New school building helps over 100 children in rural Nepal gain easier access to education

A new building for the Shree Janajagriti Basic School in Nepal’s rural Namobuddha Municipality was built by YMCA of Singapore volunteers, and opened its doors on 14 May.

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The new Shree Janajagriti Basic School building was handed over on 14 May and will help 104 children gain easier access to education.

NAMOBUDDHA, NEPAL: About 104 children in Nepal’s rural Namobuddha Municipality will no longer have to trek 2 hours just to attend secondary school, following the completion and handover of the newly expanded Shree Janajagriti Basic School on 14 May.

“For those that came from Singapore to build this school; I want to thank all of them on behalf of my school and the students’ families!” said Shree Janajagriti Basic School’s principal Shital Dahal.

“After the earthquake (in 2015) our old school’s condition was bad. Some of the walls were cracked. The school also had limited space and we had to combine a few classes into one room. The new school building is very spacious. It has classrooms, an office, a library, a computer room and more.”

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Nestled in the hills, the new school building, which contains 6 classrooms, took 280 YMCA volunteers consisting of members of the public, various schools and companies such as the Singapore Management University, Singapore Polytechnic and PwC Singapore, 18 months to complete, with help from Nepal-based Non-Governmental Organisation Living Hope Nepal.

It was handed over to the Mayor of the Namobuddha Municipality during a modest, yet meaningful ceremony attended by representatives from the YMCA of Singapore, Living Hope Nepal and the Nepalese government.

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YMCA volunteers hard at work building the school.

YMCA volunteers had not only shouldered the costs of the building materials and engaged in construction work, but also befriended the children and conducted some lessons for them.

YMCA volunteer Paige Tan Lexii said it was “challenging” for the volunteers to engage with the children but pointed out that it also helped the volunteers learn to work more closely together.

“I think it is a very meaningful co-operation,” said Tan, a first-time volunteer.

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Our youngest open team volunteer, three-and-a-half-year-old Bo Han, also stepped forward to help in the construction of the new school building.

This project is one of many managed by the YMCA of Singapore’s International Service Programmes (ISP) department, with support from Youth Corps Singapore, under its Youth Expedition Project initiative. It aims to nurture confident and resilient youths who are active citizens with the desire to make a difference both at home and overseas.

ISP Manager Joyce Yu hopes more youths can step forward to help.

“We are proud to have successfully completed the new Shree Janajagriti Basic School building and help the youth here gain easier access to education. The community has benefitted not only from the work that volunteers have done but also from the sense of solidarity it has brought,” said Yu.

“Learning through volunteering (abroad) can lead to insights and inspiration that no amount of reading could teach you. You can connect to and learn deeply about global issues in a way that could reshape your perspectives on life. We hope that more Singaporean youth will step forward and take positive actions for change.”

Find out more about the YMCA ISP’s projects through our Facebook page.

Ready to step up and serve? E-mail us at chenyin@ymca.org.sg!

 

Contributed by Han Weichou.