PHOTO: Tom Breslin with Muster and Ireland Donnacha Ryan at the launch of Gladrags 4 Earthbags charity ball in support of the rebuilding of Sangachok Community School, Nepal. Picture Sean Curtin FusionShooters.
Gladrags 4 Earthbags, a major fundraising drive called to raise €20,000 to rebuild a school for hundreds of Nepali children was launched by Munster and Ireland rugby legend Donnacha Ryan at the University of Limerick Sports Bar.
The Nenagh man launched the initiative, which is seeking to collect €20,000 to rebuild Sangachok Community School, which was devastated by earthquakes last December.
The village of Sangachok was severely devastated by the April 2015 earthquake and resulted in the death of 183 people. The town suffered from poor sanitation, threat of an epidemic, and hunger. The natural spring the supplied the town with water was destroyed leaving residents to rely on existing stores of water and leading to water shortages. There were inadequate medical supplies in the town. The nearest hospital was about 25 miles away. People slept outdoors in a makeshift tent community
The effort is being driven by a group of UL staff and students from the Faculty of Education and Health Sciences who witnessed the devastation first hand. While on a field trip, the group saw the demolished school, which serves 800 children aged 3-18 years, who are now being educated in corrugated iron sheds as a result.
The school has now secured its government permissions for the rebuild and an NGO First Steps Himalaya is happy to work with the UL group on the rebuild.
The plan is to rebuild the school using Earthbags, an innovative and sustainable new method that is earthquake proof. Several earth bag schools survived the second quake that hit Nepal last year.
“Our fundraising target is €20,000. It is a lot of money, but we can really make a difference to these lives of these children and the whole community in Sangachok if we make this happen,” said Orla Muldoon, professor of psychology at UL.
The group are organising the Gladrags 4 Earthbags gala ball in the Strand Hotel on May 7 to raise funds, with sponsorship coming from FBD Insurance. To buy a ticket, see www.ul.ie/csi-r.