Sonam and Tsering are students at the Karang Hostel. They are the first kids from Nyisal School to continue their education beyond grade 5. Yes, the first!
They are hoping to open doors for other kids from their village.
Student Stories – Karang Hostel
Sonam’s Story, Grade 7
|I am Sonam and I am 18 years old. My dad left when I was very young. My mother sent me and my younger brother to school. I was eleven and he was five. I missed many classes because I had to help at home, but my brother helped me with classwork. When he left to study in a monastery, I could not continue my studies and I did farmwork.
When my mother died I went to live with my Uncle and Aunty. I lived far away from the village with goats and cows. In autumn, when I brought the goats back to the village, I went to the school and I met the principal, Pema Gojor sir. He said that if I wanted to study he would help me. My Uncle and Aunty did not want me to go to school and he had to talk to them many times before they agreed to give me a chance. I was so happy, I always wanted an education, but I had not been to school for 5 years! Then a terrible thing happened. A man came from Ku village wanting to marry me. I didn’t want to get married, not yet! I wanted to go to school first. Pema Gojor sir helped me again.
“I think it’s really important that girls should get educated early on about marriage and what it means to marry young so they can make their own choice. Everyone should get the chance to make their own choices about their life and get a chance to learn. It is important girls stay strong when they want to go to school and learn. It is important that girls learn to live independent and know they can do other jobs in the society like teachers, doctors, nurses and not just household and labor work.”
School was very hard. I felt different from everyone. I was much older than the other grade 5 students. The teachers spoke English and Nepali and I could not understand them. They scolded me because I lacked basic skills. I have improved a lot with the help of Pema Wankchuk sir and my friends. My favorite subject is social studies. I love to cook and would like to train as a chef. First I want to help my hostel and my village.
Thank you so much all supporters. You’re my second parents! You are giving me a wonderful education, and a new life to live. I will never forget your support and I am so thankful to you.
“My picture shows how hard life is for women in village but always very happy as we can see crops with different colours, blue sky, snow capped mountains and blue water running down.”
Lodoe’s Story, Grade 7
My name is Lodoe. I am 15 years old. I have two sisters, and a brother. My mother wanted me to become a monk. Pema Gojor sir talked to her about the benefits of an education and she let me go to Kathmandu to study. When I left I was thinking I would never see my village or my mother again. I walked with Pema Gojor sir and Pema Wangchuk sir. I learned that teachers are second parents. When we reached Dunai I was amazed that everyone was so clean. They have proper sanitation facilities there. Running water and showers. When I got to Kathmandu I hated the noise and the pollution. I have not been back to my village for almost three years. I miss the beautiful fields and flowers.
I feel very lucky in many ways. I am lucky to get an education, so many kids from the Dolpo have not had this opportunity. And I am fortunate to have a place to live, and to have nutritious food to eat. Some people die for these things.
I am a good student. When I graduate I will show my gratitude to all the donors! I want to return to my village. It needs a sanitation system to improve people’s health. It needs a transportation system. I would like to be the person who looks after transportation. I dream of becoming a pilot. And of my village having an airport.
“This is me. I want to climb high and see the world!”
Tsering’s Story, Grade 7
I am Tsering from Nyisal. I am 15 years old. I am the youngest of 4 kids. When I was 10 my parents died and I stopped going to school. I herded goats for two years. Then my eldest brother said that we were going to sell all the animals, and that I was going to Kathmandu to study. At first I was delighted, then I felt so sad to leave all my favorite goats, and all my relatives too.
Before we left, most of the villagers came to our house to give us advice and prayer scarves. The first evening in Kathmandu we went to the Boudha Stupa. My brother asked me to do Kora. We walked around the Stupa, saying prayers. It did not feel right. When we do Kora, we need to go in a circle but the Stupa was so very huge that I felt like I was going in a straight line. And there were so many people! I could not find my brother and I thought that I was lost.
At first I was lost in school too. Everything was so new, and so difficult. And I was so shy. The only important thing was to study hard so I could serve back at my village. My favorite classes are English, math and Nepali. I love to sing, to dance, and to write stories, poems, and essays. I don’t have many problems thanks to education with the help of sponsors. Thank you!
I want to be a lawyer. I am very concerned about the destruction of the environment. I would like to improve my village, but I also want to protect it from unnecessary development that damages the environment there. I feel that I can help best as a lawyer.
“Rising early in the morning, and then herding goats up in the mountains was my everyday work. This is the picture I want to remember those memories of sitting by a tree and picking red ‘Serog’ for my earliest breakfast. I still miss those songs from Himalayan snowcock and birds chirping.”
Phurwa’s Story, Grade 7
My name is Phurwa. I am from Karang. I am 15 years old. I have 5 brothers, and 5 sisters. I am the youngest. My parents told me everyday to read but I was lazy and did not.
When I finished grade 5 I left for Kathmandu with my brother. I felt very sad, I missed my village and my family. In Kathmandu I feel like I am in a deep hole because pollution makes the sky look very hazy. It has been almost 3 years since I have been back to Dolpo.
I love school and I like to study math and social studies. I want to become a social worker because I like helping people. I know that the world doesn’t move without education. I feel sad because when I was in my village I did not know this and did not work hard. I am very lucky. I am saying thank you so much to all of the sponsors for helping me in my education.
“I love to go from one place to another. In my village, I walk all the time and sometimes ride horses for long trips. This my long and surprising journey by horse, by jeep, then bus and then I finally reached Kathmandu.”
Nyima’s Story, Grade 8
I am Nyima from Lhuri. I am 17. I have 5 sisters and 4 brothers. My village has no school so I went to school in Nyisal village. Nyisal is a three hour walk from my village. We walked home to visit our families in Lhuri once a month.
Kathmandu is very big. There are so many students in our school there that I was afraid to go to class. And the classes are more difficult. I had to repeat grade 6. It got easier. Pema sir is very helpful, I worked hard and I made good progress.
I am very lucky to have this golden opportunity. I am really grateful to all supporters! I want to succeed in my life. I am really interested in arts and I want to study architectural engineering.
“I love the winter season in my village where everything is calm, peaceful and especially when there is snow all over the place. We used to play a lot outside.”
Bishnu’s Story, Grade 7
I am Bishnu from Chu and I am 15 years old. I have a brother and a sister. I studied at Karang School because our village did not have a school. I herded goats, fetched water, collected wood, helped with field work especially at harvest time, and I worked with horses. I stayed in papa Dawa Dorjee’s home. He was like a father to me. He brought me to Kathmandu to study.
I feel I am a lucky person because I got an opportunity for a good education. I am very thankful. I will never forget as long as I live. My favourite class is health and physical education. I would like to become a teacher. You have given me a new life and I would like to help others to have a new life.
“This is me with my horse going up and down between the village where I was born, and Karang, where I went to school. It depicts the hardships, the changing seasons, the harsh weather, and the migrating birds.”
Sonam’s Story, Grade 8
I am Sonam from Nyisal. I am 12. My father is a lama at Ngonga monastery at Nyisal village. I have four brothers. I am the only daughter. I miss my neighbours in my village.
On lockdown I have learned so much. Online classes have been great for me. And Pema taught us different things like making a presentation, drawing a picture, writing an essay, typing on the computer etc. We danced and sang. We did projects and had group discussions and presentations. We celebrated festivals like Losar together and played cards. Every Saturday we watched a movie and played a different game.
I am very thankful to get this opportunity to have an education. In future I want to work in agriculture. I would like to return to my village and help the farmers with a better understanding of modern agriculture.
“This is my favorite goat. We did not have goats because there is a tradition that nobody is allowed to keep animals at the monastery.”
Tenzin’s Story, Grade 8
I am Tenzin Dolma from Karang. I am 18. I have two brothers and two sisters. I am the second youngest. I love to learn. My father taught me a lot about our culture and history. He also taught me a lot about medicinal herbs. When I was 6 I liked to goatherd because I loved to visit the beauty of the mountains from the high hills. On my second day, because I was just learning how to herd the goats, I did not get them home until midnight! When I was eight years old, I started to go to school and I liked that. When I passed class five my parents sent me to Kathmandu.
I have learned many things. I am good in math especially metrics and geometry. I would like to be an engineer.
I am so grateful for the love, care and support from supporters. You all gave me the light and I am like a burning candle. I will surely fulfill your wish and I will help others like you have helped us.
“This is inspired by a Japanese story fable. It is me sailing into the sea while I am happy to face anything that comes forward.”
The stories have been edited for brevity and clarity.
It always seems impossible, until it’s done.
– Nelson Mandela.