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Home Feature Stories One Year After Earthquake in Nepal Nepali Students Joyful at Tzu Chi Prefab Classroom

Nepali Students Joyful at Tzu Chi Prefab Classroom

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June 24 was a joyful day for the students of Bagiswori Higher Secondary School in Bhaktapur, Nepal. They were able to return to a proper classroom for the first time since a terrible earthquake devastated their country on April 25. It badly damaged a part of the school, affecting about 700 students. Since then, they have been attending classes in a crowded corridor, inconvenient for them and teachers alike. To enable them to return to a normal environment, the Tzu Chi Foundation decided to build prefab classrooms. Volunteers put up the structure of the first classroom in eight working days and it formally went into operation on June 24. On June 22, teachers and students could not contain their curiosity and went to see their new setting.

On the opening day, the students queued up in an orderly fashion and entered the room. It measures nine ping (29.7 square meters), has windows, carpets and a blackboard. From now on, the children can concentrate on their students in a proper setting and not be crowded together in a corridor.

One of the teachers, Krishna Man Malepati, thanked the volunteers for their hard work: “now they have this temporary classroom, it is much easier for the children to study. The teachers are happy and the students are especially happy. Now I feel that they are no longer afraid. From now on, their situation will get better and better.”

Dhan Kumar Shrestha, principal of the school, specially attended a tele conference to express his gratitude for the selflessness of Master Cheng Yen: “after the earthquake, we have had a very big problem. I would like to express my gratitude for your kind help.” Through the conference, he said to the Master that he wished to thank Tzu Chi to enable the students and teachers have a safe place to attend class. It means they feel safe in spirit as well as in body.

In response, Master Cheng Yen said: “education is Project Hope. We do all we can within our power to help. This is like a fertile field in which we plant many seeds; in the field can grow many talented people among the students.”

Principal Kumar was carrying a copy of Jing Si Aphorisms; he has engraved its wisdom in his heart. “Love, Tzu Chi came here and shared its love with everyone.” The principal has not only committed the aphorism to memory, he is also putting them into practice. In his class today, he introduced the foundation and the Jing Si Aphorisms to the students.

Report by Zhou Si-hao and Zhang Jun-wei in Nepal June 22, 2015