As the name suggests, GAN’s EASEL programme – Earthquake-Affected Schools Engagement and Learning – emerged out of the devastating 2015 earthquakes. Its aim was to involve schools in the UK (and further at field) in Nepal’s long-term reconstruction and recovery. The programme supports schools to develop strong and meaningful links with schools in Nepal that were affected by the earthquakes, to engage in cultural exchange and shared learning experiences with their partner school, and to fundraise to assist with their partner school’s reconstruction.
The EASEL programme offers significant and valuable learning opportunities for children and schools in the UK and overseas, focusing on learning about each other’s languages, culture, traditions and history, and understanding about the everyday lives of children in their partner schools and their local areas.
"Thank you for introducing me to Nepal. It's an amazing place!"
There have been many different ways that schools have got to know their partner schools better. All have exchanged letters and drawings, and some have even created their own book to showcase their local area. Sithney School even decided to make their own book to send out to their partner school, to give them a really thorough understanding.
"Thanks for opening the world of Nepal to Olivia, it’s lovely to see her enthusiasm for another country grow!"
Schools involved in the programme also fundraise for their partner schools. This has been done through a range of events, such as cake sales, and sponsored activities, such as climbing, swimming, silences and, as pictured above at St. Peter’s School in Cowfold, mini-triathlons. To date, the children at the participating schools have raised more than £10,000 to support a range of much needed projects at their partner schools.
One of the most successful recent fundraising and awareness events, which occurred simultaneously in the UK and Nepal, involved 498 children from 9 schools doing a sponsored run, covering a total distance of 426 km, and raising nearly £1,500.
There have been several projects supported so far through the participating schools. One such project is explained in the video here by Dil Bhakta Dangol, head teacher of Chunidevi Lower Secondary School, Lalitpur, where there was support for the construction of a rain-water collection system. Other projects have included the construction of temporary and semi-permanent classrooms, the building and stocking of a school library, and the decorating and furnishing of several classrooms.