When the pandemic hit the world in March, schools across Nepal shut down, many of which remain closed today. As we realized the increasing need for relief across Nepal, our projects shifted gears to feed and support their communities. But we also continued to develop ways that teaching could continue despite the pandemic because relief is for survival but education is for transformation.
We have seen through our school in the Yangri Valley, the power that education has to uplift and empower families in the Himalayas. How the education of one child can transform entire families! This is why we have done all that we can to allow education to continue to bring light and transformation to the Yangri Valley despite the pandemic. This week we will share the exciting things that are happening in Yangri.
Commute + Commitment for Education
Nepal has been in and out of imposed lockdowns since the announcement of the pandemic which included travel bans and city curfews. Our teachers got stuck in Kathmandu as a result of one of the lockdowns back in September, unable to make it in time for the normal back to school. In a transition of curfews, the ban was lifted for a very small window, so our teachers gathered their things and got into the jeep at midnight. They were able to safely make it to Yangri by morning.
Why all the effort? At the Yangri Academic Centre, our teachers and staff believe that education is a means for transformation. Their commitment to their students goes beyond encouraging academic success, but overall wellness! Teaching is also a way to care for the student’s emotional and mental well being and to support the family and home life as well. It is the commitment to care holistically for their students that drives the teachers to continue the hard work of teaching in a pandemic.
Distributed Teaching began in Yangri this past spring to meet the need for continued education for the students in the remote areas of the Yangri Valley. With schools ordered to close, children had little resources at home to continue their learning. Some schools in Nepal were given educational resources from the government via TV and radio, but due to the remoteness of this valley, the children received nothing.
The Yangri Academic Centre put together a Distributed Teacher program to meet this need, where teachers walk many kilometres each week to provide education packages and teaching to the children. The team currently visits 5 villages a week where they are mandated by the government to teach not only the students of YAC but all kids in the community. This again shows the amazing dedication that the staff at YAC have to make sure that education continues in the Yangri Valley!