This report, launched in July 2015, documents the “Children’s Earthquake Recovery Consultation” which was carried out with children in Nepal, following the massive earthquakes in April and May 2015. These earthquakes resulted in over 8,700 deaths and massive destruction across the affected districts.
To better understand the impact on children, Plan International, Save the Children, UNICEF and World Vision International, with Ministry of Federal Affairs and Local Development (MoFALD) and the Central Child Welfare Board (CCWB) undertook this consultation in the 14 most severely-affected districts of Nepal. The consultation sought children’s perceptions and experiences of the earthquakes and the emergency response, and their recommendations on how to address the issues they identified.
The report details the participatory methodology used. Focus Group Discussions (FGDs) were held with more than 1,800 girls and boys. Participatory visual tools were used with children, including expressive drawing, body mapping and visioning to prioritise their issues and explore their experiences and feelings.
The findings demonstrate the severe impact of the earthquakes on children. The three priority issues identified by children were: the inadequacy of temporary shelter; the impact on their education; and lack of water, sanitation and health care.
The consultation shows the wider impact on children, including the psychosocial impact, resulting from death of loved ones, loss of home and communities, fear of further earthquakes and increased feelings of vulnerability, particularly among girls, to exploitation and abuse.
The children who took part in the consultation provided detailed and practical recommendations, which are documented in the report. They saw a clear role for themselves and their communities in rebuilding after the devastation. They had an expectation of substantial assistance from authorities and other stakeholders. The report highlights the need to strengthen the resilience of communities against major disasters.
The report represents an important contribution to the literature on children’s participation and disaster response. It points to the importance of ensuring children are both informed of and consulted on decisions relating to all phases of the disaster response. It offers a practical methodology for carrying this out.
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Title: After the Earthquake: Nepal’s Children Speak Out Nepal Children’s Earthquake Recovery Consultation
Authors: Lucia Withers and Nir Dahal, supported by Tara Bajracharya and Naina Puri
Publication year: 2015
Publisher: Save the Children, World Vision International, Plan International and UNICEF