100%

funded

Total loan: $13,875

Kopila Valley Children's School

Flag of Nepal
Surkhet, Mid-Western Development Region, Nepal / Education

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A loan helped To pay for solar equipment that will provide reliable energy at the school.


Kopila Valley Children's School's story

The Kopila Valley School is an educational and community hub in Surkhet, Nepal – a region with 80% unemployment, very high dropout rates, chronic childhood malnutrition, and limited female participation in education and civil society. KVS’s ability to provide basic services is compromised by inefficient, expensive energy that is environmentally harmful. The loan will be used to install a 4kW solar energy system. Maggie, an American student and volunteer, initially founded the school as an orphanage in 2006. Today KVS offers nursery to grade 9 schooling for more than 350 students, and is home to 44 children. (Children in the photos are the adopted children of the Kopila Valley Children's Home, and students from the surrounding villages who attend the Kopila Valley School.) In addition to offering some of the most innovative curriculum in the region, the school provides students with nutritious meals, medical and dental attention, and after school activities. The region lacks even the most basic emergency services and KVS frequently acts as a community center in crisis situations. During the August 2014 floods in the area, the school provided food, medical aid, and shelter to displaced people. The solar installation will be on KVS’s combined hostel and women’s training center. 50 vulnerable women reside at the hostel and the center trains approximately 60 women and girls each year. The center’s goal is to educate girls and women from Surkhet and neighboring villages in order to promote their economic self-sufficiency. Classes cover a range of topics including parenting, human rights, health, stress management, and self-confidence. The women spend much of their time on literacy, learning to read and write in both Nepali and English. They also learn vocational skills, including sewing, gardening, computer education, and entrepreneurship. The Kopila Valley School is connected to a hydroelectric grid, but the staff, volunteers, and students must deal with daily power outages lasting as long as 18 hours a day. Even when electricity is available, the voltage is only 160V rather than the 220V necessary to fully power the school’s equipment. As a result of this energy situation, students struggle to read or do their homework, staff are unable to do administrative work, it is difficult to prepare the student’s meals (which for many is their main meal of the day), and teachers and students cannot access electronic media devices, which are more and more essential to training. To compensate for uneven energy, KVS uses backup diesel, which is both expensive and environmentally damaging. Installing a solar energy system at Kopila Valley School will have environmental, social, and economic outcomes for the school and region.