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?”)