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Two years ago:
In the shadow of a beautiful Himalayan mountain range, students from the Shree Sundary Keurani Higher Secondary School filled the schoolyard, all I heard was laughter.
I visited this public school which had about 200 students then, while I was distributing mosquitoes nets to 889 families in the district.
The students range from preschool to Grade 12 between the ages of four to 16. What they all have in common was and still is, the lack of school supplies.
The public school is situated at Gerkhu, Nuwakot, about 96 Kilometres from Kathmandu, currently has 243 students, most of whom are from under-privileged and lower castes families.
One of the students named Debaki Mijar dropped out in Grade 9 due to the difficult economic situation in which she lives.
The 17-year-old is living with her older sister after their mother passed on. Her father is living with her stepmother in another house.
She grows her own foods, if there is extra produce, she will sell them or trade it with other essential items. One of the reasons she dropped out of school was the lack of school uniform, stationery, and a school bag.
Born into the lowest caste (the untouchable), her family and her are facing a problem familiar to other students from the lower caste in Nepal: Discrimination that bars them from many forms of employment.
Despite facing economic hardship and inequality, she would like to complete her secondary education.
Similarly, other parents in the area are eager to have their children be educated.
The condition of the school’s facilities are better than many public schools which are under-resourced due to the government has not allocated enough teachers or facilities, in some cases, some public schools do not have full-time teachers at all.
This single-storey school has basic educational resources such as table and chairs, classrooms, whiteboards, and full-time teachers.
On one hand, I am happy to see that the school equipped with basic educational resources and facilities, on the other, I am sad that the students do not even have the most basic of school supplies.
No one should be denied an education because he or she were born in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Most of us have been blessed with a warm bed, good healthy food, and a quality education. If we have been blessed with these good fortunes, shouldn’t we strive to provide that same blessing to everyone who has not yet experienced it?
Although it has been three years since the 2015 earthquake, Nepali is still feeling the effect of the earthquake. Nuwakot is one of the worst-affected districts by the disaster that had rendered thousands of families in the district homeless.
Currently, affected families are rebuilding houses with all their savings, some have sold their livestock, and took out loans from local money-lenders and banks. Nearly two-thirds of earthquake victims took out loans in 2017 to finance reconstruction.
Some 60 students out of 300 dropped out of school after the earthquake. However, students have begun to go back to school. The number of students has increased from 220 in 2015 to 243 this year.
The increasing numbers of students indicate that in spite of the financial pressure, people want their children to pursue and get a good education.
With savings drying up, earning below poverty line income, and increased debts, getting their children a school uniform, a school bag and other essential supplies for school put a heavy weight on their shoulders.
We may not be able to help their parents to finance the rebuilding of their houses but we can at least lessen the financial burden of the education of their children.
The caste system and poverty make it harder for children to stay in school as their family cannot afford essential supplies for school.
Students walk from home to school and they put textbooks and exercise books in plastic bags to protect the books from rain and dirt.
Some students have to cross a number of hills to get to the school, the longest walking distance between their homes and the school is about an hour and a half.
During the rainy season, without a school bag, it is difficult to protect the books from the rain.
In addition to poverty, for the majority of households, financing reconstruction of houses remains a serious challenge. If people are going further into debt, their children might have to forgo schooling.
For just USD 25, every student will receive a brand new school bag, a pair of tracksuit, and stationery sets.
The stationary sets were donated by a French lady, and currently stored in a warehouse in Kathmandu, we will bring these stationary to the village.
Addressing this predicament will boost the educational prospect and confidence of underprivileged students and give a chance to those who have stopped schooling to go back to school.
How much will it cost?
The total project cost is USD 5,100 and it will take one day to distribute all of the items. A report will be published upon project completion.
The total for 243 pair of tracksuits
is NPR 396,450
Small size - NPR1,205 x 58 students = NPR 72,500
Medium size - NPR 1,550 x 61 students = NPR 94,550
Large size - NPR1,850 x 124 students = NPR 229,400
The total for 243 school bags
is NPR 180,810
NPR 670 per school bag (NPR 650 school bag + NPR 20 school logo embroidery, to prevent reselling)Transport
(roundtrip Kathmandu - Nuwakot) = NPR 18000
= USD 5,100 (NPR 577,260)
*This is a personal initiative, it is not affiliated with any non-for-profit and for-profit organisation. Donors will receive a report upon completion of the project.
**If you’d like to transfer the funds to me directly, please email email@example.com
The prices of these items may increase if businesses raise prices.
1. Will the organiser deliver the item herself?
I will distribute the items myself to ensure every student receive the donation they need.
2. Will donor receives a project report?
Yes, I will prepare a project report and every donor will receive a report of this fundraiser.
3. Why we source from local suppliers?
We will buy school bags and tracksuits from local suppliers as it will extend the benefits further into the community, the cost is lower than shipping by air from Malaysia to Nepal and to reduce carbon footprints.