This is the first paragraph of a letter from the Rotary Foundation. The recipients were Rotarians Philip Hoyle and Ashok Kumar Shrestha from the Rotary Club of Dhulikhel in District 3292 in Nepal.
Congratulations! Your matching grant application, submitted by the Rotary Club of Kendal and the Rotary Club of Dhulikhel for funding to help provide toilet, clean water supply, playground extension and educational material to meet the needs of students and teachers at Khiraule Primary School, Solukhumbu, Nepal, has been approved by the Rotary Foundation. The award is in the amount of US$ 12,328.
So essentially this is doubled when we add the Designated District Fund contribution. So its a total of nearly $25,000 - about £16,000. Who says The Rotary Foundation is not relevant!
Just to remind ourselves
Khiraule village is in the Solu Khumbu/Everest region of Nepal near the regional town of Bung. It is 4 days trek east from the airport at Phaplu. The villagers identified a need for a school 22 years ago and built a make shift one out of bamboo and the Government provided them with a teacher. A few years later Sir Edmund Hilarys Trust provided £200 and the villagers built a stone school with three class rooms but they still only had one teacher.
Khiraule is the home village of Lhakpa Sherpa and he and his wife Pat Steel started to raise funds for the school in l996. By 1998, they had raised enough money to build an additional two classrooms and living accommodation for two teachers which the Government were then providing.
There were approximately 50 children. Lhakpa and Pat continued to raise money in order to rebuild and refurbish the school and in 2007 the school was rebuilt including new desks and benches, glass windows, and white boards. They also provided a small first aid kit and small amount of sport equipment. This cost approximately £4,000. They have also funded a further assistant teacher at a cost of £720 per year.
The number of children varies from 60 to 90 from 55 families. This primary school has 5 classes covering grades 1 to 5, ages 4 years to 9 years though there are older children in the school up to age 12 years.
Lhakpa and Pat, who are residents of Barbon in the Lune Valley, continued to raise funds and started to involve their trekking friends in the UK. Five local Clubs, including ourselves, have amassed another approximately £5,000. Currently an application is being considered to use this to rebuild a classroom. All of us congratulate and thank Philip Hoyle on his dogged persistence in securing this matching grant.