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Nepal Govt. Regd. No. 1224/064, SWC Affiliation No. 22612
Devi Jal Kumari Lower Secondary School was established in 2001 AD (2058 BS). It is located in Ward No 6 Aprik village of Arughat Rural Municipality (previously Ward No 6 of Aruarbang Village Development Committee) in northern Gorkha district. The school has 215 students running classes from grade 1 to 8. It employs 10 staff members. The original two level school building was constructed by villagers 55 years ago and was already partly condemned before the earthquake.
Even before the earthquake, the school was in a dilapidated condition. And we had made a plan to renovate it. Then the earthquake happened. The entire school buildings and all the houses of the villages collapsed. 4 people died and 20 sustained serious injuries. The principal of the school was trapped under the rubbles and taken out alive. You can see the destruction of the village in this video: Video Link
This school provides education to 215 students from grade 1 to 8 and currently has 10 staff members. During the earthquake, it lost all 5 buildings, 1 staff room and the library along with almost all furniture and fixtures in these buildings. Its toilet facility however, suffered minimum damage, which can be reused after some minor repairs. Currently the school is open. The students are taught in temporary rooms built from aluminum sheets supported by bamboo. We distributed 240 corrugated aluminum sheets to the school in one of our earthquake aid distribution trips to Gorkha. But it is quite difficult for the school to teach the students in the absence of proper school facilities.
We are planning to build 2 earthquake-proof school buildings with 12 rooms. This includes 8 classrooms, an office/staff room, a library/reading room, a Montessori-style nursery room and a store room. In addition to that, 3 toilets for staff and for girls and boys will also be built within school compound.
Due to lack of enough funds, we divided the work load into different phases. In phase I our aim was to construct a four-room school block which we achieved in early April 2017. In phase II, our aim was to add four roomed second storey on the same block which is currently on progress and will be over by March 2018. And now we are aiming for the phase III. Our goal for phase-III includes construction of 2 storied building, classrooms (3 classroom and 1 office room for school staff), toilets (3 toilets and 1 urinal) and provision of some furniture (desk, bench).
Since phase III is what we are aiming for now, we need donors and fund collection is necessary for the completion of the school as soon as possible. We do not have any donations till date and that is what we have been searching for. We will be starting the construction of phase III once enough fund is collected and upon the approval from concerned government authorities such as District Office of Gorkha and Social Welfare Council of Nepal.
After the earthquake, Sambhav Nepal visited many villages in Northern Gorkha to assess the extent of the damage and offer assistance to the communities with the immediate focus being on distributing food to the villages and providing temporary shelter to the schools. It was during these visits we identified that our long-term resources and assistance would be best utilized by rebuilding the schools and so we set about planning our school-rebuilding mission.
The ongoing construction of four rooms in Devi Jal Kumari is on the verge of completion. The construction was supposed to be completed within this month but due to few problems that kept arising, the work couldn’t be completed. With the ongoing summer, the village suffered a water shortage. Water springs dried up hence the amount of water required for curing and mixing was not enough thus delaying the final work. Monsoon has now started hence giving rise to the spring water. The construction work has resumed and is expected to complete by the end of July. With the completion of the final work, the school will be handed over to the school authorities.
The construction of the four rooms in the upper floor of Devi Jal Kumari is taking place since November 2017. The construction of the school is slightly delayed due to lack of construction materials. The shortage of bricks from the supplier resulted into the postponing of the completion of work. The construction was scheduled to be completed by March 2018 but now due to the inconvenience the work will be completed only by the end of May 2018. With the beginning of the new school year session in May, the school will be completely ready and handed over to the school authorities.
Upon completion of the construction of this building, Sambhav Nepal has proposed to construct a 4-room toilet block for the school. The proposal has been submitted at Social Welfare Council (the government authority that looks after the all NGOs projects) and once it is approved, the construction will start and be completed within 2 months.
As soon as the first phase completed, we set our goals for phase II in which we aimed to add four rooms in the upper floor of the block we built in the first phase. The work for the second started from November and is ongoing. We are going to complete the work for this stage by March 2018. The project has approval from concerned government authorities such as District Office of Gorkha and Social Welfare Council of Nepal.
For successfully completing the Phase I, on April 25, 2017, we held an inauguration ceremony. In this phase, we completed the construction of a four-room school block. The ceremony involved our key donors: Mary Jackson, the Past President of Kalamalka Rotary Club of Vernon, B.C., Canada, and Patti Lefkos and Barry Hodgins, the generous people behind Nepal One Day at a Time.
We have received commitments from our donors for the Phase II of the project. We will begin it when the monsoons end in Nepal. In Phase II, we will add four-room second storey on the same block.
Back in December 2016, we finished building the foundation for the hostel building. And by the month of February, we have erected walls and pillars.
In December 2016 we had estimated we would complete the foundation by January 2017. So, by that time we completed the foundation and moved to erecting the pillars and making the walls and all. With this, we completed 30% of the total work of the first phase.
We had planned to start the actual construction after the monsoon as the rains made the dirt roads very difficult to pass and caused landslides.The conditions were not favorable to transport the construction materials.
The monsoon overstayed this year. As planned we started construction only from November. Foundation is considered 30% of the whole construction. And by December we were building the foundation.
In September 2016, we prepared the site where the new buildings will be constructed. With the help of a bulldozer and local volunteer laborers, we brought the ground at equal level and hardened the land.
On 25th April 2016, stone laying (cornerstone) ceremony of Devi Jal Kumari Lower Secondary School – Arupokhari, was successfully inaugurated by Prem K Khatry Founder of Sambhav Nepal. This means, we have started a construction of school, where we will rebuild four class rooms in a block. Meeting was held among the Building Construction Committee and Sambhav Nepal volunteer, where strict instruction was given not to compromise with quality of raw materials used for the sustainable development of our project.