Background to project
Oyam is a small remote village in the Panchthar District, Eastern Nepal and has a population of c5,100 (730households) that is growing annually. Approximately 500 students attend Shree Gupteshwor Secondary School (above) located within the village that provides education from Pre-primary to Grade 12 (post-16yrs). Many of the older students including Numaya Rai who is 15 yrs old (below), have to walk, across challenging terrain, up to 4 hours every day (2 hours each way) to get to school and back, in all seasons and weather conditions. Students arrive to school tired after their long walk and still have to walk home again at the end of the day. This has an impact on their ability to learn and makes their day very long.
The school is keen to provide quality education and the students are eager to learn but at the moment are limited by the facilities available, either at the school or in the village. Therefore, working with Pahar Trust Nepal, the team from the Oyam Memorial Hall Project (OMHP) are seeking to raise funds to provide a new, earthquake resilient, 3-storey building, that will consist of:
· Hostel accommodation
· Kitchen and dining room
· A fully equipped computer room
· Public library
· First Aid room
· Toilets and showers
Weekly hostel accommodation will be available to those students who are required to make the longest and hardest journeys to school and back. This will save some of the students around16hrs in travelling every week. Children will return home for weekends. There will be beds, a kitchen/dining facility, medical room, toilet facilities and solar energy to ensure that those children who do stay are looked after comfortably and safely. The building will be built to currently earthquake resilience requirements and to the high standards of all PTN projects.
The computer room and library will provide all students with access to educational books and software to help them make the most of their education. The library will also be open to the public to encourage all members of the local community to access the books available.
A team from the UK with close links to TheQueen’s Own Gurkha Logistic Regiment have embarked on the challenge to raise the required funds to deliver this major project in Oyam, EastNepal. Fundraising is currently underway in the UK and is off to a great start with great support from a wide variety of donors towards the project. There have also been a number of fundraising challenges undertaken and more to come; including;
· Static bike challenge to ride 7669km. The distance from Oyam, Nepal to Hullavington, Wiltshire
· RLC & QOGLR team undertaking the “Goggins Challenge” to run 4 miles every 4 hours for 48 hours
· London Marathon in October 2021
So far, over £60,000 has been raised (or pledged) for the project which is a great start but there is a long way to go. The estimated budget for the project is c£184,000 so there is still a lot of work to do. It is hoped that works to the foundations will take place in early 2022 with project completion in June 2023.
The land required to build the new Memorial Hall was purchased in Spring 2021 and, with support from the local Municipality Government, the ground has been levelled and new retaining walls have been built. The site is now ready for the installation of the foundations at the start of next year.