URGENT NEED CONTINUES: COVID-19 Crisis and Our Children in Nepal. As of May 2021, the need is still great. See below for an update from the principal of MMES.
Imagine the impact of COVID-19 on a struggling country where one-third of its people live below the poverty line. You are imagining Nepal. Millions of Nepalese are out of work with no government support.
Until this crisis, the school we support in the small village of Bauniya – Mikey Medium English School (MMES) – was making tremendous progress. But the future looks challenging. Families who previously paid full tuition have offered to make partial payments after the November harvest. Many families don’t even have this option.
The need remains urgent. Without a continuing influx of funds, the children in the village will lose what has become a place of hope for a productive future in their country. Your donation will help MMES weather the COVID-19 storm. Every dollar helps a child.
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Grassroots Education Nepal (GEN) is a not-for-profit organization established to help Mikey Medium English School (MMES) in Far Western Nepal achieve its dream: high-quality education for boys and girls, whether they come from families who can afford tuition or from those who are socially and economically marginalized.
GEN is guided by a 14-member Board of Directors focused on two major priorities: to ensure MMES has the means to educate as many impoverished children from the village of Bauniya as possible and to help put the school on a self-sustaining path. In the past three years, this goal became a reality with the construction of a larger school facility, supported financially by GEN. Prior to COVID-19, the school’s size helped make it financially possible for tuition to cover operating costs and some scholarships. GEN’s financial support helps keep the scholarship level at 50 students out of the total of 300.
May 2021 Update in the words of our Principal, Balraj Bhat:
“We can travel on our motorcycle no other public vehicle. There is some improvement [in Covid-19 cases] seen in these 3 days. Cases are decreasing. I hope we will have normal life soon.
About Computer Program
After the money deposited in our school account we went to Dhangadi [approx. 38 miles west] and we ordered 6 desktop computer and 1 laptop computer. They didn’t have the computers we ordered. So they promised to bring within two weeks. We ran our lab by using our old computers. They called us to pick up the computers before the lock down. We asked them to send to us. They couldn’t send themselves. So our order is waiting us in Dhangadhi. I have talked them about it. We will take that when the situation become normal. We have not paid its cost yet.
We tried online classes for one month. It is not effectively conducted because of irregular net and electricity. Only 50% students were able to connect and we completed the course for this school session. So we cannot contact our students and teachers during this situation. We are totally distracted. I am also not able to think how when we can start going to school. Local authority is adding the time of lockdown. It is already one month.
We have stopped all activities and we are staying at home. I think this time schools will closed longer than last year.”
January 2021 Update in the words of our Principal, Balraj Bhat:
“Thank you very much from the MMES family to GEN for support in this critical time. Now MMES is on its way and being run in systematic way. We don’t have any death case in our locality by Covid so far. So I think we will continue our journey for this school session.
Good news is this, we have got 300 students at school and stopped admission for new students. Because of our support and providing time to pay tuition fee most of the parents are sending their children to school. They are paying almost half percent of tuition fee. And some have committed to pay during the school session. We have got teacher salary for 5 months. All teachers are working hard and getting their salary in time.
The decision to open school earlier than other school became advantageous for us. We are now in good academic way in courses and other activities. The government is planning to extend the school session. Two months may be added.
Now we can make new school budget for this session.
However, we are facing difficulty to run our computer lab. All laptop computers except 2 are stopped working. We cannot fix them in Bauniya. We don’t have budget to buy new computers. We have good internet connection at school. We need computers to teach our students.”
September 2020 COVID-19 Update in the words of our Principal, Balraj Bhat: