Chandra Kala School
As part of the 2015 Earthquake Assistance Program, we provided a water filtration system, furniture, books, stationary, whiteboards and other educational material.
- Location : Shree Chandra Kala Lower Secondary School, Tamalabot - 9, Arukharka, Gorkha District
- Population : 250 (grade 1 to 8 + pre-primary)
- Date : June - July 2015 + school reconstruction completed in September 2019
- Projects : Water purifier, school stationary supplies and a school building reconstruction project
- Category : Disaster Assistance,
We wrote to our donors mid-2015 to report on the successful completion of the 2015 post-earthquake relief work. We said that the Tamalabot community has some of the warmest and most welcoming people that we have encountered in my 22 years in the Himalayas. They were tireless in helping the school to recover and to our team to complete our work.
The school was recommended to us by the District Education Officer because the community was predominantly composed of Barhamu people, a highly marginalised indigenous group and one of 59 indigenous peoples recognised by the Nepal government. Although they have been strongly influenced by Hindu culture, they have their own original animist culture and have traditional Shaman who perform rituals and treat illnesses.
The school was completely destroyed except for one building which was being used as the Principal’s Office and pre-primary classroom. This building was condemned by the government as structurally unsound and requiring demolition despite its ongoing use.
Chandra Kala is located at the end of a road that was difficult to traverse and only accessible by tractor. It took over three hours to travel around 40km from Gorkha Bazar where we collected the materials for delivery to the school. During our first visit, we brought teaching materials and installed a water filtration system that would service the school and nearby households. There was also a lack of stationery and the children had never owned a school bag to carry their materials to class. So we decided to return two week later to deliver school bags and stationery for the students and additional teaching materials for the school.
We wanted to help the school with metal trusses for temporary classrooms similar to the ones we installed in the other Gorkha schools, but there was no space available at the time to install the structure before the monsoon season. The existing TLC could not be moved either. They were built on two small terraced patches of land perched on a hill overlooking the remains of the school. The narrow pathway in front of the TLC was less than two metres wide with a steep drop over the edge. It serviced 250 children rushing between classes.
We returned to the Tamalabot community in September 2015 to film a story about the difficulty the school faced in providing a quality education for its children. The completed film, EARTH-Q, gives voice to the concerns of teachers and parents and highlights the struggles children face learning in the makeshift school. Some of those struggles were summed up by the Chair of the School Committee during an interview when she said the children “have to go up to school on rocky and hilly tracks that are difficult to walk. While they are studying and it rains, they can’t hear properly. When it gets sunny the tin roof gets hot. After it rains the floor is flooded and muddy, it’s a disaster! When it’s sunny, the floor is dusty!”
In 2016, we were able to secure permission from the Gorkha District Education Office to commence a reconstruction project and help build a permanent four-classroom building, with the capacity to add an upper floor for an additional four rooms at a later date. The building was constructed using a government-approved, earthquake-resistant design.
The reconstruction was started in 2017 but put on hold while another building funded by the Japanese Aid Agency JICA was completed. The building was completed in September 2019.
Stationary & school supplies (June 2015)
We distributed 500 notepads, 750 pencils, 250 erasers and pencil sharpeners, 250 pens and 250 school bags to the children. We supplied five whiteboards with markers and erasers and ten chairs to the school.
Water filtration system (June 2015)
We commissioned the installation of a slow sand water filtration system with a 1,000 litre holding tank and 500 litre filtered water tank which provides clean drinking water to the school community. The system was delivered and installed with plumbing, metal fixtures and a concrete base to support the tanks.
School rebuilding program (September 2019)
We are the principle funders of the construction of a permanent four room earthquake resistant 6 x 22 metre building. The building, constructed of brick and reinforced concrete beams and concrete roof, will be used as classrooms, computer lab and library for the school. The building was constructed in a manner that would allow for a second story to be constructed in the future.
For more details, download a PDF copy of the 2015 Nepal Earthquake Appeal Report (3MB)