In October 2007, I spent almost 3 weeks in Nepal with a friend. It is a beautiful country of generous, warm, and spiritual people. We were invited to participate in a major holiday celebration with our trekking guide’s (Sunil) family. He said this was the first time foreigners had visited his family’s home. During our visit, we discovered that Sunil’s village school had no library.
Shree Divya Jyoti Lower Secondary Community School serves poor ethnic Tharu and other low caste children in a lowland farming area of Nepal. It is a local community (public) school which currently has 8 classes of 278 students between the ages of 4 and 15.
The school was built by the local Harnari villagers in Chitwan Province. The villagers are farmers who rent their land and spend the majority of their time working the fields. They are too poor to afford basic school supplies or a library for their children. There are also no balls and simple games for the students.
In the spring of 2009, my husband Wei and I returned to Nepal. The purpose of this trip was to help develop a basic library for the village school. We were able to purchase ten large boxes of school books on subjects ranging from English and math to science and philosophy.
While this is a good beginning for the library, we are working to expand the selection of texts, as well as increase the basic resources of the school. Sunil has stated that the children could use access to items such as microscopes and globes. These materials will greatly improve the students’ education by helping them develop basic academic skills, as well as enhance their learning about the world beyond their immediate