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with Stefan Nestler

Demolition of school has begun

The school in Thulosirubari has to be demolished

The school in Thulosirubari is going to be demolished

It was simply too dangerous. In the village of Thulosirubari in the Nepalese earthquake zone, residents and helpers of the International Organization for Migration (IOM) have begun to remove the debris of the school. The building that was heavily damaged by the quake on 25 April “stands dangerously on the side of the ground where children use to play”, Arjun Gatraj, chairman of the School Management Committee, writes to me. As reported, the ground floor of the “Gerlinde and Ralf School” had collapsed, the building cannot be maintained. “These days, we have the big problem on how to destroy the main building and how to clear the rubble”, says Arjun. “We have no money for that ant the Government of Nepal is also not able to support us.”

Highly motivated

The school, that was built and maintained by the German aid organization “Nepalhilfe Beilngries”, was inaugurated in 2009. The professional climbers Gerlinde Kaltenbrunner and Ralf Dujmovits had made the construction possible with their financial support. Before the earthquake, 700 students per year attended the school. They came not only from Thulosirubari but from other small mountain villages in Sindhulpalchowk District too. The students are now taught in tin sheds, in groups of up to 70 students. “The temporary classrooms have proved to be useful”, Arjun writes. “The teaching is more or less the same as before the earthquake, but there is a great lack of teaching materials and school furniture. The children are just as excited to learn even after the earthquake.”

No family left the village

Living and learning in tin sheds

Living and learning in tin sheds

In Thulosirubari, located about 40 kilometers east of the capital Kathmandu as the crow flies, 75 people died in the earthquake, among them seven students of the “Gerlinde and Ralf School”. The villagers have overcome the monsoon – most of them in shanties with corrugated iron roofs and tarpaulins to protect against heavy rainfall. Despite the difficult living conditions, no family has left the village because of the earthquake, says Arjun. “They are struggling with the current situation. Those families who were temporary staying in Kathmandu returned to the village. The greatest concern of the people in Thulosirubari is: How can they build new and safe houses again? And who can rebuild the school for their children?” But of course they do not have the money for that. “So please help us to rebuild it!”, Arjun Gatraj appeals.

Every Euro or Dollar helps

This is precisely the goal of the fundraising campaign “School Up!” which I started in late June along with Gerlinde and Ralf. With your help, we want to ensure that the school in Thulosirubari will be rebuilt as soon as possible. The campaign had a promising start, but it is like being on expedition: If you have left the base camp, you are still far from the summit. You need patience and staying power. Once again, here are the bank details:

Recipient: Nepalhilfe Beilngries
Bank: Volksbank Bayern Mitte eG/Germany
IBAN: DE05 7216 0818 0004 6227 07
Intended purpose: Gerlinde and Ralf School

Every single Euro, Pound or Dollar is helping. A big thank you in advance to all donators!


8. September 2015 | 14:07