For our second construction project, we chose to conduct substantial renovations to a two-story school about a 90-minute walk from Ramche (the site of our first school).
At the Mahakali Lower Secondary School, we replaced a leaky roof and broken plaster, fixed the toilets, and installed new furniture.
The most encouraging part of the project was the contributions by the local community. Not only did workers donate labor worth one-third of the total project cost, but the rusty zinc sheets that comprised the previous roof were sold to raise money as well.
We've just learned that the Nepali government has committed vital financial support for our school in Ramche.
This is an important step for us on the road to sustainability because it means that the government will pay for one teacher's salary annually.
Last year, the government pledged additional support, although a more modest amount, to help pay for books and supplies at the school.
These decisions by the government prove that they believe in our school and want to see it succeed.
Currently, there are three teachers at our school, and we have applied for their salaries to be paid by the government as well.
In addition, we have begun our second construction project: renovating Mahakali Lower Secondary School, which teaches more than 150 students from the Tamang ethnic minority in a two-story building about a 90 minute walk from Ramche (the site of our first school).
The Mahakali school was built in 1995 and needs new toilets and furniture as well as repairs to a leaky roof, balcony and broken plaster. The villagers have agreed to donate their labor. A photo of a damaged classroom is included with this update.
Our project coordinator, Lila Jung Gurung, has conducted an evaluation of our first academic year:
• All 25 of our first-grade students passed the government’s final exam in March
• Student attendance reached 91% between January and March
• Teachers have requested we add a 4th teacher since we added a Grade 2 class
• Parents are satisfied with their children’s reading, writing and speaking skills
GOVERNMENT OFFERS FINANCIAL SUPPORT
The government in Nepal has awarded our school with an annual stipend, based on our enrollment, of about $1,200 -- about the cost of one teacher salary for a year. This support signals the government’s intention to fully fund all of our teachers’ salaries next year.
Thanks to all of you for helping to make it possible!