The Yearley Trust
* TO IMPROVE LIFE AND EDUCATION IN NALANG AND THE SURROUNDING AREA SO THAT IT BECOMES A MODEL EXAMPLE FOR THE WHOLE OF NEPAL TO FOLLOW AND ALSO SO IT TO BECOME A CENTRE OF EDUCATIONAL AND SPORTING EXCELLENCE
* TO IMPROVE THE EDUC ATION, HEALTH, EQUALITY AND STANDARD OF LIVING IN ALL RURAL AREAS OF NEPAL
Whilst he founded The Yearley Trust in 2010 it was not until the end of 2018 that John Yearley heard about the Nalang Model Acadamy and the remarkable community of Nalang that built the school.
A chance Facebook friends request from Shankar Silwal in August 2018 bought the school to his attention. John was immediately impressed that the community in Nalang, which mainly consisted of uneducated subsistence farmers, many of whom lived below the poverty line and so much wanted a better future for their children that they got together and built a school. A massive enterprise without earth moving equipment or concrete mixers etc so everything hand to be done by hand. Nevertheless, after a lot of hard work the school was built and opened and immediately proved to be a success.
However, in 2015 disaster struck in the form of the massive earthquake that struck Nepal and destroyed or damaged over 90% of the buildings in the country including the school.
Article from The Guardian about the current situation in Nepal after the 2015 earthquake
Undaunted this remarkable community gathered themselves up and the first thing they did was to rebuild the school even before they started repairing their own houses. Unfortunately, many of them still can’t afford to repair their houses and many are still unsafe to sleep in.
John was also impressed that in a country that is very patriarchal that the community promoted girl’s rights and that 50% of the pupils studying science at 6th form level were girls. So, he donated some equipment to help with their science teaching. A little later he received letters of thanks from all the science pupils, one of which, from Rojina Silwal, gave him more information about the school and decided him to put all his efforts, and that of the Trust, behind improving things in Nalang. He immediately recruited two new trustees for the Charity and one, Doriana Dimitrova in particular was also so impressed that since then she has been working non-stop alongside John to do everything that they could to improve things in Nalang.
Since then the Trust has:
- Purchased an area of land for the building of a 56 bed hostel for the students and volunteers
- Paid for the building of the hostel and its own shower/toilet block (Opened by our Chairman in February 2019 and dedicated to his late wife)
- Replaced the few unsanitary toilets at the school with a new toilet block with special facilities for girls
- Had a new school kitchen built to provide catering for both the school and the hostel
- Constructed a fully equipped small medical centre to serve the whole community of Nalang
- Built large multipurpose room for use by the school and the community
- Paid for the construction of a 400,000 litre water tank to provide water during the dry season
- Provided glazed windows to all 18 classrooms and other rooms (54 in total) to replace the previous open windows to keep classrooms warm in the winter
- Gave a whole new science lab equipped for Physics, Chemistry, Biology and Geology
- Bought an Interlocking Stabilised Soil Block making machine to enable to community to make low cost environmentally friendly bricks to help rebuild their houses
In addition, the Trust:
- Pays the school fees of 21 pupils whose parents could not afford the fees; provided a solar powered lighting system for the hostel as well as an emergency back up portable generator for the school; and has provided science text books; donated computers, laptops and digital cameras; given the school various teaching aids including an interactive computer controlled whiteboard.
! The Trust is also working with the American charity ICAL to use their system of teaching English to young children in third world countries and to educate teachers in other schools on how to use the system.
! The Trust is also currently paying for an old corrugated iron roof to be replaced by a concrete one with surrounding railings so that it can be used as an outdoors classroom, the painting of the outside of all the school buildings and also the inside of all classrooms and the provision of new school desks in all classrooms and also new whiteboards. In other words, a complete makeover for the school
! The Trust has done a lot since our first small donation, but we need your help to do even more for this remarkable community.
! See OUR CAUSES for more details
- The nearest medical facility before our appearance was a minimum of 5 hours walk across hazardous mountain tracks but since the beginning of 2019, we have been paying the salary of Shankar Silwal who is suitable qualified and authorised by the government to provide medical services to the community as well as paying for all his medical supplies.
- In March 2020 he organised on our behalf for a team of specialists to visit Nalang to carry out eye and hearing tests. The team managed to carry out checks on 1,185 people and issued both reading and prescription glasses as required and also carried out dental checks but unfortunately the advent of lockdown, due to Covid-19, meant that we were not able to go ahead with the various planned cataract operations.
! The Trust has ambitious plans to expand our activities to assist other communities in rural Nepal in 2021 onwards so has recruited six staff in addition to Shankar (see OUR Team) and has set up The Yearley Trust Centre of Excellence to help fulfil our mission.
We are very proud that we are working on 11 of the 18 UN Sustainable Development Coals
Nalang Model Academy
The Academy is a community run school in rural Nepal. It was set up by the local community of mainly uneducated and poor subsistence farmers in 2008 to improve the standard of education in the area (the state-run schools having a very poor reputation and are subject to political interference) and is run on English school lines. In Nepal, even though in theory education until completing year 10 is compulsory, 50% of the pupils in the state system drop out of school altogether before year 10 and in Nalang 90% of the adult population was either illiterate or very poorly educated. It is a very poor community made up mainly of subsistence farmers. This makes the local community’s desire to set up the school even more remarkable. Nalang is a small town with 2,200 households with around 11,000 people living there.
In 2014 the school started providing sporting activities and training and immediately found that even with their above average attendance rate there was a dramatic improvement in school attendance and dropout rate (in state schools attendance of only 3 days a week is quite normal).
Unfortunately, the school did not have any playing field facilities and all sporting activity took place on the small area of land which serves as an outdoor assembly area. In spite of this the school had provided 5 former pupils for the National Under 19 Football Squad and 1 for the Under 19 cricket squad. However, in late 2019 The Yearley Trust was able to purchase for the school an area of flat land between the school and the hostel and this is proving to be very popular with the pupils of the NMA. The school firmly believes that sport helps to develop teamwork and is an essential adjunct to good all-round education
In 2015 the area was hit by a major earthquake which killed nearly 10,000 people and destroyed or severely damaged 90% of all buildings (including the school). Luckily the earthquake struck when most people were outdoors working in their field otherwise the death toll would have been considerably higher. Undaunted the community immediately acted to rebuild the school with minimum disruption to pupil’s education, even before starting to rebuild their own houses.
A small fee (£40 a year for junior pupils and £80 a year for sixth form pupils) is charged to parents of pupils BUT no pupil is turned away if they cannot afford the fees. A significant proportion of the pupils are provided with free education including all pupils with special needs. The school particularly encourages equal opportunities with special emphasis on the education of girls. This is in a country where traditionally girls were not educated and were married at a very early age (and many still are).
Around 80 pupils are classified as “far pupils”. This means that they have a walk of around 2 hours or maybe more. to get to school across rough and hilly ground. During the monsoon season this means that due to unsafe ground conditions (flooding, landslip etc) up to 35% of pupils cannot get to school. Now The Yearley Trust has financed the purchase of land and financed the building of a 56 bed hostel for the school as somewhere for these pupils to stay during the monsoon rains.
The Yearley Trust has added new building and new resources to the school and also has given the school a complete makeover with all buildings and classrooms being repainted and refurbished so that now the NMA can rightly proudly claim to be one of the best schools in the whole of rural Nepal
Nalang is a very rural community in the District of Dhading and although only 85km west from the capital Kathmandu it can take as much as 4 ½ hours travel time and during the monsoon months sometimes the roads are impassable for several days
The population of Nalang itself, and the immediate vicinity, is approximately 11,000 living in around 2,200 houses. Nalang is at an altitude of 1,500m which means that the climate is sub tropical. Like many such rural areas in Nepal approximately 90% of the adult population are either illiterate or very poorly educated which makes their efforts to improve educational facilities for their children particularly praiseworthy and is one of the reasons that The Yearley Trust is so happy to support and encourage their efforts. Another reason is that the community is keen to encourage education and equal opportunities for girls. Generally, in Nepal girls are considered less important than boys. Their support for equal opportunities is a credit to the Community of Nalang.
The majority of the population are subsistence farmers and around 60% live below the poverty line. Generally, the land is hilly which limits the type of crops that can be grown
The people of the district of Dhading are primarily Bhramin and Chetri in the south and Tamang and Gurung in the north, with much of the centre Newari. Unfortunately, the caste system and their differences still exist in Nepal although generally it does not cause as many problems as in India, Pakistan and Bangladesh.
The mountain range “Ganesh” is the predominated mountain range located within the district of Dhading. All of the peaks are over 7,000 metres (23,000 ft) with some approaching 8,000 metres (26,000 ft). The 8,000-metre (26,000 ft) plus mountain “Manaslu” (the eighth highest mountain in the world is clearly visible from much of Dhading and the views of the mountain from the hostel are breath-taking.
The school was built by the community in 2008 but was destroyed by the massive earthquake of 2015 which destroyed 600,000 buildings in Nepal and killed nearly 10,000 people. The epicentre for the earthquake was near Nalang and very many more people would have been killed except for the fact that most of them were outdoors tending their fields when the earthquake struck. It is estimated that the costs of the earthquake were equivalent to around 50% of Nepal’s GDP. (That is equivalent to £1.2 trillion for the UK)
Most of the buildings in Nalang that survived, and are still lived in, are damaged. The community rebuilt the school with minimum disruption to the children but still needs help in repairing damaged housing.
Main crops grown are Rice, maize, and millet, all on a large scale but not enough for the year. Also, some vegetables, like Cauliflowers, cabbage, radish, potato, carrot, brinjal, bitter gourds local pears and some citrus fruits. Whilst for three months of the year the land is inundated by the monsoon rains the remaining months have very little rain so most of land is unused because of the lack of proper irrigation in the area. So, rainwater harvesting may play vital roles for making irrigation in this land. If they have water supply for irrigation, they could cultivate any crops easily and, in many cases, get two crops a year from the land.
There are a few shops in the local area, but they have problems of supplies during the rainy season. There are some businesspeople from the city who come to trade at the market. The shops sell foods items, and there is also a local hotel, located in a coffee farm, for the businesspeople and for tourists. There is a clothes shop, small veterinary, shop small electronic shop, and stationery shop.
There is no doctor in Nalang and the nearest is at least 5 hours walk away across hazardous mountain tracks. But now The Trust is employing Shankar Silwal to provide medical and dental cover (Shankar is medically qualified and licenced by the Government to provide most of the services of a GP as well as basic dental treatment) and paying all medical expenses and has recently donated a small medical centre to further improve the medical facilities for the community but there is still much to do.
You can find The Yearley Trust’s Code of Conduct here
The Yearley Trust is an English Charity No 1136219