NEPAL JESUITS RESPONSE TO THE EARTHQUAKE
Just after the earthquake, the Jesuit of Nepal have been responding in the characteristic manner of the Jesuits, understanding the emerging scenario, with commitment, mobilising personnel and resources and trying to reach the unreached. The Nepal Jesuit Society (NJS) through the Jesuits, its various institutions, students, staff, alumni, friends, benefactors, collaborators and coworkers both within the country and abroad were engaged in providing emergency relief to the survivors. With the personnel and resources at its disposal, the NJS carried out excellent immediate supplies of food, health and sanitary kits and other household items. At this stage, just being with the affected people was the main thrust.
Some of the recovery interventions at a glance:
- NJSI through its volunteers, students, staff, collaborators and coworkers have provided food and household items to over 6000 families in 40 villages in 9 affected districts. These districts are: Dhading, Kavre, Sindhupalchowk, Gorkha, Nuwakote, Dolkha, Lalitpur, Kathmandu, and Okhaldhunga.
- The Jesuits, their students and staff cleared debris in 10 villages, conducted medical camps in collaboration with mobile clinics of NJS and Catholic Health Association of India (CHAI) in 20 villages. NJSI also provided psychosocial care to the children, students, teachers, staff and many others.
- It has also with the assistance of the volunteers and staff conducted assessments in over 30 villages. Out of 5,604 students in 21 schools of 6 districts, over 4,410 students were supplied with stationery.
- Uniforms for over 1,500 students have been ordered to be distributed one of these days and 1,633 students received text books and 23 white boards have been distributed
- Furniture have been distributed in 28 schools.
- Over 30 family tents contributed by Caritas Germany were distributed for schools & health posts. 3 family tents were distributed for 3 hostels of speaking, hearing and vision impaired students.
- CGI sheets for the construction of TLCs have been distributed in 4 schools. Distribution of CGI sheets in other districts are on.
- NJSI has successfully intervened in educational sector by assisting 63 government schools of nine districts with education materials, furniture stationeries for students and school, text books and uniform according to their needs.
- We have constructed Temporary Learning Centers in 27 schools in two districts.
- 1000 households of 8 districts have been supported with tarpaulins, CGI sheets, blankets, mats and food kits.
Nepal Jesuit Social Institute (NJSI): To continue their response to the survivors of earthquake, the Jesuits of Nepal considered it essential to have a national institute. Hence, the Nepal Jesuit Social Institute (NJSI) was established by the Nepal Jesuit Society on 19th May 2015 as a national institute to respond to the needs of the survivors of the devastating earthquake. With the establishment of NJSI, the Jesuits of Nepal were and are able to carry out their responses to the survivors in a more planned, professional, coordinated manner.
Now NJSI has taken some long term activities, based on the assessments done by our staff in different districts. It is in this context that many Village Development Committees approached NJSI for help. Our field staffs also visit the places and made assessment and prioritized the needs of the people and which are included in this project.
We have identified the following 6 major areas of problem and designed the project to overcome these problems with our limited resources available to us as of now.
- After the earthquake, most of the school buildings and houses, especially in the villages, which are built with stone and mud are either collapsed fully or are unsafe for living. In many places the schools are run in makeshift classrooms under very difficult conditions.
- The hostels for the children with special needs are also damaged and they are living in one crammed room, which is used as a multipurpose like cooking, refectory, dormitory and study room.
- Students do not have adequate school dress and stationeries, furniture, educational aid materials, etc which hamper their education.
- Women and children do not have safe space in the villages.
- Livelihood options are limited as many are unskilled. Skill training will greatly enhance their capacity to earn livelihood.
- People still live in makeshift houses even the 2nd rainy season, so shelter is an urgent need.