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Building Schools, Rebuilding Hope

Luke Davis, Activities Director, Lincoln School, Kathmandu, Nepal

Almost two years after the biggest earthquakes (magnitudes of 7.8 and 7.3) in the better part of a century shook Nepal and its resilient people, Lincoln School has continued to play a small but profound part in the country’s rebuilding efforts. Knowing that we would need to revamp or, at the very least, reflect on our Service Nepal programs after those catastrophes, our students, teachers and administration— like the Nepali people—heeded the words of the Dalai Lama: “Tragedy should be utilized as a source of strength. No matter what sort of difficulties, how painful the experience is, if we lose our hope, that’s our real disaster.”


With hope and renewed energy, much good has now been accomplished. A collaboration with an organization called All Hands Volunteers (AHV) has seen Lincoln School continue to live its service learning mission of “empowering all students to become aware of themselves, their community, and the global environment. With this awareness, we foster the empathy, inspiration, and ability to selflessly serve as compassionate global citizens and leaders who actively engage within their communities.” This active engagement has seen us fund and help construct new schools and nineteen classrooms. This has directly affected over 600 Nepali children. While working on those efforts last year, it became clear that more had to be done in the Sindupalchowk and Nuwakot Districts, specifically focusing on health and sanitation as well as water harvesting and purification.


This year our tenth and twelfth grade students partnered with SmartPaani and AHV to work on projects that will harvest rainwater and provide clean drinking water and genderappropriate toilets for more than 1,600 children in schools such as Shree Kalyani Devi Secondary School, Shree Bachchhala Devi Secondary School, and Shree Prithvi Secondary School. Aside from upgrading toilet facilities, a water harvesting and filtration system is being installed at Shree Kalyani Devi Secondary School and Shree Jalpa Yuwa Primary School. Those projects aligned closely with student initiatives like PLUM in which our students gave lessons to Nepali girls on a taboo subject: menstruation. The hope is that by providing clean and gender-appropriate toilets, young women in Nepal will continue to stay in school during their menstrual cycles.

In addition, our eleventh-grade students collaborated with an organization called Thrive to install a solar energy system at Shree Kalika Primary School in Sindhupalchok, and plans are being put into place to continue the solar electrification of schools and villages next year. We are immensely proud of the work our students and teachers have done during those weeklong expeditions; those are experiences that will have a lasting impact on both our own students and the communities we have served for a long time to come. Finally, we are immensely grateful to the almost eighty schools who contributed to Lincoln School’s Earthquake Relief Fund. Without such generosity, much of this important work could not have been accomplished. Thank you.

Published in ISS NewsLinks: Volume XXXII Number 3

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