As in previous years volunteers of Help in Action were present in Nepal for the conclusion of the school year and to help in the school enrollments for the new school year (the month of April). During this period the children were photographed, school reports and letters for sponsors were collected. We visited 9 schools in the immediate area where we work and where the majority of the children study. As always this is the best way to meet the children and to gain information from their teachers. Other children who live further away were called to the office along with their parents.
This year 89 children finished school after sitting for their School Leaving Certificate (SLC). In Nepal the SLC exam is commonly known as the “iron gateway” as it opens to the young adults a better future. Now these children are looking for work or choosing further education courses. Thanks to help from their sponsors we still have 22 children studying at university level, and 15 at college level. However, many other children are supporting their own studies with money they earn, thanks to work found with their SLC certificates.
There was good news this year for pupils of Gangchen Samling School. From this year the School will include class 9 and 10. This means that at an important point in their education the children will no longer have to change schools for the last two years of their education. The school is well known in the area for offering an high level education to some of the poorest and most needy children. Many of these children would be unable to attend school at all if not for this school. Most of the parents work as labourers on building sites or in local factories, some of them are beggars or live from the harvest they manage to collect from small pieces of land. The sponsorship programme is instrumental in allowing this school to continue to support the children who most need it and the more children that the Association can find sponsors for, the more free places the school can allocate to other children from poor families or local orphanages. This year thanks to generous donations given through the Association the school has been able to build four new classrooms in order to run classes 9 and 10.
Since many years the Association has eagerly supported children who have particular difficulties or disabilities. Families with disabled children face countless problems as, more often than not, they are unable to pay for medical care or services. We are presently supporting several children with special needs to attend school. Another six families with more severely disabled children are presently receiving financial aid. This money, in all of these cases, allows the mother to stay at home and care for the child. Without this help the mothers are forced to leave these vulnerable children alone at home or in the care of another child who then also misses out on an education.
Financial aid also reaches a number of elderly people. These old people, without families, also find themselves in very difficult situations. Without any kind of social care in Nepal, they are often left without any income whatsoever to pay for shelter, food or medicine.
The general situation in Nepal is, as in most other places, increasingly difficult. Prices are rising at an alarming rate and well-paid work is difficult to find. There is a constant shortage of water and electricity is available for only a few hours each day. Many families struggle to provide the basic necessities and in order to simply survive are forced to sacrifice the education of their children. The work of the Association and in particular your help is invaluable in giving these children a chance… On behalf of the hundreds of children and their families who are receiving help in Nepal: THANK YOU.