8 May, 2015 - Nepal quake: Plan helping thousands of kids get back to school
Plan International Australia staff in Australia and in Nepal, communications permitting, are available for interviews and to give updates on the situation in the Pacific. Please contact Adam Cathro in Nepal on +977 981 131 38457 to arrange.

Plan International Australia will play a key role in getting children affected by April 25’s devastating earthquake back to school by building and managing as many as 200 classrooms reaching many thousands of kids.

Plan is aiming to build at least 100 temporary learning spaces in the coming weeks. Each temporary school has two classrooms and can accommodate up to 120 students, helping up to 12,000 children back to school within weeks.

“Plan knows that getting children back to school is urgent for parents. Schools are essential for children’s healing, and parents need to know that their kids are in a safe place during the day,” says Mattias Bryneson, Plan Nepal Country Director.

“When schools are closed there is an increased risk of children dropping out. We share the government’s concerns around child labour: the longer schools are closed, the greater the risk of children not returning to school,” Bryneson says.

“Children are also at increased risk of exploitation and trafficking when not in school. This makes it all the more crucial that we get temporary schools opened and provide a safe and secure environment for children to go during the day,” he adds.

With schools currently closed and parents required to work, children are often left without a guardian. In isolated villages, as well as areas still threatened by aftershocks, children are at an increased risk.

As part of its work establishing temporary classrooms, Plan will work with partners, teachers and parents to ensure they are trained to provided psychological and emotional support to children and that they are equipped to help children recover from the trauma they have suffered.

Following immediate relief operations, Plan will work with communities to build permanent schools - with a focus on resilient construction that is resistant to future disasters.

Australians can donate to Plan’s Nepal earthquake appeal by visiting plan.org.au or by ringing 13 75 26.

Editors’ notes:
Plan is one of the oldest and largest children's development organisations in the world, founded 77 years ago, working in 51 developing countries across Africa, Asia and the Americas and supported by 21 donor countries. Plan is independent, with no religious, political or governmental affiliations.

Media contact: Adam Cathro, Plan International Australia, Media Relations Manager, 0488 202 945