READI Nepal Education Project

Rural Empowerment and Development Initiatives (READI) Nepal is partnering with TRAS to conduct a project in remote western Nepal to educate 30 of the poorest children, representing the lowest castes and groups in five villages.

The following READI Nepal Video was created by UBC Economics students through the Community Based Experiential Learning program:

Context

Map courtesy of Wikipedia, Humla District

Map courtesy of Wikipedia, Humla District

Though its natural beauty is outstanding, Humla District ranks 74th in terms of poverty out of Nepal’s 75 districts. Humla is the highest, most remote district of Nepal, lying in the country’s north-western corner along the border with Tibet. The agricultural season is short in the high mountain valleys, and life is challenging during the long, severe winters.

Humla in winter

Humla in winter

Humla in Winter

Reaching Humla is also a challenge, via intermittent flights to Simikot, Humla’s small capital, or by walking from the nearest road head for 10 days.

Although the government has built schools and a few tiny health posts, resources are limited, and the sheer difficulty of reaching and supplying them leaves most children without basic health care or education.

READI Nepal

READI Nepal, a local volunteer non-governmental organization (NGO), is dedicated to ‘fighting untouchability and illiteracy’ by improving the education, health and income generation opportunities of Humla villages. Partnering with TRAS, READI Nepal is providing some of the poorest and most marginalized children with the opportunity to gain an education. TRAS is providing 90% of the funds needed.

Accomplishments of the TRAS-READI Nepal partnership:

  • A house in the tiny capital of Simikot has been rented and furnished as a hostel – READI Home
  • 20 young children (50% girls) selected from very poor, dalit (untouchable), minority or conflict-affected villages live in the hostel and attend a well-regarded government school. An additional ten children have returned home and attend local village schools now that their families can afford to do this. READI continues to monitor them.
  • Two teachers were selected to attend an innovative teacher-training course in Kathmandu, and have returned full of confidence and ideas to share with their colleagues
  • A young cook has been hired and trained to use local foods (rather than the expensive, low quality rice brought in by the government)
  • The very first library in Humla has been set up at the school, thanks to a grant from the Nepal Library Foundation of Vancouver
  • All of the 30 children remain in school and are doing well.

READI students in school

One of the long-term goals of the hostel is that age-old barriers will begin to disappear as children from different castes and backgrounds sit and eat together at the same table.

Parents and family members are delighted and grateful that their children are receiving an education.

Read more comments by family members about the impact of READI Nepal’s education program on their children.

READI Nepal reports that weekly requests come in from villagers anxious for their children to join the project.

TRAS is pleased that the initial goals have been accomplished and is keen to continue supporting READI Nepal’s work. Recently, TRAS accepted READI’s proposal to set up a café in Simikot, to cater to the increasing numbers of trekkers, tourists and government workers. A barista was trained in Kathmandu at the Himalayan Java Coffee Shop and the manager assisted READI in purchasing the necessary supplies. The cafe, Humla Delights, which has been running for three years, is doing extremely well. Two of the parents run it and the cook is baking bread for the hostel as well as for the café. All profits go towards covering the hostel expenses.

Funds needed for 2019: $26,009

project map