The first stone is lying
Yesterday, Sunday, was a very special day for the people of Thulosirubari. One who made a mark for the future, a sign of hope. In the small village in Sindhupalchowk District, about 70 kilometers east of the Nepalese capital Kathmandu, the cornerstone for a new school was set. The old “Gerlinde and Ralf School” of the German aid organization Nepalhilfe Beilngries (NHB) had been so badly damaged by the devastating earthquake on 25 April 2015 that it later had to be demolished. In the summer of 2015, I had initiated, along with the professional climbers Ralf Dujmovits and Gerlinde Kaltenbrunner, the donation campaign “School up!”, with the goal to rebuild the school in Thulosirubari as soon as possible. Therefore yesterday was for us three a special day too – and also for all of you who have donated for “School up!”: Without your support, no foundation would have been laid yesterday.
Former Forestry Minister Agni Sapkota, a Maoist politician from Sindhupalchowk District, symbolically set the cornerstone. Several representatives of the District Government, other local politicians and the two NHB liaison men in Nepal, Sunil Krishna Shrestha and Shyam Pandit, attended the event.
The members of the new School Management Committee have meanwhile begun their activity. “They are happy with excitement and committed to do good supervision for quality building and good coordination with NHB,” Shyam writes to me. The new building will have twelve class rooms, six on the first and six on the second floor. Higher buildings are no longer allowed because of the continuing risk of earthquakes in the region. 575 students are to benefit from the new classrooms. According to current plans, the building will be completed in December 2017.
It was on a Saturday
The earthquake about one and a half years ago had killed almost 9,000 people in Nepal. Sindhupalchowk District was hit particularly hard. In the small mountain village of Thulosirubari alone 75 people died – including eight children, who had been students of the “Ralf and Gerlinde School”. There would have been more young victims if the earthquake had not taken place on a Saturday when the school was closed. Only 30 to 40 of about 1800 houses in and around Thulosirubari remained intact.
During my visit to the region last March, I saw many people who were still living in provisional corrugated-iron huts. In many places of Sindhupalchowk the debris of collapsed houses had not even been removed. Many people I talked to felt abandoned. The residents of Thulosirubari will soon be able to see with their own eyes that they have not been forgotten. And as they already did during the construction of the old school, they will once again join the work – for instance by carrying material to the construction site.
A first stage finish of “School up!” has been reached with the start of construction, but we are not yet at the end of the trip. I’ll continue reporting about the progress of the construction work in my blog. The overall cost of the school is not yet completely financed. We need more donations. Here again the bank account:
Recipient: Nepalhilfe Beilngries
Bank: Volksbank Bayern Mitte eG/Germany
IBAN: DE05 7216 0818 0004 6227 07
Intended purpose: Gerlinde and Ralf School
A thousand thanks to all “School up!”-Friends! You are great!
Date26. September 2016 | 19:24
TagsAgni Sapkota, Aid project: School up!, Cornerstone, Earthquake, Gerlinde and Ralf School, Gerlinde Kaltenbrunner, Nepal, Ralf Dujmovits, Sindhupalchowk, Thulosirubari