A Year in the Life of Shree Gyanjyoti

Well, what another fantastic year for LEARN’s school Shree Gyanjyoti Community School.  It has been a while since I last posted a blog but I thought that I would wait until the end of their academic year and show just what they achieve each school year.

Once again, the dedication shown by Devi Prasad, Balkrishna Gaire and their whole staff has resulted in many successes and experiences for the pupils at the school.

Some of the little ones enjoying ball games

With your help, we have been able to provide scholarships to children from Dalit and other low caste families, enabling them to receive a good education which would otherwise be denied them.  There are also many poor families from other castes. This year there are 198 students of which more than 100 are on full or partial scholarships.

Devi Prasad reports that the parents have been very happy and satisfied with their children’s learning activities this year (which stands the school in good stead for the year ahead) as the staff have just completed their door to door program finding that parents are delighted to be enrolling their children at the school for the new academic year.

Proud families look on and support their children

Early on in the academic year, Devi Prasad reported that the School Management Committee and the PTA had been reformed with Devi Prasad being nominated as Chair for the next three years (so we know that it will be in safe hands).

You can see just what a relationship Devi Prasad has with the students

In order to maintain the high standards at the school and stay in line with the national rules and regulations, the school has had to increase its fees and the teachers’ salaries slightly.  Also, the Education Act of Nepal states that teachers should get 12 days sick leave per year, which if they don’t use, they should receive pay for.  Our school hasn’t done this (as we weren’t aware of it), so this year they are making amends and have reimbursed 20% of this pay and will continue to reimburse over the coming months/years until the staff have been paid for this in full.  This is all clearly very important – our staff should be given what they deserve and are owed but it obviously puts a burden on our fund raising which we are striving hard to achieve.  The school also experienced a leaky roof this year which has now been fixed with the help of the municipality who covered ¾ of the costs of the repair, the rest being made up from a kind donor who has also covered the cost of the new books needed for the coming year.

The leaky roof repairs – thank goodness it wasn’t monsoon season!

In terms of academia, the school seems to sit a lot of exams (I’m sure that many of our UK pupils (and teachers for that matter!) would be quite perturbed by the number!).  All pupils scored well in the January exams.  Shortly after, their municipality undertook Recovery and Accelerated Learning (ReAL) Plan examinations.  All 110 eligible pupils from our school took part in them and they came top out of 37 schools.  Once again, as almost every year since the school was founded, the final year students came top in their municipality in the annual end of school year examinations. 

Sitting the exams

Whenever Devi Prasad emails to tell us the results of examinations, he never fails to thank God, Michael and Maureen and everyone who supports the school for their contribution to the school’s success.  So, on behalf of Devi Prasad; all staff, pupils and families at the school and all the trustees of LEARN – THANK YOU – without your unending support, this would not be possible.  As well as exam success, the school participated in a municipality organised primary level quiz contest and our three students gained third place in that.

Exam results day celebrations are awards

The school organise many internal sports competitions and activities but they also partake in sports tournaments organised by the municipality such as running competitions, volleyball and taekwondo.  In the latest taekwondo tournament, they gained 3 gold, 4 silver and 8 bronze medals and our three gold medallists were selected for the provincial level tournament, so we look forward to hearing how they do in that.

Great success in the municipality Taekwondo contest

The school management are also intent on ensuring that the children and their families are well cared for.  This year, they organised for Doctors from the medical college in Tansen, Palpa to deliver menstruation awareness to all of the girls in grades 5-8 and also for the girls to be taught how to make washable sanitary pads, that they were then able to keep.  Great for the environment as well as the girls.  The whole school celebrated World Environment Day, enjoying many different activities as can be seen from the photos. 

Learning to safeguard the planet’s future

The school has organised basic tailoring programmes for parents and non-parents which all helps with income generation and have also been able to distribute three goats (using funds from the local municipality allocated for this purpose) to three disabled families to aid income generation for those families – of course, they were delighted with their goats. 

The ladies enjoy their tailoring session
So happy with his family’s goat

The school also celebrated Christmas (although it is not affiliated to any particular religion) following a visit from Pastor Ramu Rayamajhi who taught them about Jesus being the Son of God and the reason He came into the world.

Pastor Ramu and the real meaning of Christmas

Shree Gyanjyoti has also been really actively involved with other schools in their region.  Early in the year, our school organised 2 teacher training days about SSP teaching methods which was attended by 35 teachers representing 13 other schools. 

A great learning and sharing day

They also organised  a meeting for school management committees, PTAs, Principals, Education Officers, etc. from 7 other schools to share good practice and how to deal with challenges. 

Devi Prasad shows the way

In February of this year, the municipality organised a two day scout refreshment camp held at our school.  It was attended by 16  schools, with 40 Scout masters and over 100 guests. It was also attended by our school’s Principal – Balkrishna and our other male teachers.  They are now going to set up a Scout group for boys and girls at our school during the coming year.

Hosting the Scout meeting

One final very exciting development this year is the involvement with our school of a UK group – Engage Nepal with Science.  Our school is rightly very proud of its science education, having a purpose built science lab, good science equipment and a very keen and able science teacher.  Engage Nepal with Science sets out to encourage, empower, inspire and build confidence in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics).  They pair a school in the UK with a school in Nepal and provide equipment and guidance to join together in science projects.  Shree Gyanjyoti are really keen to be involved in that, alongside their already ‘partner school’ – St. Mary’s in Hawkshaw, Bury.  Hopefully, this year will see that relationship develop along with all the positive outcomes that will inevitably occur as a result.

It is so good that our school is not only providing its own students with an incredible school experience and education but also fostering links to so many others that can only be of real benefit to themselves and all involved – taking great education beyond its own walls!

The school opened in 2008.  Since then hundreds of children have benefitted from an excellent education that would, otherwise, have been denied them.  This has only been possible because of the generosity of our supporters. 

‘THANK YOU’  You have changed the lives of these underprivileged students.

If you would like to know more or make a donation, please head to our website: www.learnnepal.org.uk

And please look out for our next blog (to be published soon), detailing our fundraising exploits and how to help us in our mission to continue to provide such fantastic education to our students and those others who are also affected by our school’s inspirational leaders.

LEARN Christmas 2022 Blog

We are delighted to be able to report that 2022 has been another fantastic year for Shree Gyanjyoti school.  With the help of our LEARN supporters, we have continued to be able to provide scholarships to children from Dalit and other low caste families.  This year, the school has 189 students of which more than 100 are on full or partial scholarships.

Some of the children enjoying a fun game

The year 8 leavers once again came out top of 39 schools in their rural municipality, a fantastic achievement demonstrating again the amount of effort and dedication from staff and students alike.  The school has also, during the course of the year, participated in dance and quiz competitions and other activities in their municipality, ensured the Covid vaccinations of all eligible students and continued their relationship with the students at St. Mary’s School in Hawkshaw, Bury.

Recently, Devi Prasad Neupane (the school’s founder and President) was appointed to the district education committee, recognising both his personal abilities and the outstanding progress made by the school since its formation 15 years ago and we were delighted to hear such wonderful news.

The hugely inspirational Devi Prasad

Both Devi Prasad and Balkrishna Gaire (the school Principal) are incredibly dedicated to ensuring the fabulous academic education for all of the children at the school but they always have the full interests of the children foremost in their thinking.  Just last month, they arranged for the superintendent and other staff from the mission hospital 10 miles away from the school to come and talk with the students about mental health issues which is so important.  

Some of the participants of the mental health programme

The latest email from Devi Prasad also explained to us that many of the ex-students of the school keep in touch with him.  Three girls from Dalit families who had been on full scholarships throughout their time at Shree Gyanjyoti, have now gone on to studies in further education (two doing a 3 year course in Animal Studies (one of whom was a child from the family who received the first goats as gifts through the work of LEARN) and one doing a 4 year course in Computer Science).  Sadly, the girls had written to Devi Prasad and explained that they are doing well and enjoying their courses but were unable to pay their course and accommodation fees as their families are unemployed and illiterate and the economic crisis was proving too much.  All money given to LEARN goes directly to the school itself so it is outside of LEARN’s remit to support them but through Maureen and Michael’s LEARN contacts, it looks probable that a separate fund is being set up to support these three girls.  How amazing that three Dalit Nepali girls (who wouldn’t normally have received any formal education) have been able to attend Shree Gyanjyoti School, get a great start to their education and then, through continued support given them by Devi Prasad are now able to continue their education to such a high level. And that is what makes LEARN so special – it enables the education of so many children who otherwise would receive none.  LEARN, through supporters like you, continues to transform lives!

The young girl and her mother at home where they received the first goat
Outside her college where she studies computer science
At college studying animal science but hoping to go on to be a fully qualified vet

Once again, this year has been a very difficult year for Charities.  Michael and Maureen have recently been able to travel and give some talks and sales, but opportunities continue to be limited.  We remain massively grateful to all who support the work of LEARN.  Your generosity continues to ensure that ALL children in this little village in Nepal have access to a fantastic education and, therefore, a better future.  Never underestimate the difference that your support makes.  THANK YOU on behalf of students, their families, staff, LEARN and all those in the village that we have been able to help.

It always feels uncomfortable thanking people for their generous support and then going on to ask for more.  However, we believe so much in all that LEARN does that we need to continue to meet the needs of the school.  We are genuinely hugely grateful for all that our supporters do.  However, if you feel able to offer further support: 

  1. The ‘Gifts for Life’ Certificates make wonderful Christmas presents and were well received by many last year.
  2. Donations can be given at any time.
  3. Consider setting up a standing order (a commitment of just £5 per month would be enough to pay the scholarship of one child)
  4. Tell other people about LEARN
  5. Invite Michael and Maureen to do a talk and/or sale.

For information on how to do any of the above, visit our website: www.learnnepal.org.uk or email us at enquiries@learnnepal.org.uk

Good News in a Troubled World

When the world seems to be so troubled and the news brings constant sadness and despair for the terrible things going on in so many places, it was lovely to receive the latest email from Devi Prasad that was filled with good news.

He reported that Covid infection is currently not present in their region so everything is operating normally and people are able to go about their daily routines and work.  This is great news for the school as it is currently able to teach in the school, go about its normal activity as well as lots of extra-curricular activities and generally care for its staff and students in the best possible way without restrictions.  The students are, of course, delighted to be back in regular ‘in school teaching’. He was also able to report that the 39 students eligible for Covid vaccines had now had their second dose. 

The general education in the school continues to be delivered to an excellent standard by our highly motivated and dedicated staff but on top of this, their municipality had organised dance and quiz competitions in late February.  Our school entered this and were pleased to come second and third which they were really pleased with.  Its so good to see the school not only enjoying great academic success but also really encouraging the students to be involved in so many other non-academic activities.  It really works at developing the whole person, which is so important and so pleasing for us as trustees to see.

Devi Prasad was also able to tell us that the school had been given some money by their rural municipality for painting the building.  They have used the money to paint 3 classrooms, 16 front and side windows and 14 doors!  It is great that they received the money as it shows recognition by the municipality and also good that they keep the premises in such good order as that is often not a priority in Nepal! 

It is almost the end of the academic year in Nepal and once again, we are delighted with the progress and achievements that our staff and students are so committed to working towards.  However, none of this would be possible if it were not for our fantastic supporters.  


Christmas Blog

This time last year, the whole world was still in the terrifying grip of the Covid-19 pandemic BUT the first non-trialvaccine had just been given and hope was on the horizon. The vaccines have certainly transformed life, people have been able to return to socialising, work and school, etc. So, 2021 has seemed more ‘normal’ than 2020! (although, as we know only too well, omicron is threatening to unsettle all this a bit). So, what of our friends in rural Nepal?

They have also seen big changes this year. They have had numerous lockdowns to deal with but they too have seen a return to some level of normality. During lockdowns, the teachers taught the older children online (90% of them managed access to a computer or mobile phone) but taught the younger children outside their own homes. Some lessons took place socially distanced outside, whilst others went ahead in the classrooms. Whatever methods they used, they worked – once again, Shree Gyanjyoti topped the schools in their municipality in the exams. Testament tothe dedication of staff, students and their families.

Lessons outside

It has been a struggle for many in the village. Jobs were lost and other sources of income were drying up. We made an appeal to our supporters for separate donations (every penny donated to LEARN goes directly to the school itself) so that we could help Devi Prasad to feed people in the village who would, otherwise, have gone hungry – people in the village not directly connected with the school but in dire need. The school and the education provided is an incredible resource for the village but the care goes way beyond its walls and we thank you.

Devi Prasad’s latest update, in terms of vaccines, informed us that their Government were vaccinating all over 40 years plus year 12 students. At that time, none of our students had been vaccinated but he was hoping that it wouldn’t be too long before they were. We did ask whether it would be possible for us to buy some vaccines but the Nepali government would not allow purchase of vaccines.

They have managed to install two easy use contactless taps

Letters continue to be exchanged between St. Mary’s in Hawkshaw and our school in Nepal. This has been so wonderful for both schools. The children in both countries look forward to sending and receiving letters. It is such a great link between children in very different circumstances!

How happy and proud does this young man look?

Once again, this year has been a very difficult year for Charities. Michael and Maureen have recently been able to travel and give some talks and sales, but opportunities continue to be very limited. We remain massively grateful to all who support the work of LEARN. Your generosity continues to ensure that ALL children in this little village in Nepal haveaccess to a fantastic education and, therefore, a better future. Never underestimate the difference that your support makes. THANK YOU on behalf of students, their families, staff, LEARN and all those in the village that we have been ableto help.

It always feels uncomfortable thanking people for their generous support and then going on to ask for more. However,we believe so much in all that LEARN does that we need to continue to meet the needs of the school. We are genuinely hugely grateful for all that our supporters do.

However, if you feel able to offer further support:

1. The ‘Gifts for Life’ Certificates make wonderful Christmas presents and were well received by many last year.

2. Donations can be given at any time.

3. Consider setting up a standing order

4. Tell other people about us

5. Invite Michael and Maureen to do a talk and/or sale.

For information on how to do any of the above, visit our website: www.learnnepal.org.uk or email us atenquiries@learnnepal.org.uk


The Unpredictable Life

So, life here in the UK has changed dramatically yet again over recent weeks.  Boris Johnson’s promised ‘freedom’ day happened and, consequently, life has new joys and new challenges!

Similarly, in Nepal, life continues to be unpredictable.  Recent emails from Devi Prasad have fluctuated between Covid-19 rates going down with some level of normal life and schooling returning and Covid-19 rates rising and lockdowns being the main lifestyle. 

He did report that two of our school teachers had contracted the virus but fortunately they have now made a full recovery.  Sadly though, one of his latest emails informed us that three members of the village had died from the virus. So, our thoughts and prayers are very much with them in these difficult times. 

Our last blog reported that the school had hoped to just squeeze in the final year examinations before the predicted lockdown but unfortunately, the lockdown just beat them to it. Consequently, Nepal like the UK has had to adapt its examination methods. They also opted for a system of grading that utilised the students’ past test/examination performance combined with teacher assessment. Devi Prasad has sent us the school’s examination results which, once again, are outstanding in all ages. He was also delighted to report that (as has now become the norm!) Shree Gyanjyoti School was ranked 1st in their municipality for the eldest year examination results. What a wonderful achievement particularly in the circumstances and a real testament to the dedication and care of all involved with the school (teachers, students, families, LEARN supporters, etc). So thank you to all of you!

The school did reopen again as rates fell due to the lockdown but Devi Prasad’s email late last week informed us that it had just been forced to close again as rates were once again rising in the area.  So unpredictable from one week to the next but one thing that we can be absolutely certain of is that, whether the school is physically open or closed, the staff are continuing to ensure that the students are receiving the best possible care and education that circumstances allow. They are also currently in the process of recruiting for the new school year. 

The weather there is currently a bit mixed but no really heavy rains and planting and farming is the main necessity at the moment.  Although many in the village have lost their jobs and life is so hard for so many, they continue to remain upbeat and optimistic that they, like the rest of the world, will eventually conquer the virus and life (though it may never be quite the same again) will return to some level of normality and predictability.

You may recall that our latest blog included a plea for non-LEARN donations that we could send to help Devi Prasad to supply essential, life-saving supplies to needy people (not necessarily directly connected to the school) in the village. He estimated that the cost of this would be about £1800 and due to the kind donations received from so many of our supporters, we were able to send almost exactly that sum! Thank you! The people receiving those food packages have been so grateful and as trustees of LEARN it has been an absolute blessing to know that, not only have we been able to ensure the continued top class life changing education for all in rural Nepal but we have been able to provide life-giving care to the most needy in the village.  The photos show a few of the people that have been helped by receiving the food packages.

On behalf of the trustees of LEARN, the staff, the families and all of those that we have been able to help through the food programme- THANK YOU! ? Please continue to think of, pray for and support our friends in Nepal. (As a quick aside, my youngest daughter turned 18 last week and Balkrishna Gaire (our school’s headmaster) wished her a very happy birthday via Facebook- what a small world it has become and what a blessing that we can be so close to our relatively distant neighbours. It certainly brought home to me the Biblical question “who is my neighbour?”)

What A Time To Live In Bolton!

Bolton currently has the highest new Covid-19 infection rate in the whole country and there is much speculation that we Boltonians may all be put under local restrictions yet again whilst most of the rest of the country isrevelling in being able to regain most of its freedom.  (The story of Bolton’s life for much of the last 14 months!) 

Last weekend though, my children were able to receive their first Covid-19 vaccine because of where we live.  This means that every member of my family (and much of my extended family) has now received at least one vaccination – what a blessing and what a privilege.  After their vaccinations, we had a little treat visit to a local ice-cream parlour, before coming home to get food out of the freezer to eat after we got home from work/school the following day. 

We may be fed up of the restrictions and missing our family and friends but we have never been in the situation of wondering how we could possibly get enough food and other supplies to survive or whether we would be able to afford life-saving treatment if we could actually find a hospital with enough resources/space left to treat us. The following makes me really appreciate just how lucky I am to live and work where I do – yes, even Bolton ?!! 

On Monday, we received an email from Devi Prasad.  Their village is in lockdown with markets (no popping to the fridge or freezer for more food for our Nepalese families), banks, schools, etc. shut.  Covid-19 cases are rising rapidly and they are beginning to experience some deaths.  Most of the community have lost their jobs and, unlike during the first Nepal lockdown, there is no support or supplies from the government nor NGOs, etc.  Only 7% of the population of Nepal has received a first vaccination and the programme has now been halted due to supplies of the vaccine drying up. 

Devi Prasad estimates that there are 100 families in the village who are in dire need of help and estimates the cost to be about NPR 3000 (£18) per month per family.  He has a plan to be able to distribute food to the families.  However, they will need financial help to be able to do this (and he is also delighted to report that our school community have made 2500 facemasks for the protection of others in the area). 

We are asking, therefore, that if you feel you want to send a donation, no matter how big or small (every penny helps), please send it to Maureen, the Chair of LEARN, as the charity was registered solely to support the school and this appeal falls outside that object.   Donations can be sent:

Directly into Maureen’s EC account:

Maureen Hawksworth 

Sort code: 60-60-06

Account number: 46256539


or by post to:

Maureen Hawksworth, 9 Brockenhurst Drive, Bolton, BL2 4HP.


All Change

Devi Prasad sends regular emails to keep LEARN informed and updated about Shree Gyanjyoti School and life in Nepal generally.  It has been interesting to follow these over recent weeks but frightening to see the rate of change there. 

We reported at Christmas that Covid-19 rates in Nepal were low and that schools were open again following certain conditions.  The school invested in 44 new desk sets in order to meet the conditions.   Devi Prasad has been delighted to report that all has been going well at the school, students and staff are really happy to be back to ‘proper study’ and parents are pleased to see their children receiving such a good education once more. 

January saw them sit their first exams and Devi Prasad was able to proudly report that all students performed really well and, once again, gained outstanding results. 

The school year in Nepal usually runs from April to April but in February of this year, the government there decided to extend it by two months meaning that the final exams would be sat in May and the new school year would begin in June.  The climate was improving and Covid-19 rates were so low that life was more or less back to normal.  Life was looking good and the school organised a cricket tournament which they thoroughly enjoyed. 

In March, Devi Prasad was pleased to be able to report that Nepal’s coronavirus vaccination programme was underway – available to all key workers and the over 70’s (although no plans at that stage for vaccination of the general public).  The climate change in Nepal led to the government having to close schools for four weeks due to high levels of pollution in the cities but our school, being in a village, was unaffected, lessons and exams continued and the 53 taekwondo pupils all managed to upgrade their belts. 

During April, they were able to celebrate good results in March’s mid-term exams, lessons continued and 11 pupils took part in the taekwondo section of the 3 day district sports tournament – 3 of them winning gold, 5 silver and 3 bronze medals.  However, Covid-19 rates were rising rapidly in Nepal and their future was beginning to look much less predictable.  On 23rd April, Devi Prasad emailed to say that it was looking more and more likely that schools would have to shut so they were going to start the final exams of the year the following week in order to get them done.  Unfortunately, just four days later, he emailed again to say that all schools in Nepal had been closed and end of year exams postponed. 

We’ve all seen regular desperately sad reports from India on the news.  Nepal is obviously its close neighbour with many people travelling regularly between the two countries for work, etc.   On 5th May, he emailed with the sadly inevitable news that infection rates and consequently death rates were rising rapidly in Nepal and that they now had cases of Covid-19 in their village.  So far, he has been able to report that it hasn’t directly affected anybody connected with the school but the village is in total lockdown, the local market is shut and getting hold of daily essentials for general living is becoming very difficult.  He remains very positive and optimistic, advising teachers to attempt to keep in touch with and guide the students as the students attempt to home educate with their limited resources but, clearly, life there is currently very difficult. 

As trustees of LEARN, we are totally committed to ensuring that the children of Pokharathok receive the best possible education.  However, we also feel a commitment to ensuring that extra help is given to the village where needed and where possible using funds that we raise independently of the LEARN accounts.  We are currently in the process of communicating with Devi Prasad to find out whether they have any needs that require our help.  Please watch this space for further details which we will post if it becomes necessary. 

We (the trustees, Devi Prasad, all at the school and the families) do thank all of you for your continued support and remain immensely grateful for your thoughts, prayers and financial support.  


Safe, Well and Back in School

There’s no doubting it, 2020 has been a strange year for most! We have all had to find ways of adapting to the ‘new normal’. I don’t think that there has been any aspect of daily life that has gone untouched by the effects of covid-19. One of the great concerns in the UK has been the impact on schools and education. Our schools closed for months, they had to invest heavily in IT systems that would allow home teaching and provide for those not financially capable of accessing this online tuition. Teachers have had to quickly learn to cope with having part of their class with them whilst concurrently teaching those who were isolating at home and students have had to deal with constant disruption of not knowing whether they’d be in school from one day to the next. All of this whilst everyone does their best to reduce the risk of transmitting the virus. 

So, how has Shree Gyanjyoti School in a small village in Nepal coped with all this? 

The early part of 2020 continued as normal for the school but, in Nepal, the school year begins in mid-April.  By this time, the virus had got into Nepal and the schools had to close for several months. It is also around this time that the Head (Balkrishna Gaire) and his staff would normally be visiting the families in the village to recruit the students for the school. Nepal was put under a tight lockdown so these visits were impossible. However, the wonderful dedicated and committed staff at the school continued to deliver a fantastic education to the children. The internet and devices to connect to it are very limited in the village so teachers delivered lessons directly to students and taught some classes by socially distancing outside. 

In mid-November, the government allowed schools to re-open but only on the condition that all students had their temperature taken everyday before entering the school and that all students and staff maintained a distance of 2m at all times. So, our school bought a thermometer and some extra benches and desks in order to meet these regulations and were, therefore, able to re-open. 

Upon re-opening last month, there were 193 students of which 136 were from low caste families, most requiring full or partial scholarships. We are so very proud that no caste system operates in the school and that no child is turned away whatever their background. Some classes are still having to take place outside in order to maintain the 2m distance but all of the children are continuing to receive a top quality education evidenced by the fact that the school, once again, were the top school in their municipality in the Grade 8 examinations.

So far, the virus has still not reached the village but it has reached neighbouring towns and villages. We just pray that they continue to stay safe and well. Many families have lost their income as a result of lockdown so providing food for themselves has had to take priority over paying their school fees. Obviously, this is absolutely right but it has put a higher burden on LEARN as the students will not be turned away for not being able to pay. 

We take this opportunity to thank you and all of our supporters for everything that you do for LEARN and, therefore, the children at the school. As we often quote “education is a right, not a privilege” and, thanks to you, this is the case for a small village in a remote part of Nepal. On a global scale, this seems almost insignificant but the reality is lifechanging for nearly 200 children and their families – THANK YOU!

Whilst we (the trustees of LEARN), the staff, students and families of the school, continue to be hugely grateful for the financial support given, fundraising has (for obvious reasons) been very difficult this year. There are a number of ways that you could help if you feel that you are able:

  1. Set up a standing order to give a regular donation to LEARN (contact us at enquiries@learnnepal.org.uk
  2. Make a donation on our JustGiving page, by bank transfer Account name: LEARN; account number: 65854712; sort code: 08-92-99, or directly via one of the trustees
  3. Purchasing one of our ‘gifts for life’ or other items
  4. Using us as your nominated charity with Amazon Smile
  5. Tell others about LEARN – it is an inspirational story. 

The beauty of being such a small charity is that there are no costs. Every single penny donated goes directly to the charity.

Along with our thanks, we also take this opportunity to wish you all a blessed Christmas and hopes and prayers that 2021 will see the beginnings of a worldwide recovery from the pandemic. 


Well, Covid-19 might be making a nuisance of itself but there have been some good things that have arisen as a result.  When we asked Devi Prasad if he could email us a ‘business report’ on the school ready for our LEARN Trustee meeting that we would be holding on Zoom, he suggested to us that he just meet with us on Zoom so that he could present it to us ‘live’!  This is not something we would have even begun to consider 12 months ago (in fact, back then, I don’t think many of us had even heard of Zoom!).  As it happened, the time difference between here and Nepal meant that it wasn’t really feasible on this occasion.  However, it did lead us to provisionally arrange a Zoom meeting with some of the school staff and students for later this year (subject to the students being allowed in school!) – something that we are very excited about!  Amazing how technology allows the world to ‘shrink’!

So, it was with great delight that we received the business report email from Devi Prasad, some of which I share with you in this blog.  He began his report with a brief history of the school, pointing out that although it is a registered (and, therefore, official school), the Nepalese government merely provided authority for its establishment but provide no financial or administrative support.  Consequently, the school is entirely dependent upon funding via LEARN and the help from the local community to be able to run.  The school has two buildings comprising 16 rooms including a computer lab, science lab and a library (amazing resources for a school of its type!) and they continue to be very grateful to those supporters who have provided these facilities.

This year, the school has 193 students, 14 teaching staff, 1 volunteer teacher and 1 non-teaching staff.  Tuition fees are paid according to the financial background of the families (with about 80 of the students receiving scholarships from LEARN).  All materials essential to learning, such as text books, exercise books, pencils, etc. are provided free of charge to the students so that they all have the same educational experience regardless of financial background/status.

For the last 5 years, Shree Gyanjyoti School has secured first position in the Grade 8 (their eldest students) examinations in their municipality – no mean feat and testament to the excellent teaching delivered and the commitment of staff, students and families.  They are rightfully very proud of this record – it is a massive achievement.

Beyond educating the children of the village, they are also committed to providing non-formal education for parents and non-parents.  Around 200 women have participated in this program and have become literate as a result.  They have been able to get goats, pigs, hens, etc. so that they can generate income and they have been able to provide disabled people with tools to aid them.  They also provide a sewing program (using the school sewing machines) for parents and non-parents.  Around 100 women have achieved basic level training and around 40 have got advanced level training.  The school and the community are very happy and grateful for these opportunities and have all expressed their thanks to the supporters of the school for making this possible.

His report then went on to tell us about the effects of Covid-19, stating that there are over 65000 infected people in Nepal and that there have been 450 deaths to date.  However, there are still no infected people in their community.  The schools are shut but all of the teachers have been happy to take work to each of the students’ homes and through this, they have managed to carry out the teaching and learning activities.  Some things in Nepal are beginning to be allowed out of lockdown and follow strict rules but an opening date for schools returning has not yet been given.  In the meantime, they will continue their door to door teaching. Staff, students and families are clearly very dedicated to ensuring the best possible education in spite of the difficulties that they face.

He mentioned many times throughout his report how grateful they are to the Almighty Father, Michael and Maureen, LEARN, churches, friends, social groups, supporters, St. Mary’s School, Bamford Chapel, the late Dorothy Drake and all involved in supporting them in any way so that they can continue to deliver this incredible education to all in their community without restriction, bias, prejudice, etc.

So, what next?

We are well aware that Covid-19 is having a major effect globally and we have all been impacted in some way.  We are massively grateful to all who have been able to support LEARN in any way but particularly financially through these times.  For obvious reasons, fundraising has been very difficult this year.  The school has continued to do remarkable work in very difficult circumstances and has also been impacted by the fact that Covid-19 has made a number of their families out of work meaning that even those who were paying their own school fees have been unable to do so.  One way that you may be able to help without it costing you anything is to support us whilst doing your Amazon shopping.  When you make a purchase via Amazon, please consider logging into your account via smile.amazon.co.uk and choose the charity Learn (Lifechanging Education for All in Rural Nepal) before placing your order.  Amazon then donate a small amount of your purchase total to LEARN – ‘money for nothing’ as they say!  It’s only a small amount but every little helps and it makes no difference to your finances.  The beauty of being a small charity is that we have no overheads so every single penny donated goes directly to our wonderful school and the community that it is so wonderfully educating.  THANK YOU FOR YOUR CONTINUED SUPPORT!

The Work Continues!

We received an update from Devi Prasad last week.  He informed us that the number of confirmed cases of Covid-19 is starting to rise relatively quickly now across Nepal with over 20 deaths being reported.  It has now reached their district but there are still no cases in their village, which is great news and we pray that it continues that way.

Access to technology is clearly not very easy in the village so there is no chance of internet/zoom lessons.  However, lockdown there has eased and so the teachers are very busy teaching the children in safe groups.  The juniors are not attending, they are staying at home with their parents  but there are 100 boys and 82 girls participating in the learning activities.  All of the staff are involved in the teaching and the children are being taught in 10 groups.  

It’s fantastic to see that even in these difficult circumstances our staff are determined to do their best for the students and the students are still so keen on learning.  Even more important than making sure that quality education is given, they are still giving priority to the safety of the students and all staff, students and parents are happy with the arrangements.  Well done and thank you to the staff and students for their efforts and commitment!

Thank you all for your continued support and please continue to hold our school and the village in your thoughts and prayers.