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About Kavre

Maheshwor Kafle, who was the coordinator for NCEF/Kavre in 2003 sent the following information about Kavre and the story behind starting the Kavre area.

The Kavrepalanchowk district is located near the capital city of Nepal. From district headquarters, the valley can be reached by a 1.5 hour drive on a well-maintained highway. Though located relatively close to the valley, it remains isolated from the mainstream of development, especially education. Despite being home to a university, the educational status of the area in general can be compared to a remote district. Nevertheless, Banepa, a town in Kavre, is one of the very few areas in Nepal to have a school that has remained in operation for the last 60 years, a fact all Banepalis are quite proud of. However, this school is beyond the reach of many of the district's children, especially those who live further away from the main town. The chief reason is its cost, as significant tuition is required to maintain the school's quality.

I used to work in the university and could see many of the school-age porters in the town; they never had books or pens in their hands. I wished I could help these children, and it's for this reason I decided to start an NCEF branch in Kavre.

It was a daunting task to select the appropriate schools. If I selected a school that is too far from the road head, then it will be difficult to visit students and assess their performance. If I select a school that is just next to the highway, it does not serve NCEF mission of penetrating rural areas. After some discussions with local friends, I decided to select 4 schools, most of them located about a 1-2 hour walk from the highway.

The next job was to select students. Sudan Dhungel and I visited the schools, and although the teacher we had been in contact with was out for the day, we proceeded to talk with prospective students and teachers. We decided to personally interview each of the applicants. It was quite a scene when 45 deserving students queued up in front of the Program Director's office of Kathmandu University Medical School. Sudan and I kept ourselves busy with the students for the next couple of hours, and we both produced a score for each applicant we talked to. After consultation with the teachers, we produced a final list.

As all the students seemed deserving, producing the final list for NCEF headquarters was bittersweet - we were happy to start some of the students on their journey, but at the same time upset that we had to disappoint the majority of them. After a couple of days, NCEF selected a group of students from the finalists we had forwarded to them. Reactions to the selection were mixed (which I later attributed to miscommunication; the heartbreaker was to see one of the kids not chosen by NCEF back in the street working as a porter), but three lucky kids from Ganga Devi Secondary School in Raviopi kavre, and 2 from Bhaktapur were selected for the year. Most notably, three out of the five were girls.

We began meeting with them frequently. They were excited about all aspects of this new experience, even their new set of uniforms and school bags. Every time I went to visit them they were happy and excited. The parents were so grateful - I just can't describe it in words. During the time I was involved with them, they were happy and so was the NCEF board.

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