As a result of 7.8 Magnitude earthquake on 25 April 2015, 7.4 Magnitude earthquake on 12 May 2015 and their effects, the Government of Nepal has confirmed that total of 8969 people have died (4956 Female, 4007 Male, 6 Unidentified), and 22,321 injured. 602592 houses were destroyed or fully damaged beyond repair and 284,482 partially damaged by the two earthquakes and aftershock 32,145 classrooms were destroyed and 26,080 damaged as a result of earthquake; with the net value of total damage and loss on education sector estimated at $313.2 million. The UN estimated after the earthquake that 2.8 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance, out of which over 860,000 people are in immediate need due to loss of shelter, limited road access and poverty. According to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA) estimate, 1.9 Million people were in need of immediate food assistance, 1.5 million people require sanitation and hygiene support, ongoing medical care is needed for 2 million people, 1.5 million women and adolescents in need of dedicated support including 138, 000 pregnant women. Youth Action Nepal (YOAC) has been involved in earthquake relief and response work from the beginning focusing on disadvantaged and vulnerable communities.
With the response transforming from relief focused to rebuilding, rehabilitation and reconstruction phase, YOAC has also focused in helping families and communities to rebuild themselves psychologically, socially, emotionally and physically. Therefore, YOAC has been involved in construction (house and schools), relief distribution and psycho social support and motivation to earthquake affected communities through the engagement of young volunteers. Majority of the affected those received support came from indigenous, ethnic minorities, disable and single and elderly walks of life.
YOAC is using the expertise of its pool of volunteers that has experience in construction, youth motivation, psycho-social support, health counseling, drama presentation etc. YOAC is also engaged at national and local level bodies to advocate and ensure that the issues of affected communities are addressed effectively and timely.
To this instance, Government of Nepal has formed Post Earthquake Reconstruction Authority. Besides, the government has shown empathy by spotlighting the issues of earthquake victims by launching generous annual budget ever higher to NRs. 600 Billion. The National Planning Commission has taken some inventive actions by making an immediate assessment of the earthquake through Post Disaster Need Assessment (PDNA).
Implementing the project and achieving its objectives:
The major objective of the project was to support for affected communities and villages by helping in clean-up operations, building of temporary shelters, and moral assistance; through the mobilization of young volunteers.
YOAC mainly worked on three areas of support through the recruitment and mobilization of volunteers:
Psycho social Support and Youth Motivation Camps:
YOAC through several mediums like group motivational camps, peer to peer psychosocial counseling sessions, one to one counseling sessions, drama etc. reached out to around 7050 people through its psycho-social support and motivation camps aimed at stress relief and trauma healing, as well as creating awareness around earthquake preparedness and response. Many participants reported that these programs were immensely helpful for them to relieve from stress and build positive in the environment of crisis.
Relief materials for families:
Through the mobilization of volunteers, YOAC helped to reach out over 50 families from disadvantaged communities to support them relief materials as per their need, such as food, shelter, clothing, educational materials, construction materials etc. This was very helpful for families whose food and materials were destroyed in houses by earthquake. This aided in their sustenance as well education for some children.
Shelter Construction for Families:
Through the engagement of volunteer support, YOAC has supported to build temporary and permanent shelters for 213 families belonging to sociology-economically disadvantaged families in several earthquakes affected families.
Community building and School Construction:
Through volunteer’s involvement, YOAC supported in building 55 classrooms in several districts. The support will help to bring back over 1782 students back to classrooms and help them study without further fear of earthquake or rain.