The last brochure printed in October 2017 contained an opening paragraph highlighting a certain return to normalcy for Nagarhope after the devastating earthquakes of April and May 2015. As I type this opening today, we are all well aware of the ‘new normal’ due to the worldwide Covid 19 pandemic. As an organisation, we have been delayed on several fronts. Nagarhope Basic School has only opened for about 40 days since the start of the school year in mid- April; classes for schools in Kathmandu valley are entirely online, many students deprived of education due to lack of internet access. The renewal of Nagarhope has suffered constant delays due to government offices being closed down due to the spread of the corona virus.
But, as always, the show must go on. Before the registration process of Nagarhope Basic School (NBS) had started, the Government of Nepal put a halt on the registration of private schools in Nepal. As our school ran as such, including teaching through English medium, this presented a major problem. The local Municipality gave us a lifeline by suggesting that they would indeed register NBS, so long as we registered as a community school and that we give a minimum of half an acre of land in the school’s name. By Nagarhope Nepal registering this land in NBS’s name, i will prove vital to us securing government assistance in the immediate and long term future.
The local municipality has already provided us with two Government appointed teachers, they will provide lunch money to kids at the pre-primary level, currently numbering 45 students. And most important, the municipality has a duty to source donors to build an earthquake proof school building, through the District Level Program Implementation Unit (DLPIU). In essence, we now have the full backing of the authorities, and are registered all the way up the Ministry of Education. From 80 kids last year, we currently have 108 children admitted in NBS. There are 12 staff members, 2 Govt appointed, 10 staff salaries are paid by Nagarhope. As we upgrade over time, the authorities will provide more teachers, saving Nagarhope on the cost of salaries.
Of course, this all might seem that we will slowly over time lose control of running the school. This is where integration comes in, integrating our original staff with Govt appointed teachers, convincing parents that the quality of education will not be affected and making sure ourselves that the ethos of what the school has always stood for continues through teamwork and dedication.
Nagarhope Nepal recently completed our 11th Annual AGM in a hotel in Nagarkot, attended by 35 committee and general members. Our annual audit and running 1 year budget was passed as well as an agreement reached between Nagarhope Nepal and NBS providing land to the school.
Our education centre in Teku, Kathmandu, that had run for 9 years supporting the education of over 200 school and college students closed down in March 2019. A massive thanks to Rupa Miss, our teacher, Menuka Miss, our helper, and to our ex-teachers Divya and Manju for all their incredible work over the years. Also to Sushil Chettri, who was the young man who introduced me to the plight and hardships of inner city people. There have also been many volunteers over the years who contributed to making such a colourful and important centre run, enclosed by ever growing 4 storey concrete buildings.
I always take a look at past brochures when writing a new one. Though our work may be more concentrated on our flagship project Nagarhope Basic School, and work in other areas has declined on a par, the dedication needed to work for those less fortunate than ourselves remains constant. A lot more of our time goes into running programs at NBS such as parents days, sports days, quiz competitions, dance classes and celebrating a multitude of festivals with our staff and students.
All of what we do now, and have done since 2007 is support and provide education to school and college going students at all levels. All of this work, though sometimes hard, having to cut through what seems like endless bureaucratic tape, is essentially rewarding. Seeing young students grow up to become young men and women and follow the dreams that may have eluded them otherwise is reward enough. Our very first beneficiary, a 9 year old village boy, Prem Tamang is now a teacher in NBS, teaching Maths, Science and Computers. Some have married, some have moved abroad, and so many of our ex-students remain friends today. It makes me remember what i came to Nepal for in the first place, especially when they look you in the eye and say a simple ‘Thank You’ for being there when they needed our help.
With that said, I humbly look you all in the eye, every sponsor, donor, volunteer and well-wisher that have continued supporting us from day 1. Money can be raised to build a few classrooms or sponsor a child’s education, but nothing can be done on the ground with actual support and dedication. I sincerely, from the bottom of my heart, thank my family and committee members for their unwavering support and constant concern for me personally and the organisation as a whole.
Mise le Meas
Fachtna ‘Doc’ Clandillon October 13th 2020