Pharmacy Catalyst partnered with the Australian Himalayan Foundation in 2018-2019. Pharmacy Catalyst has helped build the Shree Basakhali Secondary School in Nepal after it was destroyed in the severe earthquake that rocked the country in 2015.
When the school was destroyed the students and teachers spent time in temporary classrooms made of bamboo and corrugated iron as it was hard to get construction materials to the isolated area and rebuild the classrooms during monsoon season. This community relies on Basakhali Secondary School as their only school, as it is a 10-hour trek away from the nearest other higher secondary school. This is the one opportunity for the 400 children at the school to receive an education.
Pharmacy Catalyst raised the funds through collection boxes at the checkouts of our participating pharmacies and hosted community barbecues. After one year of fundraising we had raised $50,000 to be able to rebuild this school for its staff and students.
15-year-old Alina is a student at Basakhali Secondary School. She has suffered terrible hardships growing up – the worst was losing her father to suicide when she was a young child. Her mother had to take a job overseas to earn enough money to support her family, so Alina and her siblings live with their grandmother. School has been one of the only ‘constants’ in her life – something she can rely on and enjoy.
But, when the earthquake hit Nepal in 2015, Alina’s school was in ruins.
Alina said, “After the earthquake, I could not go to the school… The walls of the buildings were so cracked and damaged. I was too scared to enter the classroom because it looked like it would fall down.”
Going to school is very important for Alina. Having an education means a future of hope – and her dream is to be a nurse one day so she can help people. The generous support from Catalyst Group has made it possible to rebuild Alina’s school – with even better classrooms than before.
Alina is so excited to be back at school and loves the new rooms – “Now, the walls of the buildings and classrooms are colourful. I come to the school regularly. I am now fearless because of the strong buildings and the classrooms are so big in size. I am very much happy to study in a safe and child friendly classroom!”
Devna is a teacher at Basakhali Secondary School. She comes from a very poor family in a remote area where traditional farming is the only livelihood. Devna is passionate about learning and teaching new skills especially in vocational education. She hopes to use these skills to help her community improve their farming systems which will lift many families out of poverty. That’s why she was very excited to start teaching at Basakhali Secondary School. Sadly, it was not long before the earthquake hit.
She recalls, “My heartbeat still gets faster when I remember the earthquake. In a few seconds, I saw houses and school buildings starting to fall down. The walls of the classroom started to shake and my students were very much afraid.”
Thanks to your support, Devna can now return to teaching in the newly rebuilt classrooms.
Looking to the future: How you have helped
We thank everyone who has been apart of this project and to everyone who donated to this worthy cause. We appreciate your effort in supporting us to help make improvements in education and to assist the students of the Shree Basakhali Secondary School in Nepal.
*Name changed for identity protection