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Monthly Newsletter from HELP
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Enabling children to grow and explore

Message from HELP Director


With nearly 50 volunteers placement across 18 of our partner schools this summer, can we at HELP claim that we have reached the dizzy heights of our exciting volunteering programme? But, here is what we like to say, "You ain't seen nothing yet".

The past six weeks with encouraging number of enthusiastic volunteers coming to teach in some of the rural villages has not only been a period filled with busy activities but has also been very exciting business of constantly meeting new people and hearing their stories and reflections. However, the summer is now drawing to an end and we thank each of our volunteers who have worked hard and made such a lasting difference where they volunteered although it was not a plain sailing affair all the time.

Alongside our fantastic international volunteers programme, we have also successfully completed our local volunteers programme in which 13 students from three colleges in Kathmandu went out to teach across seven different schools. They presented and shared with us so many fresh insights and perspective of the schools that only helps us to look forward to what more we can actually do. In fact, few of them are already engaged in local fundraising initiatives to help their respective schools and one of them has committed to go out to paint classrooms in few of the schools over the next month.

Besides, we also completed major school building work at four schools namely Bhotenamlang, Gufa, Ichowk and Dhundeni. Thanks to the hard work of the local villagers. The works we have done are linked to our belief that children can learn well when they have better school and spacious classrooms. We have also just completed distributing 572 additional bags for children at Pating, Lekharka, Gunsa and Pipaldhanda villages. 

Last but not least, we are also pleased to introduce to you two of our new colleagues who have recently joined us. They are Ms. Kreeti Bhandari working on admin and communication role and Ms. Renuka Dhakal working on Education Quality Improvement Programme (EQuIP) role.

With this summary, I welcome you to enjoy our news that follows.

Thanks,

Jimmy Lama

Accomplishments under BaSIS!

We are pleased to inform that two new classrooms have been built each at the Gufa and Dhundeni School and we have reached the last stage of completing the Bhotenamlang building. Drinking water facility have been installed in Bhotenamlang and Gufa. Similarly, four toilet building has been completed in the Bhotenamlang school.

We have distributed a total of 1,150 library books in Bhotenamlang, Dhundeni, Gufa and Solshing. We also distributed sports and music equipment at Bhotenamlang, Dhundeni, Gufa and Ichowk. 

Events and visits under EQuIP

At Pating, a remote Tamang village, we facilitated discussion between the teachers and the villagers to discuss on the possibility of it becoming a secondary school in the future. While it will be a challenging task, we appreciate that this is a need and is something that the school should aspire to become in the next few years.

At Gunsa, a village level meeting was held in order to recruit a new English teacher and also on the matter of funding the salary on the 25th of August. Held under the leadership of Mr. Kalika Gole, there seems to be general approval from the parents that they will make a small contribution towards the salary and Ms. Manju Tamang has been appointed as a new English teacher.

We at HELP have a commitment to provide additional English teacher for Gufa and Bhotenamlang School, so our EQuIP Officer, Ms. Renuka Dhakal will be working closely with the School Management Committee in order to select a suitable teacher to work in these schools.


EQuIP coordinator Ms. Dhakal also visited Shree Risankhu Mani Primary School at Dhundeni , Shree Manikanteshwori Primary School at Kiul and Shree Satdhara Lower Secondary School at Kiul in the third week of August. There she met the headmaster and teachers of all three schools, observed the teaching methodologies of teachers and volunteers and critically examined the library system so that she could come up with new plans for improvement.

Partnership Projects

School in a Bag

Kids on the Grid

We distributed a total of 572 bags in the month of August. Executive Director of HELP, Jimmy Lama, led the distribution of 205 bags in Shree Pating Lower Secondary School, Pating and 69 bags in Shree Siddhi Kamal Secondary School, Pipaldanda. Operation Manager, Chirring Lama, led the distribution of 101 books in Lekharka and 193 bags in Gunsa. 

Every school welcomed us with so much love and gratitude. The best part was seeing the beatific smile and joyous eyes of the kids when they received their bags. The teachers and parents were equally happy and even helped us with transporting the bags from our vehicle to the school.

We are further scheduled to distribute the remaining of the 78 bags in Tartong and Dhundeni.
Several of our partner schools have been trying their best to run  computer classes. Thanks to the presence of our international volunteers that has enabled the schools to have additional teachers to teach the computing lessons. However, it has not been that easy to set up and maintain these facilities for obvious reasons, and with unstable supply of electricity, it is harder to predict as to when those classes can take place during the school hours. We have seen that the children love attending the lessons even if it means they have to wait for their turn to use the computers.

At Timbu school, children of grade 6 have advanced into learning how to use MS Excel and the basic of power point. And, at Nurbuling, children of grade 4 are using paint brush for drawings and notepad for saving files and practicing typing. Both of these schools have a local computer teacher, but they both feel more confident when volunteer teachers are in the class supporting them. The biggest news is that both of these schools are connected to internet Wifi, although it's connection much depends on the availability of the electricity and whether the schools have renewed their monthly contract or not. Likewise, we have also been reported that the computer classes are running smoothly at Nakote and Gunsa school.

Scholarship Distribution

A scholarship distribution ceremony was held on 15 August, 2014 in the HELP office to give out scholarships to new students and continue the scholarship of old students. 27 new students were given scholarships for their high school education. The scholarship of 30 old students have been continued based on the recommendation of their teachers and their academic performance. District Education Officer of Sindhupalchok Mr. Gehenath Gautam distributed the scholarship to all the 57 students.

International Volunteers

The last of the volunteers scheduled to arrive this summer have now been placed in their respective schools. Out of 50, many of them have returned home or travelling elsewhere. The last volunteers for this Summer, Sarah Slattery and Vica Germanova, have arrived and are placed well at Churetar. 

Taichi Hobes, a volunteer at Dhundeni, who has just returned completing his placement says "Volunteering in Nepal was an incredible experience full of joyful children, daal bhat and a lot of Nepali culture. The children were great fun to teach and were always willing to learn more. I shall always remember the view of the mountains and the smiling faces of the children."

New Entrants

 
We have recruited Ms. Renuka Dhakal as the EQuIP coordinator and Ms. Kreeti Bhandari as the Admin cum Communications Officer. Renuka comes from a background in journalism and education while Kreeti has a background in Finance and also has experience in writing. They have both become actively involved in the programs and projects of HELP, the first two among them being the Local Volunteers Experience Sharing Program and Champions Gathering. Welcome ladies! 
 

Local Volunteers Experience Sharing Program

After the return of the 13 local volunteers from the first ever local volunteering program of HELP titled 'Serve first: Local people helping local people', we at HELP organized a programme at Alpha Beta Complex, Baneshwor, for those volunteers to share their lessons and recommendations after the volunteering experience. The presence of  Dr. Bidhya Nath Koirala (a senior professor at the faculty of education at T.U.), Dr. Chintamani Yogi (A well known spiritual leader), Mr. Sher Bahadur Tamang (Honourable CA member), Mr. Shishir Khanal (CEO  of Teach for Nepal), Purna Lama (a long time educationist) made the event all the more exciting, all of whom shared their words of wisdom and thanked, encouraged and congratulated the crowd of Nepalese young volunteers.
  

Champions Gathering 2014

The much awaited second champions gathering was held on the 30th August, 2014 at Shree Deurali Primary School, Tartong. Some 29 international volunteers, one local volunteer and 12 local teachers attended the event along with HELP staffs and interns, making a jumbo team of nearly 55 people. The volunteers helped in painting a classroom, building a drinking water tap and laying stones to build a path in the school. The gathering also had some team-building games followed by cultural show by the school students and local villagers. 
 
In partnership with our international partner Mondo Challenge Foundation, "We seek to engage ourselves in those communities where our partnership can make a meaningful impact in improving the quality of education by putting local community member at the center of their education system."
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