Mingmar lives under a tarpaulin with 22 other members of his family. The earthquake that hit Nepal in April 2015 destroyed the 12-year-old’s remote hill village in Rasuwa district.
No homes were left standing. The entire village of 1600 people has moved further up the mountain into traditional farmlands, because they think it’s safer. The community lives among its livestock in makeshift tents. There is one working toilet.
Mingmar was away at school in Kalikasthan when the first earthquake hit. Because landslides had wiped out the roads back to his village, it took him ten days to get back to his family. The only way in and out of the remote village is by foot, or by helicopter.
When the new earthquake hit yesterday I was up in the forest, collecting leaves for the cattle when the second earthquake happened. I was so scared. I ran from the forest with my friend until we got back home.
Save The Children set up a field base in Gatlang, in the Rasuwa district, providing weekly medical clinics and handing out survival kits. Because of the health and sanitation dangers of having families living among their herds of cattle, they have set up safe play areas for children and helped to dig temporary toilets.
Mingmar’s school closed after the quakes, leaving 300 students with nowhere to learn. Save the Children has set up a temporary learning centre until it can reopen.
I want to go back to school so I can read. I like to study English because it is the international language. I want to be an engineer when I grow up so I can make houses that are safe. If not I want to be a social worker so I can help poor people.
Education for the children is what is most important to me. We [older people in the village] didn’t get an education when we were small. That is why we must farm. But after the earthquake, I’m afraid of sending my children to schools in the city since they were damaged. I want them near me if anything happens again.Chimen, 35 years old, mother of Mingmar.
Long-term, the challenge is how to get Mingmar’s family and the others in the village out from under the temporary tarpaulins before winter hits.