Disaster relief

Rotary Yeovil reaches target to build school in Nepal

Rotary Yeovil reaches target to build school in Nepal

Four years ago, a devastating earthquake flattened much of Nepal, killing more than 9,000 people. However, thanks to the fundraising efforts of a Somerset-based Rotary club over the past two years, a new school should open in the Himalayan country later this summer.

Rotary Yeovil is celebrating after reaching its £64,000 fundraising target to build a brand new school in earthquake-ravaged Nepal.

It has taken the Somerset club a little over 18 months to raise the money to build a brand new, six-classroom school in the mountainous Sindhupalchok District that was struck by the earthquake of 2015.

The Yeovil club was helped by other clubs in the local Rotary district, together with a number of groups and organisations that have each made considerable contributions to the appeal.

“We are so pleased to have reached the £64,000 target and to have done it in time for the new year,” said Rotary Yeovil President, Caroline Ansell.

“We can now start 2019 in the knowledge that we’ve achieved what began as an ambitious initiative two years ago.”

She said that despite the terrible earthquake of four years ago, which killed nearly 9,000 people and made around 3.5 million people homeless in the Himalayan country, what Rotary had achieved would provide a legacy for the region.

Caroline added, “Whilst it’s been great to see our club pulling together in order to raise the money to build the school, we could not have done it alone.

“On behalf of the club, I have to thank everyone who has supported this project, no matter how big or small their contribution. Every penny that has been raised has helped us reach the target.

“It’s a truly fantastic effort and everyone involved can be proud that they have helped to create a legacy for thousands of children who will benefit from an improved education for many years to come.”

They used to say it takes a whole village to raise a child, but this project demonstrates that our global village can play its part and this school will help transform the lives of children and future generations.”

The Mondo Foundation has supported the project and they will be channelling the funds to Nepal to ensure the school project is completed.

Stephen Carrick-Davies, CEO of the Mondo Foundation, said, “This is an amazing achievement and everyone who has contributed should be so proud that they have supported Yeovil Rotary with its appeal.

“They used to say it takes a whole village to raise a child, but this project demonstrates that our global village can play its part and this school will help transform the lives of children and future generations.”

Having now reached the target for building, fitting out and equipping the school itself – including teacher training – the Yeovil club is continuing its fundraising efforts in order provide the school’s first 200 pupils with a ‘School in a Bag’ rucksack and its contents.

“With each school bag costing £20, to Fund 200 will require an additional £4,000 being raised,” explained Caroline.

“I’m pleased to report that we’re already making headway towards this additional amount. We hope, that by the time the school opens its doors in the summer, we will have not only provided the building and its infrastructure, but the equipment the children will need too.

“It completes the package perfectly and endorses the link between this project, our club and the School in a Bag charity.”

It was back in 2016 when clubs across Somerset, as well as parts of West Dorset and West Wiltshire, were challenged to come up with a significant international project which would involve and motivate its members across the region.

Because of Rotary Yeovil’s association with Luke Simon from the charity School in a Bag and his current work in Nepal, the club decided to get involved with the school project in one of the areas affected by the devastating 7.8 magnitude earthquake that struck Nepal on April 25th, 2015.

Construction of the school in full swing

According to government figures, the earthquake destroyed 475 of the 545 schools in the Sindhupalchok area.

This left thousands of children without a school to go to and, although temporary learning centres have been established, facilities are few and far between.

There is a risk that a whole generation may miss out on adequate education.

Working through the existing School in a Bag partners, the Helambu Education Livelihood Project (HELP) and Mondo Foundation, then club President Michael Fernando, together with members of the Yeovil Rotary, set about a focused fundraising campaign to secure the £64,000 budget needed to fully build, fit out and staff a school that will accommodate over 200 pupils.

The construction of the Shree Saraswoti School in the Sindhupalchok region, around 70 km north east of Kathmandu, commenced in June.

The main building is expected to be completed in the spring of this year, with tuition commencing in the summer.

For further information about the Rotary Yeovil’s Build a School in Nepal project click here.

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