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.
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!
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.
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.
Joey and all the FtL team.