But unlike many children, Sanu and Manish don’t get to enjoy a short bus ride to school with friends. Nor do they ride their bike, or get an easy lift to school with their parents. Instead, these brothers walk more than 2 hours each day to and from school. That’s nearly a five-hour round trip.
And they do it with a smile on their face.
Sanu and Manish feel lucky to go to school in Ghyangfedi, a small community in Nuwakot district, northeast of Kathmandu. It’s something that may have seemed impossible just a few years ago when the tragic 2015 earthquake struck Nepal. This earthquake devastated entire communities and destroyed all schools in the area. At the request of the Government of Nepal, Adara became involved in Ghyangfedi, through immediate disaster relief and long-term plans to build a new earthquake-resistant school for 300 students.
In June 2017, the Shree Ghyangfedi School opened its doors, two years after the earthquake shook the community. Amongst the group of excited students eagerly awaiting its opening were Sanu and Manish. They couldn’t wait for all the fun they knew was ahead.
Over the past few months, Sanu and Manish’s enthusiasm has only grown. They love the opportunity to go to class, play with their friends, and to ask their dedicated teachers for as much homework as they can possibly get (which they always complete on time, too). They don’t complain of exhaustion, even when they have to wake up extra early to get their chores done before they leave for school. Their English teacher says that even though they may only be in grade one, they are hardworking, and already know the value of education.
These are the values Adara hopes to see spread throughout the entire community.
Since its opening, the school has undergone some incredible developments, such as the introduction of a student friendly computer curriculum. Through computer classes, teachers and students have learned how to navigate the systems, and now many can use them on their own!
The students also continue to be supplied with midday meals. Often, this midday meal is one of the biggest reasons children come to school. Students know that even if they don’t eat at home, they will always be able to at school.
It’s the little things that make students excited about school each day, and slowly begins to change attitudes towards education.
Its night time now and the end of a long day. The sun has descended behind the hills in the distance and Sanu and Manish are exhausted after another exciting day at school. Today their teacher praised their hard work in front of the entire class. As they begin to drift off to sleep, they wonder what tomorrow will hold. They briefly consider the walk ahead of them in the morning. It might be long, but they know they are receiving an education worth walking for.