On 25th April 2015 the students, teachers and parents of Seti Bhumi Primary School lives were changed forever.
The school was destroyed, along with much of its equipment. As Dawa and I had received many monetary donations and offers of help from abroad we set up the Goli Village Trust. Dawa held a meeting and asked the villagers of Goli District, what they would like assistance with. The first request that came to us was from the Head Teacher Mr Tej Bahadur Basnet, to help rebuild and relocate Seti Bhumi Primary School, Goli Kapte, Goli 6, Solukhumbu.
We looked into ways of rebuilding the school that would be more earthquake resistant than the original build of stone and mud mortar. 9 villagers and Dawa attended a course run by Dr Owen Geiger who is an expert in Earthbag building. We then discussed the possibility of using this method to rebuild the school. Mr Tej Bahadur Basnet approached the local government office to gain permission to rebuild and relocate the school. Mr Mingmar Sherpa a local of Goli Kapte donated a piece of land and permission was granted.
We then set about knocking down the old school, making ready the land donated and rebuilding the school. There was a great deal of camaraderie amongst the villagers, those involved in the actual rebuild and those who came along to watch (supervise) proceedings.
On 16th January Dawa and I and two friends Paul Ostrowski and Mona Bowles attended the official opening of the school. This was a fantastic experience. Mr Tej Bahadur Basnet had organised for a local radio station to come along to the opening, children who were present day students and those of the past took part in cultural dances. There were many speeches, we were presented with Kata scarves a silk scarf with 8 auspicious signs printed on them and then the locals partied.
We have also been given a donation of 2 portable libraries from an amazing lady Beth Brewster, who wants all children to have the opportunity to read. Earthquake colouring books and crayons for each student of the school were donated by Michelle Bostick and Freema Davis of Global Village Family Nepal. These fantastic books are to help children with the trauma associated with their experience of earthquakes. We also had donations of posters, games and craft items. We, along with our friend Louise Nevitt delivered these to the school and discussed with the teachers how all of these items could be used. They were very enthusiastic and keen to find ways to use everything in class. Parents and students were also present and they had great fun being involved in what was another fantastic day. One of the things that we hadn’t realized was that the children were on holiday and had come along on a day off to do another dance and just be a part of the day.
There is a great deal of excitement and pride amongst the villagers have been involved in this project and have enjoyed the whole process.
“Should you wish to support the school too we would be delighted to receive donations of education material or of by way of cash to …… The smallest donation really does make a difference and we guarantee all donations go directly to the school”