Towns are thriving at the expense of villages in Nepal

By Marco Saaltink

In only four years time, I’ve noted a remarkable change in Nepal, most interestingly in education. At the end of 2014, a public school where I was volunteering—in the village of Changu Narayan, nearby the city of Bhaktapur—was planning to expand from grade 7 to grade 8. But now, only four years later, the highest level is grade 5. The student numbers have halved, at least. According to a local friend, this is due to more and more parents being able to afford to send their children by school bus to private schools.…

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A Kiwi in West Sikkim

Sophie Hudson has just sent in a description of her time in West Sikkim:

It’s hard to believe I’m nearing the end of my time in this amazing corner of the world. For the last few weeks I’ve been lucky enough to call Tathang, a remote and tiny village in West Sikkim, home. The outstanding landscapes and natural beauty of the area blow you away, but the people here are what makes this experience truly unforgettable.

It’s such a privilege to be able to work with the students and teachers here at Vidya Sagar.…

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Volunteers needed!

We are recruiting volunteers right now. If you would like to volunteer your skills, please visit the volunteer page of our website. We are looking for English teachers and medics.…

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From our man in Sikkim

By Shane Lefevre

“Tathung is a small farming village in the Western district of Sikkim, India that lies in the fertile foothills of the Himalayas. It sits in the Northeast corner of India, bordered by Nepal, China & Bhutan and a kind family here have allowed a silly Aussie teacher to call this place home for the past 2 months.

The spectacular scenery and dramatic mountain landscape calls adventurous types from far and wide, but it’s the warm hearted & welcoming people that really blow you away to make your stay unforgettable.…

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Coming back for more!

HELP volunteer Paul Lessner enjoyed his volunteering experience so much last year, that he came back for more this year. Last year he was in Ladakh. This year in Sikkim!

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Teaching in a Nepalese school

James Dix has just submitted this account of his HELP assignment in Nepal:

Albert Einstein, in formulating his theory of relativity, came up with the idea that time is not constant but can expand or contract depending on conditions. Einstein thought hard to come up with this idea. If he had been a Nepali, however, the idea would have come to him easily. Time elasticity is a Nepali cultural trait. A half-hour walk can mean ten minutes or two hours. A bus can come early, late, or not at all.…

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A HELP volunteer in Ladakh

Last summer, I spent eight weeks in the Indian region of Ladakh. Even with large amounts of preparation, training and research, I found myself in a state of constant amazement and surprise. Immersed in a culture established eons before my own country was ever imagined or conceived, the experience touched me greatly and will follow throughout my lifetime.

I travelled from the United States to the heart of the Indian Himalaya to teach English and math in a remote village school where teachers and students welcomed me with open arms and beautiful spirits.…

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Volunteer news from West Bengal

Anne Taylor, who has returned to her school near Kalimpong five times, has written this account of her latest adventures:

 

“I am spending Easter weekend in Darjeeling and I woke up to a magnificent view of the snowy peaks of the Himalayas with Kanchenjunga (India’s highest mountain) the centre piece. And that was before I even got out of bed! It was so clear at 7am it felt as though I would be able to reach out and touch the snow.…

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A career-changing experience

I went to Changu Narayan in January with the modest hope that I could encourage disadvantaged children to improve their English. Nothing prepared me for the life changing experience that it would be.

Nepal was my first experience of the developing world and the level of poverty was shocking; families piled on motor bikes, cafes disguised as sheds, women washing at communal water pumps and dusty garages that advertised sim cards but sold only calor gas and chickens.

The culture of the education system too was so different that I’m sure my “noisy” lessons were frowned upon.…

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By becoming a HELP volunteer in India or Nepal you will be able to make a direct, personal contribution to the education of young Himalayan people. In so doing, you will be having an unforgettable experience in a new and fascinating world.
Nikola Capla and Petra CvancarovaEverest Boarding School