Nepal is still rebuilding after devastating earthquakes destroyed cities and left more than 500,000 displaced and homeless. A 7.8 earthquake struck the country on April 25, 2015, and a second quake struck on May 12 that year. More than 8,000 died and close to 20,000 were injured as a result of the earthquakes and their aftermath. Forty of Nepal’s 75 districts were affected, 16 of them severely, with homes, schools, buildings, cattle, fields ready for harvest and other property destroyed.
Even before the earthquakes, Nepal struggled with a poverty rate of 25 percent with the rate jumping to 50 percent for those living in remote parts of the country where farming is almost impossible.
Because Salesian missionaries are living in the communities in which they work, they are perfectly positioned to respond in times of crisis, and that’s exactly what they did in Nepal. Although their own homes and buildings were affected, Salesian missionaries worked to dig through ruble looking for survivors and providing food and water to those who had lost everything.
Less than two weeks after the earthquakes, Nepal Don Bosco Society, a Salesian non-governmental organization, distributed more than 100 tons of relief materials including 60 tons of food and tarpaulins for temporary shelter to more than 30,000 people in 19 villages.
Salesian relief teams traveled to places where little aid initially arrived in order to serve those most in need. They extended their relief work to new areas including the local municipality of Kamlamai Nagara Palika in the Sindhuli district that was hit hard by the earthquake. One relief team went into Khimiti, a village in the Ramechap district where there were 1,200 households and more than 1,400 adults and 1,500 children in need. Nearly 90 percent of the homes in this village collapsed and the other 10 percent were partially damaged. In these villages, volunteers distributed food, clean water, oil and materials for shelter, among other necessities.
In addition to the immediate aid and assistance provided, Salesian missionaries set out with long-term planning and rebuilding. Missionaries have been building temporary schools and addressing needs for long-term training.
The United Nations noted that more than 1,300 schools were destroyed during the earthquakes. Salesian missionaries are utilizing the skills of the newly trained students from Don Bosco Thecho to assist in the rebuilding of schools with a goal of reconstructing at least 40 schools. To date, more than 21 temporary learning centers have been completed. The temporary learning centers are of such high quality they may serve as permanent school buildings.
Immediately following the earthquake, an emergency fund was launched to assist Salesian missionaries in Nepal. To date, 10 schools have been built and equipped in small villages in the Kathmandu valley. NEW ROCHELLE, NY (Dec. 12,
In Nepal -- where monsoon season looms large over the destruction and havoc already wreaked by two devastating earthquakes -- Salesian missionaries are transitioning into phase two of their disaster response efforts: medium-t
They awaited no official requests. They sought no outside advice. Instead, just moments after a catastrophic earthquake ravaged the region of Kathmandu, Nepal -- and at great peril to their own lives -- Salesian missionaries rushe
By now, you have heard the heartbreaking news. A 7.8-magnitude earthquake rocked the area of Kathmandu, Nepal in the early hours of April 25th -- flattening homes, toppling electrical wires, crumbling water pipes and triggering de