Since the first powerful earthquake hit Nepal in late April, our ShelterBox response teams have found innovative ways to use our aid to support people whose lives have been turned upside down.
Our tents were not only given to families that had lost their homes, but also to hospitals and therapy centres to provide space for people who had been hurt either physically or emotionally by the quakes. We also provided shelter kits to people whose homes needed repairing and now, our teams have been working with a local Rotary club to distribute SchoolBoxes, containing classroom materials, to orphanages in the Kathmandu Valley.
During the response in Nepal, ShelterBox has teamed up with several different organisations, such as the Armed Police Force, theRoyal Gurkha Rifles and other aid agencies, to make sure that we reach as many people in need as possible. Most recently, we have been working with the Rotary Club of Bhadgaon, based in the Kathmandu Valley. The club, which is less than a year old, has taken on the project of supporting more than 200 orphanages across the Kathmandu Valley, which has become even more urgent following the earthquakes.
Each orphanage looks after between 25 and 50 children, some of whom arrive when they are as young as a few days old and can remain until the age of 18. Many of the orphanage buildings have been damaged as a result of the earthquakes, with cracks in the walls and floors visible in the structure.
The Rotary Club brought in psychiatrists to help children who have been traumatised by the earthquakes and ongoing aftershocks. In addition, a ShelterBox response team, made up of Tim Osburn (US), Jimmy Griffith (NZ), Torstein Neilsen (NOR) and Jessica Kim (CAN) helped to source and deliver SchoolBoxes containing enough school materials for 450 children.
Each box includes supplies for teachers, such as blackboard paint, chalk and solar radios, along with activity packs for children that contain materials, such as notebooks and coloured pencils, to not only help children to continue their studies, but to play and express themselves too.
Response team member Jimmy Griffiths said: ‘It was great to see our SchoolBoxes in action and to peek in on how the children are enjoying a little bit of a distraction from their very difficult experiences.’