20 Oct 20
Project Update: Rebuilding Communities in Gorkha, Four Years On
Following the earthquakes of 2015 in Nepal, remote areas such as Gorkha were left extremely vulnerable with infrastructure destroyed and livelihoods devastated. In 2016, the Big Lottery Fund (BLF) committed £2 million to Nepal to help affected communities and PHASE Worldwide was awarded a project-based grant over five years.
As PHASE Worldwide enters the final year of this project, it is a good time to reflect on the amazing developments that have been seen throughout Gorkha thanks to this appeal.
With the education sector on indefinite hold amid the earthquake, a focus for this project was to improve the quality of and access to education services. The improvement of school’s physical environment was understandably an aspect that required particular recognition. Education services have been immensely improved through the introduction of services such as science laboratories, early childhood classes and computer classrooms as well as more infrastructural improvements being made such as new flooring and classroom furniture.
To enhance the capacity development of the teachers working in remote locations, PHASE has been running a series of practical Teacher Training programmes throughout this project that promote constructive teaching methods to use in rural and low resource settings.
PHASE has also used this project to promote a series of empowerment programmes catered towards addressing the issues of gender inequality within several geographical regions and cultures throughout Gorkha. The aim of these programmes has been to address and mitigate gender-based social norms within these communities and encourage teachings of social advocacy for gender equality. Run in close co-ordination with local governments, this programme has also been used to motivate young girls to complete their education and aim for professional careers whilst discouraging unethical social practices such as under-aged marriage. These aims have been successful through several female empowerment workshops attended by both boys and girls and even led to the independent organisation of a street-walk event held by female participants to raise awareness on several gender related issues.
Public Health Awareness
To improve knowledge and attitudes towards public health following the earthquakes, PHASE has been continuously running various awareness activities throughout the project including clinic health education, immunisation support programmes and mothers group meetings. The activities are in addition to the direct clinical services PHASE provides by strengthening government health posts with trained staff, free medicine and 24-hour emergency services.
This project has brought hugely visible change to these once devastated, remote communities with a particular focus on the most vulnerable groups within these societies. Women as well as elderly, extremely poor and internally displaced individuals have been at the heart of the five-year project to leave no-one behind whilst rebuilding the livelihoods of all people.