The extent of the emotional, psychological and material damage caused by the earthquakes on 25th April and 12th May, 2015 calls for all possible assistance. “Smile For Hope” has been addressing the needs of the underprivileged in the remote areas of Nepal since 2012 and remains completely dedicated to giving help where needed.
During the landslides in the Taplejung district more than 50 people were killed and dozens severely injured. Many people were reported missing. “Smile For Hope” helped 107 people by providing tents, rice, lentils, cooking oil, salt and plates. For pregnant women and newborn babies we provided clothes, nutrition, milk, lotion and pads.
Temporary Learning Shelters
“Smile For Hope” created eight temporary learning centers and brought more than 300 students back to school. Five primary schools buildings were provided for a total of 120 children in the Kavre district and two tents were donated to monasteries, allowing 50 monks to pursue their studies.
Temporary shelters – Lapsephedi
In keeping with our principles of skill sharing, local sourcing and community empowerment, our team in Lapsephedi built 62 temporary shelters made of locally sourced bamboo, wheat straw, tarpaulin and sand bags. These semi-permanent homes helped the population survive the monsoon and storms while we prepared for their permanent housing.
Humanitarian workers are skilled in dealing with physical needs of disaster survivors but they don’t necessarily answer to their invisible needs such as mental health and psychosocial support. Survivors are living through aftershocks and new tremors as well us the fears of the monsoon season, the landslides and floods. The situation is an ongoing nightmare and it’s not just houses and lives that are affected but the people’s ability to cope psychologically. Emotional support for children is essential and creating safe, child friendly spaces for them to be together, play and return to an educational system is a good starting point of psychological care. And it relaxes the parents when children are in a safe place so they too, can start returning to a form of normality.
The Smile For Hope Healing Center will be placed in a peaceful area with a garden and enough room for children to play. Locals come here for healings, trauma therapy, Tai Chi and Qi Gong, Yoga and all kinds of creative activities. A safe haven for children and adults to find peace, regardless whether this is in the context of our Disaster Relief Program or the Optimal Health Program.