by Jimmy Lama, Nepal, 27. October  2010

ITA Nepal until 2010-  A tribute to an unsung hero Frank




Tekstboks: Tartong School 2010


I was only 17 years old when I first heard of International Teachers Association in 2000 while I was a student at Yangrima School. A teacher of mine, Mr Norchung Lama who originally served as the representative to ITA in Nepal had been to Denmark on a teachers’ gathering followed by few other teachers. They all came back with lots of new energy and enthusiasm which greatly benefitted our learning environment. This relationship kept on growing modestly in several forms, for example, Danish teachers visiting Nepal and the exchanges of news.


Although there were less activities during the years after 2001 when Nepal went through a severe political disturbance, things started to take its momentum in 2006 after I was trusted to take on the responsibility as the ITA representative.  In the year, I proposed late Frank Kroyer, the then chairman of ITA, to support two government schools in the villages of Helambu called Tartong and Nakote where there had been an urgent need for paying salaries for extra teachers. In each of the school, there were only two teachers, however with a responsibility of looking after over at least 70 children for the classes that stretched for grade one through to five. 


Responding to this need, Frank emailed me with pleasant news that Danish groups have arranged a way to pay the salaries for two teachers. Ever since, the support has encouraged the schools to produce lots of positive changes from improved classroom environment, increased school activities and motivated teachers to teach the children to mention few.  In the year 2009, the visit of Danish group to Nepal that trekked through the villages and meeting the locals have inspired them to do more for the school and certainly has left behind the deep sense of friendship. 


Bolstered by all these support and inspiration, the villagers in both villages worked hard throughout 2009 until the early summer of 2010 to build whole new school building with support from ranges of supports. The supporters such as MondoChallenge Foundation, which is a UK based Charity provided funding for new school building Shree Deurali Primary School in Tartong and Nepal Education Initiative, a non-profit in the US provided resources for building for Nakote School. In gaining and managing these supports, I was the key person.


Where both of these schools stand now in comparison to the year 2006 when ITA first jumped in to provide a teacher salary is a clearly a different picture on ranges of positive track of development. To note that the community’s involvement is now inextricable from the schools’ overall management and to observe encouraging number of children attending the schools are a few, but worthy notes of development that could not have happened without the supports the schools have received from various sources included ITA.

In these villages, life is difficult for the villagers because of their economic hardship, so a small support like this do spur to bring about a great change as we can read in my description above. A majority of the villagers live under poverty line and their only way of making income is by going to India or elsewhere to labor for half a year. Everyday their life starts before the dawn and do not rest until very late evening just to be able to make their ends meet yet no savings they can make. With education opportunity for their children, living standard is surely to change over the years as the children will grow up to have much wider options in their life.


The ITA group visit to Nepal in 2009 not only enjoyed themselves to the majestic beauty of the mountainous sceneries and exposure to cultures and people of this country, but also left a donation towards building of a toilet for girls in Tartong


No doubt with the completion of the project in May of 2009, it has dramatically improved the sanitation of the school and has marked the end to the era of jungle-toilet that the children use to run into prior to it.


His absence is felt with a great loss, and we continue to pray in all our hearts that Frank’s departed soul rest peacefully at the caring hands of the god forever!


In his memory, ITA Nepal wish to continue the support to the two schools, and further welcomes our Danish friends to continue our cultural and educational exchanges through the opportunities that might open up in the form of visits to Nepal and Denmark, and volunteering opportunity for young Danes in these beautiful Nepalese hillside villages to feel and support the works so that we may be able to pay tribute to Frank this way.


For those interested in volunteering as a teacher in these villages; please contact Volunteering is a life-time experience helping the underprivileged children who are keen to meeting new people and learning new things, and one best way to nourish your spiritual well-being. One does not need to be professionally a teacher, although best if one is, to qualify to spend a short stint as a volunteer. To be a volunteer, there is no age bar, however one must be healthy and be able to walk the rugged paths of the hills. Any discipline of expertise is useful such as sports, music, arts and crafts etc, however one must possess utmost enthusiasm and open-mindedness.


The volunteers can spend a time anywhere from 4 weeks up to 12 weeks or even more. The volunteers live with the local family in a house of vernacular setting and eat local food. There is absolutely no fees in doing this, however one must pay towards their local food and accommodation which comes to as less as $ 20 weekly. Any donations that could be brought along either in cash or kinds for the schools will be greatly appreciated.  To reach to Tartong and Nakote, it takes 5 hours of bus ride from Kathmandu and 4-5 hours of walking steep uphill. For application form and further detail, please write to us.


Below is testimony of recent volunteers from Denmark Stine Thesjberg and Elisabeth who spent a short stint at Nakote School. They came through the connection of ITA.


Thank you and wish you all good days, weeks and months ahead!


Jimmy Lama, ITA Nepal Representative.

27 October 2010.



All of these positive works and the progress made in these two villages which will continue to ensure better future for the local children reflect distinctly the support and love Frank Kroyer had for Nepal and Nepalese children.