Chobar School is a thriving centre of education for Helpless Children in Nepal’s Kathmandu Valley and occupies a quiet hillside location overlooking the city. The education for the pupils is free and the pupils are hand-picked, many being orphans or from very deprived backgrounds. The School has a total of 3 teaching staff, 1 matron and a caretaker who is employed by Juniper Trust.
JT has been involved with the School since 2001 when it was originally located in a rented room in the basement of a small house. Whilst leading frequent groups in Nepal, Cheryl Frost decided that it was time to put something back in the countries she was visiting. A project was identified in the Kathmandu Valley to build a NEW school to re house a current well established School for orphans in Chobar. The aim being to provide them with bigger and better facilities in which to educate the growing number of children in a new and exciting environment.
In 2002 Cheryl Frost applied for and was successful in getting a grant for £20,000 from Jersey Overseas Aid. This enabled her to put together a team of skilled volunteers to fly out from Jersey to actually construct the new School alongside local Nepalese people. The Nepali team cleared the site ready for the team of twelve’s arrival and laid the foundations of the School. Then over a period of 3 weeks, the 12 strong team built the school often working long hours each day, to ensure that it was completed on time. The team managed in that period of time to build 3 classroom’s and one staff room building and to also leave with the roof on the building. It was a proud moment for all involved. Over the next few weeks the Nepalese team completed the building, painted it and soon the School was bustling with pupils. On her return from Nepal Nicky Mansell, a teacher from Jersey College for Girls (JCG) decided that she would like to encourage pupils at her School to make a contribution to the School each year.
In 2006, the Juniper Trust raised a further £5000 to complete building of additional space to cater for the demand from local pupils wishing to attend and in 2009, with the help of Jersey College, £3000 was raised for a new water tank.
In 2011, Glenn Rowley, a KE director, visited Chobar School on behalf of Juniper Trust, to offer continued support. He was surprised to see 9 new orphan intakes from the Jumla District, all between the ages of two and six, who had lost their parents during the Maoist dispute in Eastern Nepal. With nowhere to live and no one to look after them, they were brought to Kathmandu by one of the many relief agencies working in the area, and were taken in by Chobar. At this time, Chobar School had very limited facilities to accommodate these children, but were trying their best with the limited facilities they had, which included a single cooking stove and a small bunk room for the children’s sleeping arrangements. After consulting with the teachers, JT offered to raise money for a new kitchen, to improve the sleeping accommodation and also to support the orphans financially for a year, to buy clothes, food and to begin their education at the school.
12 years on from the initial building project, Chobar School is a thriving centre of education for Helpless Children in the district. This is a very worthwhile project and underlines the Juniper Trust’s commitment to work with sustainable long-term projects, where there is a genuine need for help.