Education is the key to all progress, and the Nepali people are keen to raise their standards in this field.
In Nepal, education is in theory provided by the government for all children. However, in reality this is not true as not every family can afford to support their children to go to school. School and education is still seen as a luxury for many, in terms of money, time and loss of help at home. Though tuition is free from 5-16 years, money is needed for admission and exam fees, books, stationery, uniform etc. Also, in many cases the children are needed at home to look after the younger siblings, or to work in the fields and so may spend very little, if any time in school.
This is where our sponsorship programme of children in the Shree Mahendra School in Gorkha is helping those children who may not otherwise be able to continue with their studies.
For over 20 years the charity has been helping sponsor children in a number of schools in the Gorkha District.
For the past 10 years, GDS has worked with the Shree Mahendra School and currently money is raised to sponsor 40 children at the school each year. The aim of the sponsorship is to support those children who show ability but through their home situation are unlikely to continue their education. The scheme ensures the children are able to continue studies until they are 16. As they leave school after the final exams then a further group of younger children are selected for the scheme by staff at the school to maintain the total of 40 children.
We try to ensure photographs and some basic reports are presented to us each year – this is where volunteers are often very helpful in meeting the students, taking photographs and helping the children draw pictures and wite small letters.
When individual sponsors are found then a regular exchange of letters can develop which is always a joy for all involved.
Sponsorship of each child is £30.00 which will pay for uniform/ shoes/bags as needed as well as books and any exam fees as appropriate. The school year starts in May and so this is when the new programme begins each year. It is hoped this scheme may be extended in the future as more funds are available or individual children are sponsored. If you would like to sponsor a child then please contact us and we will be able to forward you a photograph and letter from a child needing sponsorship. Maybe one day you get the chance to meet the child you sponsored! thats what happened when my husband first travelled with me on a visit making the trip to Nepal extra special.
Shree Mahendra Jyoti School is a large Government school in Gorkha town, teaching children from age 4 in reception to those age 16 and above. Prem Bhadur Thapa was Headmaster at the school for many years until he retired in 2008. He helped introduce the sponsorship programme at the school in liaison with Linda Blunt. In 2008 Laxman Acharya became the headmaster and now liaises with Linda to confirm the 40 nominated children each year.
The aim of this successful programme is to offer sponsorship for those students who show good progress and potential, but who due to their background and lack of finance would be unlikely to continue at school. Many children are required to leave school early to help out at home or in the fields, for example due to poverty or loss of a family member.
Each year GDS sponsors 40 children from these backgrounds to attend Shree Mahendra Jyoti school. GDS provides funding for each child’s uniform, books and examination fees on an annual basis until they complete the SLC examinations (which are the equivalent of GCSEs in the UK). £30.00 will provide one child with sponsorship for one year providing them with uniform, books and any fees for that year. If you would like to sponsor a child then please contact us.
Linda with Manita Periyar whom she sponsored through 10 years of schooling