BENEFITING: Santi School Project Inc
This is a rather long message, but I wanted to fully explain my reasons for reaching out as I am not one to enjoy asking for money…so bear with me!
As many of you probably know, I had the great fortune of spending my junior winter in Nepal, working for a small organization called Santi School Project. Santi School is run by an incredibly smart and dedicated Nepali team that strives to improve the standard of education in rural areas, especially for girls and ethnic minorities. It has partnered with dozens of schools that had fallen into disrepair, renovating infrastructure, providing specialized training to village teachers, and mobilizing volunteers to teach and promote extracurricular and community-based activities. One of the many great and unique things about Santi School is that they know these communities inside out and are therefore able to provide sustainable solutions specifically targeted to individual village needs. I was able to see that firsthand while working in a small village called Nallu, a bit south of Kathmandu Valley.
Rural communities were incredibly hard-hit by the April 25th earthquake and aftershocks, and they struggle to recover without access to outside aid, most of which is being funneled into Kathmandu Valley. Nallu was devastated and my host family’s home destroyed, as were the homes of all of the students I worked with. I learned this information about a week after the earthquake from one of the teachers at the school; the only prior messages I had received were from my host sisters assuring me that all was fine, not to worry or be sad—a testament to the unfailingly empathetic and positive outlook of all the people I spent time with in Nallu. The truth is that it will take much time to heal and thousands to rebuild, and in the meantime, education is on the back burner. Now that some of the dust has settled and Nallu has received more immediate forms of relief, they are looking forward with the hope of rebuilding school infrastructure and getting the kids back in the classroom.
To that end, I received the below note from Sher Bahadur, the principal of Gupteshwor School, where I worked. He was my host father in Nallu and an incredibly generous and proud person, which is to say that I know asking for help did not come easy.
Which is why I am reaching out to you! Santi School estimates that a basic rebuild of its partner schools will cost about $10,000 each. Given the circumstances, it’s possible to make a large and sustained impact on a community that showed me more kindness than I ever could have anticipated, and I would love your help if you are at all willing or able. Even the smallest of donations helps. I wish I were doing a marathon, but I simply cannot run. Nevertheless, you can be absolutely certain that your money will go directly to the renovation and support of Gupteshwor School and its students through Santi School.
I set my goal probably unrealistically high—at $5,000, because why not try!—and Penguin Random House has agreed to match, but honestly I would love to pass on any amount. If you are able to contribute and leave your name, I will pass on a list of names to Santi School and Sher Bahadur, and I know they will be immensely grateful. Please also forward this on to anyone you know who is interested in Nepal, your parent, generally looking to make a charitable donation, generally looking to dispense money, or otherwise inclined to give!
Alright, that is all I have, thank you so much for sticking around through this ungodly long message if you happen to still be reading, and please let me know if you have any questions. Please scroll through the photos on the left to see some of the students I spent time with in Nallu.
Thank you, more than I can say!
Letter from Sher Bahadur:
The Nallu VDC situated in the southern belt of the Lalitpur District covering 8 sq. km area elongated in East-West direction. This VDC is surrounded by Dalchocki, Bhardue, Lele and Sankhu VDC which is approximately 20 km far from the capital city Kathmandu. In this VDC, three educational institutions are providing its services namely Mahangkal Primary School, Devi Lower Secondary School and Guteswor Secondary School.
Most of the people in this region are still far from the light of the education. Due to inadequate facilities of academics and low level of awareness among the people, majority of the people are still illiterate. This is why, general people arrre mostly engaged in traditional farming, works as daily wage base agricultural labor while few are working in government services.
The massive earthquake of 25 April 2015 has devastated this village demolishing the existing almost all kind of physical structures. The educational institutions are facing hard time in present time as its physical structures are all damaged badly.
Due to the geographical difficulty and the inadequate reach of general people in central, the chances of rebuilding these structures seems very hard and time consuming. The presence of government services seems very minimum and less productive.
In such situation, the role of non-governmental bodies including individual partners is very much essential for rehabilitation process. There is need of immediate response to address the current need of this village especially in the sector of education.
Gupteshwor Secondary School.
Sher Bahadur Tamang ( Principal)