Education International has sent out an urgent action appeal to all its member organisations, urging them to show solidarity and support for Nepalese teachers and their families.
The General Secretary of Education International (EI) Fred van Leeuwen today expressed “great sorrow and concern” regarding the situation in Nepal which has suffered the devastating effects of an earthquake of the magnitude of 7.8 in the Richter scale and subsequent major aftershocks.
“The loss of life and destruction of property is appalling,” van Leeuwen said. “We are concerned, in particular, about the fate of our colleagues in the Nepalese teacher organisations.”
The most badly affected area appears to be the Kathmandu Valley, where the majority of the Nepalese people live. This means that a great number of schools, educational establishments and Universities will be affected by the violence of the quake and its aftershocks. Transport and communications services and facilities have been badly disrupted.
According to the first reports that EI has received from its member organisations, district teacher union leaders and union members are among the victims of this disaster, as well as their families and hundreds of students. In addition many school buildings have been destroyed. The Head Office of the Nepal National Teachers’ Association (NNTA) has been seriously damaged, wrote NTTA General Secretary Laxman Sharma.
Education International has decided to support its Nepalese member organisations and their individual members and their families, through humanitarian aid initially, and later in rebuilding their facilities.
It is therefore appealing urgently to its member organisations to show solidarity with their Nepalese brothers and sisters by sending contributions to the EI Solidarity Account:
Avenue Marnix, 24, B-1000 Brussels - Belgium
IBAN: BE05 3101 0061 7075
with the reference “Solidarity with Nepal”
For more information, please contact Nicolas Richard, EI Senior Cooordinator, Solidarity and Development: Nicolas.Richards@ei-ie.org
At least 3,617 people are now known to have died in a massive earthquake which hit Nepal on 25 April. More than 6,500 people have been injured, according to the National Emergency Operation Centre.
The UN children's agency UNICEF said that almost a million children living in affected areas are threatened by poor sanitation and a lack of safe water, and in urgent need of humanitarian support.
Hundreds of thousands of people have spent the night outdoors in makeshift shelters fearing more aftershocks. Dozens of people are also reported to have been killed in neighbouring China and India.
Vast tent cities have sprung up in Nepal's capital, Kathmandu, for those displaced or afraid to return to their homes as strong aftershocks continue. The roads to where the epicentre was, northwest of the capital, have been cleared and rescue teams are on their way. Rescue missions and aid are arriving in Nepal to help cope with the aftermath of the earthquake, the worst to hit Nepal for more than 80 years.