High up in the Indian Himalayas, in a small village of mostly farming families, a busy school day begins. Students leave their homes and walk the short distance to newly built classrooms for their first lessons of the day. They are taught by young, local teachers, enthusiastic to see improvements in their classes and their own teaching practice, encouraging students to excel in all areas of learning.Until just a few years ago, going to school was a very different experience for many children in this remote community.
With no school nearby, children would have to walk four hours each way to attend the nearest school, often on isolated mountain trails, a journey made largely impossible during monsoon season. For many parents the risk was too great, especially for their daughters; many children dropped out of school altogether, losing the opportunity for education for another generation and raising the very real risk of human trafficking.
With the support of UnitingWorld, the Church of North India, Diocese of Eastern Himalayas responded to this need by establishing a local school in this remote region. The school began in February 2015 with its first cohort of 63 Year 5, 6 and 7 students. Steadily growing each year, there are currently 150 students attending the school from Years 5 to 9.This access to local education has been life-changing for these students and their families. Young people in the area are now better equipped for future employment and livelihoods, parents no longer fear for their children’s safety and local communities are filled with hope for their future.