The World is Our Family
I have been working as a humanitarian professional since September 2014. When the earthquake struck on April 25, I was on leave. But I walked on foot to our country office on April 27, as I was keen to begin helping those in need. I was immediately deployed to my home district Sindhupalchowk as an education focal person, accompanied by a 5 member emergency response team.
Sindhupalchowk being the most affected district, we saw a lot of destruction on our way to Chautara. Most of the houses were destroyed, along with the schools close to the roads. When we reached Chautara Bazar, I was shocked to find that most of the concrete buildings had also been destroyed, and people were living in open spaces. They did not even have a tarpaulin for shelter. Initially, our team was focused in relief distribution. I was playing a dual role in my relief team – first at cluster 3 in Melamchi, and another as education focal person in district. We worked day and night, as Save the Children was the first respondent in the district, and we had to reach as many as we could. I felt extremely proud to be a Save the Children family member, especially as we were able to support the first tarpaulins in Sagachowk VDC. The respect we gained from the local community is hard to describe.
My proudest moment was on June 25 – when we initiated the first Temporary Learning Center (TLC) of the district in Siddhi Ganesh Primary School, Bansbari VDC. We had chosen this school because majority of the student in this school belong to the Maghi community, and all three teachers of the schools were women. During a consultation with the community, we realized that they were eager to restart the school. Save the Children team reached the place with sets of playing materials and stationery for children. On the first day, we started classes under trees, on a floor of tarpaulin. The first day, 45 out of 70 students were present. They were happy and enjoying their innocent games. The feeling of these joyful children is etched onto my mind. Currently, the schools are running two TLCs. We have already completed setting up 151 TLCs in 87 schools of Sindhupalchowk.
My own house in Sindhupalchowk, built of stone and mud, was damaged by the earthquake. My family, including four year old daughter, were managing their lives in open space. But for me, the whole world is my family – the reason why I carried out my responsibilities without a hitch when Save the Children deployed me for two month in the same district. After activating the cluster system as co-lead of education cluster, I have continued my support in Sindhupalchowk. I feel grateful when I remember those tough times, for it was an opportunity to lend at least some happiness to earthquake survivors, and especially the children. As for my own home, I have just begun to clear the debris – I will definitely build a home where my daughter feels safe, secure and happy.
Photo: Children studying at a temporary learning center in Sindupalchowk