Help provide high quality education to children in rural Nepal. Give them the freedom to pursue their dreams.
On May 1, 2013, Dorje Gurung, a teacher, was jailed under false accusation in Qatar. This happened at a time when he was thinking of finally going back home to Nepal and devoting himself fulltime to educational charity work. During the 12 days in confinement, he was filled with many doubts but his dream to help change the education system in Nepal remained undeterred.
All he needed now was to get his freedom back.
His friends and network that he had earned over his lifetime of learning and teaching came to his rescue. They along with thousands of strangers who believed in justice won him his freedom through an online petition, social media campaigns and myriad of other pressure tactics.
For Dorje, the time has never been better to start acting on his dream.
Born into a family of low socio-economic status in a small town in Nepal, he attended local government schools. But a teacher recognized his potential, and as a result, he ended up in a high quality school in the Nepali capital of Kathmandu where his studies were subsidized by the owners. That simple step changed his life. From there, through hard work and determination, he went on to educate himself in schools and colleges abroad, all paid for by scholarships, and later became a teacher himself.
Looking back on his childhood and the 12 days he spent in jail with 10 other Nepalese who didn’t have the same educational opportunities as he did, he realized education--both when pursuing and providing it--had contributed to his freedom.
And it is this freedom he wants to give back to his community. As a start, he wants to help one of the many government schools he visited last summer.
(Fig. 1. A typical government school classroom.)
The school in Sindhupalchowk (a district three hours from Kathmandu), like most government schools in Nepal, has very poor infrastructure, lacks resources and trained teachers. The dropout rate is alarmingly high and the exam pass rate very low.
If you believe education can change lives of the children of Sindupalchowk for better, help him do that. Help provide high quality education to communities in the area. Help his quest to give back to the community what he has received with the help of communities around the world - freedom. Freedom through education.
(Fig. 2. A typical government school Science resources and "lab".)
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With the tipping point funds we will be able to make a holistic intervention in one school in Sindupalchowk, Nepal AND to help the school find a sustainable source of income to keep growing. The funds will be used in this way.
$2105 - Build a playground to provide a stimulating common space for the children
$7530 - For material and resources to update teaching methods in:
----Science - This is a critical skill and a subject close to Dorje's heart as he is a Science teacher himself.
----English Language - Because it opens up career and education opportunity for the students.
$8,500 - To build a small scale community based fishery. The money will be spent on infastructure for the fishery and training for people from the local community to run the fishery. 100% of profits from the fishery will be reinvested into the school.
$10,000 - To build one floor of a new building to replace the one that was recently condemed and torn down. This floor will have 2 classrooms that will help house existing students.
The cost for both the building and fishery only incudes skilled labor and materials not in the community. The community will contribute in-kind with all the resources available there and labor they can provide.
(Fig. 3. A typical government school classroom filled with students.)
From the tipping point up:
The first $5151 - to provided learning resources through a library and library management skills to the school staff
the next $5000 - to provide enhanced support for i. science ii.english language and to include iii. an arts curriculum into the school (a often neglected subject in low resrouces school)
the last $13030 - to build the second floor of a new building to replace the one that was recently condemed and torn down. This floor will have 4 classrooms that will help expand the school from 8th grade to 12th grade.
This cost only incudes skilled labor and materials not in the community. The community will contribute in-kind with all the resources available there and labor they can provide.
(Fig. 4. A typical government school display "board.")