In the aftermath of last Saturday's earthquake in Nepal which has already claimed thousands of lives, the global union federation of teachers, Education International, has sent out an urgent appeal for help for teachers, children and communities in the country. 

In a post on its website, EI says: 'According to the first reports (we have) received from our member organisations, district teacher union leaders and union members are among the victims of this disaster, as well as their families and hundreds of students. In addition many school buildings have been destroyed. The Head Office of the Nepal National Teachers’ Association (NNTA) has been seriously damaged, wrote NTTA General Secretary Laxman Sharma.

'Education International has decided to support its Nepalese member organisations and their individual members and their families, through humanitarian aid initially, and later in rebuilding their facilities.'

An article in the UK Guardian points out that what the vicitms of the earthquake share is that they are nearly all poor. Although the region is prone to earthquakes, poor communities live in precarious housing which cannot resist the shock of an earthquake. This is also true of the many schools which have collapsed, like the one in the picture above, and it is a story we have told too frequently on this website, when disaster hits in the global South, whether in Pakistan, in Hait or in China - it is the poor who suffer and the public schools which collapse. The only small comfort is that because this latest disaster was on a Saturday children were not in the schools.

To read EI's appeal in full or to send donations, go here.