Gaurishankar Secondary School
There is a saying in Nepal, "far west, far behind." Gaurishankar Secondary School, located in Gaira Village in Doti District, 800 kilometers west of Kathmandu, is struggling to catch up. Already, Gaurishankar School is far ahead of regional standards by simply providing safe drinking water and bathroom facilities for the children -- luxuries unknown to most of the inhabitants in the region.
With a staff of 11 teachers, the school provides education to approximately 500 students in grades 1 through 10. More than 30% of the children are from indigenous minorities, including the Dalits, or "untouchable" caste. As everywhere in the world, education is the way into a brighter future and better possibilities for the people of western Nepal.
However, Gaurishankar School serves 30 villages, some which are as far as 20 miles away. There are no roads connecting these remote towns, and the children must walk hours on foot paths and undeveloped tracks through rugged terrain every day to attend classes. More than 60% walk an hour to get to school, and some walk 8 hours to and from school every day.
Dormitories for Students
In 2010, Nepal Youth Foundation came to the aid of the students of Gaurishankar School with a pledge to help construct dormitories on an adjacent piece of property donated by a local land owner. Now, two dormitories, or hostels, are being built to house 24 boys and 24 girls in grades 9 and 10. The students will live at the hostels during the week and go home on the weekends. This "home away from home" is particularly valuable to the children in these higher grades as they study for their School Leaving Certificate Exam (SLC). Referred to as the "Iron Gate," passing this exam is essential in order for students to continue with their education, either into university or vocational training.
The dormitories will provide domestic amenities matching the standards of the developed regions of Nepal: sound structures with modern kitchens, common study areas, two-person shared bedrooms, and toilet and shower facilities. In addition to full-time supervisory staff, teachers will also stay in the hostels through the week, providing guidance and tutoring to the boys and girls.
Now, those hours, once lost walking back and forth from remote villages, can be invested by the children in learning their academic subjects very well. This "home" near their school will ensure that these deserving students will change the course of their own lives and, thus, the world in which they live. Through programs like these, western Nepal will be able to catch up with the standards of Kathmandu and join the 21st century.
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Combined with other sources of funding, this project raised enough money to fund the outlined activities and is no longer accepting donations.
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