At the end of his official tour of Nepal, Prince Harry will remain in the country to work with Team Rubicon UK on an earthquake relief project.
Team Rubicon is a disaster response charity, uniting the skills and experience of military veterans with first responders to deploy emergency response teams in the aftermath of disasters.
For the next week, Prince Harry will be embedded with a group of Team Rubicon volunteers in a remote village to help with the reconstruction of a new school destroyed by the 7.8 magnitude earthquake of April 2015.
The team will trek into the mountains to an earthquake-affected area in Central Nepal, with their own equipment to assist the local community in all aspects of repairing and rebuilding their school.
Since the earthquake struck, students have been taking their classes in makeshift classrooms made of poles, tarpaulins and tin. These temporary facilities will provide little defense against the difficult weather conditions in the rainy season to come.
Over the last few days Prince Harry has seen numerous initiatives that have supported the people of Nepal in returning to normality following the huge destruction from the earthquakes almost a year ago.
Speaking at a UK Embassy Reception marking the end of his official tour to Nepal, Prince Harry said:
"The people I have met and the beauty of this country make it very hard to leave. Thankfully however, I’m not leaving just yet! I will be spending the next six days in a remote region with a charity called Team Rubicon. The team I’m joining will be working with the community to rebuild a school damaged in the earthquake. I'm so grateful to have this opportunity at the end of my official tour to do my small bit to help."
Following an assessment visit to the school in January, Simon Clarke, Director of Field Operations for Team Rubicon UK, said:
"It is heartrending to see how much work still needs to be done nearly a year after the earthquake. By providing a proper school for the children of this remote village, and repairing basic services such as a hydroelectric turbine we will be able to make a real difference. We can restore these essential resources from a practical perspective, but perhaps also provide hope for this resilient community."
Prince Harry will spend the next week camping in the mountains with his fellow volunteers and will play a full role in the support project. He will return to the UK at the end of the month.
Team Rubicon UK was formed in response to the Nepal earthquake almost a year ago. General Sir Nick Parker, former Commander in Chief of the UK Land Forces and now Chairman of Team Rubicon UK, put out a call to action asking UK veterans to volunteer their time and skills to provide aid in the immediate aftermath of the natural disaster. A team of volunteers quickly joined their Team Rubicon USA counterparts to provide medical aid, search and rescue support, and translation assistance in several remote regions of Nepal.
In the following months Team Rubicon UK was officially established as a charity in the UK, tapping into the skills and experience of military veterans to rapidly deploy emergency response teams following disasters. By the end of the 2015 Team Rubicon UK had responded to calls for assistance in the aftermath of floods in Cumbria in December and Yorkshire over Christmas and New Year, as well as undertaking rebuilding projects in Nepal and the Philippines.
Notes to Editors
- A further update on Prince Harry's involvement in the project, including images and footage, will be made available in due course.
- On 25 April 2015, a 7.8 magnitude earthquake struck Nepal killing around 9,000 people, injuring 23,000 and causing extensive damage. On 12 May, a major aftershock followed killing more than 200 people and injuring over 2,500 people.