The purpose of the Gyayul Ngondroey Lopta (Gyayul Kindergarten) project is to lay a foundation for early childhood education in the remote village of Gyayul. The kindergarten caters to more than 20 children age 3 to 6 in a two different classroom. Through this kindergarten young children and their families are supported by offering food, care, and a progressive approach to education. In addition, the aim is to preserve and conserve the unique Tibetan culture and Buddhism.
Our focus in renovating and setting up this kindergarten is to provide children with a positive, nurturing, and stimulating environment in their early years. This helps to build a strong foundation, which will benefit them throughout their lives. If in their formative years' children encounter a positive and encouraging environment, they naturally gain self-confidence and self-esteem. Developing the habit of school-going and stimulating a child’s natural curiosity at this stage greatly increases their chances of gaining a full education. The kindergarten operates from 9 am to 5 pm so parents have the option for child care support, particularly during the busy farming seasons.
The aim of this project is to implement an early childhood curriculum, which integrates the Montessori educational method with the culture and tradition of Tibetan Buddhism which is Nubri’s ancient heritage. The curriculum implemented in this project uses the principles of Montessori Education that are integrated with Tibetan Buddhism and culture customize an early childhood curriculum specifically for Nubri.
Our teachers receives training from Upper Tibetan Children’s Village school in Dharamshala, India and in Kathmandu. The teacher trainees receive a practical understanding of early childhood education based on Buddhism, the Montessori methodology, and the cultural heritage of the High Himalayas. These trainees are also introduced to the fundamental and philosophical basis of early childhood education; curriculum and lesson planning; artistic activities such as drawing, painting, puppets and dolls, and crafts; practical techniques such as circles, games, stories, puppetry, fingerplays, and songs; early childhood education theory; child development; how children learn from birth to age 7; integrating Nepali mainstream curriculum with the Montessori curriculum. In addition, these trainees receive a foundation in Buddhist studies (meditation, Buddhist basic philosophical concepts and worldview, and Buddhist values) from Khenpos and other philosophy teachers linked with Tergar Osel-Ling Monastery in Kathmandu.
ABOUT GYAYUL VILLAGE
Gyayul is a small village in Nubri valley with an altitude of 2,200m. There are about 50 households with almost 200 population in total. The village is situated on the lap of Sringi mountain, surrounded by beautiful green hills. Almost everyone is a subsistence farmer which means they are completely dependent on the harvest they get. To reach Gyayul, one must travel a day by bus and then four/ five days walk depending upon the load one carries.
The original school building was established in 1988 with one government-appointed teacher. Like every school in the mountains, Gyayul’s too failed to provide quality education due to improper supervision, irregular teacher attendance, unmanaged environment, and so on. Because of these, most people started sending their children to the capital; Kathmandu for schooling or to get ordained for monastic education.
Understanding the need and importance of education, few youngsters and village’s head monk approached our charity and upon Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche’s acceptance, running the kindergarten was approved.
Under the generous support from Pema Chodron Foundation, we have been able to renovate and turn the old school building into a new child-friendly classroom, bring necessary education materials from Kathmandu, provide healthy food, and most importantly, dedicated & well-trained teachers. The kindergarten officially started in July of 2021 with two full time teachers, a cook and 17 students in total.
SPONSOR A CHILD
The cost to sponsor a child is US$ 1,200/ Year or $100/ Month.
If a full child sponsorship is too much, you can still help through a partial sponsorship by teaming up with some friends, colleagues, parents, or a community group. In such a case, you will be contributing US$50/ month = $600/ year each.