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Nepal: children’s voices three months on

A drawing by a child about how her community looked like during and after the earthquake. On the left, homes have collapsed and stones are scattered. On the right, there are temporary shelters made of bamboo where people are safe from the damaged buildings.
This detail from a drawing by a child shows her community during and after the Nepalese earthquake.

Three months ago Nepal was hit by a 7.9 magnitude earthquake, followed by a second earthquake 17 days later. In total, 8,856 people were killed and 22,309 injured. Now, with monsoon season gathering pace, an estimated 2.8 million people are still in need of humanitarian assistance.

Yesterday we launching a report with Plan International, Unicef and World Vision, called After the earthquake: Nepal’s children speak out, to ensure children’s voices are heard and their needs are at the forefront of the humanitarian response.

The report highlights children’s fears and insecurities about living in tents and overcrowded shelters, the risks to their health from unsanitary conditions and their future if they can’t return to school.

Children also spoke of the importance of being better prepared for future disasters and the need to build earthquake-resistant homes and buildings.

Drawing experience

One of the tools the report researchers used to capture children’s views was ‘expressive drawing’.

Children drew their experiences and the future they want to see, and then discussed their pictures in small groups. Through this the researchers were able to understand what the biggest issues and problems affecting children in the aftermath of the earthquake are, and what solutions children think will protect them from future earthquakes.

Some of the drawings from the research below:

A girl’s drawing of the chaos she witnessed during the earthquake – broken trees, collapsed homes, a person trapped under the debris, and people running out of the house as it collapses.
A boy’s drawing of what he witnessed during the earthquake – scattered stones of the collapsed houses, broken trees, cracks in the walls, and a collapsed school and health posts.
This boy’s drawing is about the availability of a drinking water facility in his village. People in his village travel far to fetch water and stand in queues to fill water pots.

What we’ve done

Since the onset of the crisis, thanks to our supporters’ donations, we’ve reached more than 427,000 people through our response, including more than 173,000 children.

We’ve set up 270 Temporary Learning Centres, screened 38,953 children for malnutrition, and reached 4,823 children through 61 child-friendly spaces.

We’ve also provided temporary shelters in some of the worst affected areas, supported the construction and rehabilitation of sanitation facilities, and trained communities to construct buildings resilient to earthquakes.

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