Education  Nepal Project #41800

(Winter-)Schools in the remote mountains of Nepal

by HUMAN-Stiftung
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(Winter-)Schools in the remote mountains of Nepal
(Winter-)Schools in the remote mountains of Nepal
(Winter-)Schools in the remote mountains of Nepal
(Winter-)Schools in the remote mountains of Nepal
(Winter-)Schools in the remote mountains of Nepal
(Winter-)Schools in the remote mountains of Nepal
(Winter-)Schools in the remote mountains of Nepal
(Winter-)Schools in the remote mountains of Nepal
(Winter-)Schools in the remote mountains of Nepal
(Winter-)Schools in the remote mountains of Nepal
(Winter-)Schools in the remote mountains of Nepal
(Winter-)Schools in the remote mountains of Nepal
(Winter-)Schools in the remote mountains of Nepal
(Winter-)Schools in the remote mountains of Nepal
(Winter-)Schools in the remote mountains of Nepal
(Winter-)Schools in the remote mountains of Nepal
(Winter-)Schools in the remote mountains of Nepal
(Winter-)Schools in the remote mountains of Nepal
(Winter-)Schools in the remote mountains of Nepal
(Winter-)Schools in the remote mountains of Nepal
(Winter-)Schools in the remote mountains of Nepal
(Winter-)Schools in the remote mountains of Nepal
(Winter-)Schools in the remote mountains of Nepal
(Winter-)Schools in the remote mountains of Nepal
(Winter-)Schools in the remote mountains of Nepal
(Winter-)Schools in the remote mountains of Nepal
(Winter-)Schools in the remote mountains of Nepal
(Winter-)Schools in the remote mountains of Nepal
(Winter-)Schools in the remote mountains of Nepal
(Winter-)Schools in the remote mountains of Nepal
(Winter-)Schools in the remote mountains of Nepal
(Winter-)Schools in the remote mountains of Nepal
(Winter-)Schools in the remote mountains of Nepal
(Winter-)Schools in the remote mountains of Nepal
(Winter-)Schools in the remote mountains of Nepal
(Winter-)Schools in the remote mountains of Nepal
(Winter-)Schools in the remote mountains of Nepal
(Winter-)Schools in the remote mountains of Nepal
(Winter-)Schools in the remote mountains of Nepal
(Winter-)Schools in the remote mountains of Nepal
(Winter-)Schools in the remote mountains of Nepal
(Winter-)Schools in the remote mountains of Nepal
(Winter-)Schools in the remote mountains of Nepal
(Winter-)Schools in the remote mountains of Nepal
(Winter-)Schools in the remote mountains of Nepal
(Winter-)Schools in the remote mountains of Nepal
(Winter-)Schools in the remote mountains of Nepal
(Winter-)Schools in the remote mountains of Nepal
(Winter-)Schools in the remote mountains of Nepal
Together with teachers and students in Lhuri
Together with teachers and students in Lhuri

To share the experiences of a nearly 5-week trip to Upper Dolpo, you need more than one article on the website.
For this reason, only a brief summary of the most important findings of the trip is presented in this report:

There have been some changes since the last visit in 2018. In particular, the fact that the government has decided to open up Upper Dolpo by building “roads”. They went up the mountains with big bulldozers, and some of the paths slide down again when it rains. It seems to us that it hasn’t been well thought through, more like aimless “activism”.

There are definitely divided opinions about this infrastructure measure. The younger generation finds this quite good, because it is possible to cover faster distances with a motorcycle. It is also hoped that the transport of goods will become cheaper.
But there are also critical voices, because many jobs are in danger of being lost (mainly in the transport sector with mules, horses and yaks). Tourism could also change drastically.

Climate change is noticeable in the Dolpo. On the one hand due to heavy rainfall and significant landslides in Lower Dolpo. On the other hand, there is a lack of water in some villages and there was heavy snowfall in Upper Dolpo as early as October. We experienced it all first hand. The residents have never experienced weather extremes like this year.

People are suffering considerably from the pandemic because China has kept its borders closed for three years. Trade with Tibet is important. People currently have to buy their goods more expensively in their own country or do without.
The locals of Upper Dolpo continue to urgently need the support of foreign organizations such as the HUMAN Foundation. Education and medical care are still the areas with a very high need for support.

Operations of our winter schools in Saldang and Nyisal is felt to be very important. We have been asked several times to continue to finance these lessons in the long term. The two winter schools for the period 2022/2023 start again in November.

Our new school building in Lhuri has come to a standstill because the timber could not (yet) be transported over the passes due to early snowfall. Construction will continue in 2023, so use will not be possible until the middle of next year. The residents of Lhuri are eagerly awaiting its completion and the children are very much looking forward to it.
Currently in Lhuri there is the shell of five classrooms and two rooms as a hostel for students from other villages. Next year will be two more rooms for the teachers to sleep in and the construction of the school kitchen as well as the roofing of all buildings, floors and a corridor along the classrooms.

Our excellent network is particularly positive and important, both with the local population in many villages and with other foreign organizations (NGO’s) that are active in the Dolpo.

Despite the optically not very nice road construction, a trekking tour to the Upper Dolpo is still a dreamlike experience.
There will soon be a new film about the Dolpo and our projects, which will be completed and published on the website by the middle of the month.

We see our work in the Upper Dolpo as very purposeful based on your excellent support. If you feel the same, we would be more than happy if you could support us in future as powerful as today. Thank you so much for your generosity.

 

In front of our new building in Lhuri
In front of our new building in Lhuri
Teachers, students and school committee in Saldang
Teachers, students and school committee in Saldang
Students at a performance in Saldang
Students at a performance in Saldang
Students in Nyisal
Students in Nyisal
School construction area Lhuri
School construction area Lhuri
New "roads" after landslide
New "roads" after landslide
Heavy snowfall early October
Heavy snowfall early October
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Locals with students and teachers
Locals with students and teachers

Preliminary Remark: The villages and the schools in Upper Dolpo are located in one of the remotest mountainous areas in the world at around 4,000 meters altitude and there is no or hardly any phone contact and Internet is not available. To get to Kathmandu from Upper Dolpo, you need to walk 7-8 days and additional 48 hours by bus. This said, we only can deliver detailed reports of the school sessions with 9-12 months delay after the school period ended. We need to give the school coordinator time to write and provide their reports once they come to Kathmandu. Thank you for your understanding.

The Tripitak Basic School was established by the Nepalese government in 1975 but was only in operation for a few years because the government did not take the local needs of the population into account. The number of students decreased, and the school was closed. Dawa Phuntsok, a former villager, reopened the school in 2019 as co-coordinator and was looking for a sponsor. In spring 2021 we decided to finance two teachers. In January 2022, we as the HUMAN Foundation pledged to build a new school and finance the school operations.

The main goal of the school is to provide free and high-quality education to the underprivileged society in Upper Dolpo in order to develop the potential skills of the children so that they can stand on their own two feet after their education.

Our vision is to offer primary education in their home village so that they do not forget their mother tongue, Nepali language, religion, and traditions and keep in touch with their parents. After primary school education we want to send them to Kathmandu to give them further education.

The 2021 school year began on May 1st and ended on the last day of October. The lessons went smoothly, and the students achieved very successful results. It is very difficult to direct the school lessons because there is currently no real classroom, school furniture, too few teachers and a lack of good facilities. However, we managed to do it by teaching on the floor of an old building and accommodating the teachers in a house without any facilities. There are currently three well qualified and enthusiastic teachers who are willing to improvise and adapt to new challenges and demands in order to achieve the best for the children.

The school management committee (SMC) meeting was held several times over the past year. All members are very supportive and helpful towards the school. They help us for free and are also very loving and caring when dealing with our students. There were three meetings on school planning, school administration and activities to improve school operations.

For the 2022 school year, all the goods and equipment needed for the school have already been purchased and transported from Kathmandu to Lhuri. And at the same time, the planning for the school building is in full swing. If we get enough wood, there is hope that we will have eight rooms available in autumn 2022.

Thank you very much for your outstanding support.

Some students with Dawa
Some students with Dawa
School lession
School lession
Teacher and some students
Teacher and some students
Preparative work for school construction
Preparative work for school construction
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Sketch-up Lhuri School Construction
Sketch-up Lhuri School Construction

With this report we can deliver great news. In January this year, we finally decided to build a new school in the village of Lhuri in Upper Dolpo. We have been supporting the "Shree Tripitak Basic School" school in Lhuri since 2021.

The village of Lhuri in the Upper Dolpo, between Saldang and Nyisal, consists of the three-village parts Ke, Lhuri and Sungjer, all at an altitude of around 13,000 ft. The school in Lhuri was closed during the civil war in Nepal (1999-2006) and did not reopen afterwards. The government built a small school building a long time ago, but it is now in a very dilapidated condition and is not a safe environment for children's education.

Dawa, a youth from Lhuri village who attended the school in Kathmandu, recently reopened the school with our support. Last year, 23 students attended the school. Three teachers were available for teaching and supervision. Since the children have not had any regular lessons up to now, there has not been any class assignment. Of the 23 children, 14 children were in the care (nursery) and 9 children in kindergarten/preschool. The plan for 2022 is that 11 children are in care (nursery), 5 children in kindergarten and 7 children in the 1st grade. With each additional school year, the next higher class will be started, so that class 5 can be put into operation in 2026. One additional teacher will be hired each year, making a total of 6-7 teachers.

In the long run, an increasing number of students is to be expected, since the children from Sungjer and Ke are also attending the classes. In particular, the children from Sungjer will sleep at school because it is too far to go home.

We want to start construction of the new school complex in the local architectural style this year and by the end of the year we will have built eight rooms:

  • A kitchen
  • Two dormitory rooms
  • 4 classrooms for Nursery, Kindergarten, first and second grade
  • An office room for the teachers

The crucial question is whether we can get enough wood approved for construction. Wood is a very scarce commodity and is regulated by the government.

If everything goes according to plan, we will construct the remaining buildings in the coming year, including the sanitary facilities and a school wall. Then we hope to have enough wood for the interior design, such as the school desks. We may also have to postpone some construction activities until 2024. For this year it is important that we lay the foundation for the new school.

We also fund ongoing operations and have made a commitment for at least 20 years, barring any extraordinary event. The funding of the school building is largely secured, but the annual operation expenses must also be ensured for the teachers, teaching equipment and game materials, food, school clothes and the high transport costs from Kathmandu to Lhuri.

We are very pleased that we can tackle this project, especially because a local and former student from neighboring Saldang, where we finance the winter school, took the initiative.

We would be very pleased if you continue to support us with our new undertaking. Thank you for your generosity and your trust in our work.

The village of Lhuri with the future school area
The village of Lhuri with the future school area
Lessons done in 2021
Lessons done in 2021
The old school building needs to be dismantled
The old school building needs to be dismantled
Locals with students and teachers
Locals with students and teachers
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One of the students of our Winter School in Nyisal
One of the students of our Winter School in Nyisal

Preliminary Remark: The villages and the schools in Upper Dolpo are located in one of the remotest mountainous areas in the world at around 4,000 meters altutude and there is no or hardly any phone contact and Internet is not available. This said, we only can deliver detailed reports of the school sessions for our winter schools with 9-12 months delay after the school period ended. We need to give the school coordinator time to write and provide their reports once they come to Kathmandu. Thank you for your understanding.

The winter class for 2020-2021 commenced on December 1, 2020, and ended on March 1, 2021. The winter session had the admission of a total of 37 students. The school appointed 3 teachers and supporting staff (cook). Besides regular classes, the teachers also engaged the students of a nearby monastery.

Winter class objectives: 

The winter class focused on reading and writing aspects on three core language subjects: Tibetan, English, and Nepal, and also served as the remedial classes and preparatory classes for the students.

The winter season has a huge significance for the people of Upper Dolpo as the annual festival of Sonam Lhosar falls in this season. Es pecially in winter school lessons, chuildren learn to preserve their culture and share bonding with family members and close ones. With the summer classes running for only about seven months, the winter classes serve as the coaching classes for struggling students and also lets the students be involved in various extracurricular activities to fulfill their learning needs and well-being.

Staff

The management appointed three teachers and a cook for the winter session 2020-2021. The session was coordinated by Mr. Niyma Tashi Gurung. Meanwhile, the other teachers were Dawa Dorje and Tenzin Norbu. Dawa Lhajom from Nyisal served the winter session as the cook.

Students Attendance and Differential Learning

The winter classes observed regular attendance of above 30 students every day. The three teachers differentiated the levels of the students as per their grades and skills on reading and writing in all three language subjects. The students were facilitated accordingly.

The classes on Tibetan, helped students learn more about social, and cultural aspects. The people of Upper Dolpo follow the same culture, so winter classes have always been special for the students and the
community in this regard. Based on the level of students, they were groups into the following groups:

  • Beginners
  • Intermediate
  • Advanced

The students were provided with the lessons and contents accordingly so that they could improve on their weaknesses and achieve more in their learning.

Daily Routine
8:30 am – 9:00 am Morning assembly
9:00 am – 12:00 pm Morning classes
12:00 pm – 1:00 pm Lunch break
1:00 pm – 4:00 pm Afternoon classes
4:00 pm – 4:15 pm Afternoon assembly

The winter in Upper Dolpo is extremely cold. With the villages located above the altitude of 3800 m, the region experiences heavy snowfall. The classes were taken with maximum care and the students were also advised to stay warm.

Assessments

To evaluate the learning outcomes for the period of three months, the teachers conducted an assessment at the end of winter classes. The evaluation helped in comparing student’s levels with reading and writing on different subjects. All the students made remarkable progress and successfully passed the exams. This assessment also served as the baseline for the summer classes of 2021.

We would like to thank all donors who make this extraordinary project possible.

Next year we are planning to build a new school in Lhuri, a small village close to Nyisal and Saldang. We will report next time more details, because currently the planning process starts.

Morning Prayer before lessions start
Morning Prayer before lessions start
Learning outside on sunny winter days
Learning outside on sunny winter days
Learning together at the stove in cold winter
Learning together at the stove in cold winter
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20 tons of rice and flour for 700 families
20 tons of rice and flour for 700 families

This report is not about our school operations itself, but gives you an insight view of how the Covid pandemic impacts the people in the villages where our school projects take place and several other villages in this mountainous region of the Upper Dolpo in Nepal.

A very high number of cases of illness occured in Upper Dolpo in May/June this year. That is why we have started to organize a delivery of medical equipment and food for the families affected beside the medicines. In a joint action, the HUMAN Foundation has succeeded in merging with our partner Dolpo Tulku Rinpoche and other NGOs from Canada, Germany, Switzerland and Nepal. Several packages of medication (febrifuge, cough syrup, pain reliever, (multi) vitamin tablets, antibiotics and much more) were transported to Upper Dolpo in a small helicopter on June 6, 2021 and deposited in three “Health Posts”. Thus, at least basic drugs are available to alleviate some symptoms. More medical care is not possible, since oxygen cylinders etc. are currently not available. And it that makes no sense, as the locals do not know how to operate the medical equipment. Whether the illness is Covid or a severe flu has not yet been determined, as there are no test options.

Due to the many diseases and pandemic restrictions, many families will experience significant harvest losses. Food through trade cannot be purchased either, as the borders with Tibet are closed.

During the month of July we delivered food to 700 families in the rural municipalities of Shey Phoksundo, Dolpo Buddha and Chharka Tangsong in Upper Dolpo at around 4,000 meters above sea level. In total, more than 20 tons of food have been delivered by mules to the three distribution villages in Dho Tarap, Saldang and Karkot. From there, 30 kg of flour or rice per family were distributed to the needy people in the 22 villages. Locals were selected for transportation so that they could earn money from transportation. A total of 360 mules were in action. Each individual transport took 3 days. This supply will help families get through the next harsh winter.

The total costs for the food support amount to more than 30,000 USD. The HUMAN Foundation bears almost 30% of the costs.

We do not want to abandon the families and their children in the Upper Dolpo in the Himalayas in these difficult times, some of whom attend the schools we support.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank all donors who supported this special campaign already.

3 Municipalities and 22 villages at 4,000 meter
3 Municipalities and 22 villages at 4,000 meter
Food transport to the villages
Food transport to the villages
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HUMAN-Stiftung

Location: Neuss - Germany
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Project Leader:
Karlheinz Neumann
Kirchheim, Deutschland Germany
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