of steep Himalayan spires, yak herders and fluttering prayer flags
spring to mind when you think of Nepal, but you might not imagine life
in the mountains as harsh and survival uncertain. The mountain villages
are isolated and remote, and life is pre-industrial. With no access to
sanitation, running water, electricity, health care or education,
Himalayan folk suffer in silence -- a forgotten people. Compounding the
challenges these people face are child trafficking, high child
mortality, and child marriages. Having an education makes a huge
difference in the lives of the Himalayan children.
most remote Himalayan areas, children receive no education; in fact,
the literacy rate is a mere 2%. Education has been profoundly affected
by the civil war that ended in 2006. Schools were abandoned and suffered
damage to roofs and floors, and books, desks and chairs were looted.
Salaries for teachers in outlying areas went unpaid. Corruption in
Nepal, including government schools, is extreme. In many cases,
teachers do not show up for school, but are still paid. The supervisors
compound the issue by confirming that the teacher is at the school when in fact he is not.
A GROUP FROM LONDON, ONTARIO WANTS TO PROVIDE OPPORTUNITIES FOR EDUCATION. In 2010, the Himalayan Teachers Project was born. Eileen Parker,
Barry Johnson and Mary Lou Greenwood initiated the Himalayan Teachers
Project in partnership with Shree Mangal Dvip Boarding School (SMD)
located in Kathmandu, Nepal, and Shirley Blair, the Director of the SMD
School. First a little history Shree Mangal Dvip School (SMD School)The
eminent Tibetan lama, Thrangu Rinpoche, founded Shree Mangal Dvip
Boarding School to meet the needs of the children from remote Himalayan
villages where there are no schools. This school was opened in
Kathmandu 1987 to serve Himalayan children from four to twenty years
old. Instruction is offered from preschool to grade 10. Currently
there are nearly 700 students with over 60% of them being girls.
Besides boarders, there are day students, including nuns and monks that
attend from Rinpoche’s monastery and nunnery. All
schooling for these children is funded through overseas sponsors. SMD
is too crowded to offer Grades 11 and 12, so students going on to a
higher education must be taught outside of SMD School at for-profit
schools (all urban), again funded through donations.
The Himalayan Teachers Fund will address this challenge!
The London team raised over $23,000 - enough to train 4 teachers to return to their Himalayan villages and teach approximately 200 children.
The funds will be dispersed as follows based on current costs:
Training Costs per Student (Note: students will be housed by SMD school while finishing grades 11
Grades 11 & 12 $1,000
3 Years University $1,125 ( $375 x 3 years - includes books)
Salary for 2 years $3,250 ($125 per month x 13 months x 2
years) in Lhi village, Nubri
School supplies $ 500
Total costs $5375
Selection CriteriaShirley Blair, Director, has chosen FOUR SMD students based on the following criteria:
They would wish to serve. This is most important. This type of
thinking is ingrained in the students through the Buddhist training of
giving back and helping.
2. They would be committed to the
founder's aims of preserving the culture, language and Buddhist way of
life of the Himalayan people.
3. They would be required to have high marks and organizational skills.
They would be required to make a 2-year commitment in writing to Thrangu
Rinpoche to remain in their villages to teach upon completing their
The students that have been
* Phur Yudon * Tashi Chodon * Mikmar Bhuti
* Pasang Lhamo
will receive communications on the progress of these students while
they are studying and preparing to go the villages, information on the
schools they will teach at, and finally notices on the children they
will be teaching. Please stay tuned for further updates.
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