Saving and transforming lives 3 months after the Nepal earthquake
By UNICEF Nepal and UNICEF Canada
“Our homes are broken, but our willpower is strong”
Sunmaya Gole is like a mother figure to most of the young mothers in the Thula Durlung Village Development Committee (VDC), which is barely 60 kilometres from Kathmandu but feels very remote because of the lack of development there.
Sunmaya, the 60-year-old female community health volunteer, reprised her motherly role minutes after a destructive 7.3 earthquake hit Nepal on May 12.
“Don’t run, stay together!” Sunmaya shouted as loudly as possible to 30 mothers. Holding her six-month-old grandson, Sunmaya tried her best to calm herself too.
The health post, which also included a birthing centre, was completely destroyed by the devastating 7.8 earthquake on April 25. It was brought back to life thanks to a team of health workers and a UNICEF-provided medical tent – a true life-saver, since there is no other medical service in this remote VDC. Here, the team has a safe space to deliver babies, vaccinate children and provide medical assistance and counselling.
“Our houses are broken but our hearts are strong and we have to be strong,” said Sunmaya.
Three months after the earthquake
In the three months following the first earthquake, the overall situation for children and families has improved. UNICEF worked with partners to provide life-saving health, water, nutrition, child protection and education services to the hardest-to-reach.
Safeguarding health was an urgent priority. In addition to the medical tents, UNICEF distributed over 1,000 midwifery kits for countless safe deliveries and worked to protect 400,000 children from diarrhea and 100,000 families from malaria.
UNICEF also ensured that over 655,000 people had clean water, 59,000 people received hygiene kits and 44,800 had sanitation facilities. Teams screened almost 400,000 children for malnutrition and delivered essential nutrition supplies for 600,000 children.
Caring for mental and emotional health was just as important, so UNICEF established Child Friendly Spaces for over 28,300 children, community-based psychosocial support for almost 90,000 parents and children, and education services to more than 106,000 children.
We are moving ahead more determined and committed to help the affected children and their families put their lives back together – thanks to your unwavering and generous support.
You can help reach the 5.2 million people in Nepal who still need critical assistance. The strength and resilience of the Nepali people continue to inspire us on the long road to recovery.