Rotary International District 1100
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Rotary D1100 - Ekhabu School in Nepal – Pahar Trust
Timeline, Trust background and its achievements to date, the future and what we can do to help
Double click the picture below right to go to the associatet Ekhabu School pictures and an automatic slideshow in the Photo Gallery section of this site.
First approach by villagers to the PTN (Pahar Trust Nepal) requesting a new school
The project and villagers‟ commitment to it assessed by PTN Project Manger
District 1100 2009-10 Conference at Torquay – idea of a district project floated
April to October 2010
Donations and pledges from many District 1100 clubs received by PTN
Commitment from Bredon Hill, Evesham and Pershore Rotary clubs to the project
Funding secured form Gurkha Welfare Trust
Foundation stone laid
February 2011 –July 2011
July 2011 onwards
Finishing and equipping school
- £1,700 will provide furniture, books and sports equipment
- £1,600 will provide solar power and computers
THE START OF A NEW SCHOOL...
Any community can apply to the Pahar Trust for a new school with the application first being considered by our staff in Nepal, many of whom have a background in the Queens Gurkha Engineers. If they feel a project is viable, a comprehensive survey is conducted and a school requisition form is completed.
The survey determines:
- The level of commitment and assistance the villagers are able to offer,
- The provision of a suitable plot of land
- A clearly stated contribution from the village – this is usually equivalent to 15-20% of the cost
- Availability of materials in the locality
- Preparation of 80% of the construction materials by the villagers before the construction begins
The planning process:
- A drawing/plan of the proposed new school
- The cost estimate
- Drawing up a requisition form for construction materials
- Availability of 70% of the budget from the sponsor before construction begins
The trust needs to be certain that there is a need for education and that the villagers are willing to both commit to the project and assist the PTN in every way they can. This both guarantees village 'ownership' of the school and minimises costs. The villagers must also be willing to subscribe to the ethos of the PTN through ensuring that the school will be cared for by the community after completion and show a willingness to continually strive for high educational standards. They must sign up to the following principles
- Equality – ensuring the equal and fair treatment of all students within school
- Social Care – understanding and considering the home environment of the students
- The protection of children – ensuring that children are not hurt or harmed as a result of their attendance at school
- School Ownership – the school belongs to the school staff and the pupils. They should take care of the school and constantly seek to improve the school environment. This also includes the suggestion that the school should be a focal point for the entire community so that community groups use the buildings and contribute to maintenance and improvement
- The Independence of Education – the educational curriculum, as well as the nature and scope of the subjects that are taught in the school, is best determined by the Nepalese people and those who operate the school on a daily basis. The Pahar Trust will, however, seek to maintain a strong relationship with each school after the school opening.
"If you are thinking a year ahead, sow a seed. If you are thinking ten years ahead, plant a tree. If you are thinking one hundred years ahead, educate the people" (Chinese proverb c.500BC)
Background to the Pahar Trust Nepal
The Pahar Trust is a British based charity and was established in 1992 by ex-servicemen from the Queens Gurkha Engineers. Its main focus is raising the necessary funds and co-ordinating the construction of schools in remote areas of East and West Nepal.
Currently, 50 schools have been completed and opened with several others still under construction. There are also 22 other projects paid for by the trust including school hostels, housing, health posts and the provision of safe drinking water and sanitation, so it is a "one stop shop" for literacy health and water projects. Less than £1 million has been spent to date by the trust in achieving all this.
The trust is run by a team of Trustees based in the UK with 8 employed staff in Nepal and as projects are negotiated and completed at village level, no payments are made to any other agencies so 97% of funds raised are spent directly on projects.
Local labour is employed and the villagers help by providing land, breaking rocks for aggregate (average of 25 tons per build) and ensuring building materials reach the site so costs are kept low.
Many of the projects are within conservation areas so high standards are maintained to ensure environmental sustainability of the building work. All projects carried out by the Trust are sustainable as schools are only built with the agreement of the local village community who agree to look after the buildings and effectively own them 2 years after completion.
The work of the Pahar Trust to date:
- 19 years and just under £1 million
- 50 completed schools
- 11 ongoing school projects
- 3 boarding houses at schools
- 3 healthposts
- 13 other projects – playgrounds, kitchens, toilets, water supply
Requests for more projects keep coming in:
- 51 requests for schools – East and West, primary and secondary
- 1 for a healthpost – to complement the District School at Ekhabu
- 1 for a boarding house
- Various extensions needed for library/computer facilities at existing schools
What we can do for the money:
- £100 could pay for a school place for a year
- £500 could stock a library with books and a computer
- £1,000 could provide solar power
- £5,000 could fund an extension for extra classrooms/library
- £10,000 could fund a new healthpost or a boarding house at a school
- £20,000 upwards could fund a whole new school
More information from Rtn Tim Mitchell, Clifton RC