I was a teacher, but now spend three months of each year working in Nepal, With the help of friends and Rotary we have established a community centre as a base in Kopan on the outskirts of Kathmandu.
It began as a library, but has expanded to pay school fees for 75 children. Many of these children now attend university and return to help teach in the Centre. Rotary established a computer centre which is now an independent business. It has spawned a small laptop education centre which teaches children and older women some computer skills.
A sewing school established in 2011, provides education for poor women who often set up a small business. It is a way out of poverty.
A clinic is linked to the Community Centre and provides some basic help with health problems such as diabetes. Visiting doctors can offer classes at the clinic.
Two years ago we ventured out to Kangel, a village in the Solu Khumbu and hope to duplicate the Kopan model in the countryside. Improved lighting in the farm houses would allow children to study more effectively. Most spend daylight hours working on the farm, so really need to study at night. Education can provide some skills and prepare young people if they do decide to go overseas. Many also move to Kathmandu, but without proper education they end up on building sites and continue to live in poverty.
The recent earthquakes have exacerbated the problems faced by this poor nation. Improved lighting in the tents and make-shift accommodation would help make the situation more bearable. Children would be safer and could study for exams.