Their world reports nearly 40 million students have their education disrupted, each year, by natural disasters causing severe social impacts and affecting the country’s economy at an individual, local and national level. A weakened economy results in slow, or non-existent, long term recovery efforts impacting the nation’s ability to rebuild infrastructure such as transport links, hospitals, housing and schools.
According to UNESCO, “if all students in low income countries completed primary school with basic reading skills, at least 171 million people could be lifted out of poverty.” This illustrates how building safe school campuses can provide immediate and long term relief to social and economic complexities. Ultimately, education has a catalytic effect; from combating poverty and reducing vulnerabilities, to alleviating gender inequities.
Governments and non-government organizations understand the implications of education disruption and seek to resume schooling as quickly as possible after crises/natural disasters. While this is a positive endeavour, there is often a lack of resources to ensure a speedy, safe and appropriate recovery. Consequently, students are either placed in Temporary Learning Centers (TLCs) made from scrap materials, tarpaulin and iron sheets or taught in the existing damaged buildings. Both options can be unsafe and inadequate for students to learn and thrive.
Our school recovery programs aim to provide disaster-resilient learning environments for students around the world. Not only do we provide safe spaces to learn but we also focus on restoring school campuses to their full capacity.
The type of disaster, damage sustained and the country we are working in will determine the extent of the school recovery program. We work alongside the community and governing bodies to provide the best option/s, which may include repairing, rebuilding and retrofitting.