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Article: Rural Libraries In Karnali

Rural Libraries In Karnali

“It’s been 7 years since I founded Shiksha Nepal. Growing in one of the most isolated and least developed regions of Nepal, I’ve never imagined myself being educated. I was surprised to be one of the few who graduated from Class 10 in my village, and had the opportunity to further my studies in Pohkara city.

The first time I heard about a library, I was in awe. I started visiting libraries and book stores just to feel the touch of books. At the age of 17, I was determined to start reading children’s book to learn English. During our Dashain festival, I was so excited to bring books back home for children in my community. When I saw the responses, I knew how important this was— for me and for the children of Karnali.

This was the beginning of Shiksha Nepal.” 
- Prem Bahadur Bohara, Founder

Each year, Prem raises money for schools back in his hometown. When we connected, he applied for a grant to set-up 3 classroom libraries in Dolpa district, one of the most remote parts of Nepal. Through our grants, he would also organize volunteers to collect books from private schools in the city. With the help of local volunteers, more than 7,000 books were collected and sorted before transporting them to Dolpa by cargo. Since there are no roads in the district, local porters and donkeys were used to transport the books to the schools. The schools provided labour and local materials to set up tables and bookshelves, while our grants helped offset transportation, book collection, and purchase of new books. The opening of the first classroom library in Mazfal, Dolpa. Secondary students from Shree Bidhya Mandir Secondary School (picture above) were the first to browse the books.A local teacher handing out books in Shree Laxmi Secondary School. This is the first time students see brightly colored books with local stories.Prem reads to a pre-school class after setting up a reading classroom in Shree Sahid Sukraraj Basic School.The total grant awarded to Shiksha Nepal is 4,574.46 SGD. 

More than 7,000 books were collected and distributed to 3 classroom libraries in Mazfal village, in both Lahara ward and Thargaun ward.

Shiksha Nepal was established in 2012 with a mission to provide equal learning opportunities for every child in Nepal. Through programs like Ek Kitab (a book for every child) and National Reading Mela, the non-profit organization has been promoting reading habits in some of the most rural parts of the country.

Learn more about their work here.

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