“In the young people of the world… lies a reservoir of capacity to transform society waiting to be tapped. And the release of this capacity should be regarded by every institute as a sacred charge.”
EXAMINATIONS AT END OF SCHOOL YEAR
This month, Pragya Jyoti English School will be ending their school year. Examinations will be taken. So during this time, the children are required to devote most of their time to their studies and review, even though this may be at the temporarily expense of other duties. Results will be posted on our Website.
The children are now receiving four days per week instruction in the martial arts, which mostly consists of exercising. At 6AM they get up to walk to a nearby sports field to have one hour of instruction. Then they return home to eat, clean their rooms, change clothes, check for any last minute homework, and ready themselves for the 9AM school bus. In Nepal, school attendance is 6 days a week.
Food continues to be a huge expense as food prices worldwide continue to increase. The basic meal of the children is Nepali Dal Bhat with rice, lentils, and vegetables. Throughout the week we try to supplement their main meal with fresh fruit and milk, as funding permits. Presently we have outstanding debt on food purchases.
On behalf of Mark and Karyn Walsh, Pharmavite Vitamins, makers of Nature Made Vitamins, has donated to NECO’s children for the second year one year’s supply of vitamins and minerals for all our children. This will vastly increase the health of our children. Thank you! Last year, we did not have vitamins with the result of a significantly higher rate of colds and flu.
The Herrman Unity Room on the ground floor of our new two-story building was mostly funded by Mark and Karen Herrman at a very desperate financial time in our growth, as well as contributions from the Lund family. The building was absolutely essential to the orphanage as we had no heated space for classroom, study, and prayer areas, and to facilitate indoor functions.
The second floor will serve as new offices and will be very important should our vision of opening up our own school on the newly purchased adjacent property (picture below) becomes a reality.
The rooftop will serve as an area for sunning, play, and assembly.
Inside the Unity Room is the Lund Library. This week we moved most of the books into the new shelving space. Most books were provided by Sharon and Dave Lund and others. This provides a wonderful start in the children’s library for which we hope to grow in the coming years. Soon we will approach local bookstores for contributions. With open access to the books, the children are already enjoying its many volumes on display.
AND FUTURE SCHOOL PLANS
We have written before about owning and managing our own school. Presently, the school distance absorbs 2 hours a day of our children’s time in bussing, requires the payment of high costs of transportation, and the continual battle for teaching teachers to embrace Bahá’í ideals which includes the elimination of corporal punishment which plagues all schools here. Ideally, we want to establish our own school for our orphanage which would be open to the local community. This can be done by the expansion of our present residential compound to facilitate for a school campus. We have purchased some property already to make this possible. As NECO’s President wrote in a recent application: “I envision what can be produced from a school capable of growing and expanding, and graduating countless students over the succeeding years, those who have learned their nature, to grow spiritually, and inculcate the attributes of their Creator to transform society to produce the peace and happiness my nation, and world, so desperately needs.” This vision requires substantial investment for the construction of a classroom building. If you wish to share in this vision, please contact Bishow Bhatta for details by emailing ortelephoning: +1-650-417- 5977.
This is the vacant land recently purchased by Mr. Bhatta on the side of our existing property where you can see to the right, the eastern side of the Unity Building. This stretch of land would facilitate for the construction of a hostel, classrooms, and playground which would then be deeded to NECO Home. The land also has road access. Presently for the Boy’s Hostel, we pay rent for a leased house next door. Rent for rooms, houses, and buildings for schools and institutions is one of the highest business expenses in Kathmandu Valley, restricting leases which are offered only on short-term leases and, unlike self-owned property, prohibit long-term infrastructure investment to create more functional and beautiful facilities of quality.
The L-Shaped front porch of the house has been used for dining and study. This has created congestion and oftentimes a dirty area after meals, which has presented at atmosphere lacking organization and quality. The kitchen will be extended and a dining area built in the space behind the house with buffet style serving. It will also serve as an additional area for study and social gatherings. This will allow the present L-Shaped porch to be renovated into a quality area of seating, sofas, tables, and lamps for a place of reading, quiet conversation, and guest reception.
Power cuts continue during the winter months, now up to 13 hours a day, and increasing. These cuts are during the most needed hours such as early morning when the children need to dress and eat, and in the early evening when the children need to study, eat dinner, and prepare for the next day’s activities. Portable battery lights are available for about $10 per unit, but children being children, often drop and break them which increases our costs to replace. So there is always need for continuing support even in these small but very important areas.
Despite the fact that Nepal has the world’s largest water supply after Brazil, incompetent government management promulgates continued shortages of potable water in the non-monsoon winter months, which extends to late May/early June. Our children and staff are forced to walk 2 km. daily to fill buckets of water for drinking, washing and bathing. When funds are available, NECO hires water trucks to deliver and fill our underground reservoir.