“New challenges present wonderful opportunities to learn something new about yourself.” (Ernst Ferstl)
The construction of the new primary school in Bihi in the district of Gorkha (2,000 m -2,500 m) is of major significance
Why do we support the construction of the primary school in Bihi The existing school in Serang was originally planned for 60 school children. Sufficient teaching material, equipment and teachers are available to provide an adequate school education for such a number at an appropriate standard and at an altitude of 3,500 m! In 2015, the school opened with 37 children, mainly orphans and children who had been accommodated in the Serang Monastery after the earthquake. The number of children has, however, increased drastically in the meantime: The lack of resources of many parents, the growing need and the deteriorating general conditions for schooling in the region have driven up numbers to currently 103 pupils and 9 teachers.
What is the current situation? The Serang school is neither structurally nor organisationally designed to hold 103 pupils. The children’s bedrooms are overcrowded, there are insufficient textbooks and good quality teaching is now scarcely possible. The situation is also dire outside Serang: children in the first two grades who currently have no to attend the dilapidated schools on the edge of the glacier and could not be accommodated at “our” school, are now forced to study in classroom at -10 to -15 degrees Celsius, after having walked the long, steep and hazardous way to school every morning. And we are talking here only of the children who are able to attend school at all because a school has been opened near their homes (a 2-3 hour walk away).
What can we do? A second school needs to be built. Waiting for better economic times or government school projects in the region seems unrealistic and risks leaving many children and those in need of protection to grow up without an education and thus without a real chance of a self-determined and fulfilling life, where they would be obliged to work as untrained day labourers in Nepal, Qatar or other regions. We accordingly continue to see the central mission of our association as ensuring education for these children. This requires an adequate response to the given conditions and support for projects within the scope of our available resources.
What has happened so far? As was reported at the Annual General Meeting in July, the foundation stone for the new school in Bihi was already laid in May this year. however, lack of materials, rising prices and, of course, the geographic conditions mean that construction of the school has progressed very slowly. In particular, the monsoon, which lasted 4 weeks longer than usual, damaged parts of the fencing and the terrain, which now renders indispensable special and prompt structural reinforcement of the subsoil in order to prevent further damage. Instead of the projected 100,000 Euros, the school is now expected to cost EUR 180,000.
What will happen next? It is now necessary to cover the additional costs of EUR 80,000 in order to continue construction work at the school and, above all, to secure the site adequately. The first sponsors (EUR 15,000) have been found; we, however, urgently need your help in approaching further potential sponsors and to gain their support for this project. Only with your active assistance can we succeed. The construction work should be completed in July 2023, so that at least 40 children from the upper school (preschool, grades 1 & 2) can attend the new school all year round. More needy children from the region will arrive in the coming years.
You will find enclosed some pictures from the last site visit, which took place in October this year, as well as pictures and diagrams illustrating the school construction in Bihi.
Building the school in Bihi requires a lot of perseverance, courage and effort from all of us, but above all from the children, teachers and the Serang monastery. We see it as essential that financial contributions be made if we are to guarantee continuation of education at the existing school in Serang for the children there.
Confidence, a positive attitude and trust will be more than just slogans once we anchor them within ourselves and live them.
Thank you for your support.
We will be happy to answer any questions you may have.