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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.

 

I

 

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: 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: Building 08 May 2012 0 comments
The Trust has recently received details from Manakamana Primary School of the estimates for a new building that is needed very urgently.  Currently the school has four classes in a temporary bamboo, grass and mud structure on land not owned by the school.  The school advises that they have secured a piece of land for a substantive building.  We will endeavour to assist the school with their plans by seeking donations.  The school is looking for approximately 1 million, eight hundred thousand Nepal Rupees (approx £15,000) and hopes it can raise about £4,000 locally.  They have asked Nepal Schools Trust for £11,000.
The estimate for the new school building project and below, the temporary bamboo and grass structure that was erected last year to alleviate the acute accommodation shortage

 The temporary building seen adjacent to the school.  Below the committed pupils are not fazed by the conditions in which they have to study, but they deserve better.

Year before last we gave the school funds to equip the nursery class.  The school spent the funds very wisely and now have a lovely teaching area for nursery children.

Local carpenter was engaged to make furniture, giving a local family employment  and an income.
Last year we gave the school enough funds for one community rate teacher.  Now it is time to try and help this school to address its accommodation crisis.

Posted by: In: Building 05 May 2012 0 comments

 Nepal Schools Trust gave some additional funds last November to Dibyajoti LSS to continue finishing work on their new building.  This photo taken this week shows that much of the external plastering is now complete with carpentry work remaining.  This building has been a long time coming.  All rooms are now in use which has taken nearly 4 years to achieve, following the collapse of an older adobe building during one of the monsoons. We are delighted for the school that the project is nearly finished and proud to have helped, albeit with two relatively small grants compared to the overall budget for the building construction.  The substantial foundation and structure will allow Dibyajoti to build further storeys at a much lower cost in the future.  It is in effect the ground floor of the future main school building.  Well done to everyone involved.

A film made by Chris, Trust Chairman, of the opening day at Narayani Primary School on Dec 27th 2011.

Posted by: In: Building 20 Jan 2012 0 comments

December 27th 2011 was perhaps the Nepal Schools Trust’s proudest day yet , being invited to Narayani Primary School to celebrate the opening of a new building and a filtered water system that donors, kids in UK and the Trust had helped to fund.

A brand new 3 classroom building awaiting the opening ceremony.
Don McLeod, new trustee, had brought his wife and three boys all the way from Rowlands Gill in Tyne & Wear, along with their aunt and uncle and three cousins.

L to R Robbie, aged 11, William, aged 9 and Ben, aged 11, of the McLeod family almost buried in garlands known as “malla” which are the Nepali form of greeting special guests. Mandy, John and Murray Peden sit behind.

Pupils, parents and other members of the community all turned out for the special day and there was a real party atmosphere at the school.

The children of the school put on a series of wonderful dances and songs.

Next Ben and William performed the official opening of the new building which was substantially funded by the wonderful generosity of Claire, nee Browne, and Dave McCraw from Scotland who asked their wedding guests to donate to this building project through Nepal Schools Trust in place of wedding gifts.

To rapturous applause all round…….


Robbie McLeod then performed the opening of the new filtered water system that had been installed by the Trust’s efforts, making use of funds raised by Don McLeod’s sponsored cycle ride from Lands End to John 0 Groats and the community of Rowlands Gill Primary School in UK.

Vicki McLeod, proudly takes pictures as Robbie is testing the water.


William McLeod with two of the school’s teachers.

The water filter, is protected inside a locked cublicle, so that it is operated by the school only.

Inside is an industrial standard filtration machine that takes the normal water supply and….

………..and can deliver 600 litres of cystal clear filtered water in an hour.

The event proceeded with speeches and more dancing, here Chris Dickinson and Mukunda Raj Shrestha are enjoying the spectacle

Vicki McLeod presented the school with a display and other items from Rowlands Gill Primary School, including profiles from a class of pupils, written by the pupils themselves. We hope that Rowlands Gill and Narayani Schools will enjoy their contact with each other.

The whole of the visiting party, L to R Vicki McLeod in front of four teachers, including Sabitri Lamsal next to William McLeod, father Don behind him, Jamie Peden, Chris Dickinson with Murray Peden behind him, Robbie McLeod with John Peden behind him, Ben McLeod, Mandy and Callum Peden and finally Resham Bahadur Ranabhat, the Head Teacher.

A wonderful day and thanks once again to Claire and Dave, all their friends and family who helped and everyone at Rowlands Gill who helped make this day become a reality for the community at Narayani Primary School.

Posted by: In: Building 08 Jan 2012 0 comments

On this day trustees Chris Dickinson, and Don McLeod with his family, received a wonderful welcome at Milijuli Primary School to celebrate the progress towards building a new school to replace the bamboo, mud and grass structure currently in use. The new building can be seen in the background. You can see a short video of this visit by clicking HERE

As usual, it seemed like the whole community had turned out to welcome us.

We were also treated to lunch…..a wonderful dalbhat, traditional food of Nepal.

Earlier in November, Chris had visited to check on progress …..seen here between the head teacher (L) and chairman (R) at Milijuli.

To help the school further, Chris awarded another grant, to continue the work, much to the delight of these youngsters who will soon enjoy learning inside it.

By December the work had moved forward again, making use of the funds we had provided and we are very hopeful that the community can raise the funds needed to finish the ground floor of the school in 2012 and bring it into use.

In the picture above you can see the current school building in the background.

You can see a short video of this visit by clicking HERE

Posted by: In: Building 08 Jan 2012 0 comments

Chairman, Chris Dickinson, officiates at an opening ceremony for new sanitation facilities at Devchuli Lower Secondary School, that were part funded by a grant from Nepal Schools Trust.

Unveiling an acknowledgement of our input.

And………..cutting the ribbon. First time I have opened a toilet block!

This effectively doubles the facilities for toilets in the school, with the one older facility being used for boys only now and the newer one, seen here, for the girls. It was great to see the school getting the development finished at a good quality in quite a short time.