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Getting Children Back to School (Completed)

Background and Objectives

A massive earthquake measuring 8.0 on the Richter scale struck eastern Sichuan Province on Monday, 12 May, 2008. Over 120 million people were exposed to the effects of the earthquake not only in Sichuan but also in the adjoining provinces of Gansu, Chongqing, Yunnan and Shaanxi. Many of them live in rural and mountainous areas. The crisis hit children especially hard with more than 6,500 schools in Gansu, severely damaged. Because Gansu Province operate on a "daylight saving" schedule, most children were still taking a long mid-day break at home when the earthquake struck, resulting in fewer student casualties than in Sichuan.

Some 40,000 students in Gansu Province remain out of school altogether. These are mainly in remote rural areas in the mountains, where the roads have either been obstructed or destroyed by the earthquake, making it difficult for students to access educational settings and difficult for aid workers to offer relief. In many of these areas, interventions have been minimal.

The objective of the project is to provide approximately 1,100 children in mountainous areas severely affected by the earthquake in Xihe, Wenxian and Wudu Counties in Gansu Province with pre-fabricated classroom units so they can resume their education. These pre-fabricated units, which protect against the sun and can withstand winter conditions, will last more than five years, allowing sufficient time for permanent reconstruction by the government to be completed.

Activities

The main activities include:
* To install 21 pre-fabricated classroom units (the actual number may be subject to exchange rates and cost fluctuation) in Xihe County in Gansu Province, an area that is most affected by the earthquake and also an area that is subject to extreme mountainous weather conditions, which are unfavourable for tent classrooms and educational sustainability;
* To verify the installation of the 21 pre-fabricated classroom units in Xihe County in Gansu Province.

Results

* 21 pre-fabricated classroom units have been procured and installed in record time (20 days) in Xihe County in Gansu Province. These pre-fabricated classroom units, each one of which benefits 50-60 students, were ready to use on 20 October 2008.

Development Partners / Partners

Development Partners: BASF - The Chemical Company
Partners: UNICEF China


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