Schoolchildren are easily distracted at the best of times, but imagine trying to keep their attention when helicopters are flying overhead every five minutes delivering relief supplies.
The fact their classrooms have no walls doesn’t help either. This is the situation in Nepal’s remote Kiul area, where the devastation caused by the April and May earthquakes has made life very difficult for teachers.
More than a million Nepalese children no longer have access to safe classrooms, according to the Education Cluster, a group of NGOs determined to rebuild the Himalayan nation's collapsed education system. Kiul is in Sindhupalchok, one of the worst-affected districts in the country, where 95 percent of schools were damaged.
Despite the destruction of much of the infrastructure, teachers and students here are determined to keep classes going. As in other quake-hit areas of Nepal, children are learning in makeshift classrooms fashioned out of tarpaulin sheets and poles. Aid groups have also built “temporary learning centres" out of bamboo or tin. They are only big enough to hold two classes. Some children are still being taught on the rubble of their former schools.
“The buildings and land on which the school used to be were completely destroyed, so we bought new land and started to set up a completely new school here so that we could continue teaching,” said Som Jyoti, headmaster of Kiul’s primary school.
“The roof and metal frames have been donated by NGOs, but we don’t have enough money to build walls.”
Right now, we’re working with contributors on the ground in Ukraine and in neighbouring countries to tell the stories of people enduring and responding to a rapidly evolving humanitarian crisis.
We’re documenting the threats to humanitarian response in the country and providing a platform for those bearing the brunt of the invasion. Our goal is to bring you the truth at a time when disinformation is rampant.
But while much of the world’s focus may be on Ukraine, we are continuing our reporting on myriad other humanitarian disasters – from Haiti to the Sahel to Afghanistan to Myanmar. We’ve been covering humanitarian crises for more than 25 years, and our journalism has always been free, accessible for all, and – most importantly – balanced.
You can support our journalism from just $5 a month, and every contribution will go towards our mission.