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Build of Earthquake Resistant Classrooms at Amar Jyoti Primary School, Nepal

State of classrooms at Shree Amar Jyoti School before
State of classrooms at Shree Amar Jyoti School before

Project Synopsis

The REACH for Nepal Foundation (RFN) was established to focus on providing aid following the 2015 earthquakes. The Foundation still has a strong focus in building/rebuilding (earthquake) damaged schools so that children have an appropriate and safe learning environment.

RFN Nepal's tactical advisory group, along with the chairman of villages and the mothers’ groups, are frequently engaged in dialogues all year to identify and prioritise areas of need.

The Shree Amar Jyoti Primary School in Firfire, Tanahun has been identified as a school in need of immediate infrastructure assistance. The school was built 46 years ago to serve the village. There has been little investment in keeping the infrastructure safe for children over the years, and from what we can see, there is no clear roadmap for this either.

The walls are crumbling, the roof is leaking, and the foundations are unstable, requiring an immediate knockdown build of two classrooms. More information about the school and the village can be found in the school synopsis below –

This project clearly meets the objectives of the foundation to Rebuild, Educate, Assist the Children/Community giving Hope for Nepal.

Addressing the UN Sustainable Development Goals

This project will contribute to the UN's Sustainable Development Goals in the following ways.

  • Quality Education: The scope of this project includes the addition of education resources to assist learning, a bright and clean school environment conducive to a better learning and improved quality of education

  • No Poverty: Improved education facilities and teaching resources will increase the prospects of employment and create further opportunities to reduce poverty

  • Reduced Inequalities:  Through better education there is an increased likelihood of reducing inequalities


Ratamata Village in Firfire, Tanahun District, Gandaki Province



People of Australia / REACH for Nepal Foundation

Project Design

This is a pilot project, and the classroom designs are by engineer Mr David Carolan and architect Mr David Francis. The design adheres to international standards, lowering the risk of injury and death in the event of a future earthquake in the area. Detailed engineering diagrams and precision-built framing with construction complying with award winning design will be central to this pilot project. More information on the design will be provided separately from this project brief.

Project Benefit

The project will result in modern, safe, and large classrooms for students attending the school, which is a right of every child.

The project also contributes to the above-mentioned UN Sustainable Development Goals. RFN's contribution comes at a time when the school is seeing an increase in the number of students.

The design and build of the classrooms will provide an educational facility for many generations in an area where there is an increasing demand for education.

Participation by Local Community and Capacity Building

RFN’s project delivery methodology over the years while working in the community, is that there is active participation by the both leaders of the communities and locals in all stages of the project, from project inception through delivery and ongoing operation as outlined below:

  • school management and village leaders are actively involved in project selection, design, oversight, and construction;

  • many people in the village participate in the delivery of the project, teaching them the value of teamwork and working together to make things possible;

  • work on site is led by local tradesmen and labourers under the supervision of the REACH for Nepal Director; and

  • local women's groups provided entertainment, water, and hospitality to the group of volunteers.

Typically local capacity is built in a number of ways including:

  • qualified professionals and tradesmen (Australian volunteers) active participation on construction site to provide advice and skills transfer

  • infrastructure projects often include donations of teaching resources to improve the standard of teaching

  • Basic hygiene and nutrition information is provided as a standard component of project delivery

  • Onsite training for the maintenance of any water pumps and water filtration systems with regular checks by RFN staff to ensure ongoing operation

  • Awareness of the effects of pollution on the environment through Australian volunteers leading by example in school grounds through disciplines of waste management

  • The importance to give consideration to the needs of the marginalised and disadvantaged through RFN’s priority focus with community and school leaders

Once the project is completed, the local community's participation and capacity building will be evaluated and reported.

Child and Vulnerable People Protection

All volunteers travelling to Nepal and all stakeholders in Nepal with whom the volunteers may have contact, will be advised that a condition of travel and/or work in Nepal is that they comply with the REACH for Nepal Code of Conduct as outlined in the foundation’s Child and Vulnerable People policy. This is to protect both the children and vulnerable people in Nepal as well as those travelling as part of the group of volunteers.

Review and Sustainability

The REACH for Nepal Director in Nepal will check with the leaders of the school and community soon after project completion to see whether there are any issues with equipment or newly constructed building.

The purpose of the final follow-up after 12 months of project completion, is to check whether the project was relevant, effective and whether the outcome is sustainable. That is, confirming or otherwise whether we did the right thing, and did we do it the right way?

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