Follow up visit to Kitini College

ChoraChori Founder/CEO Philip Holmes today paid an evaluation and monitoring visit to Kitini College; he was greeted by a very happy Headteacher, staff and pupils.

Saroj KC, Headteacher of Kitini College, NepalIt is incumbent upon us to follow up the projects we fund; this is a task that includes through visits by the CEO and Trustees of the charity. The Treasurer makes an annual visit to review the local finances. Today Philip Holmes visited Kitini College which has received tens of thousands of pounds of funding from ChoraChori towards making this one of the top state schools in Nepal. Through grants secured from Foundations and some community fundraising, we have been able to pay for science laboratories and a computer lab that have allowed the school to extend its curriculum. Indeed it is currently making the transition from being a Nepali medium school to an English medium school. This represents a major step-up for Kitini.

The most recent project has been the retrofitting of the school to make it resistant to future earthquakes. Three-quarters of the £68k project has been funded through us by our UK partner Foundations while the remainder has been donated by a grant from the local municipality. The building works began in February and should be completed by the end of next month. There has been a slight delay due to the water supply drying up – a sign of the times, sadly, as in the recent past this part of the valley provided water to the rest of Kathmandu.

The Headteacher, Mr Saroj KC, pictured above with Bhaskar Karki and Shailaja CM of ChoraChori-Nepal, was beaming with delight. These works have meant so much to him not only for professional reasons but for very personal ones. For he told us today that he is a former pupil of the school and his father was once the Vice-Principal. This sense of ownership explains why he is so passionate about taking the school forward.

There was one other marker of success apart from the tangible ones that we saw today. Somewhat surprisingly, when we started working at the school we found that 70% of the pupils were girls. This is because parents were sending their sons to private schools so that they could have a better education. In the space of three years that percentage has dropped to 60% although the numbers of students at the school have increased substantially. Essentially, our enhancements are levelling the playing field and boys are now being transferred from nearby private schools to Kitini. Mr KC is confident that the proportion will be 50:50 very soon.

Our next major project at the school will be to establish a bursary scheme to begin at the start of the next academic year in April 2020. This will benefit children from the poorest families, irrespective of gender.

 

ChoraChori supports a new major capital project at Kitini College

ChoraChori and its partners have provided funds for a new major capital project at Kitini College.

In 2015 Kitini College suffered some structural damage when two earthquakes struck Nepal in April and May. It could have been much worse; a neighbouring private school collapsed causing fatalities.

This government school is important within Lalitpur District as it serves a huge catchment area that extends into the adjacent Kavre and Kathmandu Districts. Many of the students come from low caste families and include the children of the desperately poor peripatetic population that provides seasonal labour in nearby brick kilns. And the children at the ChoraChori Children’s Refuge and Rehabilitation Centre also attend the school, part of their return to normality after the trauma they have endured. Therefore it has been important for us to reinforce the school, literally, by a major project that will make it resistant to future earthquakes.

Working alongside our new project partner, Gandys Foundation, we have been successful in securing all the funds necessary from major donors and two other grant-making Trusts for this four month long project. The local municipality has also contributed 25% of the project costs, so it has been great to see this local commitment to a great school.

The Tipling Girls

Seven excited girls have arrived in Kathmandu ready to start an education and training programme that is being launched by ChoraChori-Nepal. The girls, who are in the age range 17 to 19, come from Tipling, Dhading District. This is a remote part of west Nepal, quite close to the Tibet border, that was near the epicentre of the April 2015 earthquake. 98% of homes in their area were destroyed and the girls’ families are still living in makeshift tents. Three more girls from the area are due to join them soon, delayed in their travel because of landslides that have followed the arrival of this year’s monsoon.

Why these ten in the midst of so much need? They have been referred to us by our contact in Tipling, Father Norbert, who lives and teaches in the local school. The reason he has selected them is that all have passed the coveted 10th Grade School Leaver’s Certificate (SLC) examination, one of them at A+ standard, but there is no Higher Secondary (Grades 11 and 12) provision in the area. We feel these girls have more than earned the opportunity to continue with their studies. The alternative is early marriage – most of their peers are already married with babies – and there is a risk of being trafficked as all the girls are from the trafficking-prone Tamang community.

This project will run for three years, with a further ten girls due to join us in mid 2017. They will study but also have the chance to learn vocational skills after we reinstate a silver jewellery workshop from January next year. Those who show the aptitude and interest may take this up as their profession. For others we will teach business skills as a second string to their bow.

The girls have all settled well into their new situation in Godawari, been given pocket money and met with our very good supporter, Saroj KC, who is the Principal of the local Kitini School that they’ll be attending. The thing that is remarkable is that all the girls have been accommodated in the home of the Operational Director of ChoraChori-Nepal, Shailaja CM. Once again Shailaja is being welcoming and hospitable to young people in need – this makes her and us special!

If you would like to donate towards this project, here is the link.

Seven girls from Tipling Tipling girls cooking

#EducatingReeti crowdfunding campaign update

The ChoraChori #educatingreeti crowdfunding challenge ends at 2 p.m. BST on the 18th July. We are doing really well, maintaining our strong lead over the other charities – see the Leader Board. However it would be really great if we could get just a little closer to our fundraising target to help us achieve our goals on the ground.

The picture above was taken today during a visit by ChoraChori-Nepal to one of our three beneficiary schools at Chapakharka. Thanks to the funding we’ve received from our 60 donors we’ve been able to appoint a new full time teacher at the school and from tomorrow we’ll be able to encourage attendances further by introducing cooked school lunches! An update on the other schools will follow tomorrow.

So please donate now through this link. Thanks!

 

Educating Reeti – Rajman goes back to school

Rajman dropped out of school after the 2015 Nepal earthquakes. Thanks to ChoraChori-Nepal he has now rejoined school and has high hopes for the future! #educatingreeti Please donate and share:

Educating Reeti – Reeti’s Teacher

As part of our Educating Reeti crowdfunding challenge we are profiling some of the individuals who are stakeholders in the project. Here we meet Reeti’s teacher, Mrs Samjhana Bista:

Please use the button below to support this important project:

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Educating Reeti – Reeti’s Friends: Anita’s mother

In our last film we profiled Anita, the nine year old girl who faces a daily uphill struggle, literally, in getting to her village school in Nepal. Here is her mother explaining why education matters to her. Note the smoke levels inside her home. Such domestic air pollution is common in Nepali villages and contributes to a great deal of respiratory illness.

Please support our crowdfunding campaign:

#educatingreeti

Launch of “Educating Reeti” – Anita’s story

Nine year old Anita attends Chapakharka village school in the hills to the southeast of Kathmandu. She is one of the children who will benefit from our “Educating Reeti” crowdfunding campaign that launched at 2 p.m. today. Between now and the 18th July we’re aiming to raise £36,090 towards completing the building of three earthquake-destroyed village schools, including Chapakharka, and covering daily costs including free lunches that will encourage children to return to school.

You can help us by donating using the link below but above all by sharing this post with your friends. Let’s deliver funds to the point of greatest need in Nepal! #educatingreeti

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Visiting Reeti in Nepal

Reeti and her friends enjoying our visit

I was very privileged today to accompany my wonderful colleagues at ChoraChori Nepal and ChoraChori UK Trustee Julie Graham on a visit to the three schools that we are helping to recover after the earthquakes – three schools being rebuilt and children who are growing in confidence about their schooling. We took with us school clothes and shoes that were well received by the kids who come from really poor families in the remote hills above Kathmandu. I also got to meet Reeti, the figurehead for our appeal “Educating Reeti” that we’ll launch on the 13th June. That’ll be your chance to support some great grassroots charity work in Nepal. Meantime please take a moment to like us on Facebook!

Bhaskar proud to be the Chairman of the Nepal NGO ChoraChori

Bhaskar proud to be the Chairman of the Nepal NGO ChoraChori

ChoraChori Nepal distributing shoes and clothes to the children at Chapakharka school

ChoraChori Nepal distributing shoes and clothes to the children at Chapakharka school

Material support to the needy children in the hills above Kathmandu

Material support to the needy children in the hills above Kathmandu

ChoraChori Nepal staff members Abha Karki and Reeti Sharma doing their bit for Nepal's children

Delivering welcome presents to the children at Chapakharka

Delivering welcome presents to the children at Chapakharka

Distributing presents to the children outside their temporary learning centre at Chapakharka

Distributing presents to the children outside their temporary learning centre at Chapakharka

At the school in Chapakharka today

At the school in Chapakharka today

Children’s Voices, Children’s Rights

After last year’s earthquakes there was a priority to restore education in the affected Districts as quickly as possible. This involved constructing so-called “Temporary Learning Centres” (TLCs) which could provide some basic shelter while schools were rebuilt. Sadly a newly-released report by five aid agencies including UNICEF and Save the Children entitled “Children’s Voices, Children’s Rights” has flagged up the shortcomings of the arrangement. Attendances remain low and there is likely to be a very negative impact on children’s education given how long it’s taken to replace these flimsy shelters with proper earthquake-resistant schools. These TLCs are woefully inadequate for the approaching monsoon season and many children – 30% – continue to study in unsafe buildings. There’s also a legacy of trauma. Our Chairman, Bev Holmes, witnessed this first-hand when she visited a TLC (pictured) at Rayale, Kavre District, with a film crew last November. A little girl in the class began to cry and when asked the reason a teacher explained that since the earthquakes she couldn’t cope with new faces and being “crowded”.

ChoraChori is doing what it can to help from its limited resources. We are not only rebuilding three schools (in spite of the difficulties that have arisen through water shortages and forest fires) but also aiming to restore confidence and attendances by providing short term revenue support. This includes through providing learning materials and free school lunches. You can help us through our forthcoming “Educating Reeti” campaign that will launch on 13th June and run for five weeks.

Do you have a personal link to a school that can support us with some fundraising? If you do, please drop us a line to info@chorachori.org.uk.

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