May 2008 Newsletter from Dr. Leonard Skov

May 23rd, 2008 by Leonard Skov · No Comments

Greetings from Himanchal Educational Foundation

It is time for a renewal of the quarterly messages to you who have been the stalwart anchors of the financing of the work in Nangi and, more recently, a growing portion of Nepal. We will focus on two issues.

The combination of devaluation of the dollar and increasing inflation in Nepal has resulted in the costs to support the teachers’ salaries in Nangi Higher Secondary School now require a 50% increase in the revenues directed to that purpose.

Specifically, we have been supporting the teachers at a rate of about $2050 per month. The combination of inflation and dollar devaluation requires approximately $3050 per month to provide the same support level.

To put this in perspective, we still experience a terrific “bang for the buck”. The salary funds support the 16 high school teachers. That still calculates to about $2300 US per teacher per year. The 16 teachers are providing a quality education to over 200 students for the US equivalent of $180 per student.

However, the bottom line is that we need to receive an additional $1000 per month to sustain our commitment to the teachers.

Over the past years, we have learned that we can best respond to the other needs (local healthcare, improved water quality, and local economic development) by developing and delivering training programs that assist in developing the necessary skills of the villagers. It has been an outstanding example of the “Give me a fish, and I will eat today—Teach me how to fish and I will eat every day”. We have been most fortunate to have volunteers who have worked with us to develop the training programs and then deliver those programs to the targeted audiences.

The training of local healthcare workers has been led by doctors, dentists, and nurses who have traveled to Nangi as volunteers. An extremely exciting step is that we are now providing advanced training to some of the local healthcare workers so they can become trainers. In July, 2 local healthcare providers in Nangi will be going to Kathmandu to receive advanced technical training as well as skills in teaching so they can bring the knowledge and skills to the villages in the Nangi region.
We have developed similar training programs in composting toilet construction, protection of water sources, papermaking, and cloth production using (of all things) nettles.

We can see a time when the skills we find and bring to the villages will be almost totally training focused.

These programs, too, come with a price. While we can find volunteers who come to the villages paying their own way, the “students” need modest support for their expenses in the training programs and we always provide packets of supplies (that were used in the training and will be needed when the trainees go back to their villages) to those who complete the training. As the training becomes more advanced, the cost of these supplies is also impacted by the same inflation and dollar devaluation and by the costs of the supplies. We are expecting a commitment of around an additional $10,000 per year to respond to this need.

So, all this adds up the needs increasing by about 40%. This is a major increase in our support goal, but the benefits make it a fantastic investment.

We hope, as you consider your 2008 support to Himanchal Educational Foundation, you will reflect on these needs and the wonderful impact the work will have with the people of Nangi and greater Nepal.

HEF is a 501(c)(3) public non-profit corporation, incorporated in Nebraska. Contributions are tax exempt to the extent permitted by law. Another statistic is that over 99% of the contributions go directly to Nepal. The only overhead we have is the cost of the wire transfers to Nepal and our corporate fee. The cost of our messages and their mailing is anonymously supported.

Sincerely,

Leonard Skov, Treasurer
Himanchal Educational Foundation
5610 Avenue N
Kearney, Nebraska 68847

PS: Please consider the possibility of your travel to Nepal and Nangi to take your skills to the current and yet-to-be-developed programs.

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