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.
Since then the donation of a small factory making Interlocking Stabilised Soil Blocks by the Trust has given the community an affordable medium to help rebuild their damaged houses
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 the start of 2018 The Yearley Trust has, or is currently,
• Totally refurbished the Nalang Model Academy School (NMA) including new desks and classroom equipment
• Doubled the number of classrooms including provision of a computer room and a large covered outdoor meeting area
• Donated 14 computers for the computer room, also books to the school library
• Provided glazed windows in the school classrooms when none existed before
• 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
• Gave a whole new science lab equipped for Physics, Chemistry, Biology and Geology
• Enabled the school to now offer lessons to years 11 and 12. The first of these pupils are now studying at University
• Subsidising teacher’s salaries
• Paid for two day educational coach trips for pupils
• Upgraded the school internet services
• Set up a working relationship between The Nalang Model Academy school and two schools in England and have helped teachers from both English schools to visit Nalang. The oldest English School, New College School was founded in1379, 627 years before the foundation of the NMA
• Provided a new school toilet block with special provision for girls and women teachers
• Provided a large school playground. They did not have one before
• Provided a cricket net for cricket practice
• Run free five day residential courses in mainly agricultural subjects to improve the efficiency and income of local subsistence farmers
• Are providing a full-size sports ground for the school (in course of construction) and have arranged with the MCC foundation for the provision of some cricket coaching when the sports ground is completed. The work on the ground involves levelling terraces in the hillside, the highest equivalent to a 16/17 storey building above the lowest.
• Built a 56 bed hostel with shower and toilet block for pupils to stay in during the monsoon rains when it is too dangerous for them the go home. Also to be used by visiting parties of young people from schools in England.
• Built a new kitchen block for the hostel, school, and community use
• Built a small medical centre (opened October 2019) which is staffed by a medically qualified member of our staff
• Organised and financed essential hospital treatment in the capital Kathmandu for members of the community
• Organised and financed an eye and hearing health clinic where 1517 people were given eye tests, over 600 were provided with free glasses and 147 free cataract operations were performed.
• Hold regular health checks, including dental checks, on all the children in the community
• Recently built special en suite accommodation to encourage teachers from the capital Kathmandu to come and stay and teach at the school. It is also available for teachers etc from England who might like a short visit to the school.
• Provided an electricity generator to be used during the very frequent power cuts and provided solar powered back up lighting for the hostel
• Provided a car to encourage pupils to learn about engineering and also to act as a form of emergency ambulance for the long journey to the nearest hospital
• In addition to the new sports ground, we are providing land for the communities first ever market and also land for a basic driving school. Both of which will have a significant effect on the local economy
• Donated some football, volleyball and Kwik cricket equipment to the school
• Donated the equipment for a factory making Interlocking Stablished Soil Blocks (ISSB). These use soil as their main ingredient, do not require any heat in production so are much more environmentally friendly and are cheaper and stronger than bricks. People are using these to repair their earthquake damaged homes and they also have been used for all the new building work at the school.
• Formed a women’s cooperative to provide employment opportunities for women to earn their own income.
• Are running a series of very popular free five-day courses in rural schools to train teachers how to teach English to young pupils in a fun way using the well proven Ical (International Centre for Accelerative Learning) system
• At the end of each course donated two work copy books, a pencil, eraser and pencil sharper to every pupil in the school and a special teacher training pack to all teachers on the course.
• Are supporting 5 girls from Nalang to study at Universities in Nepal
• With the help of the Israeli Embassy in Kathmandu brought some leading academics from Israel to provide teacher training
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 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.
- The Trust also pays all charges for essential hospital treatment for the people of Nalang
- 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 additional staff in addition to Shankar (see OUR Team) and has set up The Yearley Trust Centre of Excellence to help fulfil our mission. Our team in Nepal now number 18 either full time of part time staff
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 1,900 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 1 ½ to2 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. In addition the Yearley Trust has donated a building containing self-contained en suite rooms to provide quality accommodation to help attract quality teachers from the cities to come and teach at the NMA.
The Yearley Trust has added new buildings and new resources to the school including a large new multipurpose room for use by both the school and the community and also has given the school a complete makeover with all buildings and classrooms being repainted and refurbished and provided a new computer room with computers donated by the Trust 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 to 8 hours travel time (depending upon condition of roads) 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 1,900 houses. Nalang is at an altitude of 1,450m (higher than any mountain in the UK) and 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 Brahmin and Chettri 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 8,163-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