“When four CCF representatives visited Ghat Besi in October of 2015, the Ghat Besi community did not ask for additional aid, or even assistance rebuilding their own homes, but instead for support in the reconstruction of their local school.
We couldn’t help but agree.”
From Ruin to Rebirth
Dhading District: Ghat Besi Village
Of the 144 homes originally standing in Ghat Besi, only four remained after the April 25th earthquake. Yet, because of its unfortunate geographic location, Ghat Besi was largely ignored by both district governments and NGO’s during the relief process. In May of 2015, CCF delivered $2,500 worth of temporary relief to this community, the first and only emergency aid they received. Included in this assistance was over 1,750 pieces of corrugated tin sheeting intended to serve as temporary shelter for those families who had lost their homes. Independent of CCF the community decided that each family would donate one sheet out of those they had received, to rebuild a temporary home for their local pride: the Ghat Besi Primary School. These donations and remarkable community support combined to achieve this goal in less then two weeks. Meaning that the children of the village were safely returned to school less than one month after the most devastating natural disaster to hit Nepal in over 80 years.
As CCF representatives visited the village five months later to assess the situation, it was this spirit that shone through and clearly demonstrated that the community of Ghat Besi was a very special one, it was this characteristic dedication to education which set them apart.
“The characteristic which set them apart was their dedication to education”
As traditional farming methods and subsistence agriculture become less and less economically sustainable in remote Nepali villages, an education is one of the only ways for young adults to earn a living at home and in the city. Yet in many cases, local government schools are poorly run, underfunded, and understaffed, with one teacher often coping with as many as three grade levels at a time. The villagers of Ghat Besi, however, long ago acknowledged the importance of education in the active cultivation of their village life and the future of their children, and so set up community based funding to supply their local schools with the necessary resources to help their educational system flourish.
To this end, when four CCF representatives visited Ghat Besi in October of 2015, the Ghat Besi community did not ask for additional aid, or even assistance rebuilding their own homes, but instead for support in the reconstruction of their local school.
We couldn’t help but agree.
Why is the school important?
“It is very important. The child must go to school to learn. They must learn. Parents cannot take them and get them back from school as they need to work in the field. There is no other opportunity.”
– A.D. Aryal, Executive Director of Sadle Traders and Ghat Besi community member
Beginning in early January CCF, with the help of many Rotary Clubs throughout Spokane Washington, began fundraising for this project, estimated to cost approximately $7,500. Designed by local community leaders, the school was designed to be built along government specifications, highly earthquake-resistant, and to utilize as many local building materials as possible in order to decrease cost, and increase public ownership.
In mid February of 2016, work began on the school and less than three months later, right in time for the new school year to begin, the brand new schoolhouse opened its doors to admit its new students!
Ghat Besi is now one of the first communities in the area to not only rebuild their school, but to do so in an earthquake-resistant way, accordingly it is our hope that this school will serve as an example to neighboring villages. With the reconstruction of this school, adjoining villages will see the influence that such a serious emphasis on education has had in Ghat Besi, and will look to imitate that in their own communities.
I am super happy and want to thank you guys so much. We used every penny of that raised fund and we built a nice comfortable, earth quick resistance primary school building. The fund was just enough till now and every school around from that area appreciate our building strength and building time and all its aspect. This always feels good. Oh! I am supper happy and want you all guys to feel the same- The conscious connection community.
– A.D. Aryal -May 19, 2016
Some Basic Numbers:
The Ghat Besi Public Primary School
Number of Students: 82
Number of Teachers: 4 (1 paid by the government, 3 hired and supported by the community)
Grades: Kindergarten to 3rd Grade
The Reconstruction Project
Rooms: 4 classrooms, 1 office
Construction Timeline: February – May, 2016
Labor: Approximately 360 hours donated and $2,700 paid for skilled workmen
Estimated Value of Materials Donated by Ghat Besi Community: $1,600
Cost of Total Project: $7,500
The school was built in the center of the village and requires no fees for tuition, as such, it is available to all villagers, regardless of their socio-economic status, gender, or caste. Should students desire, upon graduating from third grade, they can then attend the secondary school to further their studies.
A special thanks to our major donor: