now I am very happy. I want to come to school every day.”
Akash Darikar, also 13, said: “The new school looks very good. The rooms are bright and it is nice to read here.”
The old school …
… the new school
Electrical engineers from the University of Strathclyde are planning to help the school instal solar energy and the education faculty hopes to support the teaching staff.
Christine took part in last year’s Theirworld, Your Walk event – walking the equivalent of a marathon with her four-year-old grandson to raise funds for our work.
She said: “It was an amazing 26 miles. In rain and sun, we walked in woods and the countryside near home.”
You can also support Theirworld’s work by taking part in the steps challenge for this year’s Theirworld, Your Walk. Sign up now.