School Life is Blossoming in Gati
WACKER Relief Fund: Various activities in Nepal expand educational horizons
Gati, Sep 22, 2022
Following tough lockdowns during the pandemic, many projects are now blossoming in the region around Gati, a village in the mountains of Nepal. The student company Namasté Nepal S-GmbH and Nepalese partners developed “Bildungsfonds Gati Valley,” (an education fund) in order to make the best use of WACKER Relief Fund donations. “We are continuously working on improving the educational situation in partner villages and on making high-quality learning and teaching possible,” notes project coordinator Steffen Judersleben. Further training for teachers is just as important as internet access.
The WACKER Relief Fund has not forgotten the people of Nepal. Its support has helped to rebuild and keep schools running since the severe earthquakes in 2015. To do so, it cooperates with the Namasté Nepal S-GmbH student-run company at Freiberg’s Geschwister-Scholl High School in Germany. Project coordinator Steffen Judersleben maintains constant contact with partners in Nepal. “Without support from the WACKER Relief Fund, it would not have been possible to finish rebuilding seven project schools and one kindergarten in 2019,” he said, thanking the company and its employees.
Besides the running costs of the schools, the funding will now also cover extramural activities and the development of special talents. During the monsoon vacation in July, for example, a three-week Montessori training took place in Kathmandu. Early childhood development teachers at elementary schools and staff from kindergartens in the project area attended the training. The training qualified 20 participants to use Montessori teaching methods even more efficiently in future. After the advanced training had been completed, a Montessori classroom with the required teaching materials was set up in every school. Representatives from the training institute support the running of the Montessori classroom in various ways, such as online advice sessions.
Thanks to WACKER Relief Fund donations, music and dance classes were introduced. At the Kali Devi Secondary School in Gati, dance courses and music classes are held during recess and after school. And for Gati school children keen on football, there are courses at the Gati youth club.
During the pandemic, a stable internet connection became all the more important. “We have to provide up-to-date teaching materials via the internet,” explains Steffen Judersleben. Digital solutions are the basis for good future prospects for the school children. “Without the internet, they miss classes during lockdown and help out with housework and farm labor instead of learning. This makes returning to school even more difficult and increases the likelihood of children dropping out of the school system.” In the meantime, internet connections have been installed at project schools in Gati, Dandakateri, Singarche and Bugam. And from the new school year, internet access should be available for the schools in Mandra, Sotang, Sakuwa and Kasheri, and for the kindergartens in Gati and Mandra.
Peace-builder field trip
Every November, a so-called peace-builder field trip is held for Gati school children who have completed the 8th grade. From this year, fellow 8th graders from other project schools will join in. The youngsters learn about their home country and Nepal’s different religions. They visit sacred sites in Kathmandu and Buddha’s birthplace, Lumbini. An important message imparted during the trip is that Nepal is a positive example of people from different religions living together peacefully.
Conscious approach to nature
When Namasté Nepal members visited in June this year, they brought many flowerpots, seedlings, and young trees to Gati. The goal was to plant greenery in the village, and especially at the kindergarten and the school, in order to create an environmentally friendly space for learning and play. On June 5, World Environment Day, teachers, school kids and kindergarten children got together to distribute and plant seedlings and trees on the school premises. The children and young people also learned a lot about plant types, the importance of planting trees, and how this influences people and nature.
Steffen Judersleben added: “Such diverse projects are essential to teach children the right way to interact with nature at an early age and to explain the importance of trees and plants for ecosystems in a playful and descriptive manner. Thanks to WACKER and its employees for making such activities possible through their donations.”
Chairman of the Board of Trustees, Mirko Kappelhoff, explains: We have only managed to finance the running costs of our school projects with the help of our cent-donation program. Thanks to every colleague who has helped pave the way to a brighter future for these children through education.”
Roughly 4,600 employees participate in the WACKER Relief Fund’s cent-donation program. Their support is keeping the schools up and running. With minimal amounts, each employee in Germany can help the fund provide sustainable support in the years ahead. How does it work? Employees agree to have their monthly salaries rounded down to the nearest euro, the difference in cents is then donated to the WACKER Relief Fund.
If you’d like to help, please donate to the following WACKER Relief Fund account with Bayerische Landesbank München:
IBAN DE59 7005 0000 0003 3333 33
Please state your name and address on the payment transfer form (in Germany, your WACKER ID number is enough). The Relief Fund issues donation receipts to employees residing in Germany, as the donations are tax-deductible there. The WACKER Relief Fund says a big thank you for every donation. Receipts are sent out in the first quarter of the year.