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A volunteer with some of the children


We have five full-time teachers at the school, but need volunteers willing to help. There are now six classes ranging from our reception/nursery class to Year 5.

If you think you can help out in any of these areas we would love to hear from you. Please contact nell@gorkhalearning.org for more information.



 Our Clinic
We are running a monthly clinic at Shree Krishna School. This is a preventative clinic where children get weighed and measured and are given simple medicines as required. This clinic is sponsored by Pam Nolan. We would like to say a big thank you to Pam. You can read more about the voluntary work on our volunteers page.

Here you can see Pam helping a child with a particularly painful ear infection.
 Reg Gray
Name: Reg Gray
Currently: Local government officer

I travelled to the school and helped to paint, lay flooring and repair the window shutters at the clinic. In all I found the trip a rewarding experience and enjoyed working with and meeting the people of Nepal.I enjoyed learning about their culture and religions and trying their food. I hope to visit again in a few years time.
 Mike & Jean Coulter
I first met Nell in the UK through my dissertation research for my MSc Development Studies. Nell kindly agreed let me use the school for part of my primary data collection, as well as introduce me to the Chairman of the PTA who in turn was of immense help.

The conclusion from my research when comparing Shree Krishna to primary education in general in Nepal and in particular with other primary schools in Gorkha was that:
1. children from marginalised or disadvantaged communities are just as successful as others when provided with the opportunites and resources as at SK
2. gender discrimination in teacher and pupil composition has been actively reduced in SK
3. same caste teacher-pupil interaction has positive effectives in the school and in the wider community as in and around SK
4. repeating years and dropping out were very low for SK
5. the philosophy of approach behind the school was very important in the school's success, which in turn affected other aspects of the community
6. on a personal level you only have to visit other schools to see how effective SK is, which in turn is reflected in their results.

Jean helped painting walls, and also helped with pupil reading.

Overall it was an enjoyable experience - one we will be repeating soon.
 Jacob's Creek and St Teresa's Catholic Primary School
Jacob's Creek Barndance Band played at St Teresa's Catholic Primary School to celebrate St. George's Day!

Please click on the following link if you would like to go to the website of St Teresa's Catholic Primary School.

  Click here!
 Manorfield Primary School
Jacob's Creek Barndance band visited Manorfield Primary School to revive their maypole by teaching some of the students traditional maypole dancing!

Here's what the teachers said:

'Thank you for a fun, lively, musical day. All the children participated and enjoyed the dancing. A lot of the children learnt new skills and showed great concentration to learn new dances. All abilities catered for! And the boys really got stuck in - not self-conscious at all! Thanks, it was brill!'
 Slow Loris at F&B Night
Slow Loris added their support at the last minute to the annual Folk and Blues fund-raiser for Gorkha Learning for Life in Horndon-on-the Hill. And what a great night it was, with a superb finishing set from bill-toppers and local heroes, Whatever Next (featuring, of course, Slow Loris' own Martin Cowpland on guitar, mandolin and banjo, and joined for the occasion by Joe Parker and Max Blake).

The Slow Loris Band were able to present their theatrical side, with extracts from their new Rolling Down the River Show. The audience participation, especially during the Billingsgate Market sequence, allowing all those present to come out with a tremendous cacophony of street cries, was truly amazing!

Hopefully, Slow Loris will do the whole show as a fund-raising event for Gorkha Learning for Life in the near future.

To visit Slow Loris' website, please click on the following link!

  Click here!
 Libby Livermore
In April I went out to Nepal with Nell and Den, and my friend Avalon. Seeing the village and school that I'd heard so much about was absolutely amazing, but even more amazing was meeting the children and the teachers!

Avalon and myself visited one of the local schools to help resource their nursery. We laid lino and painted the window and door frames, before setting out all of the resources for the children. The teachers and children were so happy with their new nursery, and seeing how pleased they were was a wonderful experience.

I can't wait to visit again in the summer of 2010!
 Reg Gray
The Barking and Dagenham government staff newsletter ran an article on Reg Gray, outlining how he spent three weeks helping the children in Gorkha.

'Reg Gray, Manager of Central Park Nursery, spent three weeks this summer helping children in a small village in Nepal.

He started raising funds for the village school through the charity, Gorkha Learning for Life, spending much of his free time raising funds through his involvement with the Hands Around Morris Team.

Work on the school started in 1999 and since then volunteers have rebuilt and refurbished the school, built new toilets and installed running water.

As he learned more about the project and how the children were leaving in poverty without adequate food, footwear, clothing, medicine or vaccination against childhood illnesses, he decided to go and see how the project was progressing.

After travelling for over 24 hours he reached Nepal and saw for himself the reality of how life for these children really was. He set to work making shutters, chairs, dolls furniture, laying lino and painting walls.

Reg found the whole experience challenging but very rewarding and will be visiting Nepal again.
 Lydia Antoniou
Lydia Antoniou spent a few months working at the nursery in our school, working closely with the nursery teacher Sunita, and the children on a daily basis. Here is what she had to say say about her experience!

'The children loved playing outside with the games box (wen it wasn't too hot - in which case it was games inside), many of them love singing (Nepali songs as well as being huge fans of ring a ring of roses! I've stuck the words for this up on the wall for Sunita!). It was also great to see them all get excited about washing their hands!

The two rooms upstairs look great and I could see the toilets and bathroom being built up. Sunita also read them a story on most days sometimes but often from her own story which they did seem to enjoy.

Sunita was great - she was lovely to me and very determined to get things right (and emulate the nursery system in London). She now uses a whistle when it's time to change groups, which speeds things up and helps us stick to the times.

Overall, it was an absolute pleasure to work at the school!'
 Caroline Gray
After going twice before I couldn't wait to visit the schools in gorkha again . This time myself and Libby visited various different nurserys to check that the resources were being used properly and also to renew some resources in the nurseries. I once again had a really great time working with the wonderful students and teachers in the schools.
 Libby Livermore
After visiting Shree Krishna Primary School in 2009, I couldn't wait to go again! I visited with Nell, Den, Caroline and Lisa, and as before, had an absolutely amazing experience.

Caroline and I visited different nurseries in the nearby area to check how the teachers were using the resources, to give them new resources when required and to continue the work of previous volunteers who worked in the nurseries.

Whilst we were there, we also got to attend a school picnic with the students at Shree Krishna, which was fantastic! The students had a great time playing games, and a wonderful day was had by all.

I'm really glad that I had the opportunity to visit Gorkha again, and I would seriously urge anyone who was considering it to go... You will love it!
 Lisa Glandfield,
Lisa Glandfield

Currently: Assistant Headteacher and Early Years Teacher at Arthur Bugler Infant School in Essex

During the summer of 2010, I visited Nepal on my own. As soon as I arrived I realised that I was no longer on my own Nell and Den who run the charity and fellow volunteers Libby and Caroline all welcomed me and were great! While I was in Nepal I got the chance to spend some time at Shree Krishna Primary, which the charity has worked so hard to build, support and maintain. I also worked in a neighbouring village called Biren Chock, in their school called Ratna Ranja. Here I worked in the Nursery Class, auditing resources that had been taken previously, taking in new resources and training the new teacher and children on how to use the resources. The whole trip was a great experience, which I would recommend without a doubt!
 Tree Dressing
Hands Around Ladies Morris danced at the annual tree dressing held in Langdon Park by the rangers. They collected a grand total of 49.54 on the day - thank you to everyone who attended for their generosity!
 School Welfare Assistant
We need a sponsor to fund our School Welfare Assistant - can you help? The sponsorship is 25 per month. If you think you can help, please contact Nell - nell(at)gorkhalearning.org - thank you!
 Pat Roberts' Birthday Collection!
Pat Roberts had a charity collection for her birthday, and raised 289! A big thanks to Pat for having the collection!
 Halloween 2011
Hands Around Ladies Morris will be dancing in Horndon on the 31st of October to raise money for the charity. They will be dancing from 8pm down High Road.
 Donation from the Clifford Chance Foundation
We're thrilled to announce that the Clifford Chance Foundation have donated 1,490 to us!

We will be using this kind donation to fund a teacher for an entire year!
 The gift of lessons
We're extremely thankful to John and Jan New for giving the children the gift of education, having paid for a teacher for a week to celebrate their birthdays - thank you!
 Jacob's Creek
Jacob's Creek barn dance band played at The Gateway Academy in Tilbury and donated their fee of 250 for a teacher! Thanks everyone!
 Amy & Sam,
We both had a fantastic time in Nepal, especially working with, and getting to know, the children and teachers of Shree Krishna Primary School. It was so much fun being able to inspire the children with our mask making project (with some interesting results!) and help them to learn and perform Spike Milligan's famous poem 'On The Ning Nang Nong' (which was hilarious!). It was a brilliant and fulfilling experience, and one that I would recommend to anyone.
 Anne Caron-Delion
After fundraising for new digital cameras and a laptop, Anne facilitated a photography and computer project with Class 5. The pupils were introduced to holding the cameras, using the focus and zoom, choosing different angles and positioning subjects for emphasis. They were asked to think of a range of things and places and to photograph, so the images they took reflect local life from their own view.

With the permission of the head teacher, volunteers worked for one week at a time with their groups during periods devoted to art and literacy. Armed with cameras, we took the children into town, across the hillside, to local villages and occasionally into their homes. The children enthusiastically practiced their English, using photography as a focal point. This literacy work was formalized when the children went on to produce individual Powerpoint presentations, writing titles and captions for the pictures they selected.

Aged between 8 and 13, Anusha, Finshu, Sarita, Rupa, Sajana, Anisha, Swastika, Bimala, Sarita, Sanjay, Ranjit and Saroj, who I had the enormous pleasure of working with, took to the cameras, uploading their pictures and navigating their way around the laptop with unbeatable enthusiasm and appreciation. They helped each other along the way and adopted new skills with such speed that it was easy to forget that we had only been teaching them one week - in their second language!

With the new digital cameras, I hope future volunteers (myself included) will assist in more photo-based projects. Photography has the potential to be used in so many ways to nurture the communication abilities and technical understanding of the children of Shree Krishna Primary School. And it could be employed to foster further links with school children in England, some of whom are already pen-pals with Class 5.

The children gave me so much during my stay in their country. They introduced me to Nepali dancing and some of the religious sites of Gorkha, they taught me about their culture including their songs, names of plants, animals and places, and they kept me smiling every single day. Thank you to Shawna Arnesen, Amey and Sam for sharing this rich experience, and to Nell and Den for making it possible. Sarita Aryal and the staff at Shree Krishna in Pokharatok made me feel so welcome, I am very grateful to them - Namaste!
 Tree Dressing 2012
Hands Around Ladies Morris danced at the annual tree dressing held in Langdon Park by the rangers. They collected a grand total of 50 on the day which will cover the wages of our teacher Som for nearly 2 weeks!
 Bill Fayers, Nepal report
Here's an excerpt from an e-mail from Bill, from Nepal!

''Today is our first day back at school. We have just had another festival, they love their festivals here. The great thing is that as I live with a Nepalese family I get to be involved in everything that goes on ! I suppose the only 'iffy' moment for me was during Dasain (15 day festival) when I went with the family to visit their relatives and, as is the custom, two goats literally lost their heads !! My first thought was that it seemed unnecessary to be sacrificing animals in this day and age (Western thinking) but then when I thought about it I realised that the goats were rather lucky to be in Nepal!

The Hindu religion forbids suffering of animals and so the beheading must be done in one swipe, do animals in Europe get it so easy? And, yes, the meat is eaten during the festival (but not by me).

You will see from the pics that 'my' village, Gorkha, is situated high up the side of a big hill, the valley is full of cloud every morning and from the house we look down on it. It lifts during the day and then the mountains in the pics are lost in cloud and the valley becomes clear.''

Bill is staying in Nepal for over 6 months! So we are hoping to receive some more e-mails from him about his experiences soon.
  Gorkha Learning For Life 2013      Registered Charity no 1096811

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