The Himalayan Komang Hostel in Kathmandu
Komang School only teaches to grade 5, to access higher grades the students live in this hostel in Kathmandu. Nyima Bhuti is the manager of the hostel, she is also the coordinator for the school at Komang. This dual role helps the children make the transition from a village of 200 to a city of 1,500,000. These are amazing kids and I always enjoy visiting them whenever I travel to Nepal. You can read about their three newest students here.
Altitude Project does not directly fund this hostel. We help with some small things; furnishings, clothes closets, hearing aids for one of the students, warm clothes for their trip to Dolpo are some recent examples. And because these children are so special to many of us, private funds were raised to take them to the Chandragiri Hills Gondola where they could have a clear view of the Himalayas, and on a two day bus trip to Lumbini, the birth place of Buddha and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
This March, the children fled the city for their home village before the lockdown. We were asked if we could help with some warm clothes. We wish we had helped with more.
They walked for 8 days, from three in the morning until seven in the evening. With the exception of one night, they slept outside. Once they reached the Upper Dolpo at Dho Tarap and beyond, the snow was extremely deep and heavy, and the avalanches were terrifying.
They all said that the joyful reunions in Komang were worth it, some of the children had not seen their parents for five years!
About Nyima Bhuti, the manager of the hostel
Nyima is a dear friend and she is a changemaker! What is a changemaker? “A person who desires change in the world and, by gathering knowledge and resources, makes that change happen.” She is the first educated person from her village. There was no school in her village so she had to board with a family a full day’s walk away from home. It was an extremely difficult time. She graduated from the very first class at Saldang and finished her higher education in Kathmandu while staying at the Shelter108 hostel for children from Saldang School. She wrote, “Saldang School is very, very important, it opened the light in my life. I am very grateful to the people who supported my studies. The only way I could give back to those supporters was to work as a teacher in Komang.”
HKH in Kathmandu by Tenzin Gyaltsen
The children graduating from class 5 at Komang could not afford to continue their education in Kathmandu so Nyima’s father, Tulku Lama, with generous help from donors in Spain, set up a hostel for them in Kathmandu. Unfortunately, there was not enough money to pay anyone to care for the children. Nyima was attending university in Kathmandu so her father asked her to volunteer as the hostel manager.
She currently cares for 30 students; some of her first group of students have now finished class 12 and desperately want to attend university; one wants to become a dentist and the other a doctor – both with the intent of helping the people in their village and the Dolpo at large – but, sadly, funding for them is not available. Nyima also teaches Tibetan language and culture to the students early each day before school begins as it is not taught in the school they attend. She is still doing all this as a volunteer. She has repeatedly declined our offers of an honorarium.
One of the hostel students is Jigme – a boy who fell off the roof of his home in Shimen and, very tragically, lost his arm. Altitude Project was able to help procure him a prosthetic arm through the Victoria Hand Project. You can see Jigme’s story here.
In 2019 I did a photoshoot of the children in the Komang and Karang hostels. You can see their beautiful smiles in this gallery.
If anyone is interested in private sponsorship of a student please contact us. This type of sponsorship is not for only one year – these students need support for several years to finish their high school education, and then university education, to gain the credentials needed for their chosen professions.