My Field Visit

 31st January 2018        Marlene Lippmann

SURAKSHIT SAHAR – my field visit

 

“Prevention is better than Cure” – this meaningful sentence is written in big letters on one of the main gates of the Shramik Shanti Secondary School in Chyasal, Lalitpur. In the morning of the 31st of January we come to visit the school that is part of the Surakshit Sahar project of NDRC Nepal. Children and young adolescents come to this school 6 days every week and spend a big part of their childhood in this building. The school owns a large courtyard where staff members sit together and the children play in the breaks. The atmosphere is friendly and vivid, and I can see that

We are warmly greeted in the principal’s office, where we wait to speak with Rajendra Basnet, one of the teachers and also our resource person of the project. Rajendra had been teaching mathematics and health at this school for more than 10 years, and the first thing I notice is his friendly and calm character. We meet him to talk about his experiences and expectations of the project activities, and he is happy to give us his time and share what is on his mind.

As I am still struggling with forming simple sentences in Nepali, I obviously can’t follow what he is saying. But it is easy to tell that the conversation is very inspiring and intense.  Later on I find out that he even speaks about very personal events that occurred during the earthquake, and how they affected him. Rajendra is very committed to his students, and also concerned about their safety. It is good to see that he takes the urban DRR initiative very seriously, and that he knows what is happening in his school.

They talk for good twenty minutes, while I watch and listen, take pictures and record parts of the interview. Everything goes smooth and easy like it should be, and when we leave everyone seems to be in a good mood. On the way out, Rajendra shows us the evacuation plan, and I take my time to read the other quotes that cover the walls of the courtyard. There is innovation happening at this school, and I am curious to learn more about the activities that will happen there in the near future.

 

After a quick lunch break (my first experience with paani puri), we move to a tuberculosis treatment center in Baneshwor. To be honest, I would not have guessed that we are in a health institution, but rather in a temple. We walk up the narrow stairs in the traditional house to find a small office with a serious looking woman, her name is Santa Dhungel. It turns out that the person we want to speak to is not present, so we ask her if she can share her experiences.

It is interesting how the flow of a conversation goes so easy with some people, but is hard to maintain with others. After around five minutes, Sudha asks me if I have any further questions, and we formally say goodbye and leave. I understand that it was not so easy to receive the information that we were looking for, and that we need to come back another time to talk to our resource person. We learn that finding a suitable person for our case studies is not easy, and that developing such case studies might take more time to prepare.

 

Marlene Lippmann

Intern NDRC Nepal