Preliminary remark: Since the schools in Upper Dolpo are remote and there is no or hardly any telephone contact and no Internet, detailed reports on the school periods for the winter schools can only be provided with a long delay. We kindly ask for your understanding. The Winter Schools in Saldang and Nyisal are completely financed by the HUMAN Foundation. The Dolpo Tulku Charitable Foundation (DTCF) is our administrative partner in Nepal.
Before I focus on the 2019-2020 winter period, I would like to briefly provide a current overview of the Corona-situation. In Kathmandu, the Covid numbers are slightly increasing again. There is no lockdown, but the situation is getting worse. However, the Upper Dolpo situation in Saldang and Nyisal is good.
People are still scared about the corona virus but were even more worried in the summer. The autumn harvest was good, and people have enough to eat during the winter. Summer schools in Upper Dolpo began in July, but Government teachers were not allowed to go to Dolpo. So only the private teachers paid by the NGOs like us gave lessons to the students.
Although no corona infection was detected in Saldang, people were heavily affected by the pandemic. Picking the “healing” fungus Yartsa Gunbu was not allowed. Many people did not have a chance to earn some money with it, also because the border to China / Tibet was completely closed. The Dolpa-pa could not trade in their goods. Usually the Dolpa-pa need flour, sugar, butter, tea, clothes and shoes, while they offer their special animal wool and Yartsa Gunbu for trade. The herdsmen had to leave their Yaks in Lower Dolpo because they were not allowed to stay there or wanted to return to their villages.
Overall, the Winter School period 2019-2020 was successful. The session started November 5th 2019 until March 31st 2020 from 9am to 4:15pm. In total 70 students attended (28 boys and 42 girls) from Nursery to class six, two more students compared to the year before. All students came from Saldang village.
During this session 32 students who live nearby the school, stayed with their parents and other 38 students lived in the school. One teacher served as Tibetan teachers, where students were educated about Dolpo cultures, language, and reciting prayers. The other teachers revised the regular main subjects of the summer session, like Math, Nepali language, English, Science, reading and writing. Two kitchen staffs and some local caretakers provided food and took care about the students in the school.
The Winter School Management and the parents were happy with the results and the progress all children made.It is a very promising sign that the same number of students attended the winter school as in summertime.
The School Management Committee found: “The winter school is very effective in keeping our old religion, culture and tradition alive and in developing the knowledge not only of the children in the school, but also of the community. It helps to change and reduce the bad habits. The winter school has also helped to preserve traditions and culture and to keep the experience of the summer lessons in memory.”
As every year, the villagers provided the food for the staff and the students and we pay them for it.
Your donation makes all these happen. Thank you so much.