A School in the Himalayas
A Trust visit to Daduwa
In 1995, the McCabe Educational Trust started raising funds for a school to be built in a remote region of Nepal. Our money and a willing volunteer workforce from the area brought this project to completion two years later, creating the only school for miles around. Today children from Daduwa and the surrounding villages are reaping the benefit. In May, our Trust chairman, the Revd Bob Jackson, Stuart Lynch, a director of McCabe Pilgrimages and a group of supporters visited the school. They send us this report.
Our trip to Daduwa was exhausting but it was well worth the effort. First of all we descended more than 3,000 feet to the valley floor where we had the hair-raising experience of crossing the river single-file on a very mobile rope suspension bridge! A local driver met us and we ascended the other side of the valley to reach Daduwa.
Three hundred school children, immaculately turned out in school uniform met us and garlanded us with flowers. We had come prepared with our pack lunches but the village elders had other ideas and lunch was laid out before us served on banana leaves. Exotic for us; for the villagers who enjoyed the contents of our packed lunches, equally exotic for them!
In a ceremony where the whole village seemed to be in attendance, the governor of the school, an ex Gurkha, expressed his appreciation and both Bob and Stuart spoke in return, thanking the villagers for the wonderful welcome. Pens and assorted gifts were handed out to the children but the biggest cheer was for Bob’s promise of our continuing support for the school.
There are four hundred children studying and there is a great desire to expand. The school currently goes through to grade eight and they wish to extend to grade ten. Bob expressed our continuing commitment to their welfare and presented 113,000 rupees (about £1,000) as a first step. It is humbling to realise what a huge difference our small contribution will make.
Bob was privileged to perform the opening ceremony at the school in 2000 and was able to compare conditions then and now. The village still has no running water or electricity and in this context, the smart, clean uniforms of the children become even more remarkable. The school itself is showing signs of wear and tear and the money we delivered will cover some much needed general maintenance.
We met the children in their classrooms and talked to very capable teachers working with none of the resources that we take for granted. In the school, textbooks are almost non-existent and blackboards are threadbare. A disaster by our standards, but in Nepal there is a school where there was none before.
Party members Roger Stoakley, once county librarian of Somerset, and Michael Jackson a keen Rotarian, are already hatching plans to strengthen the Trust’s involvement by providing books and equipment and trying to find sponsorship for the development of a water supply. It is a real privilege when we travel to meet and engage with local communities.
The McCabe Educational Trust was set up as a vehicle for us to maintain tangible links with people and communities we meet on our journeys. Every McCabe traveller is invited to participate in the work of the Trust by donating £15 each time they travel. McCabe Pilgrimages has pledged to make matching contributions. Together we are making a difference to many people’s lives. The school in Daduwa is just one example.
For more than twenty years, the McCabe Educational Trust has been creating partnerships with inspiring people we have met on pilgrimage.
A special Thank You to McCabe pilgrims who helped us raise £19,640 during May. Contributing to a total of £99,029 so far this year!
With your help, we will continue helping those in need we encounter on our travels.