If you are planning for one year – sow rice
For ten year – plant trees
For hundred years – educate people
Since the developing stages of Shenpen in 2004, SHENPEN Education had as a mission to provide educational opportunities to the poor and needy children of Nepal. With our different programs through the last decade, SHENPEN Education has attempted to alleviate the financial inability many parents face in sending their children to school. This is also what we are trying to do with our new 2016–2017 Dhola Education Project.
As with many communities highly affected by the Gorkha earthquake of 2015, the community we work with faces many challenges: coping with loss, rebuilding their homes, settling into their new lives, facing poverty, etc. In order to help, Shenpen and C.H.A.N.C.E. for Nepal (UK) created an Education program in Dhola. This project consists of:
- Help in covering school fees (admission and exam fees)
- Provide a daily substantial snack (tiffin)
- Offer the services of a community tutor to the children of the community
By helping cover the school fees and providing daily food to students, we believe that we can help the entire family lift themselves out of poverty. As the World Food Programme has showed us through its 50 years of experience of work in Nepal, filling stomachs with nutritious food is an efficient technique to empower communities, and also to “boost attendance, enrollment, and graduation rates in low-income communities—especially for girls” (Altman, 2015). As this author wrote, ‘giving a meal to a student will help him/her concentrate during class and make his/her learning and success easier to accomplish’. Here in Nepal, a simple 30 Nrs per day (0.25€ or $0.28) is enough to make a difference in the present and future life of a child by offering them a healthy snack.
Furthermore, the students we are helping went through a difficult adaptation process after the earthquake. They were forced to leave the environment they had always lived in where their mother tongue, the Tamang language, was spoken, to join a new school with new teachers and where Nepali and some English was mostly spoken. The transition has not been easy for these children, so this is why we decided to offer the services of a community tutor to help strengthen their new languages, Nepali and English.
To our 66 students of Dhola, we wish a wonderful school year 2016–2017. May their learning be full of ease and joy. May this small initiative help give each child a valuable education and a brighter future for their families and to all of Nepal!
ALTMAN, M.J. (2015). “Around the World in 80,000 Schools” https://hdp.press/around-the-