April 29 2015

SOS Children’s Village safe haven for earthquake victims

More than one thousand residents of Jorpati outside Kathmandu in Nepal have found shelter in their local SOS Children’s Village after last week’s earthquake.

The terrified residents, including 234 children and 12 pregnant women, flocked to SOS Children’s Village Jorpati because they are too afraid to stay in their own damaged homes. The village team worked with local social activists to set up tents and arranged for medical assistance, counselling, drinking water, toilets and food.

The tents however provided insufficient shelter against heavy rain on Sunday evening. In the true spirit of helping and sharing, the mothers and children of SOS Children’s Village Jorpati opened their homes to the victims. Beds were made in the living rooms, kitchens, dining rooms and passageways. Everyone slept dry.

A boy at dinner at SOS Children's Village Jorpati, Nepal, before the earthquake. All 10 SOS Children's Villages in Nepal, including all children and co-workers, were unharmed by the earthquake. Photographer: Thomas Ernsting

The needs of the displaced earthquake survivors are monitored on a daily basis. They are currently housed in 42 tents, the physiotherapy hall, the director’s quarters and classrooms of the in-house school.Even the children from the Wonderful Unity Child Club of SOS Children’s Village Jorpati played a part in the relief effort when they conducted a clean-up campaign on the premises.

SOS Children’s Villages also offered assistance to the people of the historical city of Sankhu, about eight kilometres from Jorpati. A team from SOS Children’s Villages Nepal found the town centre completely destroyed during a visit with social workers on Monday.

Despite being warned about the risks of going inside the destructed village, our team met with local social workers, residents and community leaders. After rescue and clearing work have been completed and data from the survivors’ camps are available, a lot of assistance will be needed.

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