Our friends in the Himalayas – Sunderland school’s link-up with Nepal

Les McAnaney, headteacher from Grangetown Primary School, visiting the partner school in Nepal.
Les McAnaney, headteacher from Grangetown Primary School, visiting the partner school in Nepal.
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CHILDREN at a city primary school are helping the lives of youngsters on the other side of the world.

The pupils at Grangetown Primary School set up links with two schools in Napal a couple of years ago, and the Wearside children have been helping to support their new friends.

Les McAnaney, headteacher at the Spelterworks Road primary, said the city school recently raised £500 for towards a play project.

Grangetown has two partner schools in Nepal, one in Kathmandu and another in Chitwan, which is a rural area 80km from Kathmandu.

The links were organised through the British Council’s Connecting Schools initiative and in April 2012, two Grangetown teachers visited the school in Chitwan with headteacher of the school paying a return visit to Wearside seven months later.

Mr McAnaney has recently returned from a visit to the Kathmandu school, which is called Traibidya Shikshhya Sadan.

During the visit Mr McAnaney taught several lessons, and had meetings with teachers to discuss the development of a joint curriculum project involving Grangetown and our Nepali partner schools. He said: “The project will give the children at Grangetown, and in Traibidya, a rich range of opportunities to learn about each other’s lives and cultures.

“International work like this is important to broaden children’s horizons and raise awareness of the wider world.

“Nepal is a developing country, and there is a lot of poverty. Schools struggle to provide resources. There is a power cut in Kathmandu every day, for 12 hours – the school had electricity only on a Friday. The staff face many challenges, but work very hard to overcome them.

“We decided to raise money to help Traibidya to develop some outdoor play areas. Our families have been incredibly generous, and so far we have raised £500.”

To help with the fundraising the school, which has built up a good partnership with Sunderland AFC, is raffling a signed SAFC shirt and also held a red and white day where the children paid a small donation to wear the team colours and bought red and white biscuits.