JRM Foundation wrote -
Education is a fundamental right. During my last visit to Nepal in the fall of 2016, I visited the brick factories in Bhaktapur as I always do to see how can I help the communities living there. My kids and my team met a family of 5. Parents had gone back to the village while three kids brother 15 and two younger sisters 10 and 12 years old were still living in this little shack on the grounds of this brick factory so they can continue to go to school. It costs about $1 per month tuition per child to attend school at a local public school close by Sudal Village, Nagarkot. Unfortunately that public school is full to capacity and is hurting from lack of funding and resources like teachers. These three siblings get up at 2:00 am every day and start making bricks in dark. They get paid 1c for each brick they make. By 9:00 am they eat their breakfast and get ready to go to school where they remain till afternoon. Their breakfast consists of a cup of tea and a piece of dry toast, for lunch they had simple white rice and lentil soup. My kids and I spent some time with them understanding their aspirations and their goals. Younger sister wanted to become a teacher one day and the older wanted to become a nurse. Brother said he is working in brick factory hard so he can have enough money to see through his sisters education. After the earthquake of 2015 the primary wing building of school was completely destroyed while significant damage occurred to secondary wing of the school. Very soon the current school infrastructure will be taxed enough that they will not be able to take care of 60 such brick factory kids in this area, as they are not able to subsidize the cost of education and teacher`s time for them. School is located in Sudal Village, Bhaktapur about 22 km from Kathmandu center. Our plan is to assist in building a 2 classroom structure made with earthquake resistant pre-fab material. This will be a 540sqft space. More importantly we are looking towards adding several added features like a smart board for the classroom. Satellite internet for content delivery and remote teaching so some of the volunteers from USA can help teach some classes. Solar panels for thermal heat and recharging lights for kids and families. We are also planning to include a sanitation station with hand washes and RO filtered clean drinking water in this small building structure. This structure will be added to current public school system so we are not reinventing a wheel and taxing ourselves with running and managing day to day affairs of the school. Rather, we will help in scaling the content of curriculum and healthcare needs of the children with special focus on brick factory workers. We would like to subsidize the tuition fee of these kids so they don't have to wake up early morning to make bricks to help raise the money for education. Their parents will continue to work in the brick factories as usual but at least the kids will get a chance to break away. We will also add features of special arts classes and dance and music, elements that these kids crave deeply.