Komas Himalayan Darlarong Primary School
The school at Komas was jointly founded in 2008 by Christophe Carpenter of France and Tulku Lama (Tulku Dorjee Tsewang) of the village. Tulku Lama and the villagers constructed the school, Christophe provided the funding.
Prior to 2008, a few children had gone to school at Saldang, a full day away. This unfortunately required them to leave their home and board with a family in Saldang village.
In 2009, Christophe was tragically killed in a para-sailing accident in Pokhara, Nepal. His daughter in France tried to carry on funding the school but found it an impossibility while raising her own young family. For a period of time the school barely survived, somehow operating with only about half of the resources required.
When I visited Komas in 2015 it was not operating. During that same year, a woman from Germany and a group from Sweden trekked the same route as our group and, after learning of the school’s situation, started providing some funding. And in 2017, Altitude Project began helping and, with the extra support, the school had sufficient funding to operate.
Altitude Project will continue to help Komas in 2018 with the same level of funding for operations. We are hoping to also contribute funds for the construction of a new toilet block, which would include separate toilets for girls, boys and staff. Currently there is one working toilet at the school. This infrastructure project is desperately needed for Komas.
The village of Komas is home to 200 people and typically has 25 – 30 students from kindergarten to Class 5.
Last year Tulku and another lama started teaching basic literacy skills to villagers for 1:30 hours after school. They have 20 students that are eager to learn to read and write, ages 20 to mid 40’s, many of them women.
Komas School Gallery
Beyond Komas School, the Himalayan Komang Hostel
Nyima Bhuti graduated from the very first class at Saldang and later finished her higher education in Kathmandu. 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 Komas, my village in the remote mountains of the Upper Dolpo, a full days walk east of Saldang.”
The children graduating from her class 5 could not afford to continue their education in Kathmandu so her 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 so her father asked her to volunteer. She currently cares for 26 students, her first group of students are now in class 10. She 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. Altitude Project would like to pay her a small honorarium.