In Nepal: "I want to go to school"!
"One child, one teacher, one pen and one book can change the world. Education is the only solution. Education first."
”…shifting the course of a nation’s future begins with changing the individual lives of the girls and women who call it home.”
—Central Asia Institute
Nepal is one of the least developed countries in Asia, ranking 144th out of 188 countries in the 2015 UN Human Development Index. Most of its 29 million inhabitants live in rural and distant places.
In April 2015, a 7.8 magnitude earthquake seriously damaged the country’s infrastructure. It displaced thousands of families and affected an estimated 9,300 schools, with huge consequences for youth education.
Classrooms In the Clouds is a Nepali/UK non-governmental organization (NGO) active in the country’s Solukhumbu District. As a volunteer both before and after the earthquake, I witnessed the work of the NGO with local communities, building school rooms and supporting teachers.
Their efforts also provide sustainable improvements in hygiene and help develop female role models for the girls of the region. Addressing persistent poor access and quality is at the top of the agenda. New school rooms have gender-specific toilets and filtered water. Young women from the region who become teachers are trained in current teaching methods and supported financially. After decades of effort, girls now enroll in education at slightly higher rates than males, according to the World Bank.
These photographs were taken in Solukhumbu villages several days’ walk south of Lukla, the entry point for trekkers and climbers to the Everest region.
--Tom Fakler, Photographer