Welcome to Mondo’s autumn newsletter! This has not been the year any of us planned, and the communities we work with continue to suffer from the spread of Covid-19, now emerging in more rural areas of Nepal and India, as well as the considerable economic effects created by lock down. However, it is not all bad news and our great teams are working hard to ensure that Mondo can continue to make an impact even through these difficult times. As HELP in Nepal is in the process of choosing this year’s scholarship recipients, I hope you enjoy reading the stories of some of our past scholars and the work they are now doing in their communities. Meanwhile our teachers in Nepal and India are finding ways to ensure children do not miss out entirely on their education, teaching remotely or with small groups while they wait for schools to reopen. In Tanzania, in addition to our ongoing, active grants programme to HIV positive women, we continue our support to the blind unit at Longido school, which has grown rapidly over the last year.
Nepal Scholarships: Can we make it 500?
The HELP team in Nepal are currently in the process of choosing the scholars to benefit from this year’s programme. Our scholars receive a contribution towards their college fees to help them continue their education post 16. At the same time they are also given guidance on how to choose a course, find accommodation and study successfully, as well as career counselling and leadership training once their studies are underway. This year, competition is very steep as HELP has received 40% more applications than in previous years – a reflection of the economic hardship that Covid is causing. Over the last seven years HELP has awarded 450 scholarships and we hope to add another 50 this year, to make it to 500. If you feel you could support a scholar please click here!
Here are the inspiring stories of some of the scholars Mondo/HELP has supported in the past. From this year forward we are also launching an award to our scholarship alumni to help them implement development projects in their community… more on this to follow!
Sushmita comes from a small village in Helambu and received a scholarship in 2015. This allowed her to fulfil her dream to study nursing. She has now completed her course and is a health officer in the remote village of Hagam. She is also an active member of the scholarship alumni and is helping this year with the recruitment and support of the new scholars.
Rinjin Hyolmo (right) received his scholarship in 2013 to take business studies. Following his graduation he successfully found a job with a company exporting Nepali carpets. In 2017 he went back to his village where he won a local election and has since been serving the people of his ward as a local councillor.
Rinjin Tamang (left)) was taught by several of our past volunteers when he was at primary school. The scholarship he received in 2016 allowed him to complete his secondary education and take a diploma in engineering. In June 2020 he won the post of sub-engineer for Helambu municipality, the first person from his entire village ever to earn a government job.
Longido school, Tanzania
Mondo Tanzania, has been supporting Longido school, 85km north of Arusha, for over a decade. The school has a unit catering for blind and partially sighted pupils and also employs two blind teachers. Mondo supports the salary of Carolina, a matron who takes care of the children before and after school, and provides funds for teaching aids, and equipment – we recently build a playground to allow the children to play sports and have a safe, even area to enjoy break times. Over the last 3 years our support has also allowed the children to receive regular check- ups at Moshi hospital. Through this scheme the partially sighted children have been fitted for glasses – allowing some of them to move out of the blind unit altogether! In the last 2 years the number of blind children at Longido has more than doubled as word spreads of the opportunities available at the school.
Education in lock down
Schools remain closed in Nepal, but we are anticipating the opening of some rural schools in the near future. Our Saathi teachers underwent 2 weeks quarantine at a local centre and have now returned to their posts. They are preparing the classrooms for the new school year, and providing catch up lessons to small groups of children in the community using specially developed worksheets.
Our schools in India also remain closed, but teachers have worked tirelessly to provide online lessons, distribute worksheets or teach small groups face to face. Mondo has provided a hardship fund to help support our teachers, most of whom have been paid very little since the start of this crisis.
Best wishes and stay well,
Anna, Anthony and all the Mondo Team
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