My trip to Nepal was fabulous. I spent four weeks volunteering for Teach Nepal Project (TNP) and then had an 18 days holiday, trekking and going on safari with my husband, Clive. For TNP, I was certainly kept busy - buying resources with your donations (a BIG thank you for the support); visiting schools and completing the teacher training workshops. Teach Nepal Project currently works with ten schools around Ghachok and the focus over the past year has been to provide access to IT facilities and training for teachers, improve access to electricity in classrooms, and to provide resources for primary age children. We are well on the way to completing all of these aims. Please check out the latest TNP blogs on Blog – Teach Nepal Project (wordpress.com). There are some of my photos included on here.
The teacher training was well attended and we had over 60 teachers sign-up for the course which included Primary basics, Primary and Secondary English and Secondary Science. Our ceremony for handing out certificates to the teachers who completed the course was interrupted by a huge hail and thunder storm and we were trapped in the school hall for over an hour. We put the instruments, bought with your donations, to good use (see video below)!
Following the teacher training days, we ran a holiday school for children in the morning where the instruments and stationery you provided came in very handy. We all had a great time and the children had fun whilst learning new skills.
I stayed in Ghachok for most of April. It is a beautiful village near Pokhara and the residents made us very welcome. We were located at Annapurna Mon Village, Annapurna Mon Village run by the wonderful Basanta Dhawadi and his team. It is fabulous place to stay and if any of you fancy a trip to Nepal, I would recommend staying here. It has fabulous views of the mountains. Trekking, walks, adventure activities, yoga are all on offer - if you want them! It is great place to relax; I managed to read quite a few books when there. I also took rather a lot of photographs!
Basanta, a local businessman, was one of a few truly inspirational people we met. He is heavily involved in supporting education in the village and provides, time, money, resources and advice to help local schools. Other inspirational people include a Headteacher, Santosh Achary whose leadership of Machhapuchchhre SchooI in Ghachok ensured it was the top school in the area despite having limited funds from the government. Santosh’s ‘can do’ attitude and creative leadership style was reflected in a very positive atmosphere emanating from both staff and students. A strong work ethic was clearly promoted. You can only wonder what Santosh would do with a budget similar to a school in the UK!
A third inspirational person is Japa Pokhrel, a teacher who goes above and beyond just working in a classroom. Unusual for Nepali teachers, he wants to offer after school clubs and provide out of classroom opportunities for students. He runs a library club (resources provided by TNP) at weekends and actively encourages students to take resources home. He will also be in charge of loaning out your musical instruments to schools.
Japa also runs the best organised IT lab in Ghachok and it is now being used as the model upon which all labs will be organised. We hope to encourage these three amazing people to work together with TNP to help improve the educational opportunities for all our ten schools.
What next? Bridget, Chair of TNP, will visit Ghachok again in October and take a group of 20 pupils from the British School in the Netherlands to work alongside the teachers in some of the schools. In 2023, TNP will continue to raise then use donations to support the development of educational opportunities through courses set up and run by local Nepalis. We then plan to return with another group of ex-teachers in 2024 to run a new set of teacher training courses. I can’t wait!
Thank you again for your generosity. Your donations were very much appreciated by the schools and community of Ghachok.