12 June 2015
For thousands of children in Nepal, the earthquakes have completely turned their lives upside down – they have no home, no food, no school, no routine, nowhere to feel safe. Our photographer Srikanth Kolari shares their stories and what we're doing to help.
Thousands of children have been left homeless
Across the country, thousands of families are living in the open, in temporary tents, because their homes have fallen down or been badly damaged by the earthquakes.
“Like nothing I’ve ever known”
13-year-old Sumit vividly remembers when the earthquake hit: “During the earthquake my family and I were on the way home. The earth began to shake and I felt so afraid. I felt like I was going to fall, but my parents caught me and we ran to a nearby farm.
"Lots of people were gathering there, as it was an open space. I knew it was an earthquake because I’d felt a smaller one a few years ago," he explained. "But this was like nothing I’d ever known."
870,000 children out of school
As well as homes, the earthquakes have destroyed many schools. It's estimated that 25,000 classrooms have been destroyed, leaving 870,000 children without access to education.
Though some children have begun to go back to school, the conditions are very poor and there's a lack of resources.
Safe spaces for children
Since the earthquake, ActionAid has set up child-friendly tents for kids. They give children a space of their own to play where they can come to terms with their trauma in their own time.
This also allows their parents time to rebuild their lives and look after other community or family members in need.
Children's Clubs help kids recover
ActionAid has been supporting Children's Clubs in Nepal for five years. 13-year-old Sumit has been a member for two years and is one of several children who have been bravely helping other kids cope with their new lives.
"Usually we do lots of activities like drawing, playing and learning all about things like our rights as children and the lives of kids in countries all over the world," he says. “We also help younger kids with their homework and teach them about the things we’ve learnt.
“Right now, I’m helping the younger children in my community recover from the earthquake. We are going from tent to tent, playing games with younger kids and talking with them, to help cheer them up.”
“It makes me feel really happy to help children who are younger than me. The little ones are still scared and I want to help them overcome that.”
There's still a long way to go to help Nepal's children feel safe and secure again. If you'd like to help, please donate to our emergency appeal.