SAMA KINDERGARTEN

PURPOSE

The purpose of the Sama Ngondroey Lopta (SNL) project is to lay a foundation for early childhood education in the remote village of Samagaun, by the Tibet border. The kindergarten caters to more than 70 children age 3 to 6 in 3 classrooms. 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 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 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 Childrens' 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.

BACKGROUND

Samagaun village is located in the Nepalese High Himalayas within the Manaslu Conservation Area, by the Tibetan border. This conservation area is divided into Nubri and Tsum valleys. Sama, based at 3,850m above sea level, is one of the 10 villages of Nubri and is located at the foot of Mount Manaslu, the world‘s eighth highest mountain.

The community donated a plot of land the size of 24x24m, which is located in the heart of the village for the Kindergarten. The building includes three classrooms, a teacher‘s room, washrooms, a kitchen, and a dining room. Classrooms on the south side have a passive solar heating wall. 

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.