The Long-term Psychological Effects After the Nepal Earthquake

by By Sunjuli Singh Kunwar, World Vision Nepal Emergency Communications Specialist on July 23, 2015


Three-year-old Rozana is a cheerful girl, laughing all the time and playing games with people who ask her questions by deliberately offering incorrect answers before replying with the right ones.
 
Her confident tone reveals her intelligence. “I like going to school and learning A, B, C and D,” she says before embarking on the alphabet song. Rozana was with her mother, Mandira, at a World Vision distribution point to receive disaster-response aid following April’s devastating earthquake in Nepal.
 
Lasting Effects on Children
A teacher and part-time shopkeeper, Mandira worries about her daughter’s future, fearing the quake will have an ongoing impact on many children. “Many of them saw the disaster happen and all of them experienced it,” she says. “So they’re mentally stressed for sure, which may affect them over time.”
 
“If only they could go back to school and have a normal routine then it would probably be better,” she continues. “But that’s not the case [for everyone] because many schools are damaged.”
 


Rozana’s school is one, so Mandira doesn’t know when the classes will resume. “Rozana learned many things at school, but now I’m worried she might forget what she’s learned,” the mother says. “Education is very important, but as a parent I need to be sure it’s safe for her to go to her school, which is cracked.”
 
A few state schools have intact classrooms, including Mandira’s workplace. “I haven’t seen any of my students [since the earthquake] and don’t know how they are,” she says. “I hope they’re all okay.”
 
Rozana was very scared after the disaster because she saw her neighbour’s house collapse. She wanted to know what was happening, but Mandira found the quake hard to explain.
 
With a World Vision shelter, as well as a hygiene kit, Mandira is happy she no longer has to share with her neighbours, while Rozana is also excited, saying: “Mummy gave my old blanket to someone, but I got a new one today.”

 

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