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Posted by: In: Building 16 Jun 2013 0 comments

FUNDS FROM THE ESTATE OF CATHERINE SEARLE HELP US COMPLETE OUR FILTERED WATER INSTALLATIONS IN SCHOOLS IN SPECTACULARLY QUICK TIME.

By mid 2012, Nepal Schools Trust had installed a filtered water system for drinking in Narayani Primary School.  We were already in a position to fund two further schemes at Bhimsen and Prithvi Secondary Schools.  Scherie Nicol, our voluteer, who did a placement in the village districts in July asnd August last year was tasked, among other things, with assessing whhich school ought to be considered for a filtration system in the future and in what order of priority.

Around this time Chris received a letter from the Executors of Catherine Searle’s Estate asking what projects in Nepal we were currently engaged in.  I sent in a note of our priorities and much to my delight they agreed to give Nepal Schools Trust the princely sum of £10,000 towards installing further filtered water systems in schools.  Catherine Searle worked in nursing and spent time in the subcontinent.  Apparently it was her wish to have some of her estate distributed in such a way as to improve health of children.

With Jackie Thomson leading a feasibility survey and Mukunda Raj Shrestha masterminding the ordering and installations, a further 15 systems were installed during the final month of 2012 and first two months of 2013.  That made 18 in total, leaving just two schools without, Kumsot and Kirtipur, where the villages are still awaiting electrical connection.

Pictures of some of the new installations

I would like to record our heartfelt thanks to Catherine Searle, for her foresight in willing some of her estate for such a good cause; to Colin Heath and Nigel Blake, her executors, for judging that Nepal Schools Trust was a worthy recipient of her funds, to Mukunda Raj Shreshta, for his extraordinary effort in completing the installations so quickly and finally to all our schools who cooperated, and in some cases contributed funds for infrastructure to this noble project.  May all the youth of Pragatainagar and Devchuli VDC schools be much more healthy, hydrated and successful in their future schooling.

 

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Posted by: In: Building 07 Jun 2013 0 comments

It is with a great sense of achievement and pride that Chairman, Chris Dickinson, Trustee, Jackie Thomson, Honorary Trustee, Mukunda Raj Shrestha and guests Jan Canning and Jim Campbell, attended the formal opening of the new building at Milijuli Primary School on 22nd November 2012.  This is a project that has transformed a school from a grass, mud and bamboo structure into a viable, quality building, with potential to build additional storeys.The school was part funded by Nepal Schools Trust over three years and in particular we would like to acknoweldge generous support from the Erach and Roshan Sadri Foundation who provided £6000.  Funds were also received from Cody Evan and his father in Ecuador, because the fund raising for this school was in memory of Pablo Evans, of Ecuador, a great friend of Chris’s, who had visited Nepal, who sadly died in a road traffic accident in Ecuador.  Other funds were given by Chris and also from the Nepal Schools Trust general fund raising.  Milijuli community raised a great many funds for themselves.

The welcome being organised… the grass and bamboo school is on the left, the new school straight ahead, and the celebration canopy on the right.



The Chairman and visitors receive the traditional welcome…



…an offering is made to the goddess of education Saraswoti.








The school’s pupils with their brand new school in the background. An extraordinary achievement for this poor community.



Chariman, Chris Dickinson, unveils a plaque, commemorating Pablo Evans.





Excited children



Refreshments.



Parents and community members stand proudly in front of the new school (above) and a view of the old school (below).



To date the Milujuli school project is the second largest undertaking by Nepal Schools Trust. It is exceeded only by the filtered water project, reported elsewhere.



Congratulations to the community at Milijuli and everyone who has contributed to the school, to the staff and to our donors and best wishes for the future to you all.

Posted by: In: Fundraising 02 May 2013 0 comments

Jim Campbell of Port Glasgow, third from left, following his visit to Nepal has been busy helping to raise funds for Nepal Schools Trust.  Here James Livingstone, Provincial Grand Master of the Provincial Grand Lodge of Renfrewshire West (second from right) presents a cheque from the local lodges to Chris Dickinson, Trust Chairman.  Chris travelled to Greenock for the occasion and received a warm welcome and gave a short presentation about the Trust.  Many thanks to everyone involved and in particular to Jim Campbell for his fine efforts.

Scholarships for kids from poor families at Surya Kiran primary School, (nursery class below with Jackie Thomson, Trustee)

Funds will go towards protein in the diet for the Profoundly Deaf Unit children in Pragatinagar, who live in the school at Jana Jyoti Model Girls school (below)

and further development of the health post and community ,meeting building across the road from the school, operated by the local social welfare club.



Posted by: In: Fundraising 05 Apr 2013 0 comments

Angus Bruce Jones is currently away making his attempt to climb Everest.  As a way of giving back to Nepal, he has decided to launch a play-park project to take play park hardware to Nepal for installing in communities and schools there.  We at Nepal Schools Trust are collaborating with Angus to place some of these playparks in Devchuli and Pragatinagar VDCs. The equipment is manufactured by his brother at Caledonia Play in Scotland.www.caledoniaplay.com

If you would like to donate to this wonderful cause then you can make a donation to Nepal Schools Trust directly and mark your donation for Everest Play-Parks.  Go to this link to see details about donating.


http://www.nepalschoolstrust.org.uk/make_donation.pdf

More information about Angus’s climb can be found at:

http://www.justgiving.com/EVEREST-2013-PLAYGROUNDS-FOR-NEPAL 

and at

http://www.facebook.com/AngusonEverest

and also at Pahar Trust Nepal website, another charity with whom he is collaborating:

http://www.pahar-trust.org/#!latest-ptn-news/c8k2

Posted by: In: Teaching 01 Jan 2013 0 comments

On 21st and 22nd November, Chris Dickinson, Chairman, attended the last two days of a 5 day teacher training course in Kathmandu, delivered by the Nepali staff of Nepal Schools Aid, a small British charity with which we were collaborating. They provide quality training courses for Nepal teachers, delivered by high calibre Nepali tutors.  I can report that the course was very enjoyable and useful.

With Ladip-ma, an intern with Nepal Schools Aid, and her purple shawl, given by us as a thank you to each of the staff.

Nepal Schools Aid offered free places to 2 teachers from each of our 16 primary schools if we could fund their accommodation and transport from Nawalparasi.

The course was a Foundation in child centred learning and was taken up by all of our schools. Some extra teachers attended a final course when spaces became available, making about 44 staff in total from our villages.

Singita

Babita

Tutors leading the course

Examplar lesson, with delegates participating and some observing followed by group working

 

Delegates appeared to enjoy the participation in lessons…and the fine tea breaks at the Greenwich Village Hotel in Patan where the courses were hosted.

Enjoying a cup of tea with Nepal Schools Trust sponsored staff from Kawasoti and Kumsot
 

Some of the work on Values from early in the course

Teachers delivering their own lessons to each other under critique.

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The full course participants and tutors.

I would like to put our thanks to Nepal Schools Aid and Brian Metters on record and also to thank Babita, Sangita and Ladip-ma in particular for their excellent courses.  Nepal Schools Trust has an evaluation process in place that should unfold over coming months and we hope to collaborate further with Nepal Schools Aid in the future.

Posted by: In: Grants 30 Dec 2012 0 comments
I was in the village again this year as was Jackie Thomson and we witnessed the positive outcomes from the 2011 grants and were involved in a spate of “openings”, including water systems at Prithvi and Bhimsen, showers and toilets at Bhimsen, a health centre beside Surya Kiran Primary and last but not least the final opening of Milijuli Primary Schools new building.  You can read reports on all these elsewhere on this blog.

Chris Dickinson was paddling again in Nepal this year with Craig Burns and Henry Methold in Central Nepal, here heading to Mhadi Khola below Annapurna II, before heading to Nawalparasi.

2012 was an important year for Nepal Schools Trust.  It followed three successful years working with schools in Pragatinagar and Devchuli VDC’s and we wondered if we would be able to keep the momentum going in terms of fund raising and working towards wider improvements for kids.  In the event we need not have worried.  The 2012 grants came to £19,930, thanks in part to a large donation from the legacy of Catherine Searle and continued support from friends of the Trust. I would like to record our thanks to everyone who made the 2012 grants possible, both in Nepal and abroad.

The most exciting new developments this year were 17 further installations for filtered water for drinking; access for 44 primary teachers to high quality teacher training in child centred learning in Kathmandu through Nepal Schools Aid and hearing assessments and some treatments for the kids from the deaf unit.  The trust also supported three community projects this year in recognition of the work that community groups do in supporting schools and education generally.

Mukunda Raj Shrestha was engaged to project manage the 15 water installations and is working hard on this as I write, such that early in 2013 all the systems should be installed.


Chairman, Chris Dickinson, at Dibyajoti Secondary School in November 2012

The following is the list of grants made in 2012 totalling £19,930.

Bhimsen Secondary School       £500 Water filtration system
Bhimsen Secondary School       £160 Scholarships for kids
Bhimsen Secondary School       £750 New building contribution
Bhimsen Secondary School       £500 Community teacher salary
Prithvi Secondary School          £500 Water filtration system
Welfare Club                            £800 Building health/community post
Manakamana Primary School   £1400 New building contribution
All 16 Primary Schools            £1250 44 Teacher Training Course
Deaf Unit at Jana Jyoti MGSS    £500 Pokhara trip/hearing assessments
Deaf Unit at Jana Jyoti MGSS    £500 Protein in meals during 2013
Dibyajoti Secondary School       £750  Main building electrics
Amar Child Club                       £185 Club building for community use
Nepal Rastriya Primary School   £450 School boundary fence
Surya Kiran Primary School       £375 Teacher salary & 25 scholarships
Childrens Park Project               £185 Development of childrens’ park
Prithvi Secondary School           £600 Internal girls toilet and electrics
Milijuli Primary School                £75  Games equipment
15 additional schools             £10,000 Filtered water installations
All schools                               £450 Chalk with whiteboard replacements

Posted by: In: Trips 29 Dec 2012 0 comments
Jim Campbell of Port Glasgow visited Nepal in November 2012 in connection with his own fund raising efforts back home for Nepal Schools Trust.
Jim is fund raising through a sponsored ascent of Ben Nevis and other initiatives in his local area.
In this respect we would like to thank, so far, the following:

  • Arnold Clark Automobiles, Jim’s employer, for their kind donation of £250.
  • West Renfrewshire Lodges, of which Jim is a member, for their kind donation of £275
Jim wearing a typical Newari hat gifted to him at the opening of Milijuli Primary School.
Jim rafting through “Little Brother” on a four day trip down the Kali Gandaki River
Jim hiking on Devchuli Mountain in the Mahabharat Range
Jim leading the group as they head down from Devchuli

Jim and Mukunda crossing a suspension bridge near Kirtipur.

Jim with local girls at Surya Kiran, dressed in traditional Magar costume, at the opening of a new health centre.  Jim’s funding efforts will go towards

  • enlarging and equipping the health centre
  • to  buy some regular meat for the limited food budget at the Special Unit for profoundly deaf children in Pragatinagar.
  • scholarships for children from very poor familes in the Surya Kiran Primary School catchment.
Jim officiates at opening of a filtered water system at Prithvi School with Mukunda Raj Shrestha
Locals welcome Jim to Surya Kiran Health and Community Centre
Jim making a speech at the health centre opening where he announced that he wishes to raise funds for them.
Jim at Dibyajoti Secondary School where the Trust has helped with a large building project.
Jim meeting pupils at Manakamana Primary, in a temporary bamboo and tin building.
Learning to cope with the “malla” welcomes…
Jim almost “buried” in malla
Milijuli Primary School opening celebrations
Milijuli kids excited about their new school
On elephant safari in Chitwan….and…..below
Jim checking out a sick baby rhino savaged by a tiger
A wild rhino as we walked in Chitwan
Posted by: In: Building 29 Dec 2012 0 comments
In late November, during a visit to the village in Nepal, Jim Campbell, friend of the Trust,  cut the ribbon on a new water filtration system for Prithvi Secondary School.  This was the second such system installed by the Trust and was soon followed by the opening of a third system at Bhimsen Secondary School. Funds for these systems and a further 15 to be installed in early 2013 have come firstly from local fund raising in Lochaber  and from a generous and substantial donation from the Estate of Catherine Searle.  Schools have shown great enthusiasm for these developments and in some cases have provided some funds of their own for preparatory work, prior to filter systems being installed.  Mukunda Raj Shrestha is project managing the installations.  I would like to thank the executors of Catherine’s Estate for entrusting Nepal Schools Trust with part of her legacy.
 Prithvi School.
Our visit was during the Tihar festival and some members of the local community welcomed us.
 
Jim with Mukunda Raj Shrestha 
Chris Dickinson, Chairman, Jackie Thomson, Secretary, with the Head Teacher and Depute at Bhimsen Adarsha Secondary School, a new water filtration system in the background.
Nardev Neupane, Head of Bhimsen, performs a welcome.
Officially opening the new water system……………………… and……..
a new girls toilet and shower block built from a grant in December 2011,….. an offer to demonstrate its use was turned down :-)
Bhimsen, Nepal’s top government school in 2012 SLC results, is undertaking a large new building project to meet the demand from parents to send children here.  This is a project we have also made a grant towards this year.
Posted by: In: Building 04 Dec 2012 0 comments
The Prithivi Samaj Sewa Social Welfare Club, invited Chairman, Chris Dickinson, Secretary, Jackie Thomson and guests Jim Campbell and Jan Canning, to officiate at an opening of the health post facility that was part funded by Cameron Hamilton, his family and the West Gosforth Scouts.See a short film on vimeo about the opening day at this link.HEALTH CLUB OPENING DAY

The building at Easter 2012 when Cameron saw it.

 

Opening day

 

Inside

Many thanks to Cameron and the Scouts for their efforts.  The local community was deliriously happy that someone had helped along their project “out of the blue”.  So much so that they wanted to have an opening party and they had used the grant funds as a stepping stone to other local fund raising.

The health worker who will use the facility and has waited almost a decade, working without facilities, often from her own home, gave an emotional speech thanking the Trust and the donors for delivering what her own country had been unable to provide.

Deu Rupa, Health worker

Prior to the opening we were all treated to a wonderful lunch, served by ladies in traditional Magar dress.

Jan and Jackie with local girls

 

Jim Campbell

Jackie Thomson, Trust Secretary, cut the ribbon…………

and thereafter there was music, dancing, speeches and general merriment.

Nepal Schools Trust, and Jim Campbell, announced that they would give a further grant of 50,000 NRs.  This, the Club wanted to use to extend the building to an additional room.

Posted by: In: Volunteers 26 Aug 2012 0 comments

Cameron Hamilton, who with his family visited Nepal and Pragatinagar at Easter 2012, has been working with the Gosforth Scouts to raise funds to help roof and improve a small Medical Centre being built by volunteers opposite the Primary Schools at Surya Kiran. 

 

The building is being constructed by the efforts of a community organisation called Shree Prithivi Samaj Sewa Club.  Essentially a social welfare club, they recognise that the local health worker has no facilities whatsoever and so over a number of years are trying to raise enough funds to complete a small Medical Centre with a consultation room and waiting area.  Nepal Schools Trust has just recently launched its own Health Education initiative and we are delighted to assist in the administration of a 50,000 Rupee grant (approx £400).  This grant will be used to roof and plaster the building and will hopefully encourage the community to move forward and complete the project.  A further £200 has been given to Nepal Schools Trust by the Scouts towards the Health Education initiative. Scherie Nicol, a volunteer for the Trust who is currently in Nepal, has been participating in a working group to draft materials for the initiative, to use in schools and the community.