Children's dance in Demul village, Spiti
Thank you again for your support for the Himalayan education project; below is some latest news on developments...
The coming year is an ambitious one for the project since we aim to establish 87 supplementary schools and 13 Resource Centers in remote Himalayan villages from Ladakh in the west to Arunachal in the far east of India.
The challenge is increased as our team has to implement their work during the summer season before the snows come and block the passes to high altitude areas for between four to six months.
However, our team are very used to working with such constraints, and the scale of the work will be made easier since a smaller number of facilities were successfully established last year: 49 supplementary schools and 5 Resource Centers.
Presently in the Himalayas the snows are starting to thaw so most of the team are in place to begin working on this year's activities. In all areas the sites for the new schools have been selected and village education committees, comprised of prominent and interested community members, are being trained on their responsibility to maintain the new school's facilities and smooth functioning, and for raising awareness among the village about the importance of education and how local people should be taking advantage of the supplementary school.
An innovative dimension to this project is that 10 of the supplementary schools this year will be mobile (3 mobile schools were set up last year). These directly address the nomadic lifestyle of many people living in the Himalayas. Instead of having to send children out of the community to get educated, the new schools and teacher will travel with nomads as they move during the year. This way children can receive an education whilst remaining in their community, and benefit from the curriculum which has been designed to be culturally-relevant and culturally-specific.
Through the Resource Centers, a number of courses will be run to stimulate employment opportunities among youth and to raise awareness of social, environmental, and cultural issues. Courses will be run for youth in business skills and photography, with a view to earning income from the increasing tourist trade. Locally relevant courses will be held on first aid and reading and writing of bhoti, the local language which is a dialect of Tibetan.
We feel confident that the coming year will be successful in delivering these aims and contribute to the education and overall wellbeing of thousands of children from remote Himalayan communities.
Mountains in Spiti
Girl in Rogi village, Kinnaur