Building of a computer room aimed to improve employment inclusion.
Nepal is Asia’s second-poorest country and, together with India and Bhutan, it has been one of the host countries of the Tibetan community in exile since 1959.
Mount Kailash School in Tashi Palkhiel, one of the first Tibetan refugee camps in Nepal, is situated at the foot of the majestic Annapurna mountains near Pokhara. Founded in 1963, it has 223 pupils ranging from primary school level to 10th grade. 75% of these children live in the camp itself while 25% are boarders who come from remote and far-off areas of the Himalayas. The use of computers is becoming more widespread in Nepal with every passing day and people with good computing skills are under growing demand, although there are few places where such skills are taught. In 2002, the school received a donation of 4 computers.
Until 2004, only the 9th and 10th grade pupils could obtain basic computer training. MHF’s cooperation with the Mount Kailash School was based on the provision of funds for the building of a single-story building designed to house a scientific laboratory and a room for computer training, with a total of 24 computers. This allowed the instruction of teachers so that 100 pupils a year could have the chance to learn basic computing from the 6th grade to the 10th, while the most interested students could go on to take more advanced courses there.
In the medium term, this training has helped to improve the difficult inclusion of young Tibetans in the Nepalese employment market. The building was made according to the local architectural tradition and the 30 families of the native workmen benefited from the job offering. All the building materials, furniture and computers were purchased on site, favouring in this way the local companies and considerably reducing the project’s expenses.
The total cost of this project was 20,000€, with MHF providing 5,000€ of this amount. The works were carried out from March to May 2004 and they were supervised by Maylis Chevalier, the project’s initiator, and by Lobsang Phelgye, the school’s director.