In Your Hands Charity 2015/16
HISTORY OF IN YOUR HANDS
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' (“IYH”) to help raise funds for the people of Nepal after the devastating earthquakes in April and May of that year.
In Your Hands was registered with the Charity Commission in the UK in September 2015.
Pauline and Jo both have strong links to Nepal. This was a major motivation for them to try and make a difference there. IYH began by organising a series of major fund raising events in 2015. The money from these events enabled the charity to re-build their first two schools. IYH were able to trust the results of their efforts by working with their long-term friends and partners in Nepal who have project managed the rebuilding of the first two schools.
This started as a five-year program. Nepal is one of the poorest countries in the world and we have been advised that it could take that long to rebuild due to the extent of the earthquake damage. However, the IYH strategy evolved during 2015/16 (its first year). As a result IYH has adopted a much longer commitment to the schools and communities being supported.
A BIT ABOUT IYH PROJECTS
IYH started by wanting to raise money to simply rebuild schools that were destroyed by the earthquakes. However it learned much as a result of the initial two projects. It is committed to providing more than just the buildings. We are working with partners, experts and volunteers in Nepal and in the UK with the intention of making communities better than they were before the earthquakes and to improve educational standards in the schools that we are supporting.
In 2015/ 2016 IYH was on target for rebuilding two schools and repairing a further four schools in areas of Nepal worst affected by the earthquakes.
2015/16 was a year when IYH established partnerships with Rotary in Canada and Dr William Harkness. IYH is now working to develop community projects including basic health centres, nutrition and female sanitary aids.
It was established that the standard of teaching was very poor, especially for English. A Volunteers Program was introduced in February 2016 to help both the Nepali children and teachers in the IYH schools. Each school is also linked to a British school with a view to long term exchange of information and ideas.
Fundraising events were held to raise funds in the form of donations and to forge links with schools for long term relationships and support.
2015/16 OVERVIEW: BUILDING SCHOOLS
IYH does not want to just build schools. It wants to build communities that are healthy and believe in education. IYH wants the communities to have pride in the schools built for their children and to encourage them to embrace the benefits of education.
During 2015/16 IYH has been working closely with The Mandala Organisation (“TMO”). They are an NGO and headed up by Mr Mahendra Thapa, an old friend and business partner of Pauline. They have been at the coal face and have project managed the building and repairs for our schools. Two of the Trustees visited Nepal in February 2016 at their own cost to assess and develop a strategy, taking advice from both local and international experts. Going forward they will visit and co-ordinate the projects while in Nepal and from the UK.
IYH adapted the following strategy and solutions (on going) during 2015/16:
1) Research shows if the schools are inspiring and useful to the local community, it will help them to respect education.
Solution 1: IYH will build schools that look good, feel safe and can be used by the children and local community.
Solution 2: Each school ideally needs a school hall that can be used as a community hall. It can also be used for a medical clinic which, we hope, will be supported from funding from our partners (see Community Engagement). Currently only one school has a school hall this by the end of the current year.
2) The children need to have pride in their school and their appearance so they have pride in themselves.
Solution 1: We intend to provide school uniforms that look smart and have a badge for each uniform that make them feel they "belong" to a team. Costs have been established. Uniforms will be purchased in 2016/2017.
3) The schools need to be clean, with good facilities that the school population and community need to respect and protect.
Solution 1: Annual repairs and paintwork.
Solution 2: We will ensure separate toilets for girls and boys, with running water, wash basins and soap. We also want to provide a cleaner. This is important as currently no one does this. As a consequence the girls generally don’t come to school in the week that they are menstruating.
Solution 3: Provide school classrooms that have what they need to learn. This includes proper white boards attached to the wall, book shelves, a computer with a projector, books and teaching aids, desks and chairs.
Summary of Vision for all schools:
1) Schools must look smart.
2) Schools are safe (earthquake proof)
3) Schools have enough classrooms
4) Schools have a hall that can be used by the community for social or community projects i.e. medical clinic
5) Schools have separate toilets for boys and girls with running water, washbasins and soap.
6) Classrooms have enough desks and chairs
7) Classrooms have access to necessary teaching aids such as whiteboards, computers, books and safe storage for all resources.
8) A local person is employed to clean the school, especially the toilets regularly.
9) Each child should have a school uniform supported initially by IYH.
2015/16 OVERVIEW: COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT
During 2015/16 we had the good fortune to meet and develop ideas with many teams and individuals around the health and well being of the children and their communities.
We have planned the building and/or significant repair of six schools already. Our school in Gorkha is complete and our initial work at our second school, Shree Jugal in Hagam, is complete.
Rotary Canada approached IYH in 2016 through Jan MacNeill with the offer to assist with education supplies, water/sanitation/, nutrition for the health and wellbeing projects that fall within Rotary’s remit for funding. We hope this will include simple medical clinics for the children and wider communities. Jan is visiting Nepal in February 2017 to see the IYH projects first hand and identify where Rotary can work in partnership with IYH to benefit the schools and communities.
Dr. William Harkness has been working with Jo to explore the provision of basic medical s clinics that share the essential resources and utilities of the IYH schools. Dr Harkness will be in Nepal in April 2017. William is exploring with Jo what necessary training would be required as well as the essential equipment needed.
In 2015/2016 we began exploring the set-up of a nutrition project. It is a very real issue at our first school in Gorkha due to local levels of poverty and lack of access to employment. Jo is exploring in Nepal both with TMO and others how IYH can best set this up in a way that is practical and offers a long term solution.
2015/16 OVERVIEW: EDUCATION/VOLUNTEERS PROGRAM
IYH had its first three volunteer teachers in the autumn term of 2016. It was such a huge success and it created the opportunity for so many insights. We placed all three volunteers at Gorkha as we are lucky enough to have the Equator Expeditions Resort offering food and accommodation. This is the easiest lifestyle option. It was important to do this before putting any of our volunteers into our other schools in more remote locations. It was a good decision. IYH now knows that if we have less experienced and/or less able volunteers this would be a suitable location. More importantly IYH now really understands the importance of and what it needs to do to ensure the Nepali schools are properly linked to their international partner school. It also better understands the real needs of the teaching staff in Nepal. IYH intends to increase opportunities for volunteers now we know more about who, where and what works best for them and for the IYH schools in Nepal.
International Liason Officer and IYH Education
Thanks to Naiara, our volunteer at Gorkha in 2016, we were introduced to Dinesh Gurung who helped at the schools as a translator and with the computer set-up. He became invaluable and we offered him the role of IYH International Liaison Officer and Head of English and IT. Dinesh has previously worked abroad for five years and his English and personal skills are perfect for his role. He will be responsible for liaising with the linked schools and keeping them updated on progress through videos and stories from the children at each school. He will also be able to help the Nepali teachers use the teaching aids that will be sent for use via power point presentations etc. He will be a key link for every volunteer and of course, the IYH Team in the UK.
TEACHER TRAINING PROGRAM: Jane Halsall has also become key to our education programme. She now plays an essential role in the selection and training of our volunteers. Jane delivers a two day training workshops to IYH volunteers before they go out to Nepal and will be leading a teacher training programme in Nepal on 20th and 21st February 2017 for all the IYH Nepali teachers. It is difficult to overstate the importance of this critical work and the enormous benefit to IYH as a result.
International School Links.
A key reasons each IYH school in Nepal is linked to an international English speaking school is to improve the opportunities for education. There will be regular updates via shared Face Book page videos and stories as well as teaching aids being shared. The links have begun in 2016 but the real communication has yet to start. We expect to see real benefits from these connections in 2017.
2015/16 OVERVIEW: FUNDRAISING
The initial fund raising for the charity was established thanks to a road show of motivational talks by one of the Trustees and co-founder, Pauline Sanderson as well as an on-line auction.
Once the charity was registered the fundraising continued in the form of donations, sales of local Nepalese merchandise (which also helps and benefits Nepal’s local retail industry) and a trekking expedition to Nepal. Each school that linked to a Nepalese school was also obliged to raise an initial minimum amount of £1500 to help fund the re-build of their link school in Nepal. Once the relationships start in earnest, we are hoping the support both financially and educationally will continue for years to come.
In terms of the funding for each of the schools we hope that each of the international link schools will raise as much as possible and continue to do so. However, in order not to delay the re-building of the IYH schools, where there is a shortfall in the amount required for our IYH schools in Nepal the Trustees have agreed that IYH should cover the shortfall in funds from the money it raises.
All administration for IYH has been done free of charge by lawyers, accountants and general goodwill. Those involved in the charity cover all of their own expenses, including flights and living expenses in Nepal to co-ordinate projects. This means all the money raised goes directly to the IYH projects and not on administration or expenses. As a result there are no costs showing in the annual accounts aside from the provision of funding to TMO to manage the school re-building and refurbishments on behalf of IYH.
In determining costs, the IYH Trustees have been provided with estimates of project costs. There have been assessments of the work done by actual site visits and the actual costs incurred have been reviewed with, as far as possible, all of the receipts for costs incurred provided.
An independent review has been undertaken of the annual report and accounts, and this too has been provided on an honorary basis.
COME AND GET INVOLVED
Contact: [email protected]
We would like to thank all those who have made this charity so much more than just a fund raising organization. In 2015/ 2016 we have had the privilege to meet and make friends with many truly inspiring individuals.
The individuals and organisations we would like to acknowledge from 2015/16 and give special thanks to include:
The Mandala Organisation – IYH partners in Nepal
Jane Halsall – IYH Director of Education
Emma Morley – IYH Financial Advisor
Sully Mogra FCCA - Independent reviewer of the annual accounts
William Hancock -Partner, Collyer Bristow LLP
Dr. William Harkness – Medical Development
Annie McGrath - Volunteer
Sarah Woodman - Volunteer
Naiara Unzurrunzaga – Volunteer
Dinesh Gurung – IYH International Officer
Auchnagatt Primary School, Aberdeen, Scotland, UK
Barlows School, Liverpool, UK
Blessed Sacrament School, Liverpool, UK
Montague Intermediate School, Canada
St Francis De Sales, Liverpool, UK
SydenhamHigh School, London, UK
Mike Blanchard – Highland Waterworks
IYH Trek Team 2016
Norman Cunningham & Ryan Gordon
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