Marpha Foundation reached a milestone this week – the very first Rosehips Kindergarten class graduated. Marpha’s leaders and families came together for a celebration at Marpha’s community hall. Nineteen kids completed the first year, and five of them are moving on to higher grades at nearby schools. Mothers helped us cook food for over 60 guests and we showed videos and pictures of the kindergarten from throughout the year. This year has been full of learning, fun and growth for the kindergarteners and the Marpha Foundation team alike. After we finished our diploma ceremony, parents, village headmen, and Mothers’ Groups surprised us by calling all Marpha Foundation teachers and staff on stage and honored each of us with Khata (ceremonial scarf) and words of gratitude and appreciation. We, in turn, are so grateful to be able to serve our community in this way, and we thank you all for finding value in this work.
THANK YOU FOR SUPPORTING MARPHA FOUNDATION!
The Rosehips Kindergarten flexible tuition structure ensures accessibility, fosters family investment, and contributes to a sustainable income strategy. But school fees simply can’t cover all of our expenses. Our six teacher and staff salaries are our biggest cost – and also one of the greatest impacts we have on our village. Despite the importance of local of salaries, most grants don’t support personnel expences, so we rely exclusively on donations to support these positions. The $7,064 raised by our Global Giving Fundraiser will cover three staff salaries for local women, as well as our school building rent, teaching and art materials for the coming year, and local vegetables and grains for Kindergarten snack time. We are so thankful for everyone who contributed.
One of the salaries covered by the fundraiser will go to one of our kindergarten teachers, Nanu. Nanu is a bright, ambitious, dedicated, and kind young woman who was born in a village just a few hours north of Marpha. After finishing school in Kathmandu, she was looking for meaningful work that would bring her closer to her home village. She came to Marpha Foundation originally as a volunteer, and we’re so lucky she did. She bonded quickly with the children and the community. She is bilingual and teaches in both Nepali and English She has shown innovation and optimism in solving challenges associated with providing outstanding learning experiences in a rural setting. When her five months volunteering came to an end, we asked her to stay on as a fulltime teacher. And now, with the success of our Global Giving Fundraiser, we can afford to have her join us next year as well.
Being able to pay Nanu and the rest of our all female staff doesn’t only keep our school running, it has a direct impact on the village as a whole. It’s common that low-income families are split up because parents are pressured to seek work in cities or abroad – leaving their children behind in Marpha with grandparents or other family members. Conversely, affluent Marpha families often send their kids away to boarding school, making challenges in local education exclusively the problem of the marginalized and poor. Now, children from all circumstances have an equal opportunity to participate in quality education without leaving Marpha. By paying talented local women from across income levels, we are also showing the residents and leaders of Marpha and surrounding villages that with a little creativity, there is great potential for employment opportunities in Nepal’s rural areas. It also shows that quality local education is possible. Marpha Foundation has a holistic approach – we are working to address systemic issues that face all communities within the village.
WHAT’S NEXT FOR MARPHA FOUNDAITON?
Twenty children are signed up for next year’s Rosehips Kindergarten, with five more on the waiting list. Local parents are asking how we can accommodate more students and offer more classes. We’re looking into expanding our physical space. Marpha Foundation is progressing and growing each year, we’ve gained a lot of experience collaborating with community groups, and we’re constantly developing and redeveloping our curriculum. Our emergent curriculum responds to the interests and specific needs of learners – meaning that every year is different! We are so excited for the projects, storytelling, activities and experiments that next year’s students will bring.