Help 370 Nepali Children Access Quality Education

by Freedom to Learn
Help 370 Nepali Children Access Quality Education
Help 370 Nepali Children Access Quality Education
Help 370 Nepali Children Access Quality Education
Help 370 Nepali Children Access Quality Education
Help 370 Nepali Children Access Quality Education
Help 370 Nepali Children Access Quality Education
Help 370 Nepali Children Access Quality Education
Help 370 Nepali Children Access Quality Education
Help 370 Nepali Children Access Quality Education
Help 370 Nepali Children Access Quality Education
Help 370 Nepali Children Access Quality Education
Help 370 Nepali Children Access Quality Education
Help 370 Nepali Children Access Quality Education
Help 370 Nepali Children Access Quality Education

Dear supporters,

One of the wonderful things that the last 2 years has given us - is perspective. It has given our team, and those we work with, a stronger sense appreciating what we can do, what we have - and what is possible! So spending the last few months together in class, completing training, creating resources, and even a book launch, well, none of it has been taken for granted!

Freedom to Learn works across the municipality of Panauti, in 34 schools. However this project report is specifically about Kushadevi School….where things have started to feel almost back to normal. Nearly every activity is now allowed without restriction. We’ve listed a few of these below and added pictures for you to see! 

All of this wonderful work is enabled by our amazing supporters of which you are one. so thank you.

Creativity: 

We had some wonderful Art Star workshops, where some beautiful paintings were produced by some amazing young students. See below to suspect their fantastic work!

We had a beautiful performance of singing from a choir group at school, one of the things we most appreciate, as singing for so long wasn’t allowed during COVID regulations - and they loved it!

Academic Learning: 

Our amazing band of 35 volunteer tutors were supported and trained by the Kushadevi based team. These tutors, all 3rd year or masters degree students then went on to support over a hundred children in Kushadevi as well as travelling to tutor over 525 children across the municipality. This was a massive boost for their learning and confidence after the tumultuous learning period through the pandemic.

 

Family Outreach: 

There is still a knock on affect of the difficulties faced in the last 2 years with COVID, locust swarms, forest fire pollution and floods. For some families, school has once again become less of a priority, as parents prioritise working and earning instead of going to school. 

We have been working with many families at Kushadevi to support children back into school. Our community outreach team work to support the families in a variety of ways, and also support children back into school rather than sometimes dangerous and tough labour in farming, construction or domestic settings. Hot nutritious school meals are provided, as well as uniform and resources, and occasionally food parcels for the whole family. This has enabled more children to come into school full time, with attendance increasing 12% in the last 3 months. 

A New Partnership:

In partnership with the Local Authority, we have had a band of 4 researchers diligently gathering important data for our research publication “A Report on the Status of the Community Schools in Panauti Municipality 2078” based out of the Kushadevi Offce. The report clearly shows the current situation in every school - from attendance, to ethnic groups, to academic results, to facilities available and more. It also makes recommendations on changes that could be made to improve the quality and access to government education in the area, serving over 5000 school children. 

This is the first of it’s kind, and has been well received at the book launch in July. Already it has changed part of the government’s policy providing some extra support in the smaller schools transferring teachers to where they are most needed. 

We will report more about this in the wider newsletter, but, for Kushadevi it had an unexpected outcome - an attendee at the launch is an officer in the Nepal Army. After reading the report, he organised a group of 15 army volunteers to form a partnership with Kushadevi school. They have committed to supporting all the upkeep of the school grounds this year! This will be a huge support to the Kushadevi school community and is a direct result of the work we are doing, supported by you. 

 

 

Thank you for all your support - especially our regular donors like you. You make an HUGE difference enabling us to do the important work we do. Please get in touch if you would like to know more, and visit our Facebook and Instagram pages to stay up to date. 

Warm wishes, 

 

Joey and all the FtL team. 

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Dear our wonderful supporters,

It seems a very long time since we were last in touch at the end of 2021. And it was with a hint of hope that with 2022 certainty would come. 

But, as you may know, 2022 started with the fourth wave of COVID causing closures of all schools nationally for 10 weeks. 

But this time we were prepared. 

If nothing else, the uncertainty that has come with COVID has taught us to be flexible and resilient in our approach to providing education to the 378 children we serve in Kushadevi School. 

And you have supported us to do it. 

Collaboration: 

Working with 33 other schools across Panauti Municipality we were able to ensure that teachers we have been regularly training were able to travel between catchments, and provide outdoor outreach and school classes, as well as learning materials. 

In Kushadevi specifically we ensured that 378 children in the catchment attended an education event every week in a COVID safe environment. They had homework to complete in between, which was not only academic but also working with wellbeing and health to ensure they were connected and as healthy and happy as possible while cut off from the school community.

Consultation:

Once back in school in March, our team were able to work with 20 young leaders aged between 12-15. They attended a series of leadership and creative workshops with the purpose of opening up issues the school community have been facing, and together, devising community led solutions. 

There were issues that were easier to tackle - such as a community clean up of the school and the grounds with everyone participating from the senior leadership team to students from every year group. 

More complex issues raised included alcoholism at home especially due to the more difficult economic and social circumstances of 2020 and 2021. Kushadevi teachers and the School Chairman have since worked in outreach visits and participated in training to raise awareness of the issue and, crucially, to support children of the families affected, offering additional learning and emotional support where needed. 

Celebration:

If you remember, one of our newsletters told the story of Bina - one of our most celebrated teachers. Back in 2012 she was in our first cohort of students at Kushadevi, and she has gone on to be the head teacher of Kushadevi Model School (the primary school section). We want to take this opportunity to tell you that this week she was married to a young man who lives not far from Kushadevi School. We are thrilled for her and wish her every happiness! It was a fantastic event with many of the school community and our team attending to celebrate with her and her new husband.

Wider Project Work: 

If you have read this far you may like to learn more about our project work in other schools near to Kushadevi. We work across the whole municipality of Panauti. Please do keep updated on our social media pages linked below and check out our other project on GlobalGiving covering a wider number of schools.

Thank you so much for your ongoing and valued support. It is wonderful to have so many of you supporting Freedom to Learn’s work.

 

Warm wishes,

Joey, SK, and all the team in the UK and Nepal  

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Namaste everyone,

 

Firstly we want to start by wishing all of you, our wonderfully generous and committed donors, a lovely Christmas, Hanukah, Tihar, and any other celebration you may be enjoying this holiday period! May 2022 bring more cheerfulness than 2021, and may we all have a healthy and happy year ahead. 

 

Kushadevi School has been a hive of activity the last few weeks after a hopeful start back in September. The 18 months has been tumultuous to say the least. The Kushadevi communities navigated their way through the global pandemic and subsequent lockdowns, as we all have of course. But on top of this the school grounds (and many of our school family’s farms and homes) were badly damaged by flooding. There was also a 2 weeks lockdown due to high pollution from the devastating forest fires across the hilly regions of mid-Nepal. The smoke that sat still in the valley for nearly a month caused respiratory illness amongst the students and teaching staff, and has brought keenly to our attention that working with the changing climate must now be a priority. Climate change is evidenced acutely here in the Himalayas, and we see the impact is now a reality with alarming regularity. 

 

For children at Kushadevi this has been an uncertain time to live through. So coming back to school has brought a sense of normality and community which has been fantastic. Classrooms are looking fun and colourful. The regular Art, Music and Drama classes have been exciting and fun, bringing light relief and enjoyment for everyone involved! 

 

There have been field trips to the hills for science and geography learning, and the sister Schools project is back up and running with kids in Milford-on-Sea School and Kushadevi Model School working together again. 

 

Our teachers now have full support from our locally based teacher trainer. And colourful school materials have been donated and used widely to enable fun and creative learning environments. 

 

School has become normal again, it has brought certainty and routine, learning and academic engagement. But, perhaps more importantly it has brought connection, community and confidence back to the 370 children we serve. 

 

Thanks to you - all of this is possible. And we cannot thank you enough. 

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Namaste and hello,

It has been a while since our last update from the rpoject work at Kushadevi School. I am happy to report that yesterday the Nepal COVID-19 infection rates finally started to drop for the first time in months. As a result, we are tentatively hopeful to see that things may now officially start opening up again in Kushadevi.

These last 18 months, Kushadevi families have been just hanging on, earning barely enough to get through the lockdowns. Importantly however, their children have been able to continue with some form of schooling, largely down to the vital work of our team on the ground. 

In the municipality we have now delivered just over 200 outdoor learning workshops, events and outreach groups since June 2020. Work has included not only academic classes but COVID-19 safe workshops and emotional wellbeing conversations and exercises. 

Every child at Kushadevi Model School Programme has been given an education pack. The 300 packs included learning resources with tasks, school project work, reading materials and sanitation supplies. 

All of this work, supported by you, has meant that children are still able to gather and communicate with friends and their teachers, enhancing a sense of normality and wellbeing, and has resulted in more than 370 Kushadevi children engaging in classes when so many in Nepal are not able to access any type of education.

We have also began teacher training this month, ensuring all of our teaching staff at Kushadevi are absolutely ready to welcome the children back to school when we are once again allowed to fully open.

None of this would be possible without the support from people like you. And we can’t express enough how grateful we are for your support during these strange times. We hope you are all safe, and look forward to once again reporting to you in more normal times.

 

Very best wishes,

 

Joey and all the FtL team.

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Dear Supporters,

We have had a very productive few months as our municipality wide projects got underway in the areas of Teacher Training, Advocacy, Mental Health, and School Governance. It has been very exciting to see everyone back working and the communities together again. Our experienced team of teacher trainers from facilitated an initial month of training the trainers and our newly trained teacher trainers have taken up their posts across the district, including Kushadevi School of course! 

All this has been managed despite lockdowns due to the worst dry season forest fires Nepal has experienced, causing thick smoke and ash that sat in the valley for weeks of stagnant weather with terrible visibility and irritating many of our team members’ breathing, eyes and ears. However that passed and things picked up again with some sterling work being done.

Sadly though, and not entirely unexpected of course, our Nepali based team now find themselves in a strict lockdown as COVID cases rise to over 400,000 and hospitals have few or no beds across the District. All schools have of course closed and we are working to ensure that our students, staff and teachers are able to manage and stay safe. As soon as regulations allow we will once again be working hard to ensure that everyone can undertake home learning and we'll be distributing home learning packs to every ward in Panauti with outside classes taking place in community school ‘clusters’ or bubbles.  

We have no way of knowing for sure when the current wave of COVID will slow and the lockdowns in Panauti are eased. And for now, everyone is sitting tight and waiting it out. I am sure you join me in sending all of our best hopes and prayers across to all of the children, their families and our staff that they all remain safe, avoid the worst and are soon back to the vital work they do.

Today however was a good day for our Sister School Project as things picked up again the UK. Our Programmes Manager visited Kushadevi’s sister school Milford Primary School for the first time in well over a year, and spent this afternoon with yrs 1 and 2 who had a lot of questions about their Nepali friends at Kushadevi and finding out how they have been getting along. Live links aren’t possible until schools are back in Nepal, but some of the children in Lockdown sent over some lovely videos saying hello to the children here in Milford, who were learning about school life in Nepal. 

We are so grateful for all your support over what has been a very difficult year for everyone, without your help we cannot do what we do ensuring improved quality of education for all the children in Kushadevi.  

 

Thank you,

 

Best wishes,

All the team at FtL x 

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Organization Information

Freedom to Learn

Location: Milford-on-Sea, Hamsphire - United Kingdom
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @ftluk
Project Leader:
Joey Owen
Milford-on-Sea, Hamsphire United Kingdom
$11,081 raised of $42,000 goal
 
149 donations
$30,919 to go
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