MEDIA STATEMENT – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE (21 April 2016)
Earth-Q: An Australian documentary about education after a disaster
MELBOURNE, VIC – This Monday, 25 April 2016 marks one year since Nepal was devastated by an earthquake. 50,000 classrooms were either destroyed or seriously damaged, leaving the future aspirations of a generation of children at serious risk.
Little has happened in the way of rebuilding schools, an issue highlighted by Prince Harry’s visit to Nepal early in 2016 when he extended his trip to help rebuild a school in a remote area of the country.
The reality for many children in earthquake-ravaged communities is that they have fallen into a three-year educational hole that will be difficult to recover from.
Imagine trying to learn in a tin-clad classroom when it’s raining, you can’t hear the teacher and the classroom floor is flooded with water. In summer it’s so hot that you have to go out of the class to cool off, or it’s so cold that holding a pencil can be a challenge.
The Logged On Foundation, a Melbourne-based charity working in Nepal, wants to rebuild a number of schools near the epicentre of the earthquake in the Gorkha District.
The Foundation commissioned a documentary film that has been recently completed in Victoria to help raise awareness of the issues faced in rural Nepalese communities.
“Soon after the disaster, with the support of over a hundred generous individuals in Australia and overseas, we were able to help seven schools that were either destroyed or seriously damaged in the quake” says Mark Pinoli, CEO of the Logged On Foundation.
“I was in Nepal within a month to help deliver aid. I was also able to document through video the impact the earthquake had on communities and the struggles they faced to provide a quality education for their children” Mark says.
“Earth-Q gives voice to the people from affected villages so they can share their experiences and struggles” says Mark. “This is their story and ours and we want to promote this film to not only raise funds to help rebuild schools, but to draw attention to the plight of marginalised children. We want to help get the kids out of tents and tin sheds and into a safe and child-friendly environment.”
Earth-Q also portrays a country that was faced not only with the challenge of rebuilding, but with the political strife that plunged the country into deeper economic turmoil following the promulgation of its first Constitution in late 2015. Earth-Q is a journey through the beauty of the Himalayan region, a celebration of the welcoming nature and selflessness of its people, and a witness to the heart-wrenching appeals of teachers and parents for help to get their children into proper classrooms.
Details about the film are available at http://www.earthqfilm.com
Mark Pinoli, CEO, Logged On Foundation Ltd.