Providing Children with a Future
In the Upper Dolpo region of Nepal, there is no electricity, no internet, and no telephone. Some small villages are 4,000 meters (13,123 ft) above sea level, which equals to about six days of walking from the nearest road. This is in addition to having to conquer 5,000-meter-high mountain passes that are not far from the national borders of China and Tibet. There is no real medical care in the villages, only a so- called “Amchi” who practices exclusively with herbal medicine.
The villagers earn their living with small farms and through the sales of sheep, goats, and homemade woolen clothing. The infrastructure leaves a lot to be desired and the various villages are several hours, or even a day’s walk, away from each other. The winters are icy cold and extremely hard – they make life, which seems difficult enough, almost a struggle for survival. The passes are inaccessible for months and completely cut off the villages from the outside world.
Before winter sets in, around 30 percent of the villagers go to lower areas with their yaks to look for resources or to try and find work elsewhere. When they return to their villages in spring, they bring important materials such as firewood. Even if words can never do justice to the description of the villages, this should give a good impression of how the villagers (also known as dolpa-pa) make a living.
Nepal is one of the poorest countries in the world and the government has little financial means. Remote areas such as the Upper Dolpo take a back seat when it comes to distributing scarce resources and is therefore heavily dependent on international Non-governmental Organizations (NGOs). Without outside help, schools and education would be impossible.
One organization that promotes education in the Upper Dolpo Region is the German HUMAN Foundation; they have been running winter schools since 2015. With the launch of MyIdol.com, a promising collaboration with the HUMAN Foundation has been created to secure education for several generations of children. In addition to the winter schools in Saldang and Nyisal, the Tripitak School in Lhuri is also supported.
This school was closed for over ten years due to a lack of subsidies. However, thanks to our partnership, a new school building is being constructed to make it functional.
Why is education so important? How can we give children in this region a better future?
With the support of these schools, children learn to read, write, and do mathematics. They are learning the languages: Tibetan, Nepalese and English. An important teaching focus is on Tibetan culture, as it is crucial to never forget your history.
Better education ensures that young adults can strategize better and run farms more effectively. By understanding math, young adults can make better financial decisions.
Ensuring that education is available to these children also guarantees that these villages have a future. Studies show that children who move to the next town over for school at a very young age rarely return to their villages. Eventually, this would lead to the end of these cultural institutions.
After passing the sixth grade, there is an important exam. If the students pass the exam successfully, they earn the privilege of attending a private school in Kathmandu funded by private organizations. So far, all children from Saldang have passed this hurdle in large part due to the winter schools.
A new chapter has opened with the union of the MyIdol Foundation and the HUMAN Foundation. A bright future will be made possible for countless children, and a giant step has been taken towards a better world.