It's all about people and relationships

Just a few of the people who have been touched by our work in Nepal and their inspirational stories
     
Nepal Womens literacy  

Dhafuti

The children selected for a scholarship are those who show aptitude for and an interest in ongoing education but the family circumstance is one which will not financially allow the student this opportunity.

Take for example Dhafuti, who is one of three children. Dhafuti's father was a high altitude sherpa and had died a few years earlier on an expedition to Everest.

Dhafuti's mother had no income and supported her children by farming the small acreage around the one room house. She bartered with local traders, as is the custom, and did some washing for one of the small lodges in the village.

Without the scholarship funds, her mother would not have been able to afford the added cost of books, uniform and resources required for Dhafuti's secondary education. There would also have been a requirement for Dhafuti to stay at home and assist her mother look after the younger children, while she attends her small job in the village.

The scholarship fund provides for all school costs as well as a subsidy to the mother so she does not have to leave her young family. Dhafuti’s increased education builds the family capacity in areas of health, hygiene, diet and general farming ability.

 

Nepal teachers

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kami

Kami’s perseverance and determination to gain an education is a motivating and inspiring tale. Here is his story in his own words:-

"The Kharikhola village has historical and religious importance of Buddhism. Sherpas, Magars and Rai are main habitants of the village. Their main occupation is agriculture. Settlement begun from Kirant Dynasty. My grand father (Kushang Hishi Sherpa) was a farmer. He was born in Kharikhola village, Jubing VDC-1, Solukhumbu District, Sagarmatha Zone. He was Lama (Monk) and he had a small Monastery. He has 8 children (6 boys and 2 girls) and some cattle. He taught, using Buddhist books to his children. My father (Furtenji Sherpa) was born in same village on 1929. He was second oldest son in his family. My parents had 8 children (3 boys and 5 girls). I am (Kami Rinji Sherpa) the oldest child in his family."

"Till 1964 my parents had 12 cows, few goats and chicken. When I was six years old my life was full of responsibility, I was busy in my shepherd life with my father. Most of my time was spend with the cattle and collecting grass and firewood, water for cooking foods. This was my duties as I was the oldest son. In those days we had 18 cows. During May to Oct cattle graze out from the village in the free pasture area and Nov to Apr they come back down to the village. When I was 10 years old (1968), I was given full responsibility for caring for all of those cows. Life became harder and more miserable every year, due to lack of enough income, less foods and clothes."

"In 1968 Sir Edmond Hillary decided to build a primary school of 4 rooms in Pankhongma (Jubing 8 - a region of Kharikhola about 2hr walk from home). The school was completed on March 1968. People in the village were very happy and they send their children to school, but I was not one of them. Every day I would meet some of my friends who were going to Hillary school. They have books and pencil. I used to think about school every day and night. Actually I don’t know what is school? Why they are going to
school ? "

"One day I asked to my father, what is school? What it do? Why all children goes to school? Can I go to school too? My father answered me that - this is not for us, this is only for rich people. You cannot go to school. Every evening I met friends who go to school and some time I call him to stay with me. Because I want to learn from them what they learn in their school. One day I talked to father and mother told them all my interesting about school and I did request them. Father told me that, if you go to school who take care all those cattle? That was big question for me. I have no any answer. Later I told him I could get grass early morning for feeding all cows before I go school and I will bring one load wood for fire in evening when I back to home from school. I promise with father, then he commandment to me: “you can go school if you like, but not every day some time we need your help here for lots of thing having to do”. Then mother told immediately - no no you cannot go school, if you want to go school who give you food and who take care all those cattles? I can’t give my full time for all these works, because I have small baby and other children around me”. Any way I promise them and decided to go school then."

"Year 1970: I was 13 year old. When I was first day in school teacher told me “which class do you want to join?” Actually I don’t know which class I am going to join. After few minute I reply class –III (three), because I already know some friends join in class –III. Teacher gave me a Nepali book and told me stand up and read this first page of book. I am lucky I already learned it with friend before, so I stood read it as well as friends do. Teacher told, well you can join in class - III (three). That day my face was so bright and smile. It was my golden year."


And so the story continues in this vane. He continued to support his family, work in the village and study, finally receiving his School Leaving Certificate in 1979 and becoming a small business operator in Kathmandu in 1985. He is an active member of the Kharikhola community, never forgetting his journey and always looking for opportunities to promote, support, encourage and make education accessible to all children in Kharikhola.

Kami’s Community engagement –
• Founder of Kharikhola Youth Club 1978
• Board member of Trekking labour Association Nepal-1986
• Committee member of Mera Primary School in Kharikhola, Jubing-1, Solukhumbu. 2002-2011
• Founder of Katang Capital Club in Kathmandu 2002
• Vice President of Solukhumbu Multi-Propose Co-operative Society Ltd. 2004-2007
• Life member of Sherpa Service Centre in Kathmandu. 2004
• Member of Kathmandu Capital Lions Club. 2004-2007
• Executive Board Member of Trekking Agencies’ Association of Nepal. 2005-2007
• Vice President of Pema Namding Monastary Kharikhola, Jubing-9, Solukhumbu. 2005-2009
• Member of Rotary Club of Patan South. 2007
• Advisor of Kharikhola Everest Summiter Association. 2009
• Advisor of Kharikhola Youth Club, Jubing-9
• President of Pema Namding Monastery Institute in Kharikhola, Jubing-9, Solukhumbu. 2009-2014
• Treasurer of Rotary Club of Patan South 2010-2011

 

rotary international project

 

 

Kerrie

I first met Kami Sherpa in 1989 when his trekking company organised my first trek in Nepal, which was to Everest Base Camp. He was calm and welcoming and our trip was a true cultural experience, with our porters & guide coming from his small village in Kharakhola. Each lodge we stayed in was well known to our support crew and the care we received was faultless. Two years later I was to return to Nepal to visit the first of our Rotary Projects – 5 Women’s Literacy Programs in the Tanahan District (2 hours NE of Pokhara). As I was travelling alone, I contacted Kami to enquire if he would be able to assist me organise this trip. During this second trip Kami asked about “this organisation called Rotary” and finally asking “How can I get help for the school in my village?”

He told me their story –
• In Nepal the Government would not support a school in a remote area, unless the village could show that it can operate/fund a school for continuous period of 5 years. The Mera School was in its 13th year.

• Due to the school being in a low lying area and Kharikhola at times experiencing periods of heavy rain/monsoons and landslides the school had twice been washed away and the money raised for teachers wages, diverted to rebuilding the school.

• I took this story back to the Rotary Club of Port Macquarie Sunrise and in in 2002, we took on the role of providing funds for the teacher’s wages for two years which allowed the school to remain open as they rebuilt on higher ground and in 2004, the school became a funded Government school.

This was the beginning of a very real connection between the Rotary Club of Port Macquarie Sunrise and a community of independent, hard -working, gentle and kind people. The elders have an ongoing vision for the future of Kharikhola and I am inspired by the tenacity of the people. At times I am overwhelmed at the significant changes we have made together in the areas of education, health and nutrition with seemingly small amounts of money and simple but achievable planning. Our ongoing future in Kharikhola will be maintenance, the people will drive their own change with hard work and commitment to their community.