RATOMATE, Nepal ● The village of Ratomate has not returned to normal—and  indeed the concept of “normal” may be forever changed by the devastating Nepal earthquake on April 25 that destroyed homes, infrastructure and the village school here, some 70 km southeast of Kathmandu.

But with the help of a team of Scientology Volunteer Ministers, the children are back in school today and life in the village is moving forward — the feeling of overwhelming destruction replaced by the camaraderie of working together to build for the future.

With hundreds of thousands of buildings destroyed by the earthquakes and aftershocks in April and May 2015, one of the main concentrations of the Scientology Volunteer Ministers teams in Nepal has been demolition and construction.

After learning the needs of Ratomate, a team was assembled to tackle the project of building what would double as a community center and, if needed, a shelter for villagers from outlying communities, made up of volunteers from Mexico, the United States, Ecuador, Peru, Colombia, Afghanistan, India, Fiji, and Scientology Volunteer Minister-trained Nepalese Scouts, all coordinated by the Scientology Volunteer Ministers Disaster Response—a truly international effort.

Hearing of the project, a sanitation team arrived to set up proper bathrooms to handle villages hygiene needs.

With materials donated by an NGO and bamboo gathered from the countryside, the volunteers began their work and were joined by 25 villagers who said that working together to accomplish the project helped lift the spirits of the entire community.

After several days of intense work, the project was completed with a ceremony where the Volunteer Ministers formally delivered the school to its principal on behalf of the village.

Whether serving in their communities or on the other side of the world, the motto of the Scientology Volunteer Minister is “Something can be done about it.” The program, created in the mid 1970s by L. Ron Hubbard and sponsored by the Church of Scientology International as a religious social service, constitutes one of the world’s largest and most visible international independent relief forces.

The Volunteer Minister “helps his fellow man on a volunteer basis by restoring purpose, truth and spiritual values to the lives of others.”

A global network of Volunteer Ministers mobilizes in times of man-made or natural disasters, answering the call wherever needed. They have collaborated with some 1,000 organizations and agencies, and brought skill and experience to provide physical and spiritual support at hundreds of disaster sites around the world.

School principal thanks the Scientology Volunteer Ministers team on behalf of the village.
Volunteers gather around the plans for the new school in the village of Ratomate, Nepal.
Setting up poles that will support the new Ratomate classrooms
Scientology Volunteer Ministers building new classrooms for the village of Ratomate, Nepal.
Resting on bamboo poles, a roof of corrugated metal will keep out the rain in the new classrooms in the village of Ratomate.
Some of the volunteers who participated in the project of building new classrooms for the village of Ratomate, Nepal