Rebuilding Barang School (Nepal)

The things you take for granted, someone else is praying for. 

IB Education aims to develop,  "inquiring, knowledgeable and caring young people who help to create a better and more peaceful world through intercultural understanding and respect," (IBO, 2009).

Having taught in PYP schools for over 16 years, I acknowledge that it can sometimes be hard to ensure that children have direct experiences from which to take action. As a family, we have made it a priority to connect our children with relevant and meaningful life experiences that will allow them to further develop their understanding of compassion and empathy for our world and other people. 

This journey started two years ago with our first family trip to Nepal and my son's connections to a unit he and his classmates were learning about in school.  The driving theme (central idea) of this unit was all about inquiring into the ways natural disasters transform how a community functions.

Being dyslexic, he finds reading books and getting information from the internet a challenge. Our trip to Nepal provided him with the opportunity to interview, research,  and have first-hand experience about the impact of the earthquake that devastated Nepal in April 2015 (please see our blog Aftershocks: rebuilding futures). 

After our trek, we teamed with Karma Flights (local NGO that supported education in Nepal) to provide stationery and writing books to the children of the Barang school. This school was destroyed in the earthquake and, to this day, still have their school located in a buffalo shed that is fully exposed to the elements.

Students at Barang school were all smiles after receiving new books and stationery (January 2017).

Ameer (my son) interviewed the students and people from local NGO organisations to better understand the how the earthquake personally impacted them and their families. He learned about how they are striving to rebuild their lives and the communities that they live in.

This springboarded a deeper discussion about the rebuilding process of the Barang school and the obstacles that they are fighting to overcome on a daily basis, despite it being over a year (in 2016) since the earthquake. Ameer used this information for his unit of inquiry and shared his research and learning with classmates back at his school in Saudi Arabia. 

We kept close connections with the Barang school and Karma Flights, so were able to keep informed about how the situation was progressing and what was being done to support the community and its people.
It has been almost 3 years since the earthquake destroyed the school in Barang.  This past December (2017), our family returned to Nepal. Before we left Ameer (10) and Ambieka (8) read about the Karma Flights winter appeal. In response to this, they felt compelled to do something so took the initiative to start a clothes drive in our community.  They were able to collect, sort, and package over 130kg of clothing and shoes to distribute to the community in Barang.

Ameer (son-blue t'shirt) and Ambieka (daughter-purple jacket) distributing the clothes and shoes that were donated by our community to the Karma Flights Winter Appeal (December 2017). 

Upon arrival back at the Barang school, my children were shocked to see that the school was still not completed and that students were still occupying the buffalo sheds. 
They learned that during the rainy season, the students can't fully engage in their studies as the sheds are open to the elements of weather and that there is no shelter. Although the school has now got concrete foundations there is much work to be done before the building can be used.

My son Ameer with Mr. Raju from Karma Flights at the new Barang school site (December 2017).

Ameer asked Karma Flights why the school was not completed and they explained that the funds needed to complete the building had run dry and that they still required approximately US$8,000 to complete the building (the structure only). 

We talked at length with Ameer and Ambieka about this and the impact that it is having on the childrens' education and their futures. We thought of many ways that we could support them and decided that we should start a 'Go Fund Me' page and appeal to our friends, family and the wider community to try and raise the necessary funds to complete the rebuilding of the school. Although these funds are only for the structure itself, Ameer and Ambieka feel as though this would be a great start. 

We are hoping to raise the funds to complete the project before the rainy season returns this year (2018). If we are lucky enough to raise more than US$8k (approximately AUD$10,000) we will be able to also provide the school with books, some computers and possibly a small library.  If we are lucky enough to raise even more, we can support other schools in the Gorka region of Nepal who are also still rebuilding their schools. 

We ask that you kindly donate anything you can towards Ameer and Ambieka's Rebuilding Barang School project in order to provide education to those most in need. 

Visit our blog Aftershocks: rebuilding futures to read the whole story. Ameer and Ambieka have developed this blog with support and continue to work on this initiative. Any help you can offer would be greatly appreciated. 

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