Khane Primary School is based in the Hushe Valley, Baltistan. Located in the remote village of Khane, the school was built to offer an education to the children of this isolated mountain region. Two of the teachers at the school are funded by the government and two by the Felix Baltistan Foundation, offering schooling until year 8.The FBF recently requested the help of the Juniper Trust because they had plans to extend the school to offer a year 9 class (13 year old). Having already raised the funds to build an extra classroom, they needed help with paying a years salary for two teachers.
At the start of 2013, The Juniper Trust provided £2000 to cover two teacher salaries for the first year and in 2014, the teacher’s salaries will be jointly funded by the Juniper Trust and two long standing supporters, Andy and Clare, who originally brought our attention to this project. Further funds are needed as JT has raised £1000 to cover the salaries of both teachers for the first 6 months and is now trying to raise a further £1000 to cover the salaries for the second half of the year..
Andy, who first put us in contact with this project, explains how he and his wife first got involved:
‘We first visited the Hushe Valley in 2008, at the end of an expedition to Gasherbrum II. Staying with our Balti guide in the village of Machulo, we made a lot of friends and got to see some of the work that the Felix Baltistan Foundation (FBF) was doing in the area. We returned in 2010 and Clare spent five weeks in the valley, training teachers and working as a volunteer for the FBF. Following the Talis flood of that year, she helped with the early relief work. With the contacts we made, we were able to put the FBF and Juniper Trust in contact with each other and the latter’s financial support has given a real boost to teacher training in the valley.
In 2012 we were back again and carried out a survey of FBF trained and sponsored teachers at schools up and down the valley, including the school at Khane. We found the new teachers excellent and the improvement in teaching methods was staggering - Basharat Ali’s Juniper Trust sponsored training courses were really starting to deliver results. To keep the momentum going, we donated money to supply computers to a number of the schools.
We share the Juniper Trust’s and FBF’s belief that education, especially of girls, is absolutely key to improving living conditions in the area. When we heard that the school at Khane might loose a teacher due to reduced funding, we knew we had to step in to try and help.’