COVID-19 UPDATE


A STATEMENT FROM OUR CHAIRMAN, MIKE SMITH


EQUAL EDUCATION CHANGES LIVES

Children of the Mountain is a non-profit organisation supporting the poorest children in rural Nepal,
providing them with opportunities through education and personal development.

“Education can reduce poverty but for it to have impact it must be EQUAL Education.”

JOHN MATTHEWS

In the past decade Children of the Mountain has overcome civil and political unrest, an earthquake and all manner of challenges. We have overcome and today support 30 schools and 5,000 children. We now face our latest challenge.

In Nepal as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, all schools are current closed. With so many children out of school, there has never been a more urgent need to support their education.

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I appreciate your focus is on supporting our efforts here at home, and our front line responders are indeed heroes, but we are one world and the most vulnerable are now suffering with little support available locally.

During this global crisis inequality will grow, the most vulnerable and their children will suffer most as poor families simply do not have the means to provide adequate alternative education from home. Post crisis it is inevitable that many children will not return to school and child labor and child marriage rates will once again soar. We risk losing all we have gained. There has never been a more urgent need to support the children.

As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, Children of the Mountain, is facing significant loss of income due to canceled fundraising events. However we are not giving up on our small team of dedicated educators, who themselves are from marginalized communities, the teachers or the students. I am asking our friends and supporters and everyone who shares in our mantra that Equal Education Changes Lives and that children regardless of their economic background deserve equal treatment during this crisis and beyond, to help.

We will not react without planning. We are in regular contact with the local school authorities and in the coming months we will work in genuine partnership to bring our programs to students in the communities we support as effectively as we can.

If you can, please make a donation now or start your own fundraiser to ensure that this crisis doesn’t result in a generation of children who lack basic literacy skills or who drop out of school and become lost. As always 100% of your donation will reach children.

Our Vision

WE ENVISAGE A FAIRER WORLD WHERE ALL CHILDREN REGARDLESS OF GENDER, CASTE OR ECONOMIC CIRCUMSTANCE HAVE ACCESS TO AN EDUCATION AS A MEANS OF OVERCOMING HARDSHIP AND INEQUALITY.

Read more CYCLE OF HOPE

ACCESS

It is widely accepted that education has a major impact on poverty. All too often children, especially girls, from marginalised communities or so called lower castes are denied the opportunity to lift themselves out of poverty through lack of access to a school. This discrimination only serves to prolong the cycle of poverty and hardship from one generation to the next. Our vision is for a Nepal where every child has access to a strong safe and nurturing school environment.

QUALITY

We advocate for and actively invest in school facilities and teacher skills, and promote the values that support and nurture children to reach their fullest potential. We envisage a Nepal where every school has the capacity to ensure that the academic, moral and cultural needs of all students are identified and the curriculum is aligned to reach these goals.

EQUALITY

Access to a school is not enough; the education provided must foster an environment of inclusion and strive for equality of opportunity. We believe children from marginalised communities attending public sector schools should have equal school infrastructure, facilities and support as any child attending a fee paying school in the private sector. Our vision is for a Nepal where every child is provided an equal learning experience irrespective of background.

EFFICIENCY

All too often governments, charities and school management compete for limited resources. When resources are made available they are utilised inefficiently with little long term planning nor impact measurement. This creates an environment of competition rather than cooperation, of dependency rather than accountability. We envisage a Nepal where all parties involved in the education of children cooperate effectively to ensure the optimal use of resources to improve access to schooling and quality of education provided.

our approach

OUR APPROACH SUPPORTS MARGINALIZED COMMUNITIES, ADDRESSES INEQUALITY AND EXCLUSION, ENCOURAGES PUBLIC PARTNERSHIP AND LOCAL OWNERSHIP AND PROVIDES A SUSTAINABLE SOLUTION.

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RURAL

Communities located outside urban centres are often neglected due to the geographical challenges. It is often deemed more cost effective to support schools in cities, close to roads and international transport links. This excludes the most marginalized from opportunity. We support rural marginalized communities.

PUBLIC

Government run schools are often deemed too difficult to manage. Teachers employed in the public sector are often deemed lazy or unskilled with little incentive to change. This wrongful perception encourages the funding of costly unsustainable private schools. We only support public sector schools.

PARTNERSHIP

Local government contribute 50% of education program costs and 25% of infrastructure.All teachers’ salaries are paid by the government and the community provides additional support as required. This approach enables sharing of limited resources and ensures maximum return on social investment. We work in genuine partnership.

COMMUNITY

All too often international organisations delegate ownership of objectives to local agents and disburse resources widely across multiple programs and locations. We focus on a One Community school cluster approach. We encourage the participation and co-operation of all schools in the community to a shared long-term plan. This fosters the development of and adherence to a common strategy for sustainable measurable impact. We plan with communities for sustainable impact.

Our Programs

OUR PROGRAMS PROVIDE SOLID FOUNDATIONS, PROTECT VULNERABLE CHILDREN, ENCOURAGE AND INSPIRE TEACHERS AND ENABLE YOUNG ADULTS TO BE STRONG AND COMPETITIVE.

Read more Our Schools

SAFE ENVIRONMENT

Our school build program provides safe secure inspiring learning environment vital for lasting impact. Teachers and children will not be motivated in dangerous schools and children will not feel safe in a threatening environment. We build strong earthquake proof schools. We provide dual gender sanitation and foster a gender neutral nurturing space. We provide safe, non-violent learning environments.

ACCESS AND EQUALITY

Our Equal Chance sponsorship program supports vulnerable children, boys and girls, facing financial challenges to attend school and empowers girls in particular to question the cultural concepts that result in discrimination, lack of advancement and sexual exploitation.  We support schools to ensure every child has access to free education and is provided an equal learning experience irrespective of gender, race, religion or economic background.

CREATIVE EARLY YEARS

Our unique Kahcuua Klub Kindergarten and early grade program is designed to foster and support creative learning and child centred teaching at the very beginning of school life. The program includes both hard and soft investment and includes brightly painted walls, child friendly furniture, age specific dual language books creative educational toys and training. Our creative inclusive spaces inspire children and teachers, encourage parents to value education from an early age and unburdens the older siblings from child minding duties.  We provide access to quality early childhood development.

MORAL VALUES

Our values program teaches children that they are unique and valuable, to respect themselves, their community and environment, to nurture and care for others, have integrity and be accountable for their actions, work with others for the greater good, and be compassionate and generous without expectation of personal gain. We teach strong, culturally sensitive moral values.

ENGLISH LITERACY

We respect the need to protect and promote local language but equality in the marketplace requires equality in language skills. Some parents are able to afford to send their children to fee paying English medium schools. However many children are left behind in schools with no or inadequate English Language teaching. These children are at an immediate disadvantage and are unable to compete for limited opportunities on equal terms. We do not advocate English medium teaching but we do promote English as a core curriculum subject. Our English language literacy program provides marginalised children better opportunity. We promote English language literacy as an instrument of equality.

GENDER EQUALITY

Educating a girl is the most effective tool in eradicating poverty. However due to economic circumstances or cultural tradition, many girls from poorer communities are not provided access to education or if they attend school, are not supported or encouraged to graduate. Our Girls Chance program proactively advocates for an end to gender bias and a change of culture in the school environment, supports girls facing financial challenges to attend school and empowers girls to question the cultural concepts that result in discrimination, lack of advancement and sexual exploitation. We proactively advocate for gender equality and support girls to attend and stay in school.

DIGITAL LEARNING

Many schools in Nepal request computers and many donors respond by donating second hand desktops. However these are of little or no use to teachers and have no lasting impact. Our approach is different practical and creative! Our innovative ‘’Hati Lab’’ solution addresses real long term need and has measurable impact. This carefully designed program combines the use of digital content and teacher training to set students down the path where they embrace the joy of learning and discoveryWe foster children’s innate desire to learn, explore, experiment and express.

 

Our Impact

EVERY DAY OUR IMPROVEMENT OF SCHOOL INFRASTRUCTURE AND THE QUALITY OF EDUCATION CHANGES LIVES!

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