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Posted by: In: Grants 21 Mar 2011 0 comments

Jackie Dickinson, Trust Secretary, (seen here, centre, with the staff at Nawa Nepal Primary School), was in the village areas again after the Nepal visits in November and December last year, to take letters and grant award agreements to the relevant schools and also sign up some schools for help with library materials from Books Abroad.

We look forward to hearing more from her in due course.

Awards this year were issued with a new grant agreement form for schools.

The purpose of this is to set out the terms of the grant clearly, indicate to schools what verification evidence will be required in due course. School and Trust keep signed copies.

This will hopefully give all concerned an easy framework to follow in implementing projects that are funded by grant aid from Nepal Schools Trust.

Schools will only be eligible for grants in future if they follow this process through. We believe this process will ensure that grants are used 100% for intended purposes, that good evidence will be collected that this is indeed the case and that will also allow our generous supporters to be even more certain that donated funds are being used responsibly and effectively for the children of Pragatinagar and Devchuli.

Posted by: In: Fundraising 21 Mar 2011 0 comments

L to R. Chris, Ben, Tom, Donny, William, Anna, Ian as the funds raised are handed over.

The Nepal Schools Trust received a wonderful surprise last week.

Chairman, Chris Dickinson was visiting Don McLeod’s house in Rowland’s Gill, to be told that Don had recently completed a sponsored cycle journey the length of Britain, with proceeds going to both Nepal Schools Trust and the Rowland’s Gill Primary School PTA.

I would like to thank Don for this incredible effort on our behalf, and also everyone at the PTA, school and especially everyone who sponsored Don for these great causes.

His ride raised £424 for the Trust and the same for the PTA.

The funds raised are to be spent on the installation of a filtered water supply for the pupils of Narayani Primary School in Nawalparasi, Nepal. More on this development to come :-)

Well done Don.

In his own words…………………………….

“Having torn my achilles in June 2010, I needed to lose some weight! With only a weeks notice, the challenge was to cycle Lands End to JOG, on my own, in winter, carrying all my own gear. 960 very cold and lonely miles cycled end to end between 16 – 28th Jan 11. 50% of the time camping, the rest B&B or with relatives. Would I do it again? Yes!”

Money raised was split 50/50 between the trust and Rowlands Gill Primary PTA.

You can read more about Don’s epic cycle ride at:


Posted by: In: Building 22 Feb 2011 0 comments

Shree Narayani Primary School, Pragatinagar VDC, Ward 3, Salghari, Nawalparasi, NEPAL

We are delighted to announce that ROWLANDS GILL PRIMARY SCHOOL, Tyne & Wear, is from 2011 going to link up with NARAYANI PRIMARY SCHOOL.

Shree Narayani Primary School, gets it’s name from the great river which flows past just a few miles south.

The Narayani River combines the Trisuli, Kali Gandaki and Marsyandi Rivers that drain central Nepal, even drawing waters from Tibet and the catchment includes Dhaulagiri, Annapurna, Manaslu, Ganesh Himal and the Langtang Himalaya. The school is also just a mile or so from the boundary of the Chitawan National Park, home to wild tigers and rhino.

Tul Bahadur Tsapa(left), Chairman of Management Committee, Chris Dickinson, Chairman of Nepal Schools Trust (centre) and Resham Bahadur Ranabhat, Principal, (right) during a visit in November 2010.
This is a government Primary School with 200 students currently, and classes from Nursery through Kindergarten and Primary 1-5. “Government” in Nepal means partly funded and so most building initatives are only partly supported by government and teaching complement likewise. Communities have to make efforts to raise funds to fill the gap in funding. The catchment for this school is a poor Dalit (low caste, untouchable) community who do genuinely find it difficult to raise funds or have political influence to effect the same. As you can see some of the classes do not yet even have furniture, something we wish to change in due course. We are also working with this school to link them to resources from Books Abroad, the Scottish Charity that helps sends books to poor countries.

Narayani has a particular problem with a 19 year old building that was on a poor foundation and is really no longer safe or suitable. The school and we have concerns that in a quake this building could collapse, or it may be taken down by monsoon rains. The building is currently used for Primary 1, 2 and 3 classes. Perhaps after demolition the site can be re-used.

Pupils are immaculately turned out, polite and enthusiastic. They deserve better.

Kids at this school even get fed twice a week as they come from such poor families. This is the only school in our area that does this and a local company provides the funds.

The water tank for the whole school, adequate, but will need replaced in due course and we as a Trust are working towards filtration for drinking water in the future.

Two of only 4 cubicles for toilets on site, for staff and pupils alike i.e. 210 people.
There are girls and boys urinals in place.

The school campus is very pleasant in fact, set in amongst the houses of the village, and with adequate areas for play, shade and buildings. It runs to 8 acres.

Chris’s speedily drawn plan from his visit in November 2010 of the school site.

This view shows a new foundation completed by the school. They managed this by diverting funds granted by the education department for toilet improvements to the more pressing need for a new building. We observed all this and agreed with their need and Chris wrote to the school in December 2010, as follows:

“We note that the school wishes to complete a new building, for which you have a foundation. Obviously this is a large project. Nepal Schools Trust is prepared to search for funding from UK charities on the school’s behalf. We cannot promise that we will be successful, but we are very happy to try this for you.

In any case I will give priority in 2011 to helping you with this project.

To build a new school building, the school will need to seek funding also from the Education Office, VDC , NGOs and from within the community. Thank you for supplying a set of plans and costs for the project, which we understand to be a single storey 3 classroom block at a cost of approximately 500,000 Rs.” (Note, this sum is equivalent to approximately £4550 at current exchange rates)

Chris and Jackie Thomson, in class, at Narayani Primary School in November 2010.

Chris is committed to finidng funding for this school during 2011 and we are pleased to announce that Claire Browne and Dave McCraw who are shortly to be married, have offered to raise funds for Nepal Schools Trust and Narayani Primary School in particular in lieu of wedding gifts. Many many thanks to them and any friends or family who support them in this wonderful gesture.

Posted by: In: Donations 16 Feb 2011 0 comments

Keith (above) and Pat Hamilton from Saskatoon were recently on the trip to Nepal with us and very generously indicated their wish to make an additional donation to Nepal Schools Trust. Keith also talked his bother Don and wife Gail, and sister Jill and husband Barry into helping.

Picture of (from left) Kyle, Craig (the sons!) and then Keith and Pat on the summit of Devchuli Peak last December.

Wonderful guys and we assure you that these funds will be put to good use in the near future.

Many thanks from Chris, Sally, Jackie and the kids of Devchuli/Pragatinagar. We love you all :-)

Posted by: In: Building 15 Feb 2011 0 comments

In true Larry Grant (pictured above) fashion, when I was in Seattle recently and Larry came out skiing with Sally and I, he pressed a cheque into my hand as a “wedding present” for Kevin and Tana’s wedding last August, just 5 months late for the event but welcome at any time of course. This brings to $2000 the funds raised by Kevin and Tana for Nepal Schools Trust from the event and on behalf of the Trustees I would like to put on record our thanks once again for this kind gesture and wish them every happiness and we hope to see them in Nepal sometime.

Posted by: In: Grants 24 Dec 2010 0 comments

2010 Grants


Balkiran PS – Wall to secure against flood (Grant Rs 55,000) plus tables for Nursery & P1 (Rs14,400). Last year’s monsoon eroded a road beside the school and is threatening the foundations of one of the buildings (below).

Balmiki PS – Look for external charitable support for a building project

Bhimsen Adarsha SS (22000Rs) for 3 years scholarships for children of poor families, the school draws kids from Magar communities, especially in the hill districts. Here Chris Dickinson, Trust Chairman, is being given a warm welcome at Bhimsen by staff and students.

Devchuli LSS Grant agreed of Rs110,000 ( = 60% of donations needed) for additional toilet block. Current facilities are inadequate for school roll.

Dibyajoti LSS Make an external bid for £10,000 to finish new building on behalf of school. Structure now complete (background), but needs all finishing works. Been under construction now for two and a half years.

Hindu School – Look for charitable support for a building project from Hindus in UK. An accommodation building (below) is now unsafe and must be demolished.

Jana Jyoti Higher SS – No assistance until we hear schools has elected new committee. School appears to be in some sort of transition.

Jana Jyoti Model Girls School (80,000 Rs for Deaf kids) to improve living accommodation for kids in the deaf unit who live at the school. This is the major deaf unit in Nawalparasi District and draws students from all over the region.

Kalika SS – Improve and furnish nursery (Grant Rs 33,000).

Kumarwarti LSS (Rs 65000 + Rs 11000) with Rs 65000 for further year for full funding of a Year 8 teacher salary for 2 years @ 5000Rs x 13 and also offer that we would furnish P2 Class (below) if they can procure community wood for furniture and we pay carpenter.

Lali Gurans Playgroup – Ask costing for bringing down water (Grant Rs 40,000) and give help in providing materials for the playgroup.

Manakamana PS – Improve and furnish nursery (Grant Rs 33,000).

Milijuli (£8000) towards new building to replace bamboo and grass building (below) plus Rs6800 and Rs6800 for further year for scholarships for children from poorest families. This school receives the funding we secured from the Sadri Foundation and the new building is a commemorative project for Pablo Evans of Ecuador. We wish the school well in its development.

Narayani PS – Look for charitable support for a new building project to go on a completed foundation (below).

Nawa Nepal PS grant of Rs15000 for paint for classrooms and £540 for teachers’ pay, as 9 staff here share one government salary. Some of the teachers are seen here with Jackie Thomson, Trust Secretary.

Nepal Rastriya Sarada PS (Kirtipur) Rs 39,000 then next year Rs 41,600 to pay an extra teacher. Keen to progress a new building so we asked for all the details of plans… so we can look for external charitable support for the project. Local ladies in traditional dress are dancing for the assembled throng and us of course!

Pragati LSS – Look for charitable support for a building project. The school is seeking to expand its accommodation and replace an old building.

Prithvi Secondary (Rs 55000) for science teaching materials. The school wants to resource years 11 and 12 and is also in need of computers.

Saraswoti PS, Kumsot, Rs 39,000 then next year Rs 41,600 to pay an extra teacher for two years. Currently two classes are covered by a single teacher. The community recently completed a beautiful building, built entirely in local style.

Surya Kiran (Rs 55,000) for roof repairs to prevent water coming in during monsoon.

Virkuti English Boarding School – No grant this year, helped complete a building last year.

Total cost of immediate grants £14,660

These figures based on an exchange rate of 110.

Total of forward commitments in Rupees

March 2012 Rs 17700 (Sterling equivalent is £1609) ;

March 2013 RS 2200 (Sterling equivalent is £200)

A very very big thank you to everyone who has made donations or contributions to Nepal Schools Trust since its inception in December 2008. This is our second batch of grants. See previous post for details of 2009 grant verification visits.

Following my visit to the village in November 2010 I decided that Nepal Schools Trust should adopt a motto, which is,

“We help those who work hard to help themselves”

Posted by: In: Grants 12 Dec 2010 0 comments



In 2009 we made grants to four schools and here are details from our verification visits in November 2010. Chris Dickinson and Jackie Thomson carried out the visits. Sally Dickinson, Trust Treasurer, also visited Surya Kiran in December 2010.

Dibyajoti Lower Secondary

£1000, contribution towards building project made in late 2009

At our last visit in 2007 we saw only a collapsed building, victim of the last monsoon.

Since then we have seen photos of gradual progress.

In November 2010 the school building first storey was structurally complete, but requires all the finishing work, including plastering, flooring, doors, shutters, electrics, decoration and furnishing.

The building has been constructed on a foundation suitable for second storey in due course. Buildings of 2 or more storeys have to comply with local building regulations on earthquake standards. We hope to help them find funding for the remaining work. Let’s keep our fingers crossed for Dibyajoti.

Nawa Nepal Primary

£450, remuneration for volunteer staff.

Since starting this school, the staff had worked for two years part time without pay.

Our encouragement grant clearly did exactly that. In the interim the school has expanded, completed buildings and all those staff are still there. Extremely well done Nawa Nepal.

Nawa Nepal School Chairman, Shyam Sharma Bhusal, with Chris and the Principal.

Surya Kiran Primary

£1000, for furniture, electrics, decoration.

The transformation in this school was amazing and inspiring. A local carpenter had constructed new furniture with wood provided free from the community forest and done a beautiful job.

He had also repaired older furniture and given everything a bright lick of paint.

New furniture was made for the school office.

Fans and lights were fitted in classrooms and classrooms had been painted to brighten them.

Some classes had new boards and easels.

Congratulations to the school and the community for showing the way in how to improve the “in class” environment for students.

Virkuti English Boarding

£1000 to assist the completion of new building and additional toilet provision..

This school had a critical lack of space and a building under construction that required finishing.

This was one of the temporary classrooms.

It also had just one toilet cubicle for around 280 students and staff.

The school now has two toilet cubicles and has finished its new classroom block.

Well done to Virkuti!

Overall we were extremely satisfied with how all the schools spent the funds granted and are full of confidence for the 2010 round of grants. Nawa and Surya Kiran will receive further grants and we will search for external funding to help Dibyajoti (see next post on 2010 grants). We would like to reassure all donors to Nepal Schools Trust that your contributions really make a difference and go directly to the schools and students in Nepal.

A fantastic response meant that the inaugural fund raising trip to Nepal had 20 people take part. Unfortunately, just a matter of days before the trip started, Candace Wilson from Toronto had to pull out after falling from a camel in Jordan and suffering back injuries. We all wish her well in her recovery.


The trip convened in Bhaktapur, a medieval city SE of Kathmandu. We spent two nights there, enjoying the car free environment and wonderful buildings and temples.


Welcome to Bhaktapur. Woof!


Sally, Keith and Kyle at breakfast at Hotel Sweet Home.


Day two, taking a tour into Patan and Kathmandu.


We visited the holy Hindu site of Pashupatinath


…and the largest Bhuddist Stupa in Nepal at Boudinath, before heading into Thamel for shopping and a spectacular meal and culture programme in the evening.


Next day we filled an entire plane en route to Pokhara and Hotel Holiday at damside.


In the afternoon we trekked up to the Peace Stupa above Phewa Tal with great views to the Annapurna Range.


Machapuchare, known as the “fishtail” takes centre stage. We returned across the lake by boat.


Next day was cycling day for some and local sights tour for non-cyclists. jeep

Next day we headed east and then south towards the Kali Gandaki River and the Mahabharat Mountain Range. This range is the southernmost significant mountain range in Nepal. Taken by jeeps as far as the Kali Gandaki, we started a tent based trek.


Crossing the Kali Gandaki next morning by a monumental suspension footbridge.


Our porters crossing a side stream.


The party is greeted at a school en route to Arkala.


Wonderful views north to the Himalayas as we climb towards the ridge of the Mahabharat.

village view


Finally the route traversed along and across the crest of the Mahabharat.


Climbing up to Devchuli Peak with amazing views of Fishtail and Annapurna.


The unequalled panorama from Devchuli summit, highest point in the western Mahabharat.


The viewing tower on the summit of Devchuli peak.


On the descent. We finally descended steeply, the south side of the Mahabharat Range to the village of Kirtipur, passing this extraordinary tree……………………..


…and then on towards Pragatinagar, where we were met by Oleg and Olga who had just travelled by catamaran down the length of the Sun Kosi River.


We received a rapturous welcome at Milijuli School where we are helping to fund a new building to replace the existing bamboo and grass structure.



Proud students at Surya Kiran Primary School (below), seated on furniture funded last year by Nepal Schools Trust, made from wood from the community forest and crafted by a local carpenter.


After our stay in Devchuli and Pragatinagar, areas where the Trust works with schools, we moved to Chitwan National Park where we stayed at Unique Wild Resort. Highlights were the canoe safari where we saw about six crocodiles and a multitude of beautiful birds including wild peacocks………………………..



…and the elephant safari, four to an elephant… a perfect platform from which to see the wildlife of Chitwan, especially the Rhinos



Bath time for the elephants, against the backdrop of Manaslu.


En route back to Kathmandu, we took to the wild waters of the Trisuli River.


Before long we were plunging through wavetrains and holes


…and getting thoroughly immersed in it all!!


The final day of the trip was a “rest day” and nine of the group took a mountain flight to see Everest.


A view of the highest peak on earth from our small plane. The trip rounded off with a final meal in Bhaktapur, before folks went their separate ways. Many many thanks to all the participants. The contributions that were raised for Nepal Schools Trust as a result were in the region of £5,000, a wonderful addition to funds for schools projects.

Chris Dickinson, Trust Chairman, Spean Bridge, Scotland Sally Dickinson, Trust Treasurer, Spean Bridge, Scotland Jackie Tomson, Trust Secretary, Norwich, England Rebecca Vaughan, Norwich, England Roddy & Maggie Glen, Edinburgh, Scotland. Willie & Hazel Young, Dunoon, Scotland Morna Knox, Strachur, Scotland Brenda Grant, Corpach Scotland Katherine Grant, Roy Bridge, Scotland Nigel & Lisa Ginniff, Bolton, England Keith & Pat Hamilton, Saskatoon, Canada Craig Hamilton, Saskatoon, Canada Kyle Hamilton, Fernie, B.C., Canada Oleg & Olga Kuzmichev, St Petersburg, Russia

Kyle Hamilton, and brother Craig, from Canada, dwarfing a local man at Daldale. Kyle came to Pragatinagar and Devchuli at invitation of Trust Chairman, Chris Dickinson, to help by making a film of the area, the way of life and the work of the Trust in local schools. We look forward to seeing the results and using the film for future fund raising.

Kyle in class at Milijuli Primary, a bamboo and grass building we are helping to replace.

The Milijuli teachers with Craig, who is 6’7″ tall.

Kyle capturing the technique of a local fisherman in Daldale.

Local people carry leaves and straw, fodder for their animals and roofing material.

Posted by: In: Trips 12 Dec 2010 0 comments

In mid November, Chris Dickinson, Trust Chairman, shown here, and Jackie Thomson, Trustee, spent 8 days in Pragatinagar and Devchuli VDCs. In that time they visited all 21 of the schools in the area. This picture shows the warm welcome given to them at Bhimsen Adarsha Secondary.

Here, Mukunda Raj Shreshta, Honorary Trustee, and Jackie, relax after a day visiting schools. The new Namaste Hotel, the first in the area, provided a comfortable base during our stay.

Chris and Jackie in class! The visit allowed us to complete an audit of all the schools, meet all the Principals and Chairmen, and listen to concerns. We also saw first hand many classes and made plans of many campuses, allowing us to best target grant funding for the future.

Students sitting proudy on and at the new furniture we funded at Surya Kiran Primary School. The benches and desks were made by a local carpenter with wood procured from the community forest. Classes were alse equipped with electric light and fans and brightened up with freshly painted walls. Just compare this to the class photographed on our last visit….below…….

Transport was often by motorcycle courtesy of locals. Here Chris is riding with the Chairman of the School management Committee of Manakamana Primary School.

A shot in a class at the embryonic Milijuli Primary School, a bamboo and grass structure that we have made a grant of £8000 pounds towards this year, to construct a new building.

A welcome from the students in the village of Kirtipur, one of our villages that is high on the slopes of Devchuli Mountain.

Mukunda, back left, and Jackie, centre front, with students of Dibyajoti Lower Secondary School. The school has spent the last two and a half years constructing this new building, after one of their original buildings collapsed. We agreed to represent the school in an external funding bid in 2011 to find the £10,000 required to finish the building.