In April of this year John, June, Issy and I visited St Xavier’s,Godavari school to meet with the students that are sponsored by the JMB Educational Fund. We last visited the school in October 2016, a year after the earthquake, so there have been many changes at the school since our last visit. In particular, we saw the new school buildings that have been constructed some of which have replaced those damaged in the 2015 earthquake. Our visit coincided with the new school year and although we missed meeting with a few of the older Further Education (FE) students, we managed to meet with 120 students sponsored by the Fund.
To celebrate the 20th anniversary of the JMB Educational Fund, we held a picnic for the sponsored children and their parents. The picnic was very well attended and while Issy and the FE students entertained the younger children with dancing and games, June, John and I had the opportunity to chat with some of the parents who were extremely thankful for the sponsorship and the other opportunities that the Fund is providing them.
As well as visiting the school we also had the opportunity to meet with members from the broader Nepal Jesuit Society (NJS) community. We visited two of the colleges in Kathmandu that some students go on to further their education and we also spent an afternoon visiting two social service centres that the NJS have set up. We visited both the boys’ centre and girls’ centre (called Aruna Bhawan meaning House of Compassion) which are safe, comfortable and warm homes for children who have been orphaned or left in very challenging social and economic situations; without the help of the NJS they would be very vulnerable to crime and exploitation. Although these children are now in a safe environment most do not have access to quality education.
Much of trip involved meeting with members of the school and broader school community to find out the what continuing support is required going forwards. Over the next few months we will be posting a number of blogs, images and videos on the website, Facebook and Instagram. We would like to thank all the students and staff at SXG for making our trip so informative and enjoyable. Best wishes Louise