The Sunshine School project
Schools are not all the same
While there are sufficient public schools in Nepal, even for these certain financial resources are necessary: for example in order to buy school uniforms and materials. Unfortunately, in Nepal there are many extremely poor families, and many single mothers who lack the money needed. Social institutions or social safety nets to help families are hardly present in Nepal. This is why the Sunshine School is a great opportunity for many children who would otherwise never receive an education.
The cost of the Sunshine School
The Nepalese government offers no support to the Sunshine School. At the moment we need around 5,000 CHF per month for everything necessary to maintain the school, including all school materials, the salaries of teachers and cooks as well as the lunchtime meals.
We hope that the Sunshine School will continue to exist for a long time and that many children will receive the chance for a better future. Please help us to reach our goal. Let the sun shine!
It all began in 2002
In 2002 Andrea Werder, a primary teacher from Switzerland, together with Santos Dahal in Kathmandu (Nepal), began teaching children from the poorest backgrounds. They were all children whose parents could not manage to bring together the necessary money to finance a school education.
If they had never started doing this, most of “our” children could neither read, write nor do mathematics. Many would be working at home, at a rug factory, at a construction site or would perhaps be begging on the streets. The situation in Nepal is unfortunately still like this – many children cannot go to school because it usually costs money. This is why 19% of all men and 44% of all women are illiterate.
We need a schoolroom!
After several weeks of teaching the children in the open air, sitting on a plastic sheet, they decided to found a “real” school. In the beginning only two small rooms could be rented, but one year later – thanks to donations from Switzerland – we could rent an old rug factory.
The schoolrooms must be moved
In the autumn of 2007, we had the opportunity to buy land. Construction of a school building started 2009. In the meantime about 160 children are studying at the Sunshine School. Over lunch they are served a warm meal as well.
Andrea Werder lives in Switzerland. However, the school continues to be visited once a year by a member of out team.
Our future requires reliable investments
As the price of land – and thus the rents as well – are constantly on the rise, renting schoolrooms is a very uncertain matter. Additionally, the school rooms were very small, meaning that the classes had small numbers of participants who could not be taught efficiently. All of this led us to think about how the situation might be improved for a more sustainable future.
Land and a building of our own
Since 2007 the process of purchase and construction have been under way. This had to be done step-by-step. The time-lines and budgeting methods that are done in Switzerland did not bring us any closer to our goals.
The search for property went well, and thanks to contributions from Switzerland the land could be bought. This also means that the Sunshine School has fewer worries about climbing land and property prices. Even more importantly, this has promise to be a secure investment in the future.
In 2011 the house is completed
Our students are being taught in the new schoolhouse since 2011.
Dibesh Khatree, born in 1979, is an experienced teacher and School In-Charge who had been working in a reputed English School located in Kathmandu before joining Sunshine School. In his position as principal, he is able to combine two of his passions: working with students for their future and the management of our developing institution. His innovative ideas are very fruitful to our social organization. He has worked as a Radio Program Presenter as well as management consultant in a private company in Nepal. He is married and has a daughter.
Grades 1 through 10 at the Sunshine School
Presently at the Sunshine School we have one class from grade 1 to 10.
In class 10, students pass the SLC (School Leaving Certificate). This national exam is of extreme importance in Nepal.
And after leaving the Sunshine School
After the SLC we would like to support our young graduates promoting their individual initiative. Hence, they are asked to describe and analyze their situation and illustrate to which extent they are capable to sustain themselves and where support is needed. In the following, the proposals are evaluated individually.
Furthermore, there is the possibility to work a few hours each day at the Sunshine School as teachers for the lower levels.
Is education taken for granted?
These children are very grateful that they have received the possibility to attend school. They know very well what this means and do not at all take it for granted. They know many other children who cannot go to school, see parents who can neither read nor write, and notice the many difficulties that arise in daily life as a result.
Therefore, the children come to school motivated and hungry for knowledge. In the evenings they stay as long as possible at the school, also because of their very difficult home situations.
The children sometimes live with their parents, sometimes with their grandparents or other relatives in a modest tin hut or in a rented room. Many live only with their mothers, for the fathers often second families with whom they live. The children have been confronted since their earliest childhood with poverty, illness and alcoholism. Some children have parents who live in a village far outside of Kathmandu. They have sent their children in the city and hope that they will receive a good education there.
Thanks to the Sunshine school they have received this chance. It makes us very happy to be able to send the Sunshine School children into the world with a solid and well-founded school education.
The teachers of the Sunshine School
Exclusively Nepalese teachers
The Sunshine School is taught exclusively by Nepalese teachers. At the moment 20 teachers work at the Sunshine School (including part-time teachers).
Sometimes they are supported by volunteers from abroad. If you are interested in working for the Sunshine School as a volunteer, please contact us. We are happy to hear from individuals with training as teachers or with other talents to contribute to the Sunshine School.
Nepal and Kathmandu
The Sunshine School in relation to the Boudhanath Stupa
Please contact us for a detailed description of the location.
The Sunshine School essentially follows the Nepalese curriculum. The following subjects are on the schedule: English, Nepali, mathematics, natural sciences and social sciences. In the higher classes the students also have accounting and computer lessons.
...together with music lessons...
At the Sunshine School a special emphasis is placed on the subject of music, so students (at least up until the fifth grade) have lessons in gymnastics, drawing and handicrafts, music and dance. These subjects are taught by specialized teachers and throughout the school year our students display their talents in shows featuring dance and singing.
A short time ago the Sunshine children recorded a CD with traditional Nepali songs.
Additionally all classes spend one hour per week in our small library with Nepalese and English books.
...and routine medical check-ups
Since in some families the hygienic conditions are less than ideal, teachers check the younger students' hair and nails and bring their attention to insufficient hygiene. The children all have a toothbrush at the school and must brush their teeth after lunch.
Thanks to collaboration with various clinics in the surrounding areas, the Sunshine School children regularly have their teeth and eyes examined, and can receive some assistance with medical problems.