Education  Nepal Project #31872

Tsharka Tibetan Elementary School, Dolpo, Nepal

by International Community Development Foundation
Tsharka Tibetan Elementary School, Dolpo, Nepal
Students stretching in the school courtyard
Students stretching in the school courtyard

Good news to report from Tsharka School! This 2022 school year has been very successful. Student enrollment continues to increase as the quality of teaching at Tsharka School gets better and better. Tsharka School has received permission from the District Education Office to add another year’s level of teaching each year. This makes a huge difference in terms of keeping children in the community as they pursue their studies. 

Students are conscious of the importance of daily exercise and keeping fit. Every school day, all students participate in outdoor calisthenics in the courtyard located between the classrooms. In the photo, some of the younger students are doing their stretches. 

The newly constructed classrooms are functioning very well: the school campus has been transformed. A special donation of school uniforms for the students has added an element of pride for students attending our community school. 

Unpacking a donation of school uniforms
Unpacking a donation of school uniforms
Students proudly wearing their new uniforms
Students proudly wearing their new uniforms
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Packing school supplies in Kathmandu
Packing school supplies in Kathmandu

The 2022 school year has started! In April in Kathmandu, our School Coordinator and teachers packed up all the books, notebooks, pencils, pens, and other teaching materials they will need for the school year. These items must all be transported to Tsharka: first by plane, then in panniers carried by horses. It takes a lot of planning and preparation, well in advance of the opening day at school. School started on May 1. By this time, enough of the winter snow had melted for people and pack animals to cross the high passes and arrive in Tsharka (also spelled Chharka). As our school campus continues to grow, so does the number of students in Tsharka School. Students proudly wear their new school uniforms and backpacks!

Lots of school supplies required!
Lots of school supplies required!
New school uniforms
New school uniforms
New student backpacks
New student backpacks
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Traditional costume and instrument
Traditional costume and instrument

The end of our successful 2021 school year was celebrated with traditional dancing, music and food. As Tsharka (Chharka) School has added classrooms and teachers, we have been able to add classes for our students as they progress. This year, several students completed their seventh grade studies. Next year, they will be able to continue eighth grade in Tsharka. This is a huge step forward for our community school. 

On fine days during the summer, tables and benches are moved outside and classes are held in the school courtyard. Students love studying outside.

During the summer, our new passive solar classroom was completed. This makes the learning environment during winter classes much more comfortable for students and teachers alike. This was our third year holding classes through the end of December. Our more advanced students especially benefit from the longer school year. 

Celebration with Traditional Dancing
Celebration with Traditional Dancing
Girl student
Girl student
Classroom moved into the courtyard on summer day
Classroom moved into the courtyard on summer day
New passive solar classroom
New passive solar classroom
Studying in the new passive solar classroom
Studying in the new passive solar classroom
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In 2020, Tsharka and all of Upper Dolpo escaped infection, but in 2021, COVID reached even these high Himalayan valleys. Tsharka School had to suspend classes for one month this school year. Our School Coordinator says everyone got sick with severe flu-like symptoms that was confirmed to be COVID. However, after one month, people’s health improved and school re-opened. Our School Coordinator believes Tsharka village has achieved local herd immunity. There were no known fatalities due to COVID.

 

Through 2021, the number of students enrolled at Tsharka School has continued to increase, as we serve more of the children in Tsharka village. During COVID, over a dozen local parents, who previously chose to send their children to boarding schools in Kathmandu or India, chose their local elementary school instead. We hope that Tsharka School’s high quality of teaching—and the chance for their children to remain close to their families and immersed in their local culture—will keep local parents committed to Tsharka School. 

 

During the summer of 2020, construction began on two passive solar buildings that will eventually house the temporary hostel and provide more comfortable classrooms for students during the winter school months. As our students reach higher grade levels, the winter school months are essential for them to complete the annual curriculum. Difficulties in transporting building materials, due largely to COVID, slowed construction, but the passive solar buildings will be finished in 2021. 

 

Tsharka School’s Eco Club is going strong. Monthly club activities include hikes to learn about local plants and how the ecosystem works. Trash pick-up is a weekly event. 

 

Spelling contests are held every Friday. 

 

For soccer, the students’ favorite sport, students have been divided into four teams that play against each other in intramural competition.

 

Thanks to support from our loyal donors, Tsharka School is going strong: thriving despite the challenges posed by COVID, keeping students engaged and progressing in their studies.

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Milking a yak in high Himalayan pasture
Milking a yak in high Himalayan pasture

The 2021 school year is well underway in Tsharka. When the snow that covers the high mountain passes melts in mid-April, many families return to Tsharka from lower elevations. During the summer months, the yak herding families of Tsharka take their yaks to high pastures where there is grass for the yaks to feed on. These girls will not accompany their families this summer, but will stay at the temporary hostel at Tsharka School so they can attend classes. With their red and blue roofs, the new classrooms at Tsharka School have a beautiful view of the valley and the village houses. Our classrooms are fuller each year as more families send their children to our local village school. Our winter classes allow older students to complete the school curriculum mandated by the Nepali government. The school also serves as a center for community activities and celebrations. 

Two Tsharka School students
Two Tsharka School students
View from Tsharka School's new classrooms
View from Tsharka School's new classrooms
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Organization Information

International Community Development Foundation

Location: Fort Lupton, CO - USA
Website:
Project Leader:
Barbara Euser
Fort Lupton, CO United States
$34,167 raised of $60,000 goal
 
263 donations
$25,833 to go
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