WATCH: Laura Whitmore visits Nepal to highlight how the lives of children have been affected by the earthquake

The move is part of a Unicef campaign to outline how education can be as vital as food and water

Unicef, education, Nepal,

Image: Unicef/YouTube

The 2015 earthquake in Nepal claimed thousands of lives, and as the country continues to recover, the role played by education for the nation's children will be vital. 

A new campaign from Unicef aims to highlight just how big a role schooling can play in the country's process of rebuilding.

As part of the #EmergencyLessons campaign, TV presenter Laura Whitmore documented a recent trip to Nepal to examine how, after 8,000 schools were destroyed, kids are still finding a way to learn, an experience she described as "life-changing".

Sushan, a 15-year-old student, was clear that for them education is how they can hope to make changes at home and abroad in the future.

"Education is important for us, it empowers us and teaches us to be good human beings," Sushan told Whitmore. "We can make our country proud."

"I want to travel around the world and help people like us, people who have been affected by natural disasters," he added. 

In a statement, Unicef outlined that "on average, when a person is displaced in the world they are out of their homes for 17 years. The EU and UNICEF believe we cannot wait for life to get back to normal after an emergency before rebuilding schools and restarting classes – we must find ways to teach young people while they are out of their homes and normal situations.

"Child clubs, play centres, temporary classrooms and double-shifted schools are in use all over the world in emergency zones, and they work – but we need more of them."

"We want to get the message out that education is just as important as food, water or medicine after a disaster. That might challenge some of our long-held beliefs, but the facts show that a child who falls out of education for any length time is less likely to finish their schooling and therefore more likely to be married off as a minor, to be trafficked or exploited, to be recruited as a child soldier, or to end up in forced labour."

The European Union has just committed to directing 6% of its total humanitarian aid budget to funding education in emergencies, above the international average of 2%. However, Unicef are hoping that they can drive a public conversation about needs after an emergency, in order to get education bumped up the list of priorities.

The campaign has received support from other celebrities also, such as British actor Tom Hiddleston, and Sing St lead actor Ferdia Walsh-Peelo. They were joined across Europe on the project by an Italian European Space Agency astronaut called Samantha Cristoforetti, Slovenian Basketball player Boštjan Nachbar, Hungarian news presenter and media personality Kriszta D. Tóth, and Slovakian dancer Jaro Bekr.

Speaking at an event in the European Parliament to highlight the campaign, EU Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management, Christos Stylianides, said:

"When conflict or other crises strike, children need more than food, shelter and medicine. Education can be just as much of a life-saver, providing children with a safe, protective space and helping ensure they learn the skills they need to build a better future for themselves and their communities. The EU is leading the way in its support for education in emergencies."