olidays begin for the youngsters and more news on our Apple Tree project
The end of the winter term has arrived at the winter school in Pokhara and the younger girls who can get home, and those who have homes to go to, have set off for Upper Mustang for their one month holiday before the new summer term begins in May.
It remains cold in Upper Mustang with snow on the hills and residual snow in the valleys as this recent photo of the school yard shows but hopefully will be warmer when summer term starts in May.
Of course, before term ended it was exam time – all the students and teachers worked incredibly hard this year, which has been a busy one for all.
And after all the stresses of exams, time to relax and take part in inter-house sports and mind games. Great fun was had by all after the exams.
Some of the senior students together with girls who have no home to go to, those who live too far away, stay on at school in Pokhara until everyone transfers to Upper Mustang in May.
Apart from relaxation, they have been busy along with their teachers and monks from the monastic school, preparing thousands of prayers to be placed into the Buddhist statues in the new shrine and multi-purpose teaching hall, which we hope will be finished later this year.
First the prayers are printed and hung up to dry, then cleaned with holy blessed saffron water and cut to size for placing into statues.
The shrine and teaching facility is on target to be completed later this year
FUNDRAISING GOALS THIS YEAR:
This coming year we will concentrate on 2 main areas for fundraising – as always, we need to support our teachers with Teacher Training programmes later in the year as well as fundraising for their salaries for 2020. Our teachers live in the school and provide welfare and out of school ours support for our students 24/7. They are dedicated and hardworking and really deserve our support. More on that in a later newsletter.
In the meantime, we want to share news of the Apple Trees.
Many of you will know that the “Apple Tree” project is one of the sustainability activities to help the school become self-sufficient in the longer term. Not only will the girls and staff benefit from having fresh fruit, it’s also possible to develop the orchard to produce a cash crop of apples that can be sold to bring in much needed income to the school, which receives no government grants as you know.
Almost half of the trees (you’ may remember they are specially bred to be hardy in the high altitude and windy environment and kindly donated by an Italian agriculturist), planted in late 2017 have survived 2 harsh winters and a long hot summer. This is exciting news as the success of the project could not have been predicted 2 years ago.
It’s thought that the trees which died unfortunately dried out whilst being unexpectedly held in customs during the long journey from Italy to Upper Mustang.
Recent visitors to the school to inspect the trees and to give advice to local farmers, have seen that many of the young trees have suffered damage from grazing animals (yaks and goats) and so we need to build an animal proof and sheltered compound.
Some fencing has already been purchased and is en-route to Upper Mustang as I write and we also have the offer of more Italian trees which we hope will be exported later in the year.
This is a really important project for the longer-term self-sufficiency of the school and we have started a fundraiser to collect £2000 contribution to this project.
Please, please help us by donating now if you can. Students and staff need fresh fruit and any income from the orchard as it expands is essential for the school to become self-sustainable in long term.
Here’s a link to our fundraiser. Donations of any size will be greatly appreciated. We are 100% efficient and don’t take expenses from donated monies so you can be assured your donations will support this project.
Heartfelt thanks for all your support, which is always greatly appreciated.
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