IYH Strategy Update

IYH Strategy has yet again evolved to add more and adjust according to need and strengths. Here is a summary of what and why we have adapted our strategy.


Our UK team of Jo, Rupert, Pauline, Sue and Jane had a weekend together brainstorming and it was not only brilliant, it was educational as we all bring something different to the table. We also asked for input from out partners at TMO, Annu our Teacher Training Manager in Nepal and of course Shanta our manager in Nepal. Emma Morley our accounts guru was also looming large in the paperwork we got through. Thanks!


Here are the schools and numbers we are dealing with:








Bacchala Devi









Sundara Devi



Shree Jugal Lower Secondary





It was agreed the IYH priorities are currently:


1. Teacher Training

2. Resourcing the classroom 

3. Women’s Menstrual Health Project

4. Nutrition at Gorkha



Let’s take historical and current topics one at a time and explain our latest strategy.



Three years after the earthquake we feel great that the six school communities we support all have better schools and facilities than before the earthquake. There are still a few areas that need more attention due to the lack of infrastructure.  All the schools have toilets and washbasins.  However, we need to have adaptations for water for two schools as there is no flowing water source. 


We had supported schools that were not likely to be rebuilt or repaired. We also wanted to act quickly to give a safe place for children to be. However, since our involvement, several schools such as Siddhartha and Sundara Devi have had more classrooms built by the government. This was totally unexpected, so we are pleased that the government now has them on their radar. 


We have agreed that we will not take on the responsibility for further building work. We will be able to have a check on the buildings each time we visit and if anything drastic happens, we are sure we can help. However, we are happy to rely on the government for maintenance now. This will allow us to focus on other priorities.



We need to start by reminding ourselves that the average rural school teacher gets 6 days teacher training.

We are very happy that the teachers and Head Teachers from the schools have really bought into this. 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 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 focus is on teachers’ computer skills.  This is a pre-requisite for any computer provision.(see below)


We have four key people involved. Jane Halsall, has been our UK Teacher Training Guru. We have invaluable resource in Annu who is a full time teacher at Ullens School in Kathmandu. Vanessa started our English Teacher Training but unfortunately due to personal reasons is unable to continue. Last but by no means least we have First Steps. 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. 


You will see below how our Teacher Training Days have developed:

2017 training: over 40 days: Jane 2 days for over 20 teachers/ Annu 1 day for 4 teachers / Vanessa 15 days for over 15 different teachers)

2018 training: over 200 days: Annu 4 one day workshops for 5-12 teachers each time /First Steps, 95 days based on 19 of our IYH teachers attending a 5 day programme.


Our strategy for 2019 will be to build on this while allowing for the strengths of the providers. 


First Steps: they will provide two 5 days residential workshops for up to 24 teachers building on from 2018. The first in April and the second in November. They will also be providing a local trainer who will be visiting each of the six schools regularly to make sure all the learning is being supported in practice.

First Steps will also be visiting each school to advise on how local resources can be used to provide teaching resources. This makes teaching aids sustainable rather than relying on donations. They will also be helping us to upgrade the classrooms to a teaching and learning friendly environment. This is all with the goal of optimising education for the teachers and the children.


Annu: Annu will visit each school to assess progress. She will be responsible for reporting back to us in the UK and helping us develop our strategy moving forward. She will also be advising us on how to move forward with English training and computer training. Pauline and Annu will be sitting down in Kathmandu in December to talk next steps for this.



We are hoping to introduce an annual IYH Awards for children, teachers and schools. This will not be competitive. It will be incentive driven. A good example is the hygiene systems that Shanta has introduced. We will keep a record of every visit by an IYH representative of how the children and teachers wash their hands after visiting the toilet and before meals. They will get a gold, silver or bronze award if they reach a certain standard. This will be in the form of a certificate and possibly cash for books or resources. We will use this model for various aspects of the school such as teaching, well maintained uniforms, English etc.

Pauline and Sue will discuss this project with the Head Teachers in December during their road trip to see if they feel happy to be part of it.



One of the problems we are dealing with is energy sources. We can’t provide computers without energy. We have options if the local community does not have that resource. We are looking into solar as an obvious solution. However, we have been advised to encourage the local community to work on getting the energy with the government so that they are more involved. The December visit will help us to understand the reality more. TMO will hold our hands through the quagmire of obstacles standing in the way.

The other issue about computers is that there is no point in providing them until the teachers can use them. More often than not redundant donated computers stay locked in a school cupboard unused for years. This is such a waste. Our goal is to provide energy, then training, then computers. Now doesn’t that sound simple......not!



We currently have five UK link schools and one pending. They have all raised their pre-requisite amount of money (£1500) and much more. These relationships will develop more once the computers and English training has had an effect. The goal is for the schools we support in Nepal to be self sustaining once we have reached a certain standard of teacher training. However, the link school will then be essential to continue to provide further teacher resources, fund raise for specific items and create a long term mutually beneficial relationship.



This project is partly about the girls’ education – we want to ensure that they can attend school during their periods. It is also about their health  - helping them understand their bodies, and their empowerment. Through our Women’s Menstrual Health Project we are also able to engage with other women in the community, particularly teachers, mothers and, we hope, the community midwives.


We are working with Days for Girls (DfG) Charity. They are an amazing organisation that have developed a global network and system to deliver reusable sanitary packs and supporting workshops. Pauline and Sue will be accompanying a DfG trainer to three of the school communities we support this November/December to deliver the workshop and distribution the packs. This is Phase 1. Phase 2 will involve learning from our experience and delivering the same workshop and distribution to the other three school communities in 2019.


We intend to create a sustainable strategy to ensure all girls and women have access to these packs and workshops for the future. We can learn from other similar projects that have proved very successful.



Gorkha is not a rural farming community so there is a greater need for nutritional support for the low-income Dalit population. We provide the kitchen equipment and the food. This project has proved to be a great success in its first year and a half. Our understanding is that the nutrition programme has improved school attendance and increased wellbeing and concentration.


Our goal is to find was to make this self sustaining by suggesting and supporting commercial initiative within the community. This could involve goat farming or home-stays which are proving to be a popular and relatively low impact income source. 



This will always be part of any charitable strategy. Our goal is to build a community of supporters via various channels including retail,  special events Nepal trips, long term subscriptions and corporate links. 

We have raised over £100 000 in under three years so we are very happy with that. 



Our Volunteer Program has been invaluable for getting insights into how schools work and what they need. However, given the remote location of five of the schools, we are holding back on offering any volunteer posts there until we are happy there is a safe and supportive enough infrastructure there. Gorkha is the only school with enough resources but we are also postponing placements there until we feel the school is ready to offer a fuller timetable for the volunteers so they can maximise on the opportunity. We expect/hope to be offering placements in 2020/21.


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