Projects · Kailash Home
The Kailash Home is operated by the Himalayan Children’s Foundation (HCF), a Nepali charitable organisation registered with the Nepali Government, providing education and general care to underprivileged children.
The Kailash Home in Kathmandu
We provide purpose built on-site accommodation or the 103 children in the Kailash Home. In addition, up to 30 students undertaking vocational and higher education are supported and housed in the local community. HYF and our donor partners have been able to provide these facilities thanks to the generous donations from our supporters over the years. These donations have allowed HYF to help refurbish the original buildings in the quiet valley in the Gorkarna area of Kathmandu. This creates a stable living and learning environment for the children.
Initially HYF constructed three separate buildings including a dining/administrative room, boys’ dorm and girls’ dorm. The buildings were opened October 27, 2007. A new playground was constructed and equipped to support the health and fitness of the children. The latest buildings were opened in November 2019 providing brand new dining and multipurpose hall, new kitchens, teaching and recreational spaces.
Thanks to the generosity of all our supporters and the hard work of our staff in Kathmandu, hundreds of children will pass through Kailash over the years and have the privilege to call it “home”!
HYF selects children from the most remote and poorest mountain villages in Nepal placing emphasis on the Tibetan border region. Since the nearest school is often a three to four hour walk from their home, children living in these villages do not have the same access to education as others. HYF works to include both Nepali children and Tibetan refugees in our work. The children come to the hostel when they are five to seven years old and are cared for until they have graduated from high school. The staff at Kailash is committed to providing the best care possible for the children. When the children first arrive, it is difficult to adjust to being away from their family. In order to make the children feel as if they are at home, the staff provides a comforting atmosphere and a sense of family within the hostel. The staff cares for the children as if they were their own.
Kailash Home was established in part to bring children closer to quality schools so they could continue their education and take their knowledge back to their villages. The children attend three different schools, chosen by fit for the age group. The schools are separate from the hostel but the hostel helps the children in their studying providing tutoring and extra-curriculars for them to expand their horizons.
The overall standard of performance of the children is well above average: 13% of them received grades of 80% and higher. (40% is considered a passing grade in Nepal.). Last year, all of our children moved up into their next class. Credit for this achievement also goes to the staff of the Kailash Hostel that helps and encourages the children to complete their home assignments in good time. We closely monitor the progress of each child. The majority of the children do very well on their own and relish the chance to learn but, when necessary, we offer extra tutoring for those who take more time than others to settle into life away from home and the new disciplined routine of going to school.
Appropriate medical care is necessary for the youth to perform optimally both at school and at home. A doctor of western medicine visits the Kailash Hostel once a month to provide regular check-ups and is also available for emergency services as they arise. All the children are vaccinated for the diseases common to that part of the world.
HYF takes great care in the vaccination process. It is important that when the children first arrive they are first brought back to a nutritionally sound state. It is only when we are sure that they are healthy that they are allowed to start their studies.
A nurse visits weekly to provide health education and a full time health care assistant is employed to provide first aid support. This healthcare programme is generously funded by UK based COINS Foundation to whom we are very grateful.
Children’s Extra-Curricular Activities
Kailash Hostel offers extra-curricular activities for the children. The classes described below open new doors for the students and give them more career options for the future (i.e. rock climbing and water rafting guides).
Enterprise and Employability Training
HYF UK has been helping Kailash staff set up horticulture, bicycle repair and bakery enterprise projects supported with design and IT elements to help develop students work related learning opportunities and develop enterprise skills. We have been able to begin purchasing essential equipment to facilitate these projects, including set up of the bakery with supervision from a professional baker, the building of a horticulture shed, poly tunnels and new bike maintenance facilities being created on site. This programme is part of an international project to develop student enterprise and employability skills so that they can potentially take those skills back to their communities.
We were very grateful that the DFN and COINS Foundations who are funding this programme over two years. It is intended that these projects will be fully self-funding in year 3.
The Kailash Hostel children are happily tending a new vegetable garden adjacent to the Hostel on a leased parcel of land. We realized the importance of teaching the children such life skills as maintaining a garden, independently sustaining themselves off the land, and contributing to the nutritional, well balanced meals they eat.
The garden keeps the children connected to important Nepalese farming skills maintained in their villages and gives them an opportunity for enjoyable fulfilling work.
Music and Dance classes
Our music program gives the children an alternative interest and the opportunity to open other doors. The program provides instrumental training, choral singing and modern and traditional dance.
The program has been a resounding success with two thirds of our children participating. Some of the children performed at the Hyatt Hotel in Kathmandu and have been asked to perform at the Tsering Elder House.
Violin lessons have also been introduced to the hostel. These violins are a big hit with the kids who are using them to learn about traditional Tibetan, Nepalese and western music.
Swimming and Mountain Biking
Swimming and mountain biking is offered by Kailash Hostel to teach a skill that can be utilized to establish a career for the children in the future. There is a big market in Nepal for jobs in the adventure tourism sector. Water rafting mountain biking and rock climbing continue to be areas that are in need of instructors, and would be suitable for Volunteer viistors.
Through lectures and presentations given at the Hostel by accomplished world mountaineers and day outings with Nepali guides, we will instill in some children the love of the mountains. The courses, given at least once a year, are geared towards the older students giving them a new skill that can be turned into summer jobs or careers following graduation.
These courses are made possible by the Edouard Baud Grant created in memory of Edouard Baud, son of our Board member Anselme Baud, tragically killed on the mountain in 2004.
To ensure that the children do not lose touch with their home villages and extended families, we arrange a regular programme of home visits. This maintains a strong link with the local community and the children are encouraged to share the skills that they learn during their time at their “home” at Kailash.
HYF recognizes the importance of keeping all the children in touch with their family back home and the way of life of their villages. With this in mind, HYF initiated a bi- yearly home-visit program. Children are escorted back to their villages and spend the school holidays with their extended families. In cases where it is not feasible for the children to travel home, we arrange to sponsor a family member to visit Kathmandu.
HYF insists that the children keep in contact with their village and share the knowledge they have acquired while staying at Kailash Hostel. It is important for the families to understand what the children are learning in order to help support them in the future. The children are always excited and a little bit nervous to return home. They change so much while attending school, but are eager to share their newly acquired knowledge with their family.
One child’s personal reflection of her visit home…
"It was really an interesting to spend holidays with family and learn more about nature and people there. It took 4 days to reach my home by walking. I felt peace, happy and can hear no noises like vehicle honking. It really felt that I got lost in the way and pain in my legs. I can hear the cold wind blowing, rivers running and of course it was an autumn all the leaves were fallen and different kinds of fruits can be picked. I can see many changes in my village. I met my dear loving mother. She was really happy to see me again. I met my childhood friends, my brother, my sister, my village people and my dear grandfather. I spend my joyful days with them, help my mom cutting grains, you know they sings and whistle joyfully while working. I went to see many places with my mom and friends. I was happy to see that my brother has a brown horse. We went to visit our monastery to get blessing from lama (monk). I felt very sorry to see many children sick and sore in their body. At last I felt very upset to leave them. This was one of my most memorable days”.
Name: Sonam Chokyi Lama. Class: VI