Dr. Dick Harding always believed that training up tomorrow’s leaders was of utmost importance in Nepal. This effort begins with primary education. Over the years, the Dr. Dick Harding Charity Fund for Nepal (DDHCFN) has provided scholarships for poor children and has supported projects that give them an extra boost.
One of these is a unique program called “Our Study Place.” Console Mission, one of DDHCFN’s partners, found that one reason many children in marginalized communities struggle in their studies is due to lack of help with schoolwork at home. This is because many parents had little chance to attend school themselves, and some are even illiterate.
So Console Mission established “study places” in several villages in its work area. These are typically single rooms or small one-room shelters donated by a community resident. Children gather after school for homework help on mats on the floor. Older students help younger ones, and Console Mission staff monitor the progress.
The “Our Study Place” outreach is extremely basic in nature, but the impact is huge. Children gain confidence; parents feel supported; those who have a bit more in the community provide for those who have little. In some cases, space has been provided rent-free; in others, land has been offered for a small building.