The Santi School Project

The Santi School Project is dedicated to giving children in Nepal, particularly girls and those from disadvantaged ethnic minorities, a chance for a quality education.
Jun 28, 2016

Rebuilding remote schools where no one else would

Ghusel Secondary School after the earthquake.
Ghusel Secondary School after the earthquake.

The earthquake of April 2015 destroyed nearly all of the buildings at Ghusel Secondary School, located in a more remote area of the Kathmandu Valley. Many different organizations visited to assess the damage, but the Santi School Project was the only one who returned up the hilly terrain and narrow rough road to help rebuild the classrooms.

The students at Ghusel Secondary School celebrated a new earthquake resilient building with two classrooms during an inauguration ceremony earlier this month. For the past year they have been forced to study under canvas tents, which more closely resemble an animal shed than a place of learning.

Restoring the school to a more normal routine is important, because it’s located in a more remote part of Lalitpur district. Within the village of Ghusel this is the only school that offers classes up to grade ten. Many students walk for a couple of hours each way to reach the school, including students from nearby villages, for whom this is the closest option.

The majority of the students belong to the Tamang community, an ethnic minority group.

The administration of Ghusel Secondary School, along with officials from the village development committee and members of the parent teacher association all offered their thanks for the new building.

We at the Santi School Project would like to thank you, our donors, for making this project possible.

Overall, this is one of 22 school renovation projects that Santi School and our local partner in Nepal are conducting after the earthquake. So far, six schools have been completed and handed over to their communities and three more are in the process of being handed over. Another 13 schools are in different phases of construction.

Government officials continue to approve of our work. In Dolakha, the District Development Committee and the District Education Office have been monitoring ongoing construction. Recently, in Lalitpur, the deputy district education officer participated in a school building handover program.

At Kshamawati Higher Secondary School in Dolakha district we have provided furniture, book corner racks, books, a photocopier and a printer for the school’s library.

Two new classrooms.
Two new classrooms.
Dancers at the inauguration ceremony.
Dancers at the inauguration ceremony.
Apr 25, 2016

Furnishing new classrooms after the earthquake

New furniture at Shringery School near Kathmandu.
New furniture at Shringery School near Kathmandu.

It’s hard to believe that a year has passed since a devastating earthquake rocked Nepal. Recovery has been painfully slow, but gradually schools are moving their students into new classrooms. The Santi School Project is proud to help make that possible.

We are helping to rebuild schools and provide new furniture for students and teachers at 12 schools. Earlier this month we delivered new chairs and desks to two of those schools.

The furniture for both schools has been specifically designed for younger students in kindergarten and grades 1-3. We take this for granted in the West, but it’s unusual in Nepal for desks and tables to be made at a size appropriate for younger children.

The first school is Durga Higher Secondary School of Maga Pauwa, in Dolakha district, about 70 miles away from Kathmandu. Established in 1962, it has 20 teachers and staff and more than 500 students from kindergarten to grade 12. We provided furniture for four classrooms.

As a matter of fact, our furniture arrived before the renovations are complete. Once the classrooms are finished we’ll have photos to show of the new furnishings set up for the students.

The other school to receive new furniture is Shringery Community Secondary School in Mahalaxmi municipality of Lalitpur district. Established in 1995, it is about 15 km away from Kathmandu and has 18 teachers and staff for 215 students from kindergarten to grade ten.

Recently, we built four classrooms at Shringery, and have conducted teacher training programs there in the past.

Thank you for your support to make these critical improvements in the lives of hundreds of children in Nepal. Without your help, our students in earthquake-ravaged areas would still be sitting outside at school every day, or trying to learn while cramped inside a canvas tent.

The furniture is made by hand.
The furniture is made by hand.
Delivering furniture at Durga School.
Delivering furniture at Durga School.
Mar 24, 2016

Pace of school reconstruction is slow but steady

Rebuilding schools is done mostly by hand.
Rebuilding schools is done mostly by hand.

The devastating earthquake in Nepal nearly a year ago flattened homes and school buildings in an instant.

Rebuilding has been just the opposite: frustratingly slow, bogged down by the powerful forces of government bureaucracy and an unofficial trade embargo by neighboring India, among other factors.

Nevertheless, The Santi School Project has signed agreements to renovate classrooms at eight different schools in Lalitpur and Dolakha districts, some of the areas hit hardest by the quake. Construction has begun and is expected to be completed by mid July.

All of these projects have been approved by engineers working in the Nepali government’s Department of Education. It requires that schools seeking funds to rebuild submit a damage assessment report as well as a project estimate.

Santi School has employed engineers to design earthquake-resilient buildings and monitor construction sites once work is under way. One major design change has been to require extra support around doors and window sills.

In some communities ravaged by the earthquake, skilled laborers are busy rebuilding their own homes and are not available to help with the local school. In those cases, schools have asked us to provide manpower.

Another hurdle has been the unofficial blockade at the India-Nepal border, which has choked trade and fuel supplies for months. That means the cost of building materials has increased, and transportation is much more expensive.

Despite those hurdles, the work is getting down and schools are in fact coming back to life. Our first earthquake renovation project has been completed: A $9,000 rebuild of four classrooms at Shringery Community Secondary School that benefitted 250 students. Recently, we inaugurated the new building with a ceremony that included the school administration, parent-teachers association, parents, students and social workers representing the deputy district education officer of Lalitpur district.

Some skilled laborers are busy rebuilding homes.
Some skilled laborers are busy rebuilding homes.
Pouring a cement foundation.
Pouring a cement foundation.
 
   

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