The Himanchal Education Foundation is a non-profit organization that exists to promote and advance Mahabir Pun’s vision for extended educational opportunities in rural Nepal.
With the support of local residents and international friends, HEF originally was founded to support growth of the Nangi school. The school exists through grade 12 with plans to add a college by 2015. HEF also supports economically sustainable business opportunities and a computer network in Nangi and surrounding villages. Our goal remains to improve the health and life situations for villagers in rural Nepal.
We will greatly appreciate hearing from you. Please send an email to contact-at-himanchal-dot-org with your contact information including email. We will send you our quarterly newsletter with all the latest news and updates on all the projects. You can also subscribe to the RSS feed of this site.
Mahabir was able to reconnect with faculty from the University of Nebraska at Kearney and the Kearney community at large during his attendance at the Fall 2013 UNK World Affairs conference. In meeting with several individuals, it was suggested that the board be expanded locally. In addition to current board members Dr Leonard Skov and Bill Ballou; Susan Bigg, Dr Ron Konecny. Sally Lundell, Sherry Morrow, and Peg and Roger Nyffeler agreed to serve on the HEF board.
The new board met in February and May of 2014. We have updated the HEF mission statement. Also an agreement with a local foundation (Kearney Area Community Foundation) was implemented to handle the financial affairs of HEF. Beginning September 2014 we will cease to use Network For Good and convert solely to PayPal. We apologize in advance for any inconvenience this may cause but the change was necessary for accounting purposes.
Donors may have also noticed that mailings are being sent from Mail Express, a local mailing business. These changes were agreed upon to assist Dr Skov in the duties he has single handedly done since the beginning of HEF. HEF is very indebted to him for all his work for more than a decade. We hope to inform you promptly of any additional board activity as needed via the website.
Pam, a recent volunteer from the UK, had this to say about her experience:
“I spent a month in Nangi this last summer (2013) and I had a great time. I gave some classes on reflexology to the women from the village with the idea that they could do some foot massage on the Trekkers passing through and staying at the lodge. A total of 6 women were interested and attended 10 classes. There were classes for the 10 young girls, 17 years old that we had at 7 am because they were busy the rest of the day! I was really impressed with how many came each morning. We also did face massage just for fun.
I helped out in Lila’s classroom and enjoyed english work but also some singing with the children. I brought a ukulele with me and it wasn’t long before I was teaching a couple of the teachers to play. We had some great music sessions in the evenings and the memories of those nights will stay with me forever. During my stay Mote, the nursery gardener, took me up to Mohare Danda for one night so I could see the sunrise on the amazing mountains. It was spectacular.
Pam and Moti.
After the month was over I was very sad to leave. The foot massage is up and running i am really pleased to say. It was a good project and I am so pleased that everyone was so enthusiastic about it. I hope to return one day and see everyone there. Thank you for such a great time!”
A group of six people from OCI Company Korea arrived on February 7, 2014 and installed 1,200W solar panel for the computer lab in Nangi and 1200 W solar panel for Paudwar school with battery back up. They also had provided 2,200W solar panel for the water pump in Mohare Community Lodge.
Solar panels installed at Himanchal Higher Secondary School, Nangi. Feb. 2014
Installing pump for Mohare Community Lodge. Feb. 2014. Dr. Pun in foreground.
On February 10, we had a group of 14 university students and one professor from the Korean Advanced Institute of Science and Technology. They were members of Engineers Without Borders. It was good opportunity for them to learn things from real situation and good support for the villagers as well.
They did different projects and testings in the villages such as – installation of solar powered pump with 150m vertical height for the community lodge in Mohare, installation of a 1 KVA micro hydro generator in Nangi, construction of a solar and fire wood heated vegetable and fruit drying facility, installation of a camera to show the visibility of the area in Mohare that could be useful for the planes flying from Pokhara to Jomsom and testing of a oven for drying handmade papers. They also worked with science teachers to make lists of simple experiments that can be useful for rural high schools.
Have you ever spent sleepless nights wondering if your loved one was safe while trekking in a remote region of the world? Families can thank the famed Magsaysay Award winner from Nepal, Dr. Mahabir Pun, for his innovative technology which offers trekkers and their families peace of mind.
Mahabir Pun has developed a tracking device called E-tag (Entity Tag) and known as a Tourist Tracking System (TTS). The device is being tested in the Ghandruk-Ghodepani area of the Annapurna foot trail in Nepal. Funded by the Asia-Pacific Tele Community in Bangkok, Thailand the tags are designed to locate lost trekkers. Mahabir was voted as the Person of the Year in Science and Technology field just this month for his role in the development. The poll was conducted by Kantipur Nepali Edition, a national Daily Newspaper and the full article can be read here and here.
Dear Supporters of Himanchal Educational Foundation from all over the World
We are very thankful to all of you for your strong supports, prayers, and thoughts for different projects in Nepal through Himanchal Educational Foundation. Despite many difficulties, problems and challenges, we have become able to accomplish many things and there are still many more things we are hoping to accomlish. Your supports continue to give us hope. One of our next steps is to build a college for the children of poor people, who can’t afford to go to college in the cities.
From all of us at Himanchal Educational Foundation in Nebraska and Himanchal High School family in Nangi village Nepal, we would like to wish only for the best things for all of you during this Christmas and holiday season and wish you happy new Year 2014. Thank you very much for your contributions. We appreciate it very much.
For more information and updates of the project and support, please visit http://himanchal.org. Our mailing address in the US is “Himanchal Educational Foundation c/o Dr. Leonard Skov, 5610 Avenue N, Kearney Nebraska, 68847, Phone:308-234-1243“.
I am very happy to get an opportunity to acknowledge to all respective people about Community Managed Eco Trail and its progress in the Spring season 2013.
Distributing money for the community villages in Nepal.
We held a meeting of communities in Tikot village on the 20th July 2013 to distribute money that was earned during the first tourism season of 2013. In the meeting, people were participated from Banskharka village, Dandakateri village, Nangi village, Aula village, Tikot village and Khibang village where community dining hall with home stay and community lodges for trekkers have been run by communities.
Name list of members who attended the meeting
Mr. Kishan Pun, Secretary of Nangi Community Lodge, Nangi village
Miss, Pok Maya Purja, Chef of Nangi Community Lodge, Nangi village
Mr. Hari Pun,Chef Mohare Community Lodge, Mohare Danda
Mr. Bir Bahadur Pun, Member,Dandakateri Community Dining Hall, Dandakateri village
Mr. Yam Garbuja, Chairman, Banskharka Community Dining Hall, Banskharka village
Mr. Akash Pun, Chef, Banskharka Community Dining Hall, Banskharka village
Mr. Kumar Garbuja, Member, Dandakharka Community Lodge, Dandakharka
Mr. Pradeep Pun, Chairman, Tikot Community Dining Hall, Tikot village
Mr. Dam Bahadur Pun, Chef, Tikot Community Dining Hall, Tikot village
Mr.Tek Bahadur Pun, Member, Tikot Community Dining Hall, Tikot village
Mrs. Reukumari Pun, Member, Tikot Community Dining Hall, Tikot village
Mr.Yam Bahadur Pun, Chef, Khibang Community Dining Hall, Khibang village
Mr. Dil Bahadur Pun, Member, Khibang Community Dining Hall, Khibang village
Mr. Chitra Pun, Coordinator of The Annapurna Dhaulagiri Community Eco-Trek
Mrs. Pha Maya Pun, Representative of DEMEGA
In the mean time, we conducted PLASTIC FREE ZONE awareness one day program in association of Base Camp Trek and Expedition. There were more than 25 villagers from Banskharka, Dandakateri, Nangi, Tikot, Khibang, Shikha, Pauduwar villages. The main objective was to make this trekking route plastic free. That’s why any trekkers can’t get to buy bottled water in this route. Villagers have banned in use of bottled water. Community has distributed 17 sets SAWYER water filter at the lodges. It is ensured that trekkers can drink safe water from SAWYER water filter www.pointonefilters.com . It is believed that it will help to protect environment pollution.
Participants at PLASTIC FREE ZONE awareness program.
Trekker is using filtered water from SAWYER water filter.
Dr. Debra Stoner has resigned from Himanchal Education Foundation Board of Directors. Deb joined the board in 2003. She will continue to supervise the volunteers, provide medical direction for Nangi Clinic and write for the HEF website until June 2014. She plans to continue her support for HEF by writing and publishing a book about Mahabir Pun. You can read her blog book called Wireless Prophet at: www.wirelessprophet.com
HEF is seeking qualified individuals to serve on the board. If you are interested please contact Dr. Leonard Skov at: email@example.com
Dan is a professor at Bath Spa University in the UK. He and four of his students joined the team from the University of Vic for an unforgettable teaching experience at Himanchal Higher Education School in Nangi this past spring. Read what Dan had to say about the teaching experience and his own opportunity for adventure.
“I visited Nangi from 27March to 6 April with a group of four undergraduate education studies students from Bath Spa University in the UK. We were there to find out about the Nepal education system and particularly the role of examinations and evaluation in the system. We interviewed a number of the teachers about their experiences of preparing students for School Leaving Certificate and other examinations, and also spoke to groups of students in Grade 8 and 11. We helped out with invigilating the exams and my students taught English speaking skills. Afterwards I experienced a couple of days of the community trek. With my guide Takumar from Nangi we walked up to Mohare lodge on the first day, through rhododendron (laligras) forests that gradually changed from red to pink as we gained height. It was a beautiful clear day with views of Dhaulagiri between the trees. Reaching Mohare (3300m) around 1pm we met a group of workmen building a fence and generally developing the site into a great trekking lodge. The cloud enveloped us in the afternoon, but after dark it cleared again and we could see, far below us, the strip of lights by the lakeside at Pokhara. The following morning we woke at 5.30am to watch a spectacular sunrise over the Himalaya; rising just to the South of Machapuchare and illuminating the summits of Annapurna South, Annapurna I and Dhaulagiri with a golden blaze. We then trekked along the ridge to Pun Hill, where we joined the main tourist trekking route down to Ghorepani and all the way down the valley to the road at Nayapul. There our paths parted, with Takumar taking the bus back to Beni to return to Nangi, whilst I made my way back to Pokhara to continue my research in Kathmandu the following day. A truly unforgettable experience and one which has wetted my appetite to come and do the whole 9 day community trek next year!”
Each year volunteers come to Nangi from all over the world to teach English and other subjects at the school. In a joint effort by University of Vic in Spain and Bath Spa University in England, several students and two professors were in Nangi in April 2013. Below is an account by the Spanish professor Marta. Come back next month and read what the professor from England had to say.
“My Name is Marta. I am a professor and lecturer of the University of Vic. Vic is a small city situated north of Barcelona (Catalonia). Last April, I had the opportunity to be in Nangi with six of my students. An experience none of us is ever going to forget. The openness, warmth and dedication of the people in Nangi made our stay a very pleasant one.”
Teachers Chandra and Toya reading students’ work: Let’s check our work: did we write the proper information?
The teachers reading a text on the wall will act as messengers by reading and memorizing while the secretaries are in class ready to write the message down.
“I felt very privileged, as I was given the chance to give a workshop about “Teaching English as a foreign language” for the teachers in Nangi. Moreover, it was a workshop in which my students could also participate. It took two days and we shared our activities with several teachers of Himanchal High School and other schools around the village. We learned and had fun, we discovered similarities and differences in the way we approach a foreign language. English, Nepalese and Catalan were present in our sessions. Being a language teacher, it was great to be immersed in such a rich context linguistically speaking.”
Two teachers playing a game and decide whose turn it is. The student won. Using games encourages English speaking skills.
“I was impressed with the creativity Nepalese people show when talking about ideas to teach children and young people. This took me back fourteen years ago, when I was teaching in Sanothimi Campus, in Bhaktapur. Then, I often asked myself this question: “What do Nepalese people do so well as to be able to be so creative? I would like to know and take this home with me”. Fourteen years later, I still don’t know the answer to this question. Fortunately, it is still a mystery to me and I know I’ll have to go back to Nepal again to find out more about it. This way, I’ll feel the spirit, the enthusiasm and the uniqueness of Nepalese teachers, again.”
View of Mohare Danda trekking lodge and solar electricity collection system.
Annapurna Dhaulagiri Community Trek project was established in 2010 with the financial support of UNDP/MEDEP and village contribution. This is a unique trekking route in Nepal due to its objective – to support the community of Parbat and Myagdi Districts in order to develop the education system in the villages. Read more here.