In March 2017, NFN received a proposal from Naren Gurung to support a school in Ilam located in the far eastern region of Nepal. The Shree Gurung Gaun Elementary School is a government school that was almost forced to shut down a few years ago due to lack of enrollment. As a graduate from the village school, Naren felt a responsibility to keep the institution running. He personally hired a teacher who had previously taught at an English-medium school. Naren provided his monthly salary and helped raise the quality of education which in turn helped to retain students. However, a long-term solution was necessary.
Naren approached NFN to provide extra school materials that were lacking. The school Principal wrote a formal request letter to NFN including a list of required items. After deliberating, NFN agreed to provide school materials and the salaries for two teachers (including the one Naren had hired). We wrote a contract including terms and conditions which had to be met by the school in order to renew the teachers’ contract. Both parties agreed and plans were made for two NFN representatives to go to Ilam for the official handover ceremony.
On Monday May 29th, 2017, Zeena Gurung and Marli Gordon arrived in Lapse Bhote for the school ceremony. The event was held in the grounds of the elementary school with board members, Principal, teachers, parents and students all in attendance. The two NFN members gave Shree Gurung Gaun whiteboards, notebooks, water filters and other teaching materials as well as toys and games for the students. A contract was signed between NFN and the school board to ensure future cooperation.
This project was the first to be sponsored by The Lisa Fund, a fund that supports education in Nepal.