A Nepalese school flattened in the 2015 earthquake has been rebuilt with help from the Bay.
Toman Danda Lower Secondary School in Bhumlichok, Gorkha, was badly damaged by the earthquake but, thanks to funds raised in the Bay, is almost rebuilt and is again full of children.
After the magnitude 7.8 quake in April 2015, members of the Nepalese Association Bay of Plenty were racking their brains to come up with ways to help their friends and family back home.
A Givealittle page was set up, collectors hit the streets, donation boxes sat on shop counters, and a fundraising dinner and auction attended by Lady June Hillary raised $44,080.
With the funds, the association decided to retrofit one of the Toman Danda Lower Secondary School's existing buildings, which had three classrooms, and build another three classrooms on top.
The building has been built and retrofitted to the latest updated Nepal building code.
Nepalese Association Bay of Plenty president Ramesh Gurung said the school had reopened 15 days after the first quake but, two days later, another quake hit the school again.
Mr Gurung said the school's 204 pupils ranged in age from 5 to 14. While the rebuild was under way, the children were being taught in temporary shelters, built with tin and wood.
He said the Bay of Plenty community had reacted positively and generously to the Nepalis' plight and the commitment towards the fundraising programme by the Nepalese students living locally was commendable.
The school is in a remote area and Mr Gurung said the association's vice-president,Kumar Limbu, experienced this first hand when he visited Nepal to inspect the work.
"He believes the walk upwards is better than going to the gym."
Mr Gurung said the rebuild was a project that would enrich the lives of many future students who, without this project, would not have much of a future in education.
"Our well-wishers, supporters and most of all people and the community of Bay of Plenty, thank you from the bottom of our hearts," he said. "It was through the funding of the Bay of Plenty community. Everyone was generous, so we wanted to let everyone know what happened with the money."
The association had $7000 remaining from the funds raised and Mr Gurung said they were considering what to do with the money. It would likely be used for classroom equipment like computers.
The association aimed to visit the project site soon.