A school costs £16,000 to build and changes the lives of the children in the village.
We wanted to build a safe, substantial and dry school in the remote village of Yangsila in the Nepalese Foothills. This had a major positive impact on the students and villagers. Yangsila is about 20km to the west of the sizeable town of Dharan. However there is no metalled road and the track goes through a couple of river beds. During the monsoon these are impassable.
The Pahar Trust have already built about 80 schools in remote parts of Nepal providing education for over 10,000 Nepalese children. The trust have 4 ex British Gurkha Soldiers on the ground in Nepal to ensure the projects are completed on time and to a high standard.
We paid monies raised on a monthly basis to the Hereford City Rotary Club who underwrote the project and sent payments to The Pahar Trust.
Official Opening – Phase 1
The first phase of the school was completed and officially opened on 21st February 2012 by Luke Conod, Rotary Club President and Managing Director of School Uniform Shop. We are proud to present photos and the video of the opening here.
However this is only the first phase. There is much more to do and we are continuing to raise funds for the rest of the project.
Hereford Times (29th March 2012)
Best days of their lives… with a little help from Hereford Rotarians in Nepal. Lydia Johnson reports
Many children here in Britain moan about going to school. They cannot stand science, maths and the uniform. Their displeasure only grows when others tell them to enjoy school because they are “the best days of your life”.
There are even more children, living far from the UK, who don’t have to get up early, put on their uniform, or do their homework. But many of these children would give anything to do these things.
Twelve members of the Rotary Club of the City of Hereford recently met many children with a great will to learn when they travelled half way across the world. The city group went to the village of Yangshila in Nepal to help build a school that would change the lives of many.
Judy Smith Harris, one of the 12 travelling, knew this was something she had to be involved in. She helped the club raise £10,000 of the total £16,000 raised – every penny of which went to the school.
She said: “The school is so important because the whole village will benefit from its facilities. It is their way out of poverty. If they are educated and can use a computer, then they can bring their family and village out of poverty.”
Nepal may be one of the most poverty-stricken places on the planet, but, according to the group, it is also one of the friendliest. Despite not having the most basic levels of sanitation or health care – with 15 per cent of the population suffering from an iodine deficiency – the warmth and community spirit they show is enviable.
Luke Conod, club president and managing director of the School Uniform Shop in Hereford which raised £6,000 for the project, said: “We were overwhelmed by the welcome we received. We always had food, fresh fruit and water, but the whole time we were there we didn’t see anyone else eat anything. The main thing I’ve taken from the experience is never to moan – especially about a bit of traffic or the internet being down.”
So with the help of building contractors and British based charity the Pahar Trust, the Shree Savitri Secondary School was built. The foundations of the school were laid a year ago by club members Rob and Margaret Soutar, and the school has come a long way since then. There are 50 to 60 children to a classroom and fund-raising is still ongoing to secure fully functioning toilets, reading material, furniture and electricity in some areas. But it is a start.
The 13 rooms – seven of which were built by the club – is the start the children, and the village, needs to keep them moving forward to a better future. For the many adults who look back on their school days with nothing but the pleasure of knowing they’re over, Luke said the children of Nepal offer a reminder of the luck youngsters have here in Herefordshire of just having teachers and somewhere to learn.
Update, November 2012
The update is from Hit and Kuwl, the two Gurkhas in charge of the project for us:
“The electric wiring is completed in new built school, with two fans and two lights each room. Due to unavailable mason and painter the office and computer room ceilings, and boys toilet painting and refurbishment is not started yet. We may start after Dashera or soon as they are back from Hang Pang school. We have 36 sets of new desks and benchs. The students are in very happy mood with the new desks and benchs, and of course enjoying the cooling by electric fans.”
Luke Conod, Managing Director of School Uniform Shop, said:
“The change from when we got the first pictures is unreal. When we first set out to help them they had leaky buildings, no electricity, no desks, no books, no bags… and if you look at the picture and read their words (particularly the light and fan) we realise how much we take for granted and how happy they are. It makes my moans and recession grumbles pale into insignificance, and really brings home the value of helping other people.”
Update, March 2014
We are delighted to announce that the final stage of the work to rebuild the school is now completed with the opening of the girls and boys toilets, these are the first toilets that the village has ever had.
We are continuing to work with Hereford City Rotary Club and our next task is to help them to fund and build further toilets for the village.