IYH STRATEGY UPDATE 2019
IYH TEAM UK had another meeting in April to assess all the learning and results from the last six months. The three week trip In November by Sue and Pauline also added a huge amount of information to reflect on.
BIG PICTURE STRATEGY LEADING TO DECEMBER 2020
As a team we have decided that we are keen to see deadlines for our projects. These deadlines are not to “end” projects. The deadlines are to hand over the projects to the communities we are supporting. We are very aware that a successful charity does not create donor dependant communities. They offer projects and skills trying to allow them to become self sufficient. Bearing this in mind there are three key areas we hope to hand over by December 2020.
We partner with experts in Nepal who take responsibility for managing the projects in direct partnership with the Head Teachers. We have always co-ordinated projects with the help of our partners TMO. However, now we have created relationships that mean neither IYH or TMO will be needed.
Once the experts are in place they do not need us. However, funding is still an issue. We are hoping to have solutions in place for each community by the end of 2020. These solutions are with the goal of the communities being self sufficient and not needing to rely on charity.
We have teamed up with Rotary Club in Panauti, Kathmandu. They are young dynamic business people with a passion to help. We are currently working with them on an application for a grant to support the development of a Regeneration Plant. In simple terms this means building and managing a site that is a business for recycling rubbish into artefacts for tourists or practical utensils for locals, alongside working on biodegradable waste to create compost for their fields. If we can pull this off and the communities agree to take it on, it will be the solution to so many things. It will:
Other villages are looking at alternative ways to generate funds to support the school such as, bees, a shop, goat farms. At IYH, 2019 is about asking the communities for their ideas, suggesting some of ours and creating the hunger to do something so that their local government school gets the support to help their children. We need the community engagement if any of these ideas are going to work. Having TMO there to really explain the consequences and opportunities is invaluable.
We are also working with Rotary Panauti on an education grant to support full funding of teacher training for a further two years. This would be great as this allows time for the communities to build their business projects that will be the future funding for training.
Another funding stream could be Link Schools. We are currently supporting 6 schools and five of them have a link school in the UK. We are at the very beginning of this relationship. We are hoping that once the computer training gets going, there will be opportunity to share stories, videos and teaching resources to build these relationships for a long time into the future. By December 2020, we will know if this is possible. If yes, then the link school may feel it appropriate to raise money for teacher training for teachers each year or every other year if it is needed. A five day course for one teacher is around £120. So, this makes it affordable and very very rewarding for a link school. They may need a computer one day and if the relationship stays strong, that may be supported too. So much will depend on the Head Teachers from each country making a commitment. At IYH we will do everything we can to facilitate that relationship.
We currently support six schools. However, as I explained, without engagement from the Head Teacher, we can’t make a difference. One school Sita, has not participated in the Teacher Training offered. We will continue to try to encourage them to participate but we also have to accept it is an optional relationship. If they see no value in our support we can’t force it on them.
We have made a very big decision regarding our Volunteer Project. There is only one school that would be considered “easy” for a volunteer to stay. That school is Gorkha. We have already had 8 volunteers help us here and they were brilliant. However, the other five communities are in such remote locations, we would not be happy to be responsible for them. This is not just legally, we can write a solid disclaimer, it is more about the fact we don’t feel we have systems in place to support volunteers living this remotely. It is a certain type of person that can take this on and we would never be happy unless there were two volunteers sharing the journey. The communities have offered their homes so there is no shortage of welcome either. However, there are expert organisations out there who manage this for a job. So, we have decided to pull out from this. We are not experts. We do not have resources to support remote volunteers. Who knows what the future may bring but for now, we will not be offering this as an option.
MONITORING & EVALUATION (M&E)
We leant lots from Days for Girls and First Steps. We have decided to implement our own form of M&E and in in the middle of creating a process with TMO for each school to have a visit twice a year with view to updates and reports on the impact of Teacher Training, computer training, school maintenance, children’s engagement, toilet facilities etc.
We have worked with First Steps to assess the needs and benefits of upgrading the classrooms. This is with the idea of the training the teachers receive being supported in classrooms that have the environment and resources to achieve results. We now have their assessment and hope to implement their recommendations in the next 12 months. This objective co-insides with the Nepal government launching a project to provide funding for just this. This will be announced in June. We will work with the government and TMO to achieve the best results we can together.
We are struggling to come up with a solution for this. We would need a special kind of person to dedicate a year to staying in Nepal and visiting each school regularly. All ideas welcome!
Jane is working on a project that could offer a huge opportunity, called Connecting Schools. This would fund teachers from Nepal and the UK exchanging places and learning so much but we need to get the English going for this to get real traction. Watch this space.
Three members of IYH UK are set to visit Nepal for a week in November, Jo, Sue and Jane. They will be meeting with our partners and Head Teachers and School Committee leaders. The goal is to make sure we all understand the strategy and can do what we need to do. This trip will be invaluable as nothing beats face to face meetings.......not even really long strategy reports!
We will keep you posted on how things develop.
Thanks for all your support.
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