Progress and Praise for Volunteers’ Disaster Relief Efforts in Nepal
Volunteers, Projects Abroad partners, and local communities give positive feedback to ongoing volunteer work in the aftermath of the earthquakes
TORONTO – August 5, 2015 – With the help and dedication of more than 40 volunteers from around the world, the Projects Abroad Disaster Relief project has gone from strength to strength since it began in early June. By the end of the first month, nine classrooms had been built and they are already being used by teachers and students.
“In just a few short weeks, we have received overwhelmingly positive feedback for the project, not only from volunteers doing the work, but also from our project partners and the local community,” says Tom Pastorius, Head of Global Recruitment for Projects Abroad. “We are pleased to see that our disaster relief efforts are making a tangible impact at Sunrise School in the aftermath of the earthquakes, and we hope that our future endeavours at other schools will continue to make a difference in the lives of the people of Nepal.”
For the first phase of the project, the Disaster Relief team is focusing on Sunrise School, a Projects Abroad partner for several years. Sunrise School suffered irreparable damage during the earthquakes, leaving local teachers and students with nothing to return to. Fortunately, they found new land nearby in Bhaisepati, Kathmandu, where they have set up a temporary school. At this site, the organization is working to build classrooms, toilets, and washing facilities. These new facilities, which have been designed by an architect to be earthquake resistant, will be built from a mixture of bricks, cement, prefabricated material, and corrugated iron. When Disaster Relief volunteers have completed their work, Sunrise School will have 16 new classrooms catering for up to 250 children aged 1-16 years old.
With dozens of volunteers on site at the moment and new arrivals almost every day, work is progressing incredibly quickly, allowing more and more children to return to a normal school routine in safe buildings. In the next few months, Projects Abroad plans to construct another block at the school, which will house another classroom, a library, staff room, and a dining room.
The organization is also preparing to start working at a second site, at Nava Suryodaya School. Putting their construction skills to work at this site will help give more experienced volunteers the chance to make use of their hard-earned expertise, as well as assist with mentoring the newer arrivals.
Projects Abroad was founded in 1992 by Dr. Peter Slowe, a geography professor, as a program for students to travel and work while on break from full-time study. The program had its genesis in post-USSR Romania, where students were given the chance to teach conversational English. After a few years just sending volunteers to Eastern Europe for teaching, the company expanded to sending volunteers of all ages around the world on a wide range of projects.
Projects Abroad is a global leader in short-term international volunteer programs with projects in 29 countries and recruitment offices in the UK, Australia, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Holland, Hong Kong, Norway, Poland, South Africa, South Korea, Sweden and the United States.
For details on volunteering abroad, visit Projects Abroad’s web site at www.projects-abroad.ca.