Wednesday, April 26, 2017

SIS Canada in South Korea Visits Thangpalkot

A group of students from SIS Canada in South Korea, accompanied by their Principal Marc Daneault visited Thangpalkot earlier this month. As part of their Spring trip to Nepal, the student raised funds to assist COMMITTED on our quest to build and refurnish the libraries destroyed by the April 25, 2015, earthquake.

They were able to raise US$2000 towards it. With US$500 they bought books and library accessories from a publishing house based in Kathmandu for Kumveshwori Primary School in Gunsa. The group handed us the rest of the funds to help us continue our library-related work in the area.

(Incidentally, this isn't the first time they have contributed funds to COMMITTED.)

The group went to Thangpalkot on April 8, accompanied by our Education Program Director, Dorje Gurung, and after spending a night in the village, they continued on with their trekking program.

While in Thangpalkot, the group had an International Friendly Football Match with the local students the afternoon they arrived. The following morning, they handed over the books to Kumveshwori Primary School officials.

SIS Canada students and Principal ready to hit the road to Thangpalkot.

Football action late afternoon of April 8 on the newly renovated footfall field next to Saat Kanya Primary School. (SIS Canada students are in red.)
SIS Canada student formally hands over the books to a Kumveshwori School official in the library COMMITTED recently built.
The books (in boxes) and library accessory (book sleeves to hang and display books on a wall).
Group photos after the handover ceremony.
COMMITED is very grateful to SIS Canada students and Marc, their Principal, for all their efforts raising funds for our library projects and for visiting us. We hope that this is just the first of many more trips to come! We very much look forward to continued collaboration and support.

Be sure to return for updates on how the rest of the funds are being used.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Construction of Libraries in 4 VDCs in Ilaka 12, Sindhupalchok district commences

The construction of libraries in Gunsa, Baruwa, Bhotang and Bhotenamlang VDCs in Sindhupalchok district is currently underway. The libraries are being built through the Establishing Accountability and Transparency Mechanism in School Governance Project funded by Give 2 Asia.  The libraries will be built in the following five schools in each VDC:

1. Chandika Secondary School, Baruwa VDC
2. Kumbeshwory Primary School, Gunsa VDC
3. Bhotang Devi Secondary School, Bhotang VDC
4. Kshetrapaleshwory Higher Secondary School, Bhotenamlang VDC
5. Thangpaldhap Higher Secondary School, Thangpaldhap VDC

Construction of library in Kumbeshwory School, Gunsa 


Construction of library in Chandika School, Baruwa
All the above four schools suffered major destruction during the earthquake and require new libraries. In the future, the libraries will not only serve as a reading room for the children but the monthly Village Education Committee (VEC) Meetings will also take place in them. The truss and civil work is currently going on in Kshetrapaleshwory School, Bhotenamlang and Bhotang Devi School, Bhotang.

Assessment for construction of library in Kshetrapaleshwory School, Bhotenamlang VDC

Civil work for construction of library in Bhotang Devi School, Bhotang VDC
Civil work underway for construction of library in Bhotang

On the other hand, in Chandika School, Baruwa and Kumbeshwory School, Gunsa the truss and civil work has already been completed. The iron frames for the structure and the tin roofs are now being set up in these two schools as can be seen from the images below. Construction is yet to begin for the library in Thangpaldhap Higher Secondary School in Thangpaldhap VDC. We have set a target to complete the construction of these 5 libraries by the end of July as long as the monsoon does not delay our process.
Iron frames being set up in Chandika School, Baruwa VDC

Tin roofs being added to the structure in Baruwa

Construction of library underway in Kumbeshwory School, Gunsa VDC

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Post Earthquake: What We Have Done and Accomplished So Far

Last week, a team from COMMITTED attended the Education Cluster meeting the District Headquarter, Chautara. The meeting was held at the District Education Office. All NGO's and INGO's involved in post-earthquake reconstruction in the district of Sindhupalchok were represented.

The purpose was to present -- to the district officials -- details of post-earthquake education-related work NGO's and INGO's were conducting in the district.

Reproduced below are some of the important details presented at the three-hour gathering. Click on any image for the original and a slide show.

(NPR and US$ exchange rate is approximately NPR 100.00 = US$1.00. So, just drop the last two digits and you'll get an approximate value in US dollars.)

For a glimpse into a Temporary Learning Center (TLC), click here. The blog post contains an embedded video of Raithane School TLC.

For more on the Star Reader and Writer program, click here. For some photos of the winter jacket distribution, click here. For more on the work that was carried out on the fishery, click here.

(You can read up on the reconstruction of Taltuleshwori  herehere, here and here. For a video of the almost complete school, click here; it's embedded in the blog post. For some photos, click here.

For some photos of the reconstruction of Chilaune School click here and here. For a video, click here; it's embedded in the blog post.)

Be sure to let us know what you think about our work etc. by commenting below!

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Establishing a Better and Improved Public School System in Nepal

Establishing a Better and Improved Public School System in Nepal by ensuring Accountability and Transparency.

Chandika School, Baruwa VDC where we plan to build a library

With the support of funds from Give 2 Asia, we have initiated a new project that aims to ensure accountability and transparency within the public school system in Sindhupalchok district. The project site is located in Ilaka 12 of the district and has six local bodies – VDCs; namely, Baruwa, Gunsakot, Thangpalkot, Thangpaldhap, Bhotenamlang, and Bhotang. The monitoring of public education system is not practiced best in Nepal. COMMITTED identifies that the school system has failed  to capitalize on the available Village Education (VEC) structure as well as local civil vigilance groups - Parent Teacher Associations (PTA); Ward Citizen Forums (WCF).

Assesment of Bhotang Devi School, Bhotang VDC for construction of Library

Through this project firstly the VEC will be strengthened for all education needs, including the formulation of a Village Education Plan including resource generation. Second, a citizen driven vigilance system will be created through which students, citizen groups, and government resources are mobilized to ensure all actors in this sector are transparent, accountable and diligent in their duties. This will be complemented with raising awareness and processes regarding the Right to Information (RTI) Act. Third, the capacity of the School Management Committee (SMC) will be developed for improved planning, reporting, and operations. In addition, five school libraries will also be rebuilt using earthquake safe material as a part of the rebuilding effort in the post earthquake stage. Rebuilding libraries at these schools will assist the underprivileged children to return to formal school environment. Having a new permanent library will enable these vulnerable children from getting back to reading and enjoying school.

Assesment of Thangpaldhap School, ThangpaldhapVDC 

We believe that efforts to bring in qualified teachers and improve on infrastructure, facilities and resource generation are all necessary for an effective education system. However, without governance system to not only monitor activities and check for malpractice, but also create a plan for moving forward, all such efforts could only prove to be futile. This program will resurrect and strengthen the governance structure as well as create a system through which all stakeholders’ roles are clearly defined, their capacities built and as a result, in unison, an education governance mechanism will be built to benefit all households for current and future generations.

Assesment of Chhetrapaleshwory School, Bhotenamlang VDC 

Our team comprising of the Senior Program Coordinator, Program Coordinator and Technical Engineer visited the six VDCs last week. They assessed the six different schools in the six VDCs which have been selected for the construction of libraries. The libraries will also serve the purpose of conducting VEC activities as when required and appropriate. Simultaneously, the team is currently rigorously involved in planning and management of the activities that will be undertaken within this project. 

Thursday, March 24, 2016

The two Champion Sisters Lambuti and Khendo Lama

Fourteen year old Khendo Lama and fifteen year old Lambuti Lama are two very talented athletes who come from Bhotang VDC, Sindhupalchok. The two come from a family of 4 sisters and a brother. Both of them currently study in class nine in Shree Chilaune Secondary School, Thangpalkot VDC. These two talented sisters have been winning a number of accolades in athletics since the last three years. Following is a brief outline of their achievements:

Miss Khendo Lama
·         Awarded the Gold medal in the 1500m Marathon in the President’s Cup organized by Sindhupalchok District, 2070 B.S.
·         Awarded the Gold medal in the 1500m & 5000m Marathon in the President’s Cup organized by Sindhupalchok District, 2071 B.S.
·         Awarded the Gold medal in the 1500m Marathon in the President’s Cup organized by Sindhupalchok District, 2072 B.S.
·         Awarded the Silver medal in the Helambu Festival Marathon, Sindhupalchok District, 2071 B.S

The two Champions after winning the 3rd and 4th title in the Women's Day 5K Run
The two sisters with the other two winners in the 5K Fun Run
Khendo and Lambuti at the Helambu Festival Marathon with the legendary Nepali Marathon Runner Baikuntha Manandhar

Miss Lambuti Lama
·         Awarded the Gold medal in the 800m Marathon in the President’s Cup organized by Sindhupalchok District, 2071 B.S.
·         Awarded the Gold medal in the 800m Marathon in the President’s Cup organized by Sindhupalchok District, 2072 B.S.
·         Awarded the Bronze medal in the Helambu Festival Marathon, Sindhupalchok District, 2071 B.S.
The two sisters with other participants and their teacher Mr. Babu Lal Tamang
Khendo and Lambuti on their way to complete the 5K Run

The two Champions with the support of their school teacher Mr. Babu Lal Tamang try their best to participate in more such events as much as possible. They also participated in the Nagarkot Tourism Development Marathon held this year. Also, Lambuti and Khendo participated in the recent 5 Kilometer Fun Run organized by Women Lead, Higher Ground and a number of other organizations on the occasion of International Women’s day, 2016. 

Khendo and Lambuti stood 3rd and 4th respectively in this 5K Run among a total of 500 participants which included women from all ages and even expats. The two girls received attractive prizes along with their certificates. We are very proud of these two girls and truly admire them for their enthusiasm and spirit. We wish them the very best for their future endeavors.

Friday, March 18, 2016

Dreams do come true – The Story of Prakriti Shrestha

Prakriti in her ANM program
19 year old Prakriti Shrestha comes from a family with a weak financial background from the village of Gunsakot, Sindhupalchok district in Nepal. When in school, Prakriti was a very hard working student and she cleared her SLC (School Leaving Certificate) examinations from Raithane Secondary School, Thangpalkot with first division grades. Initially, because of her family’s financial hardships, her father and stepmother sadly wanted to marry her off. However through the fund raiser made possible by COMMITTED, Prakriti got a chance to pursue further education. In June 2013 when COMMITTED’s Education Program Director Dorje Gurung visited Thangpalkot and interacted with school students and shot a video for his ‘Education is Freedom’ fundraising campaign, she had expressed her dream of studying to be a nurse one day.

Prakriti pursuing her nursing studies
Through the fundraising campaign we were able to raise Rs. 45,700 required at the start of the Associate/Auxiliary Nurse Midwife (ANM) program which Prakriti wanted to pursue. The rest of her educational expenses were covered by contributions from two other non-governmental organizations. We feel happy to share that she has now successfully completed the 18 month long ANM course and is now awaiting her final examination results. She is now engaged in her nurse practices and is waiting for her results to plan about her further career. Given her personal and familial struggles, Prakriti has really come a long way to fulfill her dreams, despite the struggles that she constantly faced. She is truly an inspiration to young girls out there and we will support her in what she plans to do in her career next.

Thursday, March 3, 2016

How the Earthquake severely affected Raithane Secondary School

The powerful 7.8 Richter scale earthquake that struck Nepal on April 25th, 2015 and its recurrent aftershocks severely damaged Shree Raithane Secondary School in Thangpalkot VDC, Sindhupalchok district. Of the 18 total school rooms of Raithane School, 11 have been completely destroyed. The remaining 7 are also partially damaged. After the devastation met by schools because of the earthquake, the District Education Office Sindhupalchok assigned COMMITTED as one of its partners to help rebuild schools in Thangpalkot VDC.

The earthquake ravaged Shree Raithane School
The classrooms that were reduced to rubble
Debris clearance 
Due to the earthquake, classes were disrupted for over a month. Working together with the Nepal Army, the School Management Committee, school teachers, and local residents COMMITTED established Temporary Learning Centers (TLC) on school grounds. Classes have been running in the TLCs since May 31. The school had been torn down to rubble and needs to be built from scratch. With the support of the funds given by Western Union we have completed the debris clearance and land stabilization activities which is crucial before rebuilding the school.  

The collapsed weak structures were dismantled, the debris was cleared up by employing workers and the scattered stones of the rubble were used to make gabion boxes.  These gabion boxes have been used to level up the slopes near where the school stood. Since the land was slanting a little, these boxes have helped in stabilizing the land before construction of a new structure takes place there.

Workers making the Gabion Boxes 
Land stabilization
Sadly, we still have not been able to raise enough funds yet to rebuild the school and are looking for contributions. Please support us and help us rebuild Raithane Secondary School by pouring in contributions by going to this link

The TLC of Raithane Secondary School