Kirriemuir Rotary project helping to educate children in Nepal

Children enjoying their lessons in the Syangja Project.
Children enjoying their lessons in the Syangja Project.

The compassion and support of an Angus community is continuing to help survivors of devastating earthquakes thousands of miles away four years after the disaster.

The Rotary Club of Kirriemuir was overwhelmed by the generosity shown by the people of the town who rallied round their efforts to help rebuild a community in Nepal four years ago.

Club members worked with the Gurkhas after they initially raised funds to rebuild classrooms, toilet blocks in two schools and reinstate a water supply in a remote village.

Barbara Lovegrove, project co-ordinator, said the Kirriemuir group had now embarked on another project involving eight rural schools in the Syangja district.

She said: “This involved selecting schools sympathetic to new teaching methods, appointing a supervisor and arranging a training programme for teachers from classes one to four.

“The programme will last two years with supervision and support for the teachers for a further three years.

“This project started at the end of last year and the first two training session have taken place and the classrooms refurbished.”

The First Steps Himalaya charity is leading the training and the first reports are very encouraging, given the background of run-down schools and lack of educational opportunities.

Teachers are generally poorly trained or have received no training at all, and teaching methods are archaic.

Pupils in the Syangja region who are benefiting from the Rotary project.Barbara continued: “More children are attending school and some pupils who were going to private schools are now attending the local schools.

“This is encouraging because it not only demonstrates what is now being offered in the local school is better than what is available in the private schools in Kathmandu, but also means the parents of these children will become involved in the local schools.

“Better education is a pressing need in rural Nepal,” she added.

“It is gratifying to know the money raised locally, augmented by funds from our Rotary District and Rotary International and the Ferguson Trust, have made this all possible.

“As a club we are so grateful to the local community for their continued support.”

The club has also identified another project it would like to work on, details of which will be announced in the autumn.