Several years ago, the children were being asked what they wanted to be when they grew up: ‘doctor, teacher, engineer, pilot…’ but Bibash was unique: ‘I want to be a footballer’ – no matter that he played in flipflops or that there was no proper field. When we started to match Mentors and Ambassadors, we knew just the family for Bibash: one that is football and sports mad. They have helped him to understand that Maths can be learned around football scores and probabilities of success, that reading can be for books about football and that dreams matter for every child everywhere. This summer, they visited and coached boys and girls in sport, including football. In December, during World Cup fever, FIFA gave 20 schools from all over Mount Kangchenjunga kit for their teams to compete in their league. Our school, with Bibash as boys’ Sports Captain, won the cup. Imagine that day in the life of Bibash! Imagine how proud the Mentor family feel! Watch their video of how they volunteered at the school. Shared with you – OneDrive (live.com)
We had a goal of 50 Ambassadors in 2022 – and we have 57. We need more Mentors/Sponsors. Please help us reach our goal of 85 this year. Friends, family, work colleagues. We ask for £20 a month.
Our children have probably been no more than a few miles from their beautiful village. Their fathers may be in the Middle East but have probably not seen much of it other than building sites. Our Mentors show them places they live and visit, they send photos of Christmas trees and where they work, and they tell them about their lives: often unheard-of careers for both men and women, about the fact they have fallen in love and remarried or are living with a new person, or that they have been depressed but recovered. New subjects, perhaps, that have given the children a window on the outside world. (All letters and photos are checked for appropriateness but very rarely edited).
Here is Apsara Labung Limbu who helps every Ambassador with sending his or her letters to their Mentors. Apsara also teaches art to our Middle School children. I often say to Mentors to show photos of the everyday flowers, animals, and buildings around them because, as you can see here, they are different in Hangdewa! If you are a Mentor and would like help with writing to your Ambassador, do ask. Lots of people want help and we have short, model letters to share with you or lists of topics, and the children are very happy to receive a few photos! Email ‘help’ to email@example.com
Look carefully and you will see two of our children walking home from school. I wonder how different this is from your children’s, or indeed your own, daily journeys. Our children know they live in a beautiful place but yearn to understand city life and wonder what it feels like to swim in the sea and if it is terrifying travelling on planes or trains.
STEM Subjects are Cool!
Our children absolutely love getting hands-on with pipettes, Bunsen burners and the like. There is a whole new level of concentration in the practical science room. Every child gets a turn to do experiments and they work in small groups. The next school they are likely to go to (which is in Taplejung) has 120-150 students in a class and only the teacher does the experiment. Likewise, our students can use the computers for projects and to learn new applications. But, elsewhere, they will not have access to computers at home or school. There are no good options for better schools. Some children want to go to relatives in Kathmandu, but life is very hard if they are trying to live on £1.50 a day, especially away from parents and only 14/15. We are exploring how to help students after leaving our school; if you have ideas, please talk to us.
We are excited to have visitors and volunteers coming to Hangdewa this year. Please come!
If you, your friends, or family are yet to decide if a visit is right for you or them, then watch this short video (mentioned at the start of the Newsletter) about the three teenagers who visited last year in monsoon season and had a ball! (with thanks to one of our Mentors, Emma, who made it). Happy to talk to anyone – sun October to April! firstname.lastname@example.org