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Summer Newsletter – 2006

Posted by admin on September 26, 2012

Dear Friends,

Our summer newsletter comes to you a little earlier and longer than usual as we have so much to update you on. The most encouraging news is that the situation in Nepal has calmed down with the return to democracy and a ceasefire called by the Maoists. Thankfully the children did not miss school due to the unrest in April as it was their year end holiday.

At the end of March Tashi Waldorf School’s second Class 3 graduated. 8 of the 9 graduating children have gone on to attend Class 4 in other schools. With great thanks to their teacher Lobsang Dolma and a further developed Class 3 curriculum, the children are very well prepared for their future education. The 9th child is a special needs child who will remain at the school with a special educational program in place for her in the next school year. In May Lobsang began teaching Class 1 with her new group of 18 children.

In April, Kripa Manandhar, a kindergarten teacher, successfully completed a 3 year part time Steiner Kindergarten Training program in Bangkok. Also, Nima Sherpa, a class teacher, began a 3 year part time Steiner Primary Teacher Training program in Bangkok. In early May, Lobsang Dolma was sponsored by Internationaal Hulpfonds to attend the Asia Teacher Training Conference in Bangkok. Our thanks to IHF for making it possible for Lobsang to participate!

Tashi Waldorf School began its 7th school year on May 8, 2006. The school now caters to 115 children -- 30 more children than last year. As a result the nursery, 3 kindergartens and 3 classes are full of beautiful children. We are really looking forward to see how the children will blossom over the coming months.

TWS is very pleased to have entered into an even closer working relationship with the ISIS Foundation of Bermuda. ISIS has been a close friend of TWS over the years and has funded several construction projects at the school. As of May, ISIS is renting the house on the school property as a home for 10 children from Humla and sponsoring them to attend TWS. Humla, located in the far western Himalayas, is one of the poorest regions in Nepal. 8 Humli children from another ISIS home, who are in need of sponsorship, are also attending TWS. ISIS rescued these 8 children from a locally owned children’s home in Kathmandu where they were living in absolutely inhumane conditions. The children were malnourished and covered in lice and filth. These children especially need our love and care to heal.

As of May, there have been changes in the administration group at the school. We are very pleased to announce that Eva Bhujel, the school’s administrator for the past 4 years, is now the school’s Principal. Rajendra Syangden has joined the school in the role of Business Administrator. He brings many years of experience working in finance and administration at The Netherlands Development Organization (SNV). Rachel Amtzis has joined the school as Fundraiser. An American citizen, Rachel grew up in Nepal where her parents have worked for many years. Having been away 7 years at university and working in Japan, Rachel has returned home to Nepal to work at TWS. We welcome Eva, Rajendra and Rachel to their new work and look forward to their great accomplishments in the future.

Heather Maclaren, Business Manager for Children of Nepal, will complete her time at the school at the end of June. Her work has been reallocated between the Principal, Business Administrator and Fundraiser.

In our Christmas ‘05 newsletter we shared with you that Tashi Waldorf School will be working to purchase its land and buildings over the next 5 years. As a part of its endeavor to secure its long term future, TWS will also be registering as a Trust. The trust registration process will begin as soon as the new government returns to usual work.

In May, the 10 Tashi Waldorf School Trustees held their first meeting and met the school community. We are so very privileged to be able to introduce you to this dedicated and caring group of Nepalese citizens who as TWS ambassadors will be instrumental in helping to carry the spirit of the school.

Mrs. Shakun Sherchand Leslie is the Executive Director of Wheels Boutique, established in Kathmandu in 1982. Wheels designs, manufactures and sells hand woven textiles internationally. Through her business, Shakun works to improve product design, educate and train marginalized ethnic groups such as Damais (untouchable castes), Dhaka (traditional Nepali textile) weavers, Allo (giant nettle plant) weavers and Gurung (indigenous tribe) weavers. She is also very active in several environmental groups in the Kathmandu Valley. Shakun holds a Master’s degree in Political Science from Tribhuvan University in Kathmandu.

Mr. Shyam Bahadur Hada has been operating The Healing Seed, a certified bio-dynamic herbal farm, in Gorkha, Nepal since 2000. Prior to this he worked as a training instructor for several international aid organizations. Shyam received training as a Community Development Facilitator from the Baha’i Academy in Panchgani, Maharastra, India in 1990. From 1991 through 1992 he completed short term trainings related to development such as monitoring & evaluation, income generation, children and adult education, and drinking water, health & sanitation. Shyam holds a degree in Economics from Tribhuvan University in Kathmandu. Over the past 10 years Shyam has been a great supporter of Children of Nepal both at the Bal Mandir Kindergarten and Tashi Waldorf School.

Mrs. Banu Oja is an educator who has been the Program Director of the Cornell University Study Abroad Program in Nepal since 1992. Banu has taught Nepali language at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York for many years. She also worked as a Language and Cross-Cultural Coordinator, and Nepali Language Teacher for the Peace Corps in Nepal. Banu holds a degree in Education from Tribhuvan University in Kathmandu, and is the author of many Nepali language textbooks. Banu holds the distinction of being Tashi Waldorf School’s first Nepalese child sponsor.

Mrs. Bina Gurung is a leading early childhood educator in Nepal. Bina is the founder and owner of Bina’s Kita Keti Preschool in Kathmandu where she teaches children and trains kindergarten teachers. She has extensive experience as a radio and television journalist, having produced educational and community programs, as well as read the English language news, for Radio Nepal and Nepal Television. Bina holds certification in Early Childhood Development from St. Nicholas Training Centre and Special Needs Education from London Montessori College. Over the past 8 years, Bina has supported the development of Waldorf education in Nepal and TWS in particular. Bina has attended TWS training seminars and read many books to learn more about Steiner education.

Khenpo Pasang Tenzin is a Buddhist Lama, from Gorkha in central Nepal. He became a monk in 1988 at Namdroling Monastery, in Mysore South India. After receiving basic Buddhist training, he entered the prestigious branch college of Namdroling, Ngagyur Nyingma Institute in 1991. He studied debated and researched Buddhist philosophy and practice for nine years in the institute. Moreover he learned Tibetan language, poetry, history and Buddhist religious history. In early 2006, he was conferred the highest degree of the institute, “Khenpo,” which is equivalent to Professor. He recently assumed the position of Khenpo at the Ngedon Osel Ling Monastery in Kathmandu.

Mr. Kesang Tseten Lama is a writer and filmmaker. Among his films are On the Road with the Red God: Machhendranath, We Homes Chaps and Down by the River. Kesang wrote the original screenplay for Mukundo (Mask of Desire), which won Best Script Award from the Nepal Motion Pictures Association in 2000 and was an Academy Award selection from Nepal. A second feature script, Karma, will soon be released. His short stories have appeared in An Other Voice: English Writing from Nepal, and Secret Places, New Writing from Nepal published by the University of Hawaii. He holds degrees from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism and Amherst College.

Mr. Ngawang Yeshi Lama is Director of both the Himalayan International Model School, one of Nepal’s most prestigious schools, and Annapurna Carpet Industries in Kathmandu. He holds a CBSC from Dehra-Dun, India, and a certificate in Business Administration from London.

Mr. Suren Thami is an instructor and In-Country Coordinator for Where There Be Dragons, a semester abroad cross culture educational program for American students based in Boulder, Colorado. He has previously worked as managing director and owner of a graphic design and advertisement firm, as principal of Mt. Annapurna School in Pokhara, Nepal, as a language and cultural interpreter for UNICEF, and has led professional development seminars for schools, banks, the World Food Program (UN) and the Canadian Cooperation Office. He holds a B.A. Hon. Degree from St. Joseph’s College in Darjeeling, India. Suren assists TWS with translation of teaching materials into Nepalese.

Dr. Tashi Pedon is a Tibetan Doctor working full-time at Kathmandu’s Khunpen Clinic since 2001. Since 2003, she has been the medical center’s Deputy Director. As well as seeing patients, Dr. Tashi is responsible for overseeing production of all Tibetan medicine used at the clinic. She studied acupuncture and moxibustion at the Lhasa Mentsekand (Institute of Medicine and Astrology). Dr. Tashi holds a degree in Tibetan Medicine from the Tibet Institute of Traditional Tibetan Medicine in Lhasa.

Dr. Dipendra Sharma is a physician at the Shechen Clinic in Kathmandu. Shechen is an income based clinic and hospice that provides medical and dental care to the neediest among the Kathmandu community. He is also an attending physician at Mingma Dorjee Choeling Monastery and Tashi Waldorf School. Additionally, Dr. Dipendra works with numerous free health camps in different parts of Nepal. Dr. Dipendra interned at Patan Hospital in Kathmandu after obtaining his MD from Dnepropetrovsk State Medical Academy in the Ukraine in 2002.

We would also like to introduce you to the Tashi Waldorf School Trust Management Committee. In Nepal each school is run by its Management Committee consisting of 6 positions as defined under education law.

Mrs. Shakun Sherchand Leslie as Chairperson (TWS Trustee) and Mrs. Eva Bhujel as Secretary (TWS Principal).

Mrs. Chandra Tamang as Teacher Representative. Chandra has been working in Waldorf education for ten years and gained much of her experience and training while working at the Bal Mandir Kindergarten, CON’s first project in Kathmandu. Chandra received her certification as a Waldorf kindergarten teacher in 2001. In July 2005 she graduated from the 3 year Early Childhood teacher training program at Emerson College in England. Chandra then returned to Nepal and re-established her kindergarten group at Tashi Waldorf School. She leads the school’s kindergarten faculty in in-house teacher training and the school community in study group.

Ms. Amina Bomzon as Parent Representative. Three of Amina’s four adopted sons, who are brothers by birth, are TWS students. Her son Guatam was in TWS’s first graduating class in 2005. Her sons Buddha and Maitre are in the primary school and all three boys attended the school’s kindergarten. Amina has been instrumental over the past years in helping at parent’s meetings. She brings the wonderful gift of inspiring those around her. Amina works as an Administrator for the French aid organization, Handicap International, which works to create a better life for special needs children in Nepal.

The final two members of the Management Committee are representatives from the Ministry of Education and Local Ward Office. The people filling these positions will be appointed by these two bodies once the Trust is registered.

Thank you to everyone for help in keeping the school supplied with Waldorf educational materials, such as water colour paint, coloured chalk, beeswax and wooden coloured pencils. If you are traveling to Nepal and can make room in your luggage to slip in some water colour paint, wooden pencils or coloured blackboard chalk we would really appreciate it. It’s a challenge to keep these supplies on hand for the school, especially for 115 children!

We deeply thank CON’s child sponsors for their most generous and ongoing commitment to help the school and children. To child sponsors who have recently joined our program, we send a huge welcome and thanks from the Tashi Waldorf School community. In June you will receive by post an annual progress report for your sponsor child. If your report doesn’t arrive please let us know so we can re-mail it. With the new school year which started in May there are 40 children who are in need of sponsorship at the school, so please, if you can pass the word around in your communities, we really need your help!

For those sponsors whose sponsor child left the school at the end of the last school year in April we thank you for your patience and understanding. It has been yet another year of political instability in Nepal. For the school community this means unstable lives for the children’s families and therefore the children. Over the past several years, thousands of families have relocated to Kathmandu feeling that it is safer than remaining in their villages. With the recent return to democracy and a ceasefire declared by the Maoists, some families have decided to return to their villages in rural Nepal. Parents who are working as labourers often relocate within the valley to live at the factory where they have been able to find work. Unfortunately the school is not financially able to offer school bus service to the entire Kathmandu Valley. Waldorf education is still new to the community and very different from main stream education in Nepal. The majority of the school’s parent community has never attended school themselves. Tashi Waldorf School is constantly working to bring a deeper understanding to its parent community. It is a challenge and will take time.

We would like to introduce you to one of our “pashmina ladies”, Phyllis Townley of Victoria, British Columbia. Phyllis is Heather’s aunt and godmother, affectionately called “Deedee” by her family. “Didi”, a Nepali word, is used to respectfully address one’s older sister or an older woman. Although Deedee has been battling cancer over the past years this hasn’t stopped her from selling pashmina to help the school. With the help of her family and friends she has hosted many pashmina parties and has helped the school enormously. Deedee now needs to retire from being a pashmina lady due to her health. We send her our greatest love and thanks for her most determined help all these years. Heather’s mother, Barbara Maclaren, and the school’s great friends, Jayne Ferri, Barbara Bartszch and Renate Wolfrum continue their work as “pashmina ladies” in Canada and Germany. For this we are so very grateful.

Lastly, Heather writes her goodbye to all of you:

I would like to thank each of you for the encouragement and help you have given to me over the past 6 years. It is because of your help to the school that I have been able to sleep most nights knowing that the school will continue to grow and flourish. As the Trustees, Management Committee, Eva, Rajendra and Rachel take on their new roles at the school, and the teachers continue to deepen their work in Waldorf education, I truly thank you for the support I know you will continue to give to everyone at the school.

I will always carry deeply within me the experience of how children have healed at the school. When many children first arrive, there is no light in their eyes or they carry anger, or they are disengaged from the world. Over time, be it 6 months, a year, a year and a half, the light begins to shine as the children open to the world, feel the love around them and experience trust. We all must ensure that this continues.

I also will carry the love everyone has so generously shown to the school. Thank you for giving me such special experiences and examples to live by. I now look forward to joining many of you in becoming a Tashi Waldorf School ambassador.

With warm wishes and so very many thanks, Heather

We would like to thank everyone for supporting Children of Nepal and Tashi Waldorf School. We need your help more than ever as the school moves into the next phase of deepening its roots in Nepal. With more children to support and the land to buy, we have some big challenges ahead. Nevertheless, we are not daunted as we know the school is so needed in helping the children of Nepal.

With our greatest thanks and best wishes,
Meyrav Mor, Heather Maclaren and Rachel Amtzis

You can help:

  1. Please send a donation to the associations as listed below
  2. Sponsor a child for $25 a month
  3. Tell your friends and encourage them to make a contribution
  4. Publish this newsletter in your school, organization, or community newsletter
  5. Please see our website at www.childrenofnepal.org
  6. If you are traveling to Nepal let us know and we would be delighted to have you visit

RSF Social Finance
Please write in the memo portion of the cheque: "Children of Nepal"
1002A O'Reilly Ave.
San Francisco,
CA 94129-1101 USA
Tel: 415.561.3900, 1.888.RSF.3737
Email: mail@rsfsocialfinance.org
RSF Social Finance also accepts donations made via other means, including credit cards. For more information, please visit their website:
www.rsfsocialfinance.org/donate-now/

Freunde der Erziehungskunst Rudolf Steiner e.V.
Please write in the memo portion of the cheque: “Children of Nepal – Project # 4405”
Weinmeisterstr. 16
Berlin, D-10178, Germany
Tel: 030 61 70 26 30,
Email: berlin@freunde-waldorf.de

Internationaal Hulpfonds
Please write in the memo portion of the cheque: “Children of Nepal”
Herengracht 276,
1016BX, Amsterdam, THE NETHERLANDS
Tel: 020- 6274856
Email: info@internationaalhulpfonds.nl

King’s School Worcester Nepal Trust
Please write in the memo portion of the cheque: "Children of Nepal"
c/o John Walton
King’s School, Worcester
England, WR1 2LL, U.K
Tel: 01905 350065
Email: j_walton2@hotmail.com

Waldorf School Association of Ontario
Please write in the memo portion of the cheque: “Children of Nepal”
9100 Bathurst Street, No. 2
Thornhill, Ontario, L4J 8C7, Canada
Tel: 905 889 2066
Email: manager@waldorf.ca

Prometheus Ethical Finance
Please write "Children of Nepal - Account#4144" in the memo.
P.O. Box 969
Napier, NEW ZEALAND
Telephone 06.835.7138
Fax 06-8351628
Email: ethical@prometheus.co.nz