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.
Hemkumarie: “Namita is one of the former student, who was really dedicated to for study. She also was born and brought up in a peasant family in this Nangi village. She wants to share her sweet and bitter experiences.
My mother works household work as well as farming work. My father is a laborer. He was able to provide me the Bachelor level education with the money from labor work. From my childhood, I was interested in the study and I was intelligent as well .so I kept on holding 1st and 2nd position in each grade. I was difficult for me to buy uniform and stationery as my financial condition at home were very poor. It was very difficult for my father to fulfill the expense for the education of me, my brother and sister. Since I was an intelligent girl and my financial condition was not good at home, I was provided with small scholarship time and again. That supported my education and inspired me that I should study well. I studied hard.
I passed the SLC six years ago. I had to go to Beni ( the nearest town from Nangi and a six hours walk) to take the SLC exam. After the exam, my friends went to Beni or Pokhara to get training on the various subject. But I helped my mother in her household or farming work as I could not go to Pokhara due to my poor financial condition at home. When the result was published, I was able to pass the SLC exam in 1st division I felt so happy at that moment. My parents reacted to my success that their investment in my education was properly utilized and they would forget their hardship.
After SLC, I continued my higher study at Himanchal Higher secondary school in my village in Nangi. After completing my grade 12 education, I went to Pokhara for my bachelor level education. I became successful due to the help of my parents and relatives as well as the scholarship provided by a person from my village who lives in Kathmandu. He provided at least 50,000 rupees each year. when I was studying in bachelor 2nd year. One day I open my Facebook account and saw a photo of my father working in building a suspended bridge, It was tagged by my friend in my village. My father was working by keeping his life in danger. I started weeping remembering that my father was working hard for the education of his children. At that time, I realized my parents as gods.
My parents raise cows, buffaloes, goats etc. at home. So do my relatives. Generally, I have seen the animals giving birth to their kids with four legs. But last month, I surprised very much seeing that the goat of my neighbor, Lalbahadur gave birth to a kid with 3 legs. It amazed me how it had only three legs.”
Hemkumarie: Sangita Pun who was born in Ramche village in a peasant family. She started her education at Deurali Lower Secondary School in Ramche Village. She completed her SLC and graduated 12th education from Himanchal Higher Secondary School. She tells her experiences that happened in her life.
“I start my school life from Deurali Lower secondary school in Ramche .The bygone days were happy. After completing lower secondary level education, I joined in Himachal higher secondary school and continued my study. I work as treasurer in Junior Redcross Circle and participated in different programs .I enjoyed the moments very much. I got success in the SLC and grade 12 examinations which made me excited and encouraged me to further my studies. I had to face many difficulties in the course of getting an education as I am from a poor family. As result, it was very difficult for me to continue my study. When I was in grade 9 it was difficult for me to pay for my tuition fee. Then my mother asked me to stop my study.
But I denied it and continued struggling forward. I passed the SLC and grade 12, I had to go to real classes for practice teaching for a month. at the beginning it was really difficult for me to prepare the daily lesson plan . I didn’t have any idea to prepare the lesson plan as first. It was really problematic for me.
After that, the exam of grade 12 was coming rear. I was busy in self-preparation for the exam. I was at my own home. The time was about 1:00 am 25 April 2015. There was a devastating earthquake. I was alone at home .I started trembling with fear. it was such an event in my life Which I can’t forget forever.”
Hemkumarie: Next former student is Pablar. He was also born and brought up in this Nangi village. He is the only son from an educated family. He completed grade 12 education from this village school. He is now in the B.Ed. 3rd year in Pokhara . He wants to start his life story from one point.
“Time is changeable. There are countless bends and turns in the life of man. There are many rises and falls in the life of man. The life is sometimes full of laughter, sometimes full of sorrow.
Sometimes , I realize my childhood was full of fun. Times were passing with the nature which had no hope no purpose. But when I join the school , I was not able to write words. My parents started beating and I started crying loudly. The moments remained inconvenient. I can remember that I was the nature of jealousy. I used to quarrel with my friends. If they became angry, I couldn’t remain still without friends.
From my childhood , I loved to play football. In the leisure of school, I played football with my friends. When someone asked me, ” what is your aim to be in the future ?”, I used to reply that I would be a great footballer . The events are still in my heart and memory but all are only bygone days. I didn’t take part in any program as I felt weak myself. I was afraid that I would be insulted. Thus, I can’t still talk to others openly. The time was moving forward. I was studying in grade 8.
After Dashain vacation (Dashain is the greatest festival of Hindus), students set a program for an educational tour which had to be led by my father who is a science teacher in Nangi school. My mother and I also participated in the tour. The destination was the border of Nepal and China. It was the part of Tibet. The tour was interesting and joyful as I hadn’t been to a long tour before. The geographical scenery on the way was amazing and strange. The scenes really fascinated me. In this way, I share my experiences.”
Hemkumarie: “Joni is a former student in Nangi who was born and grew up in a simple farmer family of this peaceful and beautiful village. After completing her grade 12 education from Himanchal Higher Secondary School, she has been studying in B.Ed. 3rd year in Pokhara.
Joni shares her story:
“Many different incidents happen in the life of human beings, which are beyond our imagination and unbelievable. It is very difficult to express those incidents in words. What the human beings look like from outside may not be inside. Or we can not express his experiences from his outlook.
Different incidents happened in my life. Some of which are delightful and some are sorrowful. I would like to share some of the experiences. It is said that the SLC (School Leaving Certificate) board exam is the iron gate for the future. When I was studying in grade 10 in 2011, I felt anxious how I could cross the gate. Therefore, I took the SLC exam by working hard. I was curious about how the result would be. After the long waiting of 3 months , the exam result was out. Finally, I passed the exam in the 1st division obtaining 62.5% marks. That moment brought complete happiness in my life .
I came to my village from Pokhara in the winter vacation this year but my grandma had been sick for a long time. She passed away on 6 January 2016. She is no more in this world. This event has made me very sad.
In course of my study , my teacher said that there is a “Google Boy” in Kathmandu . So I searched on Youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jr3ZDRdEOMs. I found the boy, Aditya Dahal, who can’t walk and speak but he can write the correct answer though we ask him in a different language and his prediction never fail. Such a type of video surprised me a lot.”
The students at the Himachal School in Nangi have stories to tell. The science teacher, HemKumarie Pun, has collected four stories from former students who recently graduated from the school. She has written an introduction to the students’ stories which will be published over the next four weeks. Special thanks to Hem for collecting the stories and to Ganga Pun for translating the stories into English. The stories were edited only for grammar and spelling.
HemKumarie’s introduction: “Human life is the chain of happiness and sadness. When a child is born they received the love and affection as well as closeness to their parents. The child continued growing with the help of parents that they care and rear the children. Childhood is so delightful that there is no limitation of cheerfulness. Under the sky, the children play joyfully. They plunge into the imagination. Slowly they mature, get a school education and adjust in the situations of wide society. Now they become a complete human being. But further steps are not easy. They collect different experiences and move forward struggling with many difficulties. The events in life make them sometimes sad and sometimes happy and sometimes they are surprised.
Based on the above-mentioned matters, I requested my former students who completed 12 grade from this school to share their experiences. They have shared the events in their life on the basis of their experiences. I would like to mention their experiences are their identification.”
Join us next week for the first story from Joni, who grew up in Nangi and is now studying in Pokhara. What story will little Rita have to tell when she is older?
FuFilm, a group of filmmakers and authors, is making a movie about Magar women. Magar is one of the indigenous, ethnic groups populating Nepal.
The movie depicts the spirit of the women who support their remote communities with wisdom, strength, and courage. The raw footage was shot in 2013 in and around Nangi, Nepal. A teaser is available for viewing here.
Sudiksha Joshi, Ph.D. is a learning advocate who understands the difference that internet and access to information can have in changing lives. She supports the vision of Dr. Mahabir Pun that access to the internet can empower and change lives.
She has started a petition asking the Nepal government to release funds from the Rural Telecommunication Development Fund for connecting rural areas of Nepal to the internet. You can read about the petition and decide if you want to sign by clicking here.
More than 10,000 school buildings were fully or partially damaged by the earthquake. Dr. Mahabir Pun visited damaged schools in three districts to discuss HEF assistance in rebuilding, HEF’s present monetary commitment is for rebuilding one school. He has selected a middle school in Pokhari in the Gorakha district (see photos). Online donations have been received from Sweden, Netherlands, Australia, Korea, USA and China for rebuilding. The community leaders will submit plans to the government, build and manage the four-room school. With the implementation of new government building regulations for schools; a new school will cost nearly $30,000 USD. Below is Pokhari Village after the earthquake.
As a result of political turmoil in Nepal over a new constitution, there has been a trade blockade since September 20th. No supplies such as fuel, medicine, or food are being delivered across the borders. Schools, businesses and industries have closed and few vehicles are running. All reconstruction work has been postponed and rebuilding the school cannot begin until the blockade is lifted. Read how it affects Nepal here.
Dormitory Construction Completed
Boys and girls in grade 10, 11 and 12 were staying in small two-bed huts at the school in Nangi. As funds were available over the past 3 years, a new boys dormitory with 16 rooms was constructed. Three boys live in each room with two male supervising teachers residing there also. Renovation has begun in the old library and clinic building to make a 12-room girl’s dormitory with $4,000 donated by the John and Lois McNeill family. The building will be dedicated to late John McNeill who was a great mentor and supporter of Himanchal Education Foundation. Below is the boy’s dormatory.
Friends from Omaha and Texas donated $1,200 to provide a full scholarship for one student orphaned by the earthquake. Mahabir has received applications from the relatives of 8 students from different villages. He will select one student who has lost both parents in the earthquake after he visits the families.
As 2015 draws to a close we are thankful for all contributions you have made to HEF. Our priorities continue to be to promote economic development, educational initiatives and the health and well-being of the residents of the Nangi area. The earthquake and economic conditions in Nepal are a challenge but we look forward to a productive future with the resources we have been given.
The following is an edited excerpt from a recent volunteer’s letter sent to the HEF team in Nepal. Crystal taught a way-finding and GPS class to the guides working for the Annapurna Dhaulagiri Community Trek Project http://nepaltrek.wix.com/nepalcommunitytrek
Volunteers, such as Crystal, make a difference. Think about bringing your skills to our school and community villages. Contact Dr. Debra Stoner: firstname.lastname@example.org
Namaste Chitra, I wanted to thank you and everyone in the Nangi village and HEF for the amazing experience I had at the Nangi village teaching the compass/ map/ GPS guides course, helping out in the school and going on the trek with Prem. It was a very rich and rewarding experience. You took such great care of me. I really felt part of your community. Thank you!
I would love to stay involved with the guides and geocaching, as well as help promote the Community Village Trek in anyway that I can. I really think you have a unique opportunity to share your culture and way of life with tourists while contributing to the local economy of the villages. Based on my discussions with tourists I’ve met here in Nepal, many travelers are looking for this type of experience. Let’s stay in touch about ideas to continue to work together.
Prem was an excellent guide. He is very knowledgeable about the area and the Magar culture and communicates. I learned so much and took lots and lots of notes. I would like to write a few articles for publish in local newspapers at home in California, maybe travel magazines and for your website or marketing describing my experience both in the village and on the trek. I would also like to learn more about the history, traditions and culture of the Magar people in your area.
During the guides course, I was impressed by how quickly the guides learned the compass, map and GPS equipment. I hope they can continue to use these skills in their work. Prem became proficient with the GPS and geocaching concept while we were trekking and I think he can help teach new guides in your program. We took GPS points in all the villages we visited and other points of interest along our 9 day trek and I helped him download the data on his computer. .
When I get home, I plan to do a slide show presentation about my experience at Nangi and Community Trek for my local community and schools. Overall I was very impressed by the Nangi village, your community programs, and your dedication to improve the welfare of all your community members. It is very inspiring. I would like to continue to be involved from abroad and come back and contribute more to the village and community trek project in whatever capacity I can.
Please be in touch and thanks again for an unforgettable experience.