Video Analysis Activity: After the Nepal Earthquake

In April 2015, a destructive earthquake hit Nepal, a country in South Asia. It was the worst quake to strike the country in eighty years. The disaster took lives, wrecked homes and buildings, and left millions of people without needed services, such as healthcare and clean water. More than 35,000 classrooms were destroyed or damaged, interrupting children’s education.

The night of the earthquake, 12-year-old Sharmila was with three of her classmates in the boarding house of Chandeswori Higher Secondary School in Nepal. The girls live at the school, which has program for children who are blind or have visual impairment. When the earth started shaking, the girls took shelter under a bed and waited for the trembling to stop. The quake destroyed their boarding house and school, including the library and science laboratory. Since the disaster, the students have been living in a tent and attending classes in a Temporary Learning Center set up by UNICEF. In this video, Sharmila talks about life after the earthquake and her commitment to continue her education.  

Watch Video: After the Earthquake, Schoolchildren in Nepal Adjust to a New Reality

© UNICEF Nepal/2016/Mathema

Video Analysis Questions

1) How did life change for Sharmila after the earthquake in Nepal?

2) Describe Sharmila’s day-to-day school experience.

3) Why is it important for children to continue learning during and after an emergency? Provide two or three reasons.

Write About It*

Imagine that you are Sharmila and your school has just been destroyed by the earthquake in Nepal.

Writing Option 1: Write a diary entry in the voice of Sharmila explaining what it’s like to try and keep up with school in the aftermath of the disaster.

Writing Option 2: Write a letter to an organization such as UNICEF or an elected official asking for money to fund the rebuilding of your school. Make sure your letter has the following:

  1. A clear opening paragraph that introduces your reason for writing and explains the problem to be addressed.
  2. One or more supporting paragraphs that explain (1) Why it is important for children to keep learning after the emergency and (2) what programs can be set up to help students continue to learn.
  3. A concluding paragraph that summarizes your request.
  4. Effective linking words and phrases.

* This activity is aligned to College and Career Readiness Standard 2 for Writing from the Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts and Literacy: Write informative/explanatory texts to examine and convey complex ideas and information clearly and accurately through the effective selection, organization, and analysis of content

How UNICEF Helped After the Nepal Earthquake

After the Earthquake in Nepal, UNICEF helped children continue to learn in the following ways:

  • Provided learning materials and schools supplies
  • Trained teachers to provide counseling and emotional support to students
  • Inspected schools and classrooms in earthquake-affected districts for safety
  • Set up close to 2,000 Temporary Learning Centers to benefit children aged three to eighteen years


Take Action

To learn how you can support UNICEF’s work to help children in emergencies, visit:

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