Project no.1 – Pangboche School
When we visited this school in May 2013, it was crying out for some love and attention. The children were few in numbers and working from old text books that had been handed down with pages falling out. They were so enthusiastic and very proud to show us their work and read out their English to us.
But there was another problem, they didn’t have a playground. Well they did, but it was on a big slope with no real hope of playing any proper team games. We stood on the slope with the Headmaster and promised him we would be back to help the school
Together with the local management committee and two of our Sherpa friends, Namgel and Dorje, we came up with a plan of action. They told us that as well as a new playground they needed new uniform, musical instruments, traditional local dress, sports equipment, library books and computers.
We applied to the St. James’s Place Foundation for a grant and were lucky enough to be successful in that application. In January 2014 we were able to tell the community that they could start the process. Meanwhile we had a book drive and collected 4000 childrens books that then needed to be transported not only to Nepal but then from Kathmandu to Lukla, and then on to Pangboche, not an easy logistical feat. Friends sponsored yaks and the transport was paid for. In March 2014 a team of 4 followed our sponsored yaks up the trail, arriving at the school where the children enthusiastically unpacked the books and happily started to show their English reading skills.
Now the real hard work was about to start, the playground slope needed to be dug out and levelled and retaining walls built around. This village is 6 miles from Everest, there are no roads to transport rock or bring in mechanical diggers. This playground was constructed by hand, literally carved out of the mountain.
In October 2014 we delivered the new uniform, sports clothes and equipment, traditional dress and musical instruments and handed them out to excited and eager children. The playground was starting to take shape, we even managed to try out some of the sports equipment on the part of the playground that had been completed.
Work continued and in March 2015 we came back to the school, the playground was completed and was huge. A big opening ceremony was laid on with a ribbon being cut and sign being unveiled. The children finally had a proper playground. Computers were also delivered and 3 days of training was given to the teachers and children. Also with thanks to Everest Link wifi was also installed at the school for free.
The next planned visit is November 2015 when we will redecorate 3 rooms and hopefully by then the “finishing” touches will have been done ensuring that the children have a safe environment to study and play in.
Many thanks to our friends in Pangboche for all their support, to the Nepal Youth Foundation for guiding us through this process, to the St. James’s Place Foundation for having the faith in us to deliver this project
We are working on this programme with support and endorsement from the Nepal Youth Foundation (http://www.nepalyouthfoundation.org.uk/ - UK registered Charity No 1115394), who already have a well-established programme of funding and building Malnutrition Centres in Nepal.