Project: Establishment of the first Himalayan Pen Pal Program at the Lukla School
Sponsors: NYCA, LYON and Associates, and IDEA Health and Fitness Association of San Diego, CA
Project Cost: varied
Through SherpaCares, these three sponsors donated the necessary equipment and laptop computers to launch the first Himalayan Pen Pal Program in the Classrooms in the Clouds computer lab at the Lukla village school. Students’ literacy rates and their ability to converse in English skyrocketed.
In late 2010, SherpaCares began the Himalayan Pen Pal Program to bring internet services to schools in small villages in the Solukhumbu region of Nepal. It is there that children and villagers practice reading and writing in a computer lab that connects them to the world. The concept was driven by SherpaCares sponsors who wanted to help, but were unsure how to do that.
Shree Lukla Primary School, in the remote village of Lukla, was chosen as host of the Pen Pal program in the Mt Everest region. Today, students participate in a unique email Pen Pal program, writing emails to family in Kathmandu or to the sponsors in California. Under the supervision of the Classroom in the Clouds sponsored teacher at the school, students develop their reading and writing skills in a medium that is motivating and effective.
The project has received a great response from the students and villagers of the local community. The teachers are thrilled by the interest the children have in learning to read and write. The Pen Pal program provides them with a practical and fun use for their new skills.
Sponsors that Made it Possible
NYCA of Encinitas, California donated the necessary specialized network equipment to enable Internet access. LYON and Associates of Solana Beach, CA donated the bulk of the laptops. IDEA Health and Fitness Association is paying for the monthly Internet Feed to the school. Thank you to our sponsors!
A second Pen Pal program at the Chari school in a neighboring village was set up more recently. The initial 3-month pilot program (using 1 computer and a 3G internet feed) was very successful, but can only serve four students. SherpaCares needed three sponsors to expand the program to the children on the waiting list. We now have two sponsors and only need one more to enable the roll out of this program.