Yesterday afternoon I went out to work in an Internally Displaced Person (IDP) camp on the outskirts of Kathmandu. The camp is currently housing 1100 people from the worst hit region, Sindhupalchok, and All Hands Volunteers has been working to make improvements to the camp like digging drainage ditches, building bamboo bridges and fences, and filling sandbags.
AHV has been working in the camp for the past week and people seemed happy to see us back again. The children from the camp were very excited to see our group approaching and raced out to lift up the entrance barrier to the camp to let our truck in. Our group spent the afternoon building more bridges, creating sandbag pathways to the toilets, building a railing for the stairs to the toilets, and making a bamboo platform around the pump. A Nepali army guard stopped by to chat with us for a short bit while making her rounds and several men jumped in to help us split bamboo and build bridges.
My body appreciated the break from the super strenuous rubble work that I had being doing for the past two days and it was interesting to learn more about the IDP camps and how they are run. This camp also had a huge building functioning as a child friendly space (CFS). ” From Unicef, “Broadly, the purpose of CFS’s is to support the resilience and well‐being of children and young people through community organized, structured activities conducted in a safe, child friendly, and stimulating environment.”
After learning about AHV’s special programs, like Sunshine Project, where volunteers visit project sites on their day off to interact with kids and families through art and recreation activities, and seeing the camp’s CFS my brain started churning. I am hoping I can bring what I learned during my 4 years working in after school recreation programs and start a similar project here in Nepal.
If you’d like to support our work here in Nepal, please donate to All Hands Volunteers so we can continue to help people whose homes were destroyed. To make a donation, click here.