This article was first published in the Voorschotense Krant in August 2021 and was written by Senior School Voorschoten (SSV) student, Magda Godzina.
The village of Ghachok is situated in the mountains of north-central Nepal, a rural location with limited resources and many schools with few fully trained teachers. The remote nature of Ghachok means most families rely on subsistence farming to survive. Shortages of educational facilities and resources is an unfortunate reality for the people of Ghachok.
Teach Nepal Project’s journey started in the Spring of 2015 when a team of BSN (The British School in The Netherlands) retired and current teachers and staff were given the opportunity to visit Nepal for the first time. I had the privilege of interviewing Bridget van de Pol for this article.
Presented with the opportunity of a lifetime to share their years of expertise, the teachers travelled to Nepal with the goal of offering training and workshops to the teachers at the local schools. Following their successful first trip, various staff have accompanied them annually to Nepal, carrying out numerous projects to ameliorate the lives of the people in Ghachok.
Over time, these projects have evolved. The team provided English books and educational materials to support teaching, contributed to overall school improvements, provided advice and liaised with local staff. They also donated smokeless stoves to replace open fires inside houses, thereby improving the health of the community.
The Nepalese children became enamoured by Roald Dahl and Harry Potter stories, and the team gradually changed the learning environment to make education fun and more interactive. Local teachers reported that children were running to school with enthusiasm.
The charity has grown and evolved over the last six years. In May 2018, it was officially registered at the Kamer van Koophandel (Chamber of Commerce) to ensure transparency of funding and expenditure.
Computers are invariably rare in the Nepalese mountains. However, access to even the most basic computer training can create future opportunities for work or study.
Although it is arguably their most challenging project to date, the team aims to have four computer labs installed in schools by EduTech Nepal before July 2022. The computer labs will provide IT access for over 600 children who do not have their own facilities at home. Teach Nepal’s little IT training centre has already trained teachers, women and exam-age students in basic IT skills.
The ramifications of the pandemic have made it increasingly difficult for Teach Nepal to raise funds compared to previous years. Despite this, the team is currently organising a sponsored walk on September 4th, which anyone can get involved in by emailing the charity. The funds raised will be dedicated to the IT labs project. Donations can be made via the following link; https://teachnepalproject.wordpress.com/to-make-a-donation/
Every time Teach Nepal volunteers return to Ghachok, they become more integrated into the community. The project has changed the lives of the people in the village while simultaneously touching everyone who visited to help. The teachers are always greeted with a warm welcome, and so naturally, their commitment increases with each visit. Upon departure, they already plan their next visit and consequently the next phase of support.
Magda is a Senior School Voorschoten Student and Deputy Secretary-General for BSNMUN. You can read another blog that she contributed here: The Start of a Legacy – BSN MUN 2021.
Follow the BSN Teach Nepal Project and other BSN charity work on Twitter: @BSNCAS, #BSNTeachNepal
Follow the BSNMUN on Twitter: @BSN_MUN