Celebrating 20 years of school friendship between WoT & Shree Himalaya

In April, a group of parents and children from Westbury-on-Trym CofE Primary School visited Singdi Village to meet with the students at their link school, with whom they have had a 20 year friendship. The group were joined by Trustee Tim Mitchell who lead the first group in 1999. The occasion was recorded in the local newspaper and a translation of the article is below. You can find out more about this school link here.

“It feels nostalgic when I remember the hard school days” says local school teacher Yuvaraj Gurung. “We studied, sitting on hay mats, the classroom had a thatched roof and walls were thin woven bamboo. When it stormed, hailed or rained we ran away from the classes directly to our homes!”

Yuvaraj Gurung is a teacher in a school at Singdi village, a village nearby Pokhara city of Nepal. He explains about the change in the school where he used to study. The school was established in 1961 and had limited classrooms. Course books were the only source for education, other vocational education was not included and there were no resources and equipment for students to use. Now the students in Singdi are taking education in the village itself with great success. This has been made possible by Pahar Trust Nepal, who have contributed a lot in the village.

Himalaya Secondary School, Singdi, now has facilities similar to those found in any city school. Yuvaraj Gurung continued “The support funds raised by Pahar Trust Nepal and the UK, has been a blessing to our village. About ten years ago we had a school only up to grade eight, after the eight the students needed to worry about finding a new school. Some used to go to Pasgaun – a nearby village or to Pokhara. Education to class ten is possible only because Pahar Trust Nepal supported a new building where classes can be run to higher grades. The barrier for leaving education after eight is stopped now.”

It is estimated that Pahar Trust Nepal has supported the school with around 15,000,000 Nepali Rupees to date. Along with the building construction, Pahar Trust Nepal has supported in teacher’s training, private teacher salary and scholarships for students. According to head teacher Shuva Raj Khanal, “Pahar Trust Nepal has supported a two-storey school building, a library, a science lab, teacher salaries, scholarship, education materials and a number of other projects. Pahar Trust Nepal has also facilitated in bringing the funds raised by Westbury-on-Trym, CE Academy and Bristol Free Schools.” Mr. Khanal said “Due to the support of Pahar Trust Nepal, the students got a studying environment and we got support to upgrade our quality in education. Pahar Trust Nepal have treated the children of our school as their own and the school has come to this place only because of their support” he further stated.

Mr. Hukum Bahadur Gurung, Chairman of the School Management committee said “Government support is not sufficient for schools at distant locations. He noted that the students who previously studied in a very small room sitting on the floor now have benches. This had a significant, negative impact on the number of students who completed their education. Now we have sufficient classrooms, the teachers are trained, we have computer classes and a new science lab. This has happened thanks to the support of Pahar Trust”

“Pahar Trust Nepal Trustee, Dr.Mitchell has had a link with the village for twenty years after leading a group from Westbury-on-Trym School in Bristol to Singdi in 1999” explained Git Bahadur Gurung, Chairman of Khwolasothar village municipality 5 Singdi. Git added “Dr. Tim has played a role of responsible guardian for the students of Singdi. Because of his initiation and the support of Pahar Trust Nepal, the students are putting their efforts and interests into learning”. The level of attainment has also greatly improved and students now graduate in SLC and SEE exams with better marks than previously.