WACKER RELIEF FUND: Rewarding results four years after the major earthquake in the Himalayas
Freiberg and Gati, Nov 20, 2019
A group of students from Freiburg High School traveled to Nepal this October to visit the recently reconstructed schools that are now fully operational. The WACKER Relief Fund has not forgotten the people of Nepal. Its support has helped to rebuild and keep schools running since the severe earthquakes in 2015. To do so, it cooperates with the Namasté Nepal S-GmbH student-run company at Freiberg’s Geschwister-Scholl High School in Germany.
The WACKER Relief Fund has been supporting the nonprofit student company since 2015. Founded in 2005, Namasté Nepal collaborates with a Nepalese aid organization in the building and running of schools and kindergartens in the Sindhupalchok province. Earthquakes are an ever-present threat in Freiberg’s sister village of Gati, situated around 100 km northwest of the Nepalese capital Kathmandu. On April 25, 2015, the region was severely hit when parts of Nepal were destroyed by earth tremors measuring 7.8 on the Richter scale. In a matter of minutes, Gati and neighboring villages were completely gutted. 94% of all buildings in the Sindhupalchok district were destroyed and 8,000 people lost their lives.
Helping out in Nepal was not new to the student-run charity Namaste Nepal S-GmbH based at the Geschwister-Scholl High School in Freiberg, Germany. And the devastating earthquake made the students’ course of action clear: We’re going to carry on! They set up a donation program and pitched their project to the WACKER Relief Fund, which has since donated some €120,000 for Nepal.
Four years later, the news from Nepal reached the project partners: It’s finished: seven new schools are ready. This fall, separate toilet facilities were built for boys and girls – a rare convenience in rural Nepal.
“Rebuilding seven schools was no easy task,” noted Steffen Judersleben. “Especially in Bugam, a tiny village 3,000 meters above sea level. Just transporting the building material to this nest in the mountains was a major challenge.” The success of the project rested on one factor: “The villagers never doubted, always had faith in the future and were actively involved in the reconstruction work.”
The seven schools listed below are now up and running thanks to the support of Namaste Nepal S-GmbH and their project partners:
Gati Secondary School
Singarche Primary School
Sotang Primary School.
Two schools for children up to the 8th grade in Mandra and Kacherie.
Of all the schools benefiting from the project, none top the altitude of Bugam Primary School. The narrow, often impassable dirt road made transporting construction materials there a formidable undertaking.
The Dandakaterie primary school and kindergarten were both funded by Namaste Nepal Delft.
Steffen Judersleben, who once again accompanied a group of students from Freiberg on their trip to Nepal this fall, thanked WACKER employees: “You placed your trust in us and now with the new schools we have something to show for it. It is a wonderful feeling to work together to support education in Nepal.” The students from Freiburg are not done: they’re developing new concepts for educating children in Nepal.
“The WACKER Relief Fund helpers say a big thank you to all donors, especially those who took part in the cent-donation program,” said Anke Schrepfer and Mirko Kappelhoff, members of the foundation’s board of directors.
You can read more about the Nepal project at: www.nepalfreiberg.de. The online shop that the non-profit student company maintains is always worth a visit: http://www.nepalfreiberg.de/cms/index.php/shop. Legendary Nepalese coffee, for instance, and their beautifully illustrated Nepal calendar make great Christmas gifts – and help a good cause.