Shree Ganesh School reconstruction

Over the past 12 months we’ve been involved with the construction of a new
school (Shree Ganesh School) in the village of Baruwa, the original school being a
casualty of 2015’s earthquake. We have previously visited and undertaken Health Camps at Baruwa.
We have partnered with PHASE ( and PIN
( both charities are active in various communities in Nepal.
The new school started taking in pupils in August when 4 pupils attended, by the
end of the month it had increased to 7. These numbers are well short of the head
count who attended the old school which numbered 45. The plan is by the
beginning of the new term in March 2019 that numbers will have increased to
The earthquake destroyed 5 schools in this area and following this many of the
villagers uprooted and went to Kathmandu, hence the drastic fall in pupils. The
villagers are now returning to the area as rebuilding works continue within the
During the construction works another obstacle they had to surmount was that the
access road had been washed away and materials and personnel had a 3 – 4
hours walk from the village of Tipeni, in fact the road is still impassable, and the
official opening of the school is planned for mid-September.
The plan is that the school will be handed over to the community, with the
government taking control of running the school.
Jay Narayan (School Principal) is confident that the children will start enrolling
back to the same school, as it will be near compared to where they are going now.
“Furthermore, many locals who migrated to cities after the earthquake are returning
to rebuild their houses, which means more children will be back to their school”, says
Jay Narayan Singh.
With the re-establishment of the school, the ward chairperson of Paanchpokhari,
Pasang Lama, states that the ward is planning to introduce some improved
education programs to motivate teachers as well as parents. They have a plan to
create a child friendly environment and encourage children to actively participate
in school activities, making education fun and joyful to children.

Supporting women’s education

We have been delighted to support our sister organisation the Manakamana foundation now for over 7 years. The foundation provide financial assistance for specific short educational degrees, at Nepali campuses outside of the Kathmandu Valley, to train young women in skills that will be useful in their villages. We have directly supported a number of women based in the Helambu/Sinddupalchok district during the this time and hope to continue this in the years to come. Here’s some of the women helped in the last year

Anita Sunuwar Mukhiya finished her studies as a lab technician last year,
and got a job at a private clinic in Lalbandi in Sarlahi district. She earns Rs
10,000-12,000 per month (£67-£79) a good salary in rural Nepal). She
also gets room and board at the clinic.












Anita’s fellow scholarship recipient Ishwari Maya Bomjan also has landed a
similar job at a private clinic in Sindhuli, while Rajawati Basnet is working at
Namuna Hospital in Hariaun, Sarlahi.

Two young women from Rasuwa District, Som Maya Thapa
and Rojina Tamang, successfully completed their ANM degrees at a college
in Bhaktapur (in Kathmandu Valley), and both have gone back to Rasuwa and
found work, one in a remote area, and the other close to her village.
Manju Acharya is from Dolakha. She received a scholarship and earned her
CMA degree several years ago. She now has a job with a hydro-electric
project in her home area, making Rs. 25,000 per month. She returned to her
high school to tell her story to current students and to inspire other girls to
dream big and apply for scholarships.


Sita Pariyar and
Sharmila Syangtan
completed their ANM
degrees almost 10 years
ago. Both worked at the
Nepal Nutrition
Intervention Program in
Sarlahi district in the
Terai for many years,
until the funding for that
project ended. Very
resourceful and
determined to better
themselves, they are
presently enrolled in a
staff nurse certification
program at a campus in
Hetauda, and say they
want to go on after they
become staff nurses to
study BSc Nursing.






Indira Prajapati will start her CMA degree in September. Her mother works
as a day laborer in other people’s fields, and they live in a hut made from the
corrugated zinc sheet roofing material that was given out after the
earthquake of 2015.

New Library for Shree Bhimeswari Secondary School


Shree Bhimeswari School was successfully rebuilt in Spring 2018 having bee completely destroyed in the 2015 Earthquake. Helambu Project were approached by our sister organisation Manakamana foundation to fund the school library with funds being sent over in April 2018. The busy library now serves over 600 students with books and other sources to supplement their education.



The ‘Helambu Girls’ of Banchory Primary School

The ‘Helambu Girls’ of Banchory Primary School undertook a range of fundraising activities this year, from selling crafts to holding a stall at the school fair, raising a total of £309 for the Helambu Project charity.

The Deeside community has played a key role in supporting the Helambu Project charity over the the last decade with support coming from a wide range of community groups and individuals. Banchory Primary School in particular, played a key role in supporting the construction of a Himalayan boarding school in 2009. Unfortunately, the area was devastated in the earthquake of 2015, which destroyed 90% of the buildings in the community, including the school and medical facilities which resulted in many injuries and loss of life.

After initially diverting funds to provide emergency relief aid, in the last couple of years Helambu Project has helped get the pupils back to school by building temporary classrooms of corrugated iron and continuing to provide scholarship funding for older children leaving school. The long term aim is to rebuild the schools and the funds from the ‘Helambu Girls’ will be used to help offer the children of Yangrima school a permanent home.

Reconstructing Heritage

The April 2015 Earthquake destroyed many things and it’s hard to know what to prioritize and what to do next – the process will most certainly take many years, involve many people and require lots of different support. A contribution that Helambu Project is hoping to facilitate lies around helping restore and reconstruct a part of the region’s amazing cultural history – namely the traditional meditation retreat centre of Drupra Drong. The reconstruction of Drupa Drong is something we believe equally important in rebuilding the homes, schools, livelihoods, and lives of the people of Helambu. It’s not something that you need to be Buddhist to support – you merely have to think about human values and traditions. The world at large and Helambu have been undergoing rapid series of changes within the past years and the earthquake is but one event in the area’s changing landscape. For better or worse, many things have been, are, and will being changed, forgotten, lost, and remade. What we need to consider for our own lives and in the lives of others things we want to nourish, grow and keep. We need to consider whether regardless of our own opinions if we think the world is a better, more rich place with traditions of compassion, introspection, and intention – all of which in many ways represent what Drupa Drong represent for us as human beings even while being rooted in a specific place, practice, and set of teachings.

How to donate
For anyone interested and able to donate, please donate through this link (will take you to another website). Only 5% of the donated amount will be deducted by our fiscal sponsor to arrange the payments, the rest of the money we raise will go directly to Meme Ngawang, the retreat Master of Drupa Drong, and be used on various reconstruction projects related to Drupa Drong, including constructing new retreat houses, religious spaces, and other basic facilities.

If you are in Nepal and would like to donate or if you would like more information about Drupa Drong or the project, please feel free to email

For more information on Helambu Project Donations please visit here.

More about Drupa Drong
If the video or what is above has made you at least slightly more interested in the place, the tradition or the people, then good! Drupadrong is a traditional Tibetan Buddhist retreat centre located just above the village of Tarkhegyang in Helambu – a region just 80 km North East of Kathmandu. Yolmo, the local name of Helambu region, is believed to be a scared valley where Buddhist boddhisattvas such as Milarepa and Guru Rinpoche are believed to have visited, blessed, and practiced in. Today, Buddhist practitioners travel from different parts of the Himalayas to conduct meditation retreats for multiple years, continuing a tradition of introspection that is now several millennias old and originated with the historical Buddha. Retreatants live very simple lives in the mountain and live off less than 30 USD a month and keep to rigorous schedules – meditating around 12 hours a day, rising at 3am and finishing well into the night. This particular centre is of the Nyingma tradition of Buddhism, the most wide-spread form of Tibetan Buddhism in Nepal, and is home to many accomplished practitioners – hence the name “Village of Accomplishment,” or Drupa Drong.

Helping schools get back on their feet







Helambu Project have been working with our partners on the ground to try and get the classrooms up and running. To that end, we’ve been sending funds for ‘temporary classrooms’ consisting of corrugated iron sheets and taurplalins . Although basic, it provides space and shelter to allow the teachers to get back to work and enable the children to return to some level of routine. At £300 per classroom, we’ve provided six schools to date

One month after the earthquake, an update on Helambu Project’s work

As you undoubtedly know, Nepal has been hit by two major earthquakes (and hundreds of aftershocks – some quite big) in recent weeks. The first earthquake hit with its epicenter at Gorkha (northwest of Kathmand)u on April 25th, the second with an epicenter at Dolakha (northeast of Kathmandu) on May 12th. The Helambu region lies in between the two and was deeply affected by both. Nationwide, over 8,000 have lost their lives, tens of thousands have lost their homes and millions are affected.

Helambu too has been badly affected. Many villages, like Gangkharka where Helambu Project has had a long presence, are completely destroyed. Thousands of homes and schools have collapsed, taking school books, household goods, and personal objects with them. Access to villages has been difficult due to landslides; the monsoons will begin in a few weeks, turning the landslides into mudslides and making life more difficult. The most immediate needs remain food and shelter. Reconstruction will come next. Concerns are growing about increased violence against women too, an issue Helambu Project is investigating addressing.

Helambu Project Nepal-based staff remain tirelessly involved in relief efforts. We’ve teamed up with local partner Helambu Education and Livelihood Partnership (HELP) who have a deep and long presence and involvement in education in the region. Helambu Project is helping with funding, administration and logistics. We’ve assisted HELP in procuring books for students of Manikanteshwori School in Kul (USD $1,000), blankets for 853 households in Bhotenamlang VDC (USD $8,530), and materials and labor to supply drinking water to Ichowk School (USD $750). As you can see, a little funding truly goes a long way.

In the UK, Dr. Mike Steven and Matt Dodds are fundraising to help this all happen. Both Mike and Matt are very grateful for the various personal donations made to them and from fundraising efforts from previous UK based Helambu Project volunteers. A recent Malaysian banquet night organised by Bernadette Bouchet also helped raised over £500 and on May 26th, Dr. Mike will speak to Banchory Academy students who are fundraising by selling copies of their class novels.

In the medium to long term or focus will be on reestablishing the schools throughout Helambu. As all of the HP team work on a voluntary basis, any donations will continue to go directly to local communities. You can contribute from anywhere by donating on our website. Due to the low cost of local supplies, truly any amount makes a difference. Even $5 will buy a blanket for a family who may have lost everything. With the immediacy of the earthquake behind us, Nepal is starting to fade from the news cycle. But the damage is far from recovered and the needs remain immense. We hope you’ll help us work together with Helambu residents to get back to the business of regular life.

Nepal Earthquake, April 25 2015

As most of you likely know by now, a 7.9 magnitude earthquake hit Nepal on April 25. As of now, the death toll is nearing 7,000 with many more injured and millions affected. Helambu, which lies in Sindhupalchok district, has been significantly affected by the earthquake and many villages have lost a large proportion of homes. It is still difficult to know the exact extent of damage in these areas as communication remains limited.

Helambu Project staff are all safe and are now mobilizing to coordinate relief efforts in the region. Helambu Project is currently collaborating with HELP (Helambu Education and Livelihood Partnership), who have been on the ground in the area, coordinating rescue and relief.

We appreciate everyone’s concern and will update about our progress with relief efforts as regularly as we can. Nepal, Helambu, and the villages we work in face a long road to recovery ahead. The earthquake has severely affected many lives, but many hands are now committed to building back together. We appreciate your support as we embark on this journey with them.

October visit to Nepal!

Last October Helambu Project’s Matt visited Nepal with a group of his friends. After visiting Everest Base Camp, some of the group went to Helambu and spent time at Nurbuling school, where the Himalayan Olympics, organized by HELP Nepal and supported by Helambu Project, where held.

Stewart who was one of the group did some fundraising at his local pub, workplace, friends and family by getting them to sign the flags we took to Nepal, and they left the Union Jack and the Saltire at Nurbuling school. Stewart took the Lion Rampant back home, the funds raised are being split between Helambu Project and Arrochar Mountain Rescue.

There has also been fundraising in Galston – selling tablet and car boot sales. Then next event in Galston is a “Ladies Night” to be held at Galston Bowling Club on Feb 8th, 2015, all tickets have been sold!

Thank you to all our wonderful supporters. Please see the photos from the trip below.

October 2013 Health Camp in Helambu!

This past month, Helambu Project’s very own Dr. Mike Steven along with Dr. Valerie Steven and nurses Pearl Wight and Meg Antell conducted a health camp in three different villages in Helambu. The health camp began in Kakani, where the team saw over 160 individuals in just five hours of consultations. Patients came from around the region, some walking over three hours to be seen by the doctors. The group then trekked to nearby village Baruwa in the afternoon to run a second clinic the next day, where they treated over 150 patients – including two centenarians! They treated a range of issues from eye problems, to joint pain, to gastrointestinal issues. After a grueling uphill hike to Sermanthang (a special thank you to our wonderful porters for carrying the medicine), we enjoyed a big meal of rice and lentils and prepared for the third and final day of the health camp, where around 100 people from surrounding areas came for consultations. On the final day, the team took some time off to visit the local pilgrimage mountain of Ama Yangri!

Health Camp Team

The doctors and nurses were supported by an excellent team of local staff who served as translators and guides. Jamyong Thinley, from nearby Kakani, coordinated the health camp and couldn’t have done a better job making everything as easy as it could be. All in all, the doctors met with over 400 patients and identified some of the largest health problems of the region. In particular, many of the villagers, especially the elderly, were found to have curable and treatable eye conditions. To this end, Helambu Project is now raising funds and planning a follow up trip to make sure that the villages we visited also have access to basic eye-care and treatments.

We will be sure to keep everyone up to date when we begin our next project! In the meantime, check out some of these amazing photos from the health camp!

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