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Project report

Rebuilding Schools, Nepal Earthquake Recovery Nepal , RUN BY: Australian Himalayan Foundation | STATUS: COMPLETED

Garma School reconstruction

This project is 100% Funded



AUD 40,008

Raised from 13,254 people

Project Background

Following the first earthquake on April 25, we worked hard with our local partners REED, to deliver medical aid, emergency shelter, clean drinking water and other critical supplies to those most in need in the regions of Kathmandu and the valleys beyond.

When the second earthquake hit on May 12 it hit the Everest or Solu Khumbu region hard and in communities where the AHF has been working for more than twelve years. The AHF supports over 300 schools in the lower Solu Khumbu and many were destroyed or damaged. 

Our two volunteer disaster relief workers – Andrew Lock (AHF Ambassador) and Geoff Bartram - were already in the area on May 12, assessing damage from April 25 and distributing emergency supplies. They saw first-hand the enormous damage being wreaked. Of the 300-plus schools the AHF supports in this area, more than 200 have been assessed as being in urgent need of rebuilding or repair.

In the weeks following the team worked tirelessly to get emergency aid out to isolated, rural communities across the lower Solu Khumbu. We established two emergency medical clinics in the villages of Sotang and Kinja to service the region and established more than thirty temporary learning centres in attempt to get children back to school as quickly as possible. This not only gave them a respite from the devastation but also allowed their parents time to begin rebuilding their lives.

In addition, the AHF provided trauma counselling for the many families, teachers and children in need of psychosocial support. This included creating safe learning and play spaces for children who are suffering from trauma and can participate in art, music and games as a means of expressing their response to this experience and coping with the aftermath. 

As part of our earthquake response, a group of previous AHF Art Award recipients travelled to the Solu Khumbu to provide trauma counselling through a series of art workshops to over 300 students and teachers from across the region. Students used art to express their trauma and were invited to understand more about their relationship to their environment through these workshops.

AHF Ambassador Andrew Lock distributes aid to earthquake-affected areas of the Solu Khumbu

Project Overview

Whilst the emergency and planning phases of our response now over, we are working hard to implement a major rebuild program based on the over-riding principle of ‘building Nepal back better’. We are working in collaboration with Australian structural engineers and the Ministry of Education in Nepal and have developed low cost, earthquake resilient school building designs. 

Phase 1 of our rebuild program commenced in November (at the conclusion of the monsoon) and over the twelve month project life cycle, we aimed to:

  • In the first instance, repair and rebuild 23 schools using innovative earthquake-resistant innovative designs.  These villages are all south of Salleri, the district headquarters of the lower Solu Khumbu region.
  • To plan for a sustainable future by providing vocational training to local communities in trades such as masonry, so that they can assist in rebuilding communities.
  • To ensure that children are able to keep attending school and receive a quality education in spite of the disaster that has devastated whole villages in this area.
  • To create safe learning spaces in cooperation with our local NGO in Nepal with whom AHF has been working for the last 12 years.

One of the Temporary Learning Centres established by the AHF

We are also working hard to strengthen our existing programs in the region. As families face the loss of livelihoods and homes, our Teacher Training and Quality Education program is needed now more than ever with an increased number of parents requesting scholarship support and schools in desperate need of resources and supplies.

What next?

We are very proud to have the continued support of The Footprints Network. This has been integral to making these achievements possible, and we look forward to continue to work together in rebuilding school communities in the Solu Khumbu region in the future.

How was it this funded?

Thanks to hundreds of tiny donations from these online businesses and their customers.

World Nomads USA
World Nomads Canada
***World Nomads UK
***General Donations
World Nomads Australia
World Nomads NZ
Australian Himalayan Foundation

Over the years, thousands of travellers have visited the Himalaya. For many it is an opportunity to trek beneath the world's highest peaks and to appreciate some of the world's most hospitable cultures. Yet the Himalaya is not just a vast adventure playground. For the local communities it is anything but easy – with access to basic health and education services often out of reach.

Following in the footsteps of Sir Edmund Hillary who was devoted to bringing education to the Sherpa people, the AHF is working in partnership with local communities to help the people of the Himalaya through improvements in health, education and conservation.

Giving to the AHF is an opportunity to give something back.