LETS CELEBRATE !
Q: WHAT HAVE WE ACHIEVED TOGETHER IN 5 YEARS?
Yes we are 5 years old. We thought you would like a positive story for 2020 and this is it. Our story started with a natural disaster in a country we all love. However, 5 years on we can share so many anecdotes and successes.
IYH Charity was set up in 2015 to support Nepal after the earthquake. We started with the help of our long time good friends at THE MANDALA ORGANISATION NGO in Sindopalchuk, Nepal. They helped us identify 5 school communities that would be unlikely to get help from the government as they were in the poorest areas.
We started by funding the rebuild/repair of each school so we could help to get the children off the streets where they are at their most vulnerable, especially from traffickers. We included water stations and toilets as part of these upgrades with view to creating a better and healthier environment.
We learnt that the buildings were a good start but that the teachers in these areas were desperate for development training. We got the impression that the local communities had no respect for education or the teachers at the government schools we were trying to support. If this was to change we needed to create a long term Teacher Training Program. We now work in partnership with FIRST STEPS HIMALAYA that have a purpose built training campus in Sindopalchuk. All the teachers have attended 5 day residential courses. We have delivered 3 courses already and we are planning further as soon as Covid allows. We have also invested in residential computer training for the teachers. The training, skills and equipment we have provided have proved a huge success with the teachers, children and community. We are starting to build a belief in education. For full details please visit our blog and look for the relevant pages on Teacher Training updates.
Each school is linked with a UK school, all of which have fundraised huge amounts of money to help their friends in in Nepal. We hope that once the computer training is more established, that the relationships will develop between the teachers and the children from each country. The potential for mutual benefit is huge. We hope that the relationships will last for ever via cyber world and personal visits. Fifteen students from Sydenham High School have already visited their link school in a Hagam. We feel both the Nepalese children and British students will have learned and experienced positive life skills from the visit and have a new understanding of each other. What’s not to love?
Alongside this we have worked in partnership with DAYS FOR GIRLS to deliver a 2-3 hour workshop for girls and women in each community on health, hygiene and self protection. Another huge success. We provided reusable sanitary protection to each girl and woman so that work and education is no longer a problem because of having a period. For a full outline of the project visit our website WOMENS PROJECT.
We also invested in a uniform for every child. This did not prove to be a huge success in terms of creating a sense of identity and belonging but at least every child has decent clothes now! Three schools needed support with school lunches. It is well established that If children do not have enough food, they do not learn as well. We are pleased to say that government is now providing lunches in all but one of the schools we support.
Our next challenge involves creating COMMUNITY FUNDING PROJECTS that are run and managed by the community for the benefit of the community and school. The goal is to help develop income streams so that they are not dependent on charity in the future. We intend to do this by liaising with the community, learning from them and training them in an area of work/skills that we all agree will benefit them for a long time.
We are starting with one school community in Gorkha. It is the only school outside the Sindhupalchok area that we are supporting. We have already conducted a consultation with the School, the local leaders and relevant people. The outcome is that IYH will buy a leaf plate making machine which will be managed and run by the local ladies. The leaf plates are used extensively throughout Nepal and India during festivals. The market research shows there will be a constant and substantial market for them. They are made from a locally grown leaf which can be gathered for free and the ladies will then use the machine to make plates and sell them. They can earn a wage and a percentage goes to the school to support the lunches that are currently being paid for by IYH. We are also investing in a number of chickens for families to nurture and breed for meat and eggs. This has the whole hearted support of the community and our local expert liaison officers.
If this project is successful we intend to roll it out to the other four school communities we support in the hope that the school does not need us for funding in the future. We hope that the communities benefit from a new and sustainable income.
We feel proud of what has been achieved over five years. We have made mistakes but none that we have not learnt from. We have made friends that have inspired and helped us. We have forged partnerships with organisations that are experts in their field. We have felt that the progress has been slow at times but when you put it all down on paper.....maybe not.
None of this would be possible without the support and contributions of our supporters and countless acts of generosity from friends and family who have offered thier time and services for free. We should also mention the supporters, young and old who have invested their time and money to go to Nepal and visit the communities we support THANK YOU!
Enjoy and please feel free to donate as we are not finished yet. We plan to continue with Teacher Training and Community Funding Projects until each community is in a position to be self sustaining. Covid has brought its own issues so we have yet to deal with the consequences. We hope the solutions are not insurmountable. As of the first week in September, all the school communities we support are Covid free.
We are optimistic that with the right people, the commitment and energy of both the team, partners, supporters and of course the children and school community, we will leave in a few years time having made a positive difference.
If you would like to donate please click here.
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