Prince Harry extends Nepal trip to help rebuild earthquake-hit school
Published 23/03/2016 | 15:11
Prince Harry is to extend his trip to Nepal by six days to help rebuild a school damaged by a devastating earthquake last year.
The 31-year-old said he will work with a charity group in a remote village, but would not give the location.
He made the surprise announcement at the end of what was to be a five-day official visit, during which he visited earthquake-damaged heritage sites, temples and a camp where people made homeless by the April 2015 earthquake are still living.
Harry arrived in Nepal on Saturday on his first trip to the Himalayan nation.
He is the first member of the Royal Family to visit Nepal since it abolished its centuries-old monarchy in 2008.
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 village with a charity called Team Rubicon.
"The team I'm joining will be working with a community to rebuild a school damaged in the earthquake."
Nearly 9,000 people were killed and one million houses damaged by the earthquake. It also damaged Nepal's tourism industry, which drew foreign tourists to visit Hindu temples and trek mountain trails.
Harry said he had wanted to pay his respects to the many who died, and also show that the country is "open for business and has so much to offer".
"I hope that everyone back home who took an interest in the tour can see that Nepal is a country that you really have to come and visit," he said.
According to a Kensington Palace statement, Harry will help rebuild a school where students have been studying since the earthquake in makeshift classrooms made of poles, tarpaulins and tin.
The temporary facilities provide little defence against difficult weather conditions, it said.
Team Rubicon is a US-based disaster response group that combines the skills of military veterans with first responders.
Harry served twice with the UK military in Afghanistan before leaving the army in 2015.