DONATING 114 SCHOOLBAGS IN NEPAL
Ever striving to help more of the thousands of poor and disadvantaged children that exist worldwide, Blake are thrilled to announce that we were able to provide a further 114 children with SchoolBags in Nepal this month!
Filled with all the materials needed for them to receive a good education, these SchoolBags are something which we believe could be the passport out of a life of hardship and poverty for each of these children.
This exciting new project was carried out with the continued help of our partners at School In A Bag, as well as the support of the Helambu Education and Livelihood Partnership (HELP), which was invaluable in getting each bag delivered to into the hands of its young recipient.
A LITTLE ABOUT NEPAL…
Blake chose to donate to the Shree Ganesh Basic School, which is remotely located in the Paanch Pokhari village, within the Helambu region of Nepal. This school has the only female headmaster in the whole of the Paanch Pokhari region, so we were thrilled to be supporting her in her efforts!
The Paanch Pokhari village is inhabited mostly by the Gerung community, one of the ethnic minorities in Nepal, and has a population of approximately 500 people, with 127 of these attending the school.
The Helambu region, where the village is situated, is an area that is still struggling to rebuild itself after the tragic aftermath of the severe earthquake of the 25th April 2015, which killed almost 9,000 people and injured a further 22,000.
Government provision for education is very scarce, and there is much shortage of learning equipment, so we knew our donations would meet a very real need in the area.
And so Blake decided to step in, providing each child at the Shree Ganesh School with their very own SchoolBag, containing all the stationery and learning resources they would need to receive a good education, as well as basic essentials such as eating utensils and a bowl.
To carry out this mission, Blake collaborated with the Helambu Education and Livelihood Partnership organisation, otherwise known as HELP Nepal, who are a charity dedicated to improving the quality of education in the remote village schools, working closely with communities and education authorities for sustainable results and villager empowerment.
DELIVERING SCHOOLBAGS TO THE SHREE GANESH SCHOOL
When starting out on this mission, Blake knew it wouldn’t be easy to achieve, but little did we realise the challenges that would come our way! Passionate about helping these needy children, however, we were able to overcome all odds and – finally – succeed in delivering all 114 SchoolBags!
Firstly, it proved impossible to assemble the SchoolBags ourselves and send them into the country as we would normally do. Thankfully, we were able to work closely with the excellent Jimmy Lama, Executive Director of HELP, who kindly organised the packing of the bags from within the country. Now for the next step: the distribution…
No mean feat, the distribution of these bags wasn’t without its fair share of drama either! Our chosen destination was nestled in the heart of the magnificent mountain region of Nepal, and unfortunately the first attempt at delivering the SchoolBags ended in disaster – the van was loaded and everything ready to go, and the team left at 5am to begin the long drive to the village of Paanch Pokhari, only to encounter a huge landslide which completely blocked their route. Despite valiantly waiting 5 hours whilst a digger set to work clearing a passage, they were eventually forced to admit defeat, turn around and make their way back…
In the following weeks, the religious Nepalese holiday of Dasain took place, further delaying all possibility of the bags reaching the children of Shree Ganesh until 7th November, when the team finally succeeded in visiting the school and handing the bags we sponsored to each child personally.
An eventful project to say the least, but with a final outcome that made all the hard work and commitment well worth it!
The heart-warming photographs and videos we were sent of the day capture the joy and excitement of the children as they receive their new learning equipment – a memory that will certainly always stay with us, and something which we hope will also change their lives forever!
Below, we have put together a video for you, too, to see!
FEEDBACK FROM THE LOCALS
It was wonderful to receive several messages of thanks from both the locals and the children at the school. Below, a student at Shree Ganesh Basic School tells us just how much our donations were needed:
“These bags are useful for our younger students and for me and my classmates too. At the lack of school bags, younger students here come to school holding their books and copies in hand, which causes difficulty for them.
“Parents do want to pay for bags if they could and some do too but it is not financially easy for all the parents due to their financial reasons. You know, each have their own problems.
“The situation here is that the parents cannot afford to provide items like bags, copies and pencils when they need them.”
Prakash Gurung, a local villager and social worker also shared his thoughts on the benefits the SchoolBags will have on the children, their education, the children’s parents and the community as a whole:
“The first thing to say is, as the children have expressed themselves, it has now ended the problem for children without bags who were otherwise forced to come to school carrying books and stationery in their hands. Now it can be ensured that the books and copies can be carried safely.
“For this matter, I would like to express my thanks to the team and the organisation involved in delivering these school bags including Jimmy Lama.
“Alongside this, we are grateful that a representative from the distribution team has explained the history behind this initiative and the importance of school bag in children’s education. I am hopeful that this has left inspiration for our children who have received the bags together with a variety of educational resources to put them to maximum use. And, I can read in the face of the children that they are extremely happy for receiving new bags and resources.”
Finally, we share the touching feedback received from Mrs Nirmala Dhital, Headteacher of the school!
“Thank you so much. Today I got to see the donation of the bags to the kids, and the kids were really happy. They got books and pencils and colours, and I’ve honestly never seen the kids this happy before! And for me also personally as a teacher, it’s really nice to see my kids excited to come to school, and makes them excited and motivated to come and learn, so thank you very much for donating to HELP Nepal. It’s been so nice to see it in action, and to see also how it will benefit the kids in the future.”
This project has been yet another success for us here at Blake, as we continue to pursue our aim of “Giving Hope Through Education”.
We look forward to sharing further updates soon!