The Mera School Kharikhola, Solukhumbu, Nepal.

A Rotary Club Of Port Macquarie Sunrise project
     

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kharikhola is a village in the Solokhumbu region of Nepal at over 2000 metres above sea level. Although calling it a village is probably misleading as it is very widely spread across a valley overlooking the river Kharikhola. It is 2 days trek from Lukla and often visited by hikers heading to Everest Base Camp.

Mera Primary School was established in 1996 by the local people of Kharikhola village, Jubing 1, as the other nearest Kharikhola school, Pankhongma Primary School in Jubing 8, is about 2 hours trek away. (Pankhongma Primary School was built by Sir Edmund Hillary in 1968)

The villagers donated the land and started building. Originally it was just a small bamboo room with no chairs or tables for its 1 teacher and 12 students. The villagers were keen to improve the school but they could only collect sufficient funds for the teacher’s salary.

Although villagers do not need to pay any fees to attend the school there was some reluctance to send their children for several reasons such as the tough local terrain, some children need to walk up to 2 hours to attend school, or just because of general poverty and lack of basic needs. Once children reach 10 years old their parents prefer to keep them at home to look after their younger siblings or help in their daily work where they could earn their living and support the household.

In 2004 one of the local community leaders Kami Ranji Sherpa decided to try to turn the school into one that had a good environment for students to learn in but also where parents wanted their children to attend.

Slowly the villagers were able to build a four room building with financial help from some charitable organisations & the local people. The numbers of students increased from 12 to 35 and 2 teachers. With help from The Rotary Club Of Port Macquarie Sunrise the school now has four school buildings with eight rooms and four teachers.

After a visit to the school in April 2007 and realising that many children were attending school with little or no food a private donation was given to begin a lunchtime feeding program. This was repeated the following year. The intention was that this would be a nutritionally balanced hot meal and would eventually become self-sustaining. The donation of $1,700 was sent from With help from The Rotary Club Of Port Macquarie Sunrise, via the Rotary Club of Patan South.

In 2008 With help from The Rotary Club Of Port Macquarie Sunrise was awarded an Rotary International Grant which was then matched by the members of with help from The Rotary Club Of Port Macquarie Sunrise. This provided uniforms and school resources for the children of Mera School.

It was decided that for the lunchtime program to be self-sustaining the school required a kitchen. In 2009 The Rotary Club Of Port Macquarie Sunrise board approved the project and donated additional funds plus funds raised by RYLA and St Columba School, Port Macquarie, that assisted the village to build the kitchen. The people from the local village constructed the kitchen.

The kitchen is regarded as an important facility by the school as Kharikhola is situated 2000m above sea level and consequently can get very cold in winter. Hot meals in the middle of the day help the students to learn as well as generally helping to ensure a satisfactory level of nutrition.

After visiting the Mera School in October 2011, The Rotary Club Of Port Macquarie Sunrise member Kerrie Wood reported that it was most noticeable that the Mera School children were in excellent health and are already showing the benefits of regular hot and healthy meals in the middle of the day.

The Rotary Club Of Port Macquarie Sunrise International Committee also decided that in response to the long term needs of the Kharikhola village people a major objective would be to provide a program to ensure there is ongoing food for the children – i.e. a feeding program at the Mera School that is self- sustaining.

A successful application was also made for a Rotary District Simplified Grant to purchase Kitchen equipment and to start a Market Garden at the School as a means of providing fresh food for the students on an ongoing basis. We also supplied dual language English - Nepali books and more school resources in 2011.

There are currently 77 children attending Mera School.

Since 2004 The Rotary Club Of Port Macquarie Sunrise has also sponsored a program where deserving students are awarded a scholarship to High School. Visit the "Our Story In Nepal" page to read more information about our projects.

The Market Garden project including the purchase and installation of a large solar greenhouse is nearing completion. We are now working towards the construction of a bio organic toilet for the school.

The 2015 Nepal Earthquake Appeal. Help us to assist with rebuilding vital infrastructure in Kharikhola Village following the tragic series of earthquakes that have affected Nepal. The Mera School has unfortunately sustained serious damage. One of the school walls, which was badly cracked in the first earthquake, has fallen down following the second earthquake. A wall in the school kitchen has also collapsed which has made the kitchen unusable.

Our top priority is to repair the School so that it can serve both as a community centre where the 150 families whose houses were damaged in the first earthquake can stay whilst their houses are repaired, and secondly to continue the children's education and provide them with hot meals.

Please visit our "Current Projects" page for the latest news.