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Feature: Quake-damaged school in Nepal gets new life under Chinese assistance


Just a few kilometers away from the Ring Road in Nepal's capital city Kathmandu on Tuesday, colorful balloons and national flags of Nepal and China dominated the whole street leading toward a community school.

Despite the public holiday on the occasion of the Constitution Day, hundreds of school students were queued up in the pavements carrying fresh flowers, balloons in hand and with uncontrollable laughter.

The occasion was indeed special as the Yuba Sahabhagita Secondary School was getting a new building and classrooms under the Chinese assistance, and for them, a new educational journey.

The China Foundation for Poverty Alleviation (CFPA), the first Chinese NGO working in Nepal, has completed the rebuilding of this quake-damaged school and the handover ceremony took place on Tuesday. The reconstruction project was carried out by the CFPA with financial support from a Chinese company Suning Group.

Sun Weimin, vice chairman of Suning Group, who attended the handover ceremony, told Xinhua: "Through the bright classrooms, we are very glad to bring smiles on the faces of students who experienced the deadly disaster. This can be regarded as a new chapter in the ties between Nepal and China."

This is the first school reconstruction project completed by a Chinese firm.

The handover ceremony was attended by not just the students, but also their parents, government and embassy officials, newly-elected local representatives and members of the community.

The community school, established in 1985, was severely damaged in the earthquake in April 2015.

After the quake, nearly 500 students were compelled to study in temporary learning classrooms for over two years.

"We were teaching our students in the temporary classrooms for two years amid weather adversities and congestion. Finally, we have our own building and brand new classrooms, all thanks to China and the Chinese organization," Kamal Rimal, the principal at Yuba Sahabhagita Secondary School, shared with Xinhua.

Teachers and parents expressed the hope that the new school building will enable the students to learn in more pleasing and comfortable environment.

"We were awarded as the best community school by the government two years ago. we are commit to be the best in coming days as well," the principal said.

Apart from the handover of the school building, the Chinese organization also distributed schools bags and stationeries to support the quality education of students.

Fifteen-year-old Sonu Bhujel, a Grade 10 student, shared her happiness with Xinhua.

"For two years, we faced extreme sun and rain and faced several troubles in temporary classrooms. We are very happy to learn in the new building now and with new stationaries."

Her classmates and juniors echoed the similar statements with joys.

There are 12 classrooms in the newly built two-storey building while the school administration has also asked the Chinese side to construct computer and science labs along with a library.

At a time when the Nepali government has completed reconstruction of only half of the quake damaged schools in the 14 worst hit districts, officials highly appreciated the assistance from China for the recovery of the Himalayan nation.

Dr. Govinda Raj Pokharel, head of Nepal's National Reconstruction Authority, an authorized body to carry out the reconstruction tasks, told Xinhua: "China is one of the biggest donors and the neighbor helping Nepal in reconstruction process in various areas. Through such school projects, China is also trying to mobilize its social sector to help the government of Nepal and the Nepalese people, which is really praiseworthy."

The CFPA, which started works in Nepal right after the earthquake, has been focusing on health, education and community development programs.

Hepatitis B screening and public health advocacy, epidemic prevention, water and sanitation, love package to students are some of its major programs launched in different parts of Nepal.