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Normality still far off for Nepal

A young girl stands outside what is left of her home
A young girl stands outside what is left of her home

The humanitarian situation in Nepal is dire a month after the country was rocked by the first of two major earthquakes. Together the earthquakes killed more than 8,000 people and injured upwards of 19,000. With aftershocks continuing, people remain frightened and unsure of their future.

SOS Children are doing everything they can to ease the situation for the children left vulnerable by the disaster. 

A country reduced to rubble

SOS Nepal worker carries an injured Nepalese girl through a makeshift camp
An SOS Children Nepal worker cradles a small girl in her arms as she walks through a makeshift camp

Well over 500,000 homes have been destroyed across Nepal and the houses that are still standing are damaged and unsafe. As a result, thousands of people are living outside under tarpaulin tents in makeshift camps. The country resembles a war zone with schools, hospitals and health facilities reduced to rubble and, with the monsoon season fast approaching, there is a real fear that the situation could deteriorate further. 

Children are some of the worst affected by the disaster. However, NGOs, including SOS Children, are doing everything they can to alleviate the situation for the thousands of homeless and vulnerable children. SOS Children have established 14 child-friendly spaces, with one more due to open soon. These have served over 1,200 children since the first earthquake struck.

The road to recovery

Ayesha is ten years old. She, her five-year-old brother, and their mum and dad, are homeless. “All my house is broken,” Ayesha says. “The houses around me were also broken, even the big houses”. She pauses, then adds: “When the earthquake came it felt very dangerous. I ran into the field outside.” Her father recounts how a passerby was killed by falling concrete from the house across the street. There is real fear in Ayesha’s eyes as she expresses her worry that another earthquake might happen at any moment.

Nepalese children play at a children-friendly space set up after the earthquake
Nepalese children enjoy a game at a child-friendly space run by SOS Children
Ayesha’s family are now living outside, in the grounds of Harisiddhi Party Palace, a large banquet hall. Living in a tent is far from ideal, and Ayesha is sad that her school is closed, but she and her brother are at least able to come to the child-friendly space set up by SOS Children at a local healthcare centre. The space provides three meals a day for 60 children. The pair are able to play with other children, making the most of the plastic building blocks and other toys that litter the playroom. “I like playing and eating here. I had rice and daal. I like it here,” smiles Ayesha.

While the children are able to escape the chaos that surrounds them for a few hours a day and receive the health and psychological care they need, Ayesha’s parents are worrying about where they are going to live. The family home was just five minutes from the child-friendly space, but it has been reduced to a pile of rubble. Ayesha’s father is worried; “it will take months to reconstruct the house. We don’t have the money to do this.”

Here at SOS Children, we are committed to helping improve the longer term outlook for children and families affected by the earthquakes. You can support us by donating here: 

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