Brontosaurus Movement and His Holiness Dalai Lama helping to build a school in Ladakh
15.02.2013 / 12:11
Brontosaurus in the Himalayas, a branch of the long-time Czech non-profit organization Brontosaurus Movement, has been supporting the development of a school in the remote Buddhist community of Mulbekh located in the Himalayan Mountains of North India. Construction of the new school campus began two years ago, following a collaborative co-designing process by the local community in collaboration with Brontosaurus in the Himalayas and led by Czech architect, Martin Knap. The project is also generously supported by His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama.
Spring Dales Public School (SDPS) was founded in 1992 by a group of committed community members with the vision to provide quality education for their children. Under new leadership by dedicated Principal, Tsewang Norboo, the school community has set up a long-term plan (2011 – 2021) to improve quality education in the area, to provide equal access to education for all social classes regardless of economic status, and to extend the capacity of SDPS from 150 to 300 students.
From 2010-2012, Brontosaurus in the Himalayas supported the school community to create a detailed plan of their school development process. The SDPS Development Project addresses very specific issues to ensure the school is financially independent and has its own sustainable source of income and management to help improve the access and quality of education, reduce migration of young people to big cities and minimize the loss of Ladakhi traditional culture.
The SDPS Development Project focuses on four key areas: 1) ORGANIZATIONAL STRUCTURE – to create a functional and sustainable school management team; 2) QUALITY EDUCATION – to improve access to quality education for all children regardless of class or status; 3) FINANCIAL STABILITY – to ensure financial viability (with less dependency on international aid); and 4) INFRASTRUCTURE – to build a quality and sustainable ecologically-friendly campus using local materials.
Brontosaurus in the Himalayas provides finances, professional assistance, and support from Czech volunteers both on-site in Mulbekh and off-site in the Czech Republic to help realize these goals. Czech professionals stay long-term and work together with the community and the school management on different parts of the SDPS Development Project. Architect, Martin Knap, helps to design and build the new school infrastructure, for example. Or Czech teachers work with the local teachers and Principal Norboo to improve the school curriculum. Since 2008 over 100 Czech volunteers have come to help; the famous Czech singer and actress, Svetlana Nalepkova, was among them.
It is the great fortune of all involved with this project that His Holiness The 14th Dalai Lama has been providing his generous support since his personal visit to SDPS in Mulbekh in September 2010 and in July 2011 when representatives from SDPS and Brontosaurus in the Himalayas introduced this project to him in a private audience at his palace. During His Holiness’ private visit in the Czech Republic in 2011 former President Vaclav Havel officially gave thanks to him for supporting this project.
The main structure of the ground floor of the first hostel, which will accommodate thirty students, was finished in November 2012 together with foundations of the first classroom block, which will allow 130 students to live on campus to receive quality education.
The whole new campus is designed to take advantage of the local building materials and climate. The new campus will be passive solar. The main structure is built using improved traditional building technique of mud walls called ‘rammed earth technology’. Buildings will be heated by accumulation of solar energy into the rammed earth walls.
Last summer, in July 2012, a group of school volunteers met with His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama in Leh, the capital city of Ladakh. The Dalai Lama thanked them for their help and discussed the importance of helping other people. This meeting was filmed by David Calek, the director of a new documentary film on the subject of volunteering in Ladakh.
Should you be interested to collaborate or to become a partner of this project you can visit www.brontosaurivhimalajich.cz or contact Jiri Sazel on email@example.com for more information.
Should you be interested to donate to the Spring Dales Public School Development Project, any support would be greatly appreciated:
ACCOUNT NAME: ZÁKLADNÍ ČLÁNEK HNUTÍ BRONTOSAURUS BRONT
ADDRESS: Nad Lánem 23, Olomouc, 77900
Note: The cut off Account Name is not an error