When a devastating series of earthquakes struck Nepal in 2015, few homes escaped damage in village of Thame. The school, built by Sir Ed and his friends back in 1963, was largely destroyed.
“We were in the school in the classroom,” says Lakpa, now 12 years old. “The earthquake is coming and we ran outside. Some children are crying and we ran home. My father is coming in the school to look. I felt frightened.
Lakpa lives in Thame, a small Sherpa village situated on an ancient salt trading route between Tibet and India. Located at 3800m, higher than the peak of Mt Cook, Thame is also the childhood home of Tenzing Norgay, who 65 years ago summited Everest with Sir Ed Hillary.
For visitors to the region, this is a peaceful, idyllic village of scattered, traditional homes with stone-walled, terraced potato fieds and grazing yaks. Bubbling brooks feed into the upper reaches of the Dudh Khosi. The north face of the majestic Kongde Ri, 6187m, towers over the village and the monastery, one of the oldest in the district.
“After the second earthquake the school was broken,” adds Lakpa. “School was closed for 15 days. When the school was broken we studied in the tent.”
One of the teachers at the school, Om Prasad Bhattavai, explains the extent of the damage to the school buildings.
“The second earthquake happened on a school day but most of the children were outside having lunch, so no-one was injured,” says Om.
“The school classrooms totally collapsed. The children were terrified. The school was closed by the government for the next 15 days, but the children were still scared for weeks and months afterwards.”
The school was given several tents from a Chinese donor to use as temporary classrooms. But it wasn’t easy for the teachers or the students to carry out their lessons in the tents.
“After the second earthquake, the school had to use the tents as temporary learning classrooms. The tents were difficult for the teachers and children. In the winter they were very cold and in the summer they were too hot. When the wind blew the tents were really noisy.”
In early December 2017, the new classroom blocks at Thame were completed.
Thanks to you, the children and staff at Thame school are enjoying being back inside a good, solid, safe structure.
“Now I feel happy that my new school is nice and safe. I want to thank all who help to build my school,” says Lakpa.
Thank you to everyone who supported the Nepal Earthquake 2015 appeal and made it possible to build 150 earthquake-strengthened classrooms at 36 schools in the Everest region.
Read moreRead more on the earthquake rebuild