Written by: Ashley Mathews
Over the years we’ve worked with our partnered schools in the Himalayas to create safe learning environments for students and teachers. This year, with the help of the Nepali government, MyTefl, and many local builders, we will replace the roof on Shree Janapremi School in Kimche, Nepal.
We interviewed the headmaster of the school, Baburam Sapkota, who explained the school's multiple attempts at mending the roof: “Overall, the roof is worn out. There is extreme water intrusion from monsoon season and deteriorated wood rafters throughout the building. We’ve tried replacing broken zinc slates and adding rocks to keep the corrugated metal sheets down. We’ve also installed temporary beam supports in the middle of the grade two classroom to try to keep the roof up.” Students in all grades are getting rained on and cold drafts of wind enter their classrooms throughout the day. Baburam Sir thus requested the assistance of national and international support to create a bright future for the school's students.
The students have had to get creative to avoid getting wet and keep their desks and assignments from getting soggy. There are wooden frames where they used to hang their artwork which has now become a safety hazard. Many of these students have attended this school through their whole childhood; this building is all they've ever known.
We also interviewed Laura, our last teacher who spent three months teaching at Shree Janapremi. “The school building is a continuous work in progress. While volunteering in Kimche, I saw firsthand how the headmaster, community members, and local government took such great pride in their school and the improvements they've made to date. With ongoing minor changes and fixes, the community has a lot of hope for the school. There are a number of holes through the roof which leak into the rooms letting in rain and cold winter wind. Slabs of rock held down by large stones and rusted sheets of corrugated metal make up the current roof which is far from air tight or leak proof."
Laura continued, “The headmaster has expressed plans of creating a larger recreation area, to incorporate the bathrooms inside the school fence, and to permanently fix the haphazardly patched roof. They are already so proud of their school and their classrooms that I know a new roof will be a relief and grateful addition.” With such an active volleyball community, the hope is that the balls can fly without chipping off pieces of the school's roof. We are looking forward to getting the project started and doing what we can to support the Kimche students.
We've already started scoping out the project and are assembling a team to manage it through to completion. With disassembling starting this month, we are hoping to have the project completed in time for monsoon season in July.