Setting standards: Leading Nepal children’s charity shows how earthquake appeal funds saved lives

  • Since a huge earthquake struck Nepal on 25 April 2015, Childreach Nepal have reached over 2,500 households with emergency aid in Sindhupalchowk district.
  • Childreach Nepal have created 24 temporary learning centres enabling over 4,000 children to continue their education and be safe from child trafficking and other forms of abuse.
  • In response to calls for transparency and accountability in the aid and recovery effort and to drive standards in the humanitarian and development community Childreach Nepal are publishing the financial breakdown of their emergency response.

Independent Nepali children’s rights organisation, Childreach Nepal, are publishing their financial accounts for the two months following the huge earthquakes that hit Nepal from 25th April 2015, outlining how they have spent funds donated to their earthquake appeal and the impact of their response. The report can be found at: www.childreachnp.org/nepal-earthquake and www.childreach.org.uk/nepal-earthquake

The move comes after the International Conference on Nepal’s Reconstruction held in Kathmandu on 25th June, which pledged $4.4bn for Nepal’s post-earthquake recovery. Senior government officials, including Nepal’s Prime Minister Sushil Koirala, used the two month anniversary of the 7.8 magnitude earthquake that killed over 8,800 people and devastated 14 of Nepal’s 75 districts, to call for transparency and accountability in the aid and recovery effort.

Calls for openness have also come from Nepal’s civil society and activists who have demanded that lessons are learned from previous natural disasters such as Haiti’s earthquake in 2010. At the recent donor meeting the European Union listed monitoring of international capital expenditure one of their priorities, whilst the World Bank has highlighted budgetary support as key to the recovery effort.

It is in this context that Childreach Nepal are publishing their accounts for the two month period immediately following the earthquake. The report, which can be found on Childreach Nepal’s website, details our income and expenditure, itemising all costs associated with our relief effort and most importantly how this helped those whose lives were destroyed by the earthquake.

As well as getting vital medical supplies, food and shelter to people in Sindhupalchowk one of the worst affected districts, our team was also able to establish eight medical camps and 24 Temporary Learnings Centres hosting over 4,000 children so their education can continue and they are safe from traffickers and other potential abuse. With our partners, we have reached 2,512 households across 18 Village Development Committees, an estimated 10,852 people.

Childreach Nepal are just one organisation among hundreds who have responded to the immense challenges Nepal faces after the recent earthquakes. As a young organisation, run by young people, for young people, the most inspirational aspect of the response to the earthquake is the way Nepal’s youth organised themselves so quickly and in so many innovative ways. In Childreach Nepal’s case this meant mobilising up to 30 volunteers at a time to get vital aid to remote areas by motorbike, as well as partnering with the Global Shapers Hub Kathmandu to raise funds and source emergency supplies from within Nepal and internationally. Such dedication and collaboration brings great hope for the future of Nepal.

Childreach Nepal and Childreach International believe that as a sector we have a duty to be as open about our shortcomings as we are about our successes both for the benefit of those who support us and for the people and children in whose name we operate. The tragic aftermath of the earthquake has presented us with an opportunity to ensure that collectively, we have learnt from previous natural disasters and to show the Nepali people that we are listening to their concerns about how efficiently and equitably the billions that have been pledged and donated from around the world and within Nepal are being allocated and accounted for.

Dr Tshering Lama, the Country Director of Childreach Nepal says:

From the day after the earthquake devastated Sindhupalchowk district, where Childreach Nepal have been working for years, we have been at the forefront of relief efforts alongside the Nepal Army and local communities. The emergency response we undertook has been very challenging, at times life threatening and often overwhelming for all of us. Despite the confusion and chaos after the earthquakes we were determined to reach those in need no matter how hard it was to get to them. Being there for the communities of Sindhupalchowk has earned us the respect of the local people and of our supporters within Nepal and abroad.

To continue this relationship of trust with both our donors and the communities we work with, Childreach Nepal and our partner Childreach International decided that we should publish a report on our emergency response. Firstly to demonstrate what we have achieved and secondly to show exactly how we have spent funds donated by our generous supporters in Nepal and around the world.

We have taken this step because we believe every individual donor and every organisation has the right to know where their money is being spent. We hope that this will encourage others to also move towards greater openness. On behalf of Childreach Nepal’s staff, our dedicated volunteers and our partners I would like to personally thank everyone who has donated to support Nepal’s recovery. We will rebuild our country better and stronger than before.”

Contact:

Sophia Pande - Strategy and Communications Manager – Childreach Nepal
sophia.pande@childreachnp.org +977 1 5520374
Tom Law - Head of Communications - Childreach International
tom.law@childreach.org.uk +44(0)2031375500 / +44(0)7594270633

Available for interview - Dr. Tshering Lama

Tshering graduated from Northumbria University, UK with BSc (Hons) in Health Development Studies, Masters of Public Health, and a Ph.D. in Telemedicine. He was awarded with the first ever Lord Glenamara International Scholarship in recognition of his efforts in improving public health and the environment through volunteering. In 2006 Tshering won theInternational Student of the Year Award in the UK. This award was honoured by the university establishing the ‘Tshering Lama Northumbria University Scholarships’, which provide 20 scholarships a year for Nepalese students. In 2010, Tshering returned to Nepal to found Childreach Nepal.

Tshering is a strong believer in bringing the right people together to find new and innovative ways of changing the lives of young people. One of the best demonstrations of this is his key role in co-creating the Idea Studio Nepal. Launched last year, as a joint initiative with UNICEF Nepal, the Idea Studio has created a platform for Nepali people with enterprising ideas to change society by providing them with mentoring at Kathmandu University, investment to turn promising ideas into viable businesses and giving them national exposure by telling their journey through one of Nepal’s first reality TV shows. In 2015 Tshering was named as a World Economic Forum Young Global Leader for 2015.

About Childreach Nepal:

Founded in 2010, Childreach Nepal is part of the global child rights movement Childreach International, which also works in Bangladesh, Brazil, Morocco, India, Tanzania and the UK.
Websites: www.childreachnp.org / www.childreach.org.uk / www.taughnottrafficked.com
Twitter: @ChildreachNepal / @ChildreachInt / @CDChildreachNp
Facebook: facebook.com/childreachnepal /https://www.facebook.com/childreachinternational

Current Situation in the Sindhupalchowk District

At 11:56am local time on 25 April 2015, a 7.8 magnitude earthquake struck Nepal, devastating 14 of Nepal’s 75 districts. The destruction of this initial earthquake was extensive however, a second 7.3 magnitude earthquake struck on 12th May 2015 at 12:35am local time, triggering mass panic and worsening the situation for children and their families by destroying more buildings, causing severe injuries and leading to more fatalities. The government are reporting more than 8,800 people have been killed, 505,745 houses destroyed and 279,330 houses badly damaged across Nepal, severely affecting families and traumatising children.

The Sindhupalchowk District has been devastated by the earthquakes. 170,614 people have been severely affected, with estimates suggesting 59% of the total population in the district having lost their homes. There are 126,535 children under the age of 19 in the district and 500 schools severely damaged or destroyed.

The Sindhupalchowk district has one of the highest rates of trafficking in the country. The district is a marginalised area where women and children are vulnerable to trafficking, driven by factors such as poverty, gender discrimination and lack of livelihood opportunities, according to the On-Site Operations Coordination Centre (OSOCC) of the United Nations. Incidences of trafficking are likely to increase following the earthquake, based on previous disasters (Global Protection Cluster). As one of the worst affected districts, many families in Sindupalchowk have lost all of their financial assets in the earthquakes, and are at risk of believing that they are sending their children to a better life when in fact, they could be sending them to brothels or into labour via trafficking networks targeting vulnerable families.

The risk of child trafficking is made worse by the lack of educational facilities for children to attend in the aftermath of the earthquake. When children are not attending school, they are much more likely to be unaccompanied and are more open to the idea of leaving their communities in search of an education.

Childreach Nepal’s phased earthquake response

Phase 1: Emergency Relief (25 April - 23 May 2015)
Childreach Nepal responded immediately when the earthquake hit on Saturday 25th April, sourcing materials locally and mobilising resources internationally to get lifesaving supplies to rural communities in the Sindhupalchowk District on motorbikes. By partnering with the military base at Melamchi, Global Shapers, Young Global Leaders and skilled medical volunteers, Childreach Nepal were able to utilise staff’s local expertise of the area and were the first organisation to reach many people in the following 18 Village Development Committees (VDCs) within the Sindhupalchowk District: Banskharka, Bansbari, Baruwa, Bhotang, BhoteNamlang, Dubachour, Gunsakot, Ichok, Jyamire, Kyul, Lagarche, Mahankal, Melamchi, Sindhukot, Sipaphokari, Talamarang, Thangpalchap and Thanpalkot. In the two months since the earthquake we reached an estimated 2,512 households or around 10,852 people considering that the national census says there are an average of 4.32 people per household.

Childreach Nepal delivered food, medical supplies, shelter and blankets, and critically, ensured those injured were able to access emergency medical care by establishing eight medical camps in partnership with national and international medical teams. The Childreach Nepal team completed needs assessments to monitor the children’s situation in the district and inform short and long-term plans.

Phase 2: Establishing Temporary Learning Centres (23 May – 30 June 2015)

Education in the aftermath of an emergency such as an earthquake is essential because it provides a safe space for children to be consulted and is a key vehicle for communicating messages about the risks of trafficking, preventable diseases, nutrition, hygiene and other lifesaving topics. After the earthquake, the risks of trafficking and abuse of children are high, meaning a fast response to their safety was essential. Childreach Nepal responded by establishing Temporary Learning Centres in the Sindupalchowk District.

Current situation
Childreach Nepal are now at the end of ‘Phase 2’ of the response. Temporary Learning Centres are still functioning, and have played a critical role in rapidly addressing children’s education and protection post-earthquake, normalising children’s lives and improving their psychosocial wellbeing. The centres have also enabled families to return to work and spend time rebuilding their homes and lives whilst children are safe at the centres. However, the earthquakes have destroyed or severely damaged 36,107 classrooms according to the UN’s Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, affecting over 1 million children across Nepal. Two months on from the initial earthquake, there are many communities in the Sindupalchowk District that have still not reopened schools and that have no safe spaces for children. It is widely accepted that the long term rebuilding of permanent schools is a huge project that could take years to finish, particularly in ‘hard to reach’ rural communities, therefore there is an urgent need to respond quickly by constructing robust Semi-Permanent Classrooms to enable children to get back to, and stay in education. Childreach Nepal are now seeking funding for phase 3 of the response which aims to establish 100 Semi-Permanent Classrooms in the Sindupalchowk District.

Childreach Nepal have placed children at the heart of the proactive response in phase 1 and 2, further cementing a trusting relationship with local communities and ensuring the organisation is now in a very strong position to play a leading role in the rebuilding and rehabilitation of educational facilities in the Sindupalchowk District through phase 3 of the response outlined below.

Phase 3: Building 100 Semi-Permanent Classrooms in Sindhupalchowk (July 2015 – December 2015)

We are currently appealing for funds to provide 3,000 children with Semi-Permanent Classrooms in 50 sites across Sindupalchowk District (100 Semi-Permanent Classrooms in total). The classrooms will be purchased, transported and assembled on site in communities by Childreach Nepal. Each classroom will hold 30 children, meaning 60 children per site.

All 50 sites for Semi-Permanent Classrooms will be in Sindupalchowk. Childreach Nepal are working with local partners and the government in cluster meetings to ensure no duplication of efforts and have been assigned the role of establishing 100 classrooms due to a successful track record of working in education.

By the end of the project, 3,000 vulnerable children in rural villages of Sindupalchowk will be regularly attending Semi-Permanent Classrooms and complete their education.

Description of the classrooms

Semi-Permanent Classrooms are purchased in units which contain 2 classrooms. Each unit is 678 square feet. One unit will be purchased and assembled for each site. The classrooms are made of prefabricated material and are easy to construct on site. The classrooms will form a sustainable interim solution to the education crisis that Nepal is facing. The classrooms will last for up to 40 years, are earthquake resistant and are made of light and safe material utilising the latest technology. They will be constructed under the supervision and advice of an experienced architect from Nepal who will quality assure the process to ensure the safety of children.

Childreach Nepal have signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Department of Education to establish 100 Semi Permanent Classrooms in the Sindupalchowk District. The classrooms will allow children to either transition from Temporary Learning Centres (which will be phased out), or be encouraged to return to their education for the first time since the earthquake. The robust Semi-Permanent Classrooms will be assembled on site and will withstand the monsoon season and ensure learning can continue until permanent schools are rebuilt from the ground up. Door to door visits will be completed by teachers, in partnership with Childreach Nepal, to ensure families are aware of the process for enrolling their children and to identify children who are not attending school.

Classrooms will also be equipped with sanitation facilities, ensuring children have clean toilets to use to stop the spread of disease and avoid sickness. Each Semi-Permanent Classroom Unit will have two blocks of toilets, one for girls and one for boys, equipped with a water tank to keep the facilities clean. Teachers will deliver water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) workshops to embed hand washing into their daily routine.

Phase 4: Long term child protection and education programmes (January 2016 onwards)
This phase will be establishing child clubs, mobilising child protection systems and working with teachers to improve the quality of education within Semi-Permanent Classrooms, ensuring a holistic approach. ‘Phase 4’ of the programme is being funded through other sources and will commence once the classrooms are open in December 2015 when Childreach Nepal will offer long term support. Further details of future plans in phase 4 are available upon request.

Childreach Nepal - 2 Month Earthquake Report 2015

How Your Money Helps

Our work would not be possible without the support of people like yourself; every donation, no matter how big or small, makes a difference to the lives of the children we work with. Find out more about how your donation can help below;

means that a child at a school in a high risk trafficking area will be able to be exposed to street dramas, films and workshops so that they understand the dangers of human trafficking.

can provide a brand new pair of football boots for a child learning about their rights in our Sports Initiative

can pay for a weighing scale in our School Health Centres, to ensure that all the children are of a healthy weight