The Batase School opened in 1985 offering classes to Grade 3. To study further, children would need to make a 6-hour round trip, on foot, down to Talamarang. One of the earliest priorities of the FHC was to expand the capabilities of the local school in Batase, so children could live with their families while getting an education. Land was purchased, classrooms built, teachers employed and soon Batase school was offering classes to Grade 8. A local hostel so that children from other remote villages could also go to Batase’s school without the long walk at each end of their day (more on the Batase Hostel below). FHC scholarships are offered to children whose families can not pay school fees and hostel costs.
When Som (the founder of FHC) had demonstrated to the government that the school was indeed viable, FHC was able to pull back from the level of support it provided. Funds were then directed to further expanding the school to offer classes to Grade 10. The school had just welcomed its first Grade 10 students when the earthquake of April 2015 demolished the school and the hostel.
To get the school up and running quickly, temporary classrooms were erected from timber and corrugated iron. The floors were bare dirt. Volunteers were (an still are) encouraged and welcome to spend time at the school, interacting with the children and taking classes where appropriate, to provide valuable native-speaker English-language practice and a link with the world beyond Nepal.
A new school has been constructed through a joint effort between the Nepalese government and Caratas (a global, christian-based charity) on the same site as the old. Further improvements have been added since. The school is now self-reliant on electricity through the generous donation and installation of solar panels, thanks to Dr Morgan Kiani. Computers are now part of the curriculum thanks to Rotary Club of Cairns Sunshine and Rotary International. And there is more to come.
The FHC’s capacity to offer educational scholarships and provide for the needs of hostel children relies on the generous support of donors and sponsors, as well as the positive involvement of families and community. Ninety-five per cent of donations received by this volunteer-run charity are spent directly on these core priorities. Thank you for helping us create a better future for our children.