"Everywhere We Have Been, The Message Is Clear"

Carmel Hutchinson, a First Steps Himalaya supporter from Hong Kong, recently spent a week in Nepal with Director Durga Aran visiting our new project schools in Nuwakot District.

In the journal extract below, she describes her experience visiting one of the more remote and in-need schools.

Srijansheel School, remote Nuwakot District.

Srijansheel is a tiny, two roomed building with no space around it and nothing but loads of rubble for the children to play amongst.

On our way to the school, we collected the lovely young ECD (Early Childhood Development) teacher, Bindhadhikari, to save her making the regular 45minute hike up the mountain. We had to park a fair way away as the road is more like a track really.

The school has 35 students altogether. It is fantastic that they are able to go to school at all in this remote, difficult to get to location. It’s a sure sign that the local kids from small farms in the area are committed enough to make the difficult trek to and from each day, possibly after doing a few hours work before school and resuming helping out at home afterwards. There’s no laying about staring at screens in this part of the world!

At only 20 years of age, Bindhadhikari is a dedicated, enthusiastic teacher with little training other than what she has learned in her 3 years on the job. She has very good English and although quietly spoken, she doesn’t seem as shy as most of the other women we have met. I think under the guidance of FSH, she will make an excellent educator, and with a few more years’ development, would potentially make a very good trainer.

This bright young teacher has 17 students in her tiny ECD room with not a single toy, book, puzzle or game to be seen. The outside area is mostly rubble. I have no idea how she manages to engage the children for 6 hours a day under these conditions. Again, hats off to these teachers working in such difficult conditions.

The setting for the school is ruggedly beautiful, as they all are, and clearly needed for the locals spread around the hills.

Everywhere we have been, the message is clear: training and facilities are desperately needed to help bring this incredibly beautiful country out of poverty.

Text and photos courtesy of Carmel Hutchinson.