The lives of people in remote communities in Nepal have become even more difficult after the earthquakes of April and May 2018. The Village Development Committee Rawadolu in Okhaldunga District has no road access, the trek from the nearest road head takes two to three days.
Rawadolu VDC, Okhaldunga District
In addition to all this, the people living in this community are ethnically very diverse and don’t even speak the same language. Access to education, in particular for the Sherpa children from the highest villages whose mother tongue is not Nepali, is difficult, not only because of the long walk to school. Children who don’t start school young or leave early because of a lack of inclusion will, in a best case scenario, work for their families, take care of younger siblings, collect firewood … Hard physical work often causes illness and posture problems. Girls are especially vulnerable – they are valued less, in the worst case, they may be trafficked for prostitution.
The earthquakes that shook Nepal since 25 April 2015 – at the time the project was proposed, they were ongoing – traumatised the children as well as the general population. An important task of school was to quickly reestablish some kind of normality, and provide a chance to come to terms with this experience by playing with peers.
Sports education can provide an important contribution to improve the situation with all these issues.
Nepal Okhaldhunga Districtmap
PHASE Austria has been supporting a school in Hile, a Sherpa village in Rawadolu, since 2008. Its aim was to offer the children of this village, which previously did not have its own primary school, a chance to learn Nepali and thus to be better able to integrate into the meainstream school in Buktel, about one and a half hours’ walk down the hill.
By funding a sports teachers and suitable sports material for all nine schools of the project area, we aim to promote inclusion of the Sherpas into the larger community, demonstrate equal opportunities for girls through sports, and alleviate the trauma of the earthquakes. By organising inter-school sports events, we hope to promote friendly exchange and mutual respect.
We would like to thank the Austrian Federal Ministry of Sports for supporing this project.
The project report (in German) provides details on implementation and outcomes.