Print Edition - 2015-05-11  |  Earthquake Relief

TFN contributes to relief operations

- GAURAV THAPA, Kathmandu
TFN contributes to relief operations

May 10, 2015-

Using their respective schools as operation bases, teachers from Teach For Nepal (TFN) are carrying out immediate relief operation in 28 schools in Lalitpur and Sindhupalchok districts.

In line with the World Food Programme-recommended Food Basket for disaster areas, which recommends minimum nutritional values of 2,100 Kcal energy, 58g protein and 43g fat, teachers have distributed over 21,000kg of rice, 1,300kg of pulses, 900kg of salt, 4,000 cartoons of noodles, 5,000 packets of biscuits, 5,000kg of vegetables, oil, flour and beaten rice in over 1,100 communities in the two districts.

Likewise, TFN fellows have distributed about 400 sets of tarpaulins and tents, 50 mattresses, 2,500 metres of rope, 300 blankets, 700 units of water purifiers, 3,000 cases of drinking water bottles, 600 boxes of medicine and 300 packets of baby food.

TFN is a fellowship programme that selects young professionals to teach in public schools in remote areas of the country, with an aim to end education inequity. After the disaster, about 100 fellows stayed in or went back tovillages to ensure adequate supply of the relief material. TFN claims that it has reached more than 1,100 communities so far and has generated relief worth Rs 4.5 million.

“Immediate response from our fellows has made sure that food supply is sufficient for now,” said TFN CEO SishirKhanal. “The communities where the schools are based and the nearby villages from where the students came have been badly affected by the quake,” he added.

TFN fellow Rupsa Nakarmi, stationed at Bagbhairab Higher Secondary School in Kaleshwar VDC in southern Lalitpur, has been distributing relief material in the VDC and other neighbouring villages. She and her team have distributed 260 blankets and 60 tents along with foodstuff to 250 houses in Batase Danda. She has also helped in distributing relief at Naman Danda in Chandanpur VDC.

Along with distributing relief they had collected by themselves, TFN is also helping to coordinate relief distribution by other agencies by using its network and expertise of working in rural areas. TFN is now working with the Federation of Nepalese Chamber of Commerce and Industries for installing temporary shelters in Lalitpur.

Fellows like Nakarmi have a daunting task ahead, since 18 schools in Lalitpur and 10 in Sindhupalchok, all of which are associated with TFN, have suffered structural damage. Similarly, despite classes being scheduled to start from May 15, most students who attend these schools will not be able to attend classes for some time, as they come from poor economic background and will have to contribute to rebuilding their homes and supporting their families.

Keeping in mind the psychological condition of students in the aftermath of the quake, TFN has decided to adopt caution in dealing with children after classes resume. According to Khanal, they are planning to train teachers in psycho-social counselling and post-traumatic stress disorder. “We will not start teaching the curriculum from the first day of the school,” Khanal explained. “For the first month, we have decided to use arts, games and sports to create a favourable environment in our institutions.”

For rehabilitation works, TFN fellows have decided to work with the local relief committees, school management committees and local leaders. They have also pledged to help in building temporary learning centres.

Published: 11-05-2015 08:08

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