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Skillshare International and VSO to work together to rebuild Nepal

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We are proud to announce that Skillshare Nepal will be working with VSO Nepal to engage Nepalese youth volunteers in relief efforts following the earthquakes last month.

The Skillshare Nepal team responded and started working incredibly quickly after the two devastating earthquakes that shook the country over a month ago. The earthquakes left a huge number of fatalities and sever damages to vital infrastructures and buildings, and there is an urgent need for humanitarian support as people are devoid of shelter and food essential for survival. 

Over the past month a team of 20 volunteers has been working with community members in Nanglebahare – where over 70% of houses have been destroyed – to remove debris from damaged houses, construct temporary shelters and provide sanitation facilities. They also concentrated on raising awareness on health and clean drinking water, as many water systems have been damaged raising concerns about the quality of drinking water available.Menstrual health management is also extremely important after disasters, as women and adolescent girls face more challenges to maintain menstrual hygiene. To raise awareness and provide support and sanitation kits, Skillshare Nepal ran a community workshop programme on “Menstrual Hygiene” in partnership with Tribhuwan University.

 Skillshare International Volunteers in Bhotechour where we will be working with VSO Nepal

This first group of volunteers cleared debris from 21 houses and constructed 5 temporary shelters. Volunteers worked closely with the community rebuilding committee of Nanglebhare to ensure that the community’s needs were met. The committee was incredibly appreciative of the volunteers work and has requested that we send a second batch of volunteers and introduce a livelihood programme to include vegetable farming, raring livestock and skills training. We are holding a community workshop next week to plan how we will move forward with the second phase of intervention and restoration. 

Skillshare International Volunteers working together to remove a roof in Nanglebhare Nepal

Volunteers working together to remove the roof from a destroyed building in Nanglebhare

The earthquakes have had a traumatic effect on the children of Nepal. Many have lost family members and are without basic shelter. Additionally as adults’ time and attention is fully consumed with restoration efforts, children can be left unattended for long periods. Consequently, children still recovering from the trauma of the earthquakes, particularly those who have lost their homes, siblings and parents are not receiving the emotional support that they need. In response to this we set up a child friendly space in Nanglebhare to provide counselling and offer support to these children. The space, which ran for a week, gave children the chance to play games and interact with each other, whilst mentor volunteers provided counselling. The space was hugely popular and over 60 children turned up to take part each day. The school has now reopened, however due a lack of safe premises and the general disruption in the aftermath of the earthquake, classes are not running smoothly. VSO Nepal joined us on 3rd June to visit at Nanglebhare and we are now working on a proposal together to potentially construct Transitional Learning Centres here and in Bhotechour, so that the crucial work started by the child-friendly space can continue. 

Children from Nanglebhare Nepal enjoying a session run by Skillshare International Volunteers

Children from Nanglebhare village enjoying a session run by Skillshare International Volunteers at the Child-friendly space

We are also doing research around children who have missing parents and those missing school clothing and books. Two children in Nanglebhare alone are known to have lost both of their parents. We will collaborate with another organization to ensure that children orphaned by the earthquake are sheltered and supported. 

This week a new group of 22 volunteers started work in the village of Elder in Bhotechour Nepal receiving a blanket and mosquito net Bhotechour, located in the district hit hardest by the earthquakes. We also distributed mosquito nets and blankets to 120 families. The new group is made up of 17 semi-skilled volunteers and 5 civil engineers. Prior to the volunteers’ arrival, the community rebuilding committee in the village had been hard at work generating and gathering resources for families who have lost members. The committee has collected 60 bundles of corrugated sheeting from private and civil donors, which the volunteers will be able to use to construct temporary shelters. The semi-skilled volunteers will focus on debris management, whilst the civil engineers will concentrate on constructing the shelters. 

We are holding a community workshop in the village next week with the engineers to present to the villagers the different types of model houses that we are able to build. By working in partnership with the affected communities, VSO Nepal and each other we can help alleviate the pain of the people of Nanglebhare and Bhotechour and help them build a brighter future. 

If you are from Nepal and want to volunteer send your CV to skillsharenepal@gmail.com 

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