Building a School on a Mountain Top
Sixteen years have flown by since we were introduced to the village of Daduwa in Nepal by the Revd Andrew McCabe. The relationship that has developed has been mutually inspiring. We have helped create a school which has thrived and expanded to accommodate 350 children.
The school perches at 5,500 feet literally on the top of a mountain (which is the most secure position from landslides) with wonderful panoramic views of the snow-covered Annapurna range of the Himalayas. They don’t get many visitors as the journey from Pokhara involves fording a river and a precipitous two hour mountain climb by four-wheel drive jeep.
Before our project, the nearest school was at the foot of the mountain. The few children that attended walked for three hours each way, returning home each evening straight up a mountain higher than Ben Nevis! Every child in Daduwa is so appreciative of the opportunity we have given them. They certainly don’t miss the walk!
Building a Library
Over the years McCabe parties have visited the school, providing encouragement and practical support. In 2010, The Revd Bob Jackson, our Trust Chairman, and a party of supporters were joined by Andrew McCabe and together they installed a library. Shelving, desks and chairs were purchased in Pokhara and transported up the mountain – no small feat! Roger Stoakley, a retired librarian from Somerset, travelled out in advance of the party and lived with the villagers for a few days explaining how the library should be set up and how the lending system would work. He then took two delighted teachers on a book spending-spree in Kathmandu!
Building a Hostel
In 2012 Bob returned to Daduwa armed with a magnificent donation of £10,000 from St. Peter’s church in Berkhamsted to help the villagers complete the Daduwa school project. Again with technical assistance from the Pahar Trust, manual labour from the villagers and total funding of £24,000 from the McCabe Educational Trust, a hostel has been built, enabling students to walk from further afield and board during the week.