Tuesday, 26 May 2015

Earthquake Trauma School

It is now less than a week until they hope to open Nepali schools for the first time after the earthquake on the 25 April. While KISC has been up and running to a degree for about 3 weeks now, for most Nepali children there has been no school and no education, during what was supposed to be the first few weeks of the Nepali school year.

At KISC many staff, students and parents have commented that KISC being open has been a great help in bringing students through this time, allowing healing by having people to talk it over with, to get back to normal with, to have some routine and fun. 

Around 6,000 government schools were significantly damaged (not counting private schools which make up around half of all schools in Nepal). The government therefore closed all government schools until the end of May with most private schools following suit. This has allowed staff to return to their homes and help in their communities, but for these children who have spent the last month at home fearing another big aftershock healing may have taken longer.

Which makes efforts like this one we saw over the weekend particularly special. The Lavender preschool is just over the road from KISC and we pass it each day on our way there. Together with a group we believe is connected to a local church they have set up and run an “Earthquake Trauma Management Program” in a open space nearby for children up to 12 over the last 5-6 days or so.

I was able to speak with one of the organisers a couple of days ago and he was sharing that while they’d started out the first day with just a couple of dozen children they’d quickly gone up to over 100 and they were putting on a whole load of different activities for the students. Some were specifically intended to give students an opportunity to talk, draw or write about their experiences, but many were just about having fun, providing structure to the day and some learning. All things that are essential for helping students to grow and develop, even more so during times like these.

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