The Siddhartha Foundation School, located in the beautiful ‘Pandit Valley’ about 10 miles from Kathmandu, brings a ray of hope and light to all those fortunate enough to get a place there. All the students come from poor backgrounds where even basic healthcare and education is not available to them. The school takes care of all the pupils’ needs - from food and clothing to medical care fees and the cost of their educational materials. Many of the students are orphans, and for them, the school provides an environment of love, care and security. The first students were admitted into the school in 2005, as phase one of the building plan was completed.
This provided two classrooms, a series of small dormitories, an office, a kitchen and a dining hall. It was only possible to take 80 children, and the first intake was made up of boys. As the school is residential, it was not appropriate to mix both sexes.
Once the school was opened, it was necessary to fund the ongoing costs, and this has been a struggle. However, several generous western benefactors came forward, and their support has kept the school going, though funds remain very tight and it is often a job to make ends meet. In Western terms, the daily costs are very little; around 70 pence per day (or £20 per month) per student covers direct expenses. Help given will go towards helping all the children at the school, along with helping some girls in the community.
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In 2017 the immediate priorities are:
- To provide more comprehensive health care for all the students
- To improve the diet by providing more fruits, vegetables and protein foods
- To improve classroom facilities including more textbooks and a computer system
- To upgrade the toilet and bathroom facilities
- To provide warm winter clothing and footwear
- To be able to pay for more specialist teachers in maths and science
- To support the overall development of the school including helping girls.
Students at the school study three languages - Nepali, Tibetan and English
"As soon as these aims are met, more classrooms and dormitories can be constructed, as already there are so many requests from Tibetan refugee families throughout the border regions to send their children to the Siddhartha Foundation School"