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Canberra Grammar students rebuild earthquake damaged classrooms in Nepal

Canberra I May 11 2018 (Canberra Times Article)

Grammar Students helping build a wall of a classroom

Canberra Grammar School students have put in some backbreaking work to help rebuild classrooms devastated in the 2015 earthquakes in Nepal.

The group of 21 students, teachers and parents travelled to the country with Canberra charity REACH for Nepal in April, on the third anniversary of the disaster. The April 2015 earthquakes claimed more than 8000 lives and left reconstruction bills amounting to billions of dollars.

Grammar not only raised $10,000 that covered the cost to rebuild the four classrooms, but also directly assisted in the rebuild of the rooms. The trip was part of their outdoor education unit.

The school’s department head Sue Donoghoe said there was lots of hands-on work to do.

“The volunteers from CGS carried 1400 blocks and moved 10 tonnes of sand and cement from outside the remote school’s boundary to the building site using makeshift utensils,” Ms Donoghoe said.

“They then mixed the cement and assisted in the laying of the large blocks, as well as painted doors and window frames.” The rebuild project coincided with the third anniversary of the earthquakes and the local villages in the area were very grateful for the generosity shown by the CGS volunteers.

“It was a great experience for our students and all those involved – it was very rewarding work,” Ms Donoghoe said.

The Canberra-based foundation REACH for Nepal was established in August 2015 in response to the earthquakes earlier that year by friends Lachhu Thapa and Lou Nulley.

“This is the largest project to date undertaken by the REACH for Nepal foundation,” co-founder Mr Nulley said. The objectives of the foundation are defined in the acronym of its name – Rebuild, Educate, Assist, Children/Communities (giving) Hope for Nepal.

“We have completed 10 major projects to date in a number of villages, but this project is the biggest in terms of the number of people volunteering and funds raised. It is also the first project sponsored by a school,” Mr Nulley said.

For more information about the work of the foundation or ways in which you can contribute, visit

Mr Nulley said he hoped other schools and institutions could consider making the same life-changing trip. “Thereby not only benefiting the people in Nepal, but also those here in Canberra who get great joy in making a real difference in the lives of those less fortunate than themselves by volunteering their time and donating funds,” he said.


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