Project #2415

Improve education for Nepali girls and minorities

by The Santi School Project
Children and teachers couldn
Children and teachers couldn't wait for furniture.

Seti Devi Lower Secondary School was hit particularly hard by the earthquake in Nepal. Every single one of its classrooms was damaged. For more than a year, school was conducted under the cover of flimsy tarps.

When Santi School and our partners began working on new classrooms at Seti Devi Lower Secondary School, the students and teachers there were so excited that they started to use them before the buildings were finished.

The school, about 50 miles away from Kathmandu in Kavre district, has eight teachers and 155 students in pre-kindergarten through seventh grade. Many of the students at the school are ethnic minorities who have faced discrimination in Nepali society.

Our work at Seti Devi Lower Secondary School is not done. Unfortunately, students are forced to sit on the floor. This could become a potential health problem in the colder winter months that are right around the corner. The school needs new furniture and teaching materials.

Overall, Santi School and its local partners are rebuilding 21 schools damaged by the earthquake. We’ve completed 13 of those projects, including Seti Devi Lower Secondary School.

Funds from Global Giving will be used to provide furniture at some of the schools we have renovated. Make a donation today to help us deliver new desks, chairs and tables to as many schools as possible. Thank you for your support!

These were the classrooms for nearly a year.
These were the classrooms for nearly a year.
49 kids received new bags and water bottles
49 kids received new bags and water bottles

One of the of the effects of the devastating earthquake in Nepal in April 2015 that is often overlooked is the scarcity of clean drinking water in many villages.

Because of contaminated water sources, there is a high risk and increase of health and hygiene issues.

To promote safe drinking water, Santi School distributed school bags and  drinking water bottles last month to 49 needy students at Ghusel Secondary School in Lalitpur district, which was hard-hit by the quake.

Many of the students are members of the Tamang ethnic minority group. They walk as many as three hours each way to school every day, and the new water bottles ensure that they will have access to clean drinking water during their travels back and forth.

Instead of potentially getting sick with water-borne illnesses, these children will be able to concentrate on their studies.

The water bottles were presented during a ceremony conducted by the principal, school management committee, teachers and parents of the students. The students who received the water bottles were selected by the school management committee and the administrative committee from grades two, four, five, six and seven.

The students were delighted to have the bag and water bottle. They expressed their hearty gratitude for the support. We also want to thank our donors for helping to make initiatives like this possible. They really make a difference in the lives of our students.

Many children walk 3 hours each way to school
Many children walk 3 hours each way to school
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.
Students study in a hut made of bamboo and plastic
Students study in a hut made of bamboo and plastic

It’s wintertime in Nepal, and the harsh weather means life continues to be difficult for millions of Nepalis in rural areas living in temporary shelters made of bamboo and plastic.

More than nine months have passed since the devastating earthquake last spring, and many rural communities are still working to rebuild homes and schools. The government and large international charities have been slow to start up reconstruction work. A nationwide fuel crisis, precipitated by an “unofficial blockade” by India for nearly four months, has only exacerbated the problems.

Despite all this, we are proud to announce that we’re making strong progress renovating two classrooms at Shree Devi Lower Secondary School, in the Nallu village development committee of Lalitpur district. The school has 138 students, from kindergarten through grade eight.

Students there -- like so many children in areas where the earthquakes destroyed or damaged school buildings -- have been studying in a temporary learning center made of bamboo with a roof of plastic sheets, which does not do an adequate job of protecting them from the elements. Thankfully, we expect they will move inside their new classrooms very soon.

Engineers along with the vice district education officer for Lalitpur conducted a monitoring visit at the school in mid January and approved of the construction work. The vice principal of the school has been particularly helpful in overseeing the renovations.

This is one of 14 different schools that we plan to provide earthquake renovations this year. We expect that many of these projects will break ground in the next month or so.

Thank you for your support to help make these projects possible.

Engineers supervise reconstruction work.
Engineers supervise reconstruction work.
Our chairman briefs local officials on the work.
Our chairman briefs local officials on the work.
Reading a book about earthquakes.
Reading a book about earthquakes.

On the morning of September 15, our staff members set out for the northeastern part of Kathmandu district, around 35 kilometers (22 miles) away from the city center. It was one of the areas of  Kathmandu district that suffered the most earthquake damage last spring.

The scenery of the countryside as we crossed Sankhu, an ancient Newari town, was mesmerizing. The journey was mostly smooth as the road was blacktopped. At two places, the road was not in a very good condition due to the monsoon rains. Once, we had to get off the jeep and push it – a ritual that our staff are too familiar with these days.

That day was Children’s Day in Nepal and all the kids were busy getting involved in one of the extra-curricular activities that were being organized at Bal Jyoti Lower Secondary School, which runs classes from nursery to grade eight. One student came inside the office and picked up a book we had brought about earthquakes. He seemed to enjoy reading it.  Like many children, he still has many questions on his mind about earthquakes.

We inspected the damaged school building at Bal Jyoti and the teachers briefed our team about how the school and the community coped in the aftermath of the earthquakes. We also discussed various components of our reconstruction work. We also visited two other schools that day that had been damaged by the earthquakes. 

A few days later, we were able to sign an agreement with the Department of Education, the government agency that is responsible for coordinating school reconstruction after the earthquakes, to repair nine schools. We are preparing to sign a second agreement for six additional schools, for a total of 15.

We are also in the process of getting the designs for the construction approved by the engineering section of the Department of Education. After this step, we will sign individual agreements with each of the 15 beneficiary schools and  coordinate with other government agencies to get their approvals. We hope that actual construction work will begin in November.

Reconstruction work will begin in November
Reconstruction work will begin in November
Fortunately, this schoolyard is still intact.
Fortunately, this schoolyard is still intact.

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Organization Information

The Santi School Project

Location: Ellicott City, MD - USA
Website: http:/​/​
Project Leader:
Christopher Heun
Halethorpe, MD United States

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