Pauline Sanderson and Jo Pawley have been good friends for over 40 years and in September 2015 they set up the charity 'In Your Hands' to help raise funds for the people of Nepal after the devastating earthquakes in April and May of that year.
This is the fourth year of what we plan to be a five year programme . Nepal is one of the poorest countries in the world and we believe it could take that long to rebuild many of its communities due to the extent of the earthquake damage. Our focus has been on re-building schools, but now it has moved on to aiding the development of education through teaching training as well as the health and well-being of the communities through our women's project. We are now also embarking on community generated funding. A successful charity is one that can leave a community not depending on donations. This is our goal.
Regular updates will be posted here and on our Facebook page on how the money raised is being spent so that you are able to see the difference this fund raising and any help that you are able to give is making.
We did not want to just build schools. We want to build communities that are healthy and believe in education. We want the communities to have pride in the schools built for their children and encourage them to embrace the benefits of education. We also want the communities to benefit from the health and well-being opportunities being offered as part of our strategy.
Over these first few years we have been working closely with The Mandala Organisation (TMO). They have been at the coal face organising the building and repairs of our schools. We have learnt so much and are now in contact with more teams and individuals who have offered expertise and support. We have developed partnerships with individuals and organisations and they are part of our strategy moving forward.
For a detailed look at our 2018 strategy please visit our blog page.
To ensure every penny is used to benefit Nepal. Many of our wonderful friends have already donated their skills, experience, time and work for free. We will not spend money on administration, costs or expenses. We are committed to picking up these costs ourselves wherever necessary. These include the costs of any of the trips we make to Nepal for In Your Hands.
PROJECT 1: FUND RAISE
In 2015 Jo and Pauline organised a tremendously successful one week road-trip of motivational talks on the Everestmax Expedition in London together with an on-line auction. Over £20 000 was raised. Since then there have had so many people help us and we are now over £100 000 in total! There have been teams and individuals that have raised money through hosting events to sell Nepalese products ( helps Nepal too and Jo is particularly good at this ) as well as sponsored runs and bike rides and asking their companies to match fund. Amazing! We have also partnered with other charities who are now championing specific projects within the IYH strategy such as nutrition, uniforms and building. Please visit our IYH Supporters page to see their stories.
We have also raised funds and awareness by organising trips to Nepal. Firstly a trek with a visit to the schools. Jo has subsequently lead teams of supporters and Young Ambassadors (see page) to give the full experience of why and what we are hoping to achieve by visiting all the schools. In 2018, Jo went with a group from Sydenham High School who are linked to one school in Nepal to volunteer and meet the children and teachers they have worked so hard to help by fundraising.
PROJECT 2: REBUILD/REPAIR SCHOOLS
Over 5000 schools were destroyed and over 16 000 were badly damaged in the earthquake. It is vital that Nepal's children get back to school. We were guided by Mahendra to choose schools in areas that needed the most help and were likely to be low on the priority list in Nepal. We choose six schools. We are now in a position to say they are all built/repaired to a higher standard than they had before. They all have toilets, washbasins, furniture, desks and chairs, whiteboards, book cases and the early learning have carpets.
Research has shown that if children are out of school for long periods many fall into child labour, child marriage and sexual exploitation. Out-of-school children are also at greater risk of violence, rape and recruitment into fighting, prostitution, and other life-threatening, often criminal, activities. Many will simply never return to the classroom. So by re-building schools we feel we have saved lives!
PROJECT 3: LINK SCHOOLS
We have five schools in the UK that agreed to link to a school project in Nepal. They all agreed to fund raise a minimum of £1500. These schools have all raised more than the minimum and will hopefully be linked for life and share so many benefits. There is no computer network yet but when it comes there will be so many opportunities to share teaching resources as well as fun stories and videos from both the UK and Nepal. We see this a a long term strategy that will help to make each school self sustainable with occasional help from their link schools by fund raising or sharing of resources.
PROJECT 4: UNIFORMS & HYGIENE SYSTEMS
Every child in the six schools we support now has a school uniform. This is important on several levels. They now have a uniform that means they belong to a unit, they will higher their self esteem and it is about encouraging them to look after their kit and be proud. Life skills are embedded in this strategy.
Each school has also been given training by Shanta (our IYH Manager) on hygiene. She has explained, demonstrated and tried to implement systems to make hygiene part of daily routine. Washing hands after going to the toilet and before eating is not only a life skill, it will prevent sickness and therefore time away from school.
PROJECT 5: TEACHER TRAINING
Teachers are crucial to successful education. In the schools we support, some of the teachers have had training to a basic level and some have had none at all. In both cases there is a hunger and need for some current teaching practices. The communities do not appear to have any belief in education and it’s benefits. The teachers are key to changing this both in the children and their families.
We are very happy that the teachers and Head Teachers from the schools have really bought into our Teacher Training Program. It is essential to our goal of improving education and therefore choice to this generation of children.
Our goal is to encourage the IYH communities to believe in the value of their children’s education. We want to help energise the teachers to deliver the national curriculum in a more interactive and engaging way.
One of our future focuses is on improving teachers’ English language skills so that they can deliver the English language curriculum and develop the link school relationship. Our other future focus is on teachers’ computer skills. This is a pre-requisite for any computer provision. Both of these are goals in the next stage of our strategy.
Currently we have several key people involved. Jane Halsall, has been our UK Teacher Training Guru. We also have an invaluable resource in First Steps Training School. They are a charity in thier 10th year and are based in the Sindhupalchok area. They have a purpose built Teacher Training residential site. They have a fascinating background and tried and tested formula to train Nepalese primary teachers. They delivered a 5 days residential course for nearly 20 teachers in 2018. They have just delivered another 5 days residential course this April 2019. There is another one planned for November and this is all supported by a visiting training to their schools delivering CPD. We have already delivered over 300 training days between 2016-18 but this is going to the next level.
The teachers seem more motivated, the children seem more engaged and the communities will hopefully start to believe in education.
PROJECT 7: WOMEN PROJECT
This is a huge project. There is a global drive to enable women. We are part of that. We have partnered with Days for Girls Charity. Please visit our women's project page to see what we are doing and why.
PROJECT 8: SCHOOL LUNCHES
One of the schools we support is in the Gorkha area. The big problem here is that there is not enough locally produced food for the children to have lunch during school. This means that children miss school or can't concentrate well enough during lessons. Thanks to a charity partnership from Italy, we have been able to supply a kitchen and food for the last two years and we are looking at ways to make school lunches self sustaining from the community. However for now we know that attendance has improved along with performance. Please see our blog about this project and whom we need to thank.
Our Volunteer Program is on hold for now but will be up and running from 2020 so read on and plan ahead!
If you are over 21 years of age and/ or a graduate with a strong interest in teaching ( even if you have no previous experience) and a real desire to make a difference to the lives of these children then we would love to hear from you.
In exceptional circumstances we will consider those under 21 or non graduates. Please contact us if you would like to be considered.
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