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SALT LAKE CITY — A Utah-based humanitarian organization is hoping to leave the future of Nepal on more solid ground.
CHOICE Humanitarian co-founder James Mayfield said Monday the group was helping to rebuild schools that were leveled by the 7.8 magnitude quake in April that left thousands dead and much of the country in ruin.
“I would say a fourth to one-half of the schools were destroyed,” Mayfield said of the rural areas of Nepal. “Their first response to us was, ‘please, help us rebuild our schools.’”
Photos from CHOICE Humanitarian showed volunteers last week helping locals to erect a temporary school shelter in Hami, Gorkha, in less than three days.
For the organization — which attempts to empower the impoverished with leadership skills and education — the project and others like it are a no-brainer.
“Schools are needed for that kind of training,” Mayfield said.
CHOICE Humanitarian is also taking up another objective, working over the next six months to educate those building homes on how to make them safer.
“[They are] teaching them how to build homes that will be earthquake-protected,” Mayfield said.
Their first response to us was, 'please, help us rebuild our schools.'
Mayfield said the people of Nepal have been receptive and appreciative.
“One villager came up to [CHOICE Humanitarian in-country director] Bishnu Adhikari,” Mayfield said. “He said to Mr. Adhikari, ‘thank you, this is the most precious gift that you could give us right now.”
The organization said it raised $200,000 in the first 10 days of donations — with that money going directly to the aid of the people of Nepal.
Mayfield said the need in Nepal is still great, and he encouraged people to continue to give.