Current Volunteer

Corin Hardcastle (UK) is with us for 6 months, he has been teaching IT in England for 30 years. He is installing the infra structure and training staff and students on the use of computers. There is only 3 laptops (Dec 2012), one printer and no network. We hope this will supply a solid start for the development of IT within the school.

Charity worker speaks of harrowing experiences during Nepal earthquake

By The Sentinel  |  Posted: May 11, 2015

Corin hardcastle was teaching at a school in nepal when the earthquake hit

Corin Hardcastle was teaching at a school in Nepal when the earthquake hit

A CHARITY worker has spoken of the harrowing moment when a school roof collapsed behind him during the Nepal earthquake.

Corin Hardcastle, of James Street, Stoke, retired from teaching IT five years ago.

The 67-year-old now has his own charity which helps students and teachers across schools in the Yolmo Valley use computers.

But Corin’s third visit to Nepal, and the village of Melamchi Ghyang, in three years was marred by the 7.8 magnitude earthquake on April 25 - the death toll from which stands at more than 8,000.

And Corin - who returned to the Potteries on Friday - explained he was sitting in the computer room when he heard a ‘rattle’.

He said: “The village school, Melamchi Ghyang School, were running an entrance examination day - 70 students had come up to try and join the school.

“I heard a rattle and thought it was a strong wind, then it got deeper and louder and that’s when I knew it was an earthquake.

“I dropped my computer and ran in my socks into the rain - the ceiling collapsed behind me on to the floor.”

Corin waited with students and teachers on the school playground until the tremors stopped.

The school - and the hostel where Corin had been staying - was reduced to rubble.

Corin added it is believed two people in the 350-strong village died during the disaster.

He said: “The first night involved sleeping on the ground in a plastic sheet.

“The next few days consisted of building shelters for families and emptying rubble from houses - my passport was four feet under a concrete roof.

“The village was as flat as a chapati and bits of roof were sticking out.”

Corin was able to get an answerphone message to wife Marg to let her know he was alive - three days after the earthquake.

He also revealed there were aftershock tremors coming through - the biggest of which hit 5.1 on the Richter scale.

Corin, who stayed in a shelter with the school’s headteacher and his family until his return to Stoke-on-Trent, added the school will be restarted within a month.

He said: “It was a disaster, it is a disaster and it will take a number of years and an enormous amount of money to get the society back to where it was.

“The lucky thing was it didn’t happen at night - the death toll in the village would have been hundreds.”

Corin is now planning to run teacher training in computer systems in the Sindhupalchok District in 2016.

Wife Marg said: “It’s been an emotional rollercoaster.

“He’s exhausted and I’m exhausted from the emotion of it all.

"I can't imagine what it's like for the people of Nepal."

For more information on how you can get involved with the Yolmo Connect charity, ring 07711 962755.

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Message of Volunteer (Alexander Spindeler, Volunteer 2016 )

Volunteering at Shree Melamchie Ghyang Secondary School


One week after my 18th birthday, I was leaving Germany to come to this school for the next months. I did not know too much about what would be happening here, except from the fact that I am likely going to teach German and English. On the first school day I was surprised about how structured the school itself and the schoolday is. The morning assembly gave me a first impression of my destination. Within the first week I was showed around and felt very welcomed. It did not take too long until I was allowed to teach myself - English from Sunday to Thursday and German every Friday. I was surprised how good even the smaller children speak English and felt comfortable raising the difficulty of the tasks in class, according to the students level.  

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Message of Volunteer (Kate, volunteer-2016)

My name’s Kate, I live in Cornwall, on the South West coast of Britain and have come to Melamchighyang with the U.K based charity Community Action Nepal. I’ve been a volunteer at the school here since the beginning of November (2016) and plan to stay until the end of December. During my time here I’m helping to teach the nursery class of 4, 5 and 6 year olds – I’m kept very busy with their boundless energy! It’s a 6 day school week and the days are long and busy for the little ones with lessons including Nepali, English, maths, social studies, creative play and outdoor activities when the weather is fine.  Readmore>>