A personal PhotoChallenge matching a story to a photo every day for 30 days with short tales of travel, mountaineering, Nepal, art, and a few personal ones too!
9. Earthquake Trauma Counselling rebuffed by a corrupt regime!
This is a very big story but I will just give a brief summary here, if you want the details I’ve given three personal references in the footnote.
The Nepal earthquake of 2015 had a massive impact on all walks of life in the country as you might imagine. Even from the UK we were very close to it; we have over 100 extended family in Kathmandu plus 8 Nepali staff working for our NGO also based in the capital city. As an education charity our general work ground to a halt, school development and teacher training took a back seat, naturally and quite right too. But what could WE do to assist in the disaster management efforts? The picture tells the story as we upgraded our staff from having general counselling skills to being able to conduct Trauma Counselling with young children of primary school age.
Each day our staff would each take groups of 6-8 children for a two hour counselling session close to, but not inside their school as one of the effects was an intense fear of going inside buildings. Each group had a weekly session over a 6 weeks period and we were able to help around 400-500 city children over several months.
But that is only half the story! Because of our skill levels we believed that the best use of our skilled resources was to conduct training in trauma counselling for teachers, teacher trainers, government education officers around Kathmandu so we offered this for FREE to the Ministry of Education. They turned it down! Next, our staff visited the large open space at Tundikhel in the centre of Kathmandu where there was a large tent encampment with several large INGOs engaged with children, and offered their specialist services to the volunteers from around the world working with the likes of Save The Children and UNICEF for example. These were well meaning volunteers but who spent their day “playing” with the children and not tackling the psychological trauma eating away at these poor kids. Once again our staff, all Nepali, all with BEd or MEd, all trained in trauma counselling were turned away! Make of this what you will, footnote articles I wrote below too.
These are three articles I wrote and published on our website and LinkedIn at the time of the “upheaval” they might add to your understanding of incompetent aid organisations working with corrupt governments.