In July, a team of OM Nepal volunteers spent a week in Rasuwa – a district that was hard hit by the recent earthquakes and one of OM Nepal’s focus areas.
The team, which had been trained by Operation Safe in how to run a Kids Trauma Camp, led about 200 students for five days through different activities that followed daily themes like “You are not alone” and “Be strong and courageous”. These camps create an atmosphere where children can discuss and process what they experienced during and after a traumatic event, such as the earthquakes in Nepal. The children are all divided into small groups with a national volunteer to lead them. The leaders are available to speak to the children at anytime, and during the course of a week are able to establish trusting relationships.
Some of the children at the school were too young to really understand what the earthquake was or what it did to their country, but others shared openly about their experiences. One young boy, Bal*, shared that he was watching TV with his brother and sister when the earthquake struck. Both siblings were crushed and after seeing them die, Bal was forced to jump out of a window in order to save his own life. His father, who had heart problems before the earthquake already, died of a heart attack upon seeing his dead children. “Before the earthquake my family had seven members,” Bal sadly states. “Now we are only four.” Almost three months have passed since that horrible day and some of the initial fear Bal experienced has subsided. “The camp helped me to feel less afraid,” he says. “My favorite topic was ‘be strong and courageous.”