CHANCE is a youth development service organisation funding education programmes in Nepal. We aim to address quality of education and provide personal development through the Duke of Edinburgh's International Award.

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It’s official: the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award comes home to Nepal

After three years of nurturing and stewardship CHANCE’s involvement with the Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award in Nepal has reached a successful conclusion. A new organisation has been established to administer The Award in Nepal – Sakcham Yuva, Nepal. It is run by Nepalis for Nepalis, and will formally manage the license from the International Award Foundation as National Award Operator for Nepal.

For the last three years CHANCE has been funding the Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award in Nepal with support of a grant of £25,000 provided by the International Award Foundation (IAF).

CHANCE trustee Tina Stacey, who has worked tirelessly in Kathmandu to bring the new organisation into existence, said:

“We are proud of what we have achieved over the last three years. With the license handed over for DoEIA Nepal to take over, we can truly say we have had a lasting impact. I would like to thank everyone at IAF, the new members of DoEIA Nepal, and all those within Nepal who have donated their time to introduce such a worthwhile programme into their country.”

Gold level award participant Anish Luitel with his Award log book on the summit of Everest (Photo: Anish Luitel / DoEIA Nepal)

Gold level award participant Anish Luitel with his Award log book on the summit of Everest (Photo: Anish Luitel / DoEIA Nepal)

Sir John Hunt helped to set up The Award after his successful expedition to Everest in 1953, so in 2013, on the 60th anniversary of the first ascent of Everest, CHANCE set about bringing The Award back to its spiritual home in Nepal.

On 21 May, 2016, Anish Luitel, a gold level Award participant from Jhapa district, completed the the circle. He achieved the Adventurous Journey part of his Award in the best way possible, by reaching the summit of Everest himself.

CHANCE took on the role of National Award Operator for The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award in Nepal in 2013, encouraging schools and youth organisations to become Award Operators, training Award Leaders, and encouraging young people throughout Nepal to participate.

Our long-term goal has always been to establish a local organisation within Nepal to be the National Award Operator. To this end The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award (DoEIA) Nepal was formally inaugurated in December 2015.

DoEIA Nepal consists of seven board members and two permanent employees. All of them are leaders within their community, and have been closely involved with the Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award over many years. CHANCE has been working with them closely throughout the process, and we know The Award in Nepal will be in safe hands.

The seven board members of DoEIA Nepal are:

  • Chairperson: Chandrayan Pradhan Shrestha. Principal and Director Caribbean College, National Training Panel Leader, First Award Leader in Nepal in 1999
  • Treasurer: Dawa Steven Sherpa. Entrepreneur, Director HCI, Everest Summiteer, Great Himalayan Trail Initiative
  • Civil Society Representative: Sumnima Tuladhar. Co-Founder CWIN, First Child Rights Movement of Nepal
  • Education Representative: Milan Dixit. Principal Rato Bangala School, Vice Chair Rato Bangala Foundation
  • Private Sector Representative: Suman Shakya. Entrepreneur, Founder One Planet Solution
  • Outdoor Adventure Representative: Chimmi Urken Gurung. Treasurer Nepal Olympic Association, President Nepal Biking Association
  • Youth Representative: Sneh Rana. National Rifle Shooting Champion, Olympic Competitor, Medical Student

The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award is the world’s leading youth achievement award. It was developed to encourage all young people ages 14 to 24 to be active, participate in new activities, and give back to the community. It has over eight million participants in over 140 countries, but until now has not had a formal unified presence in Nepal.

You can follow DoEIA Nepal’s latest news on their Facebook page.

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How we intend to improve education in Nepal after the earthquake

Things have changed dramatically in Nepal since the 7.8-magnitude earthquake on 25 April, and subsequent 7.3-magnitude tremor on 12 May. Like nearly everyone operating in Nepal we at CHANCE have adapted our activities to focus on the immediate needs of families and schools affected by the disaster.

Despite this we are not a disaster relief organisation and it has now become clear we must adjust our medium term priorities for the new challenges facing Nepal. Three weeks on from the initial quake we have developed a way forward for CHANCE to provide constructive support in the aftermath of this devastating event, while remaining true to our core focus on education.

There has been a surge in volunteering since the 25 April earthquake. Here students from Rato Bangala help clear the debris from a fallen building. (Photo: Rato Bangala Foundation)

There has been a surge in volunteering since the 25 April earthquake. Here students from Rato Bangala help clear the debris from a fallen building. (Photo: Rato Bangala Foundation)

Unsurprisingly, education has suffered significantly from this tragedy. Most schools are currently closed, with the official reopening at the end of the month. However, school buildings have been destroyed and many schools will be without places to teach when they reopen. UNICEF estimates that approximately 1 million children will be left with no school facility. Many children have no safe place to go during the day and are vulnerable to exploitation by criminals, with reports of $570 per child earned by traffickers. Others have been traumatised and are in need of counselling and psychological support. Basic utilities have been affected, and some schools will be without essentials such as energy and drinking water.

On the positive side ordinary Nepalis have been working together to help each other through the hard times, and there has been a surge in volunteering. Many young people have joined in these efforts, and here at CHANCE we can help them to get something tangible back from the hard work they have put in through The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award.

Earlier this week CHANCE trustees agreed to make £30,000 from our reserves available to help out in five key areas:

  1. Safe shelters for teaching
  2. Psychological counselling and emotional support
  3. Educational training and teaching support
  4. Mobilising and rewarding volunteers
  5. Water, energy and income generation

To be more effective in making progress in these areas we have set up a consortium of five partner organisations:

  1. CHANCE. As a UK-registered education charity operating in Nepal we will be providing the seed funding and management of the consortium.
  2. Child Workers in Nepal (CWIN). Implementation partner for many of our projects, CWIN provided relief materials to some of the worst-affected earthquake areas, including child-friendly classroom facilities. They work with the Nepal Paediatric Society to provide psychological care and have mobilised hundreds of youth volunteers to help out with aid.
  3. Rato Bangala Foundation. One of Nepal’s top private schools has its own teacher training college and a proven record of providing teacher training to less privileged areas of Nepal. They are the local partner to Disaster Psychiatry Organisation and so will bring expertise in this complex area as well
  4. Himalayan Climate Initiative (HCI). HCI operate the National Planning Committee’s national volunteer database, and have developed earthquake-proof shelters which use local materials and can be carried by porter-back to remote areas and assembled on site.
  5. Nepal Rises. A civil society organisation of technology specialists set up within hours of the earthquake to support the response, Nepal Rises coordinated hundreds of volunteers and relief trucks to locations in affected districts, and now has a focus on medium to long term water and energy solutions.

We will be providing more detail about precisely how we intend to make improvements in the five areas we have identified over the coming weeks. Our resident trustee Tina Stacey Ghale has been invited to join the emergency cluster for education, which is the national planning level for all education work, so CHANCE is in a good position to deliver a well-coordinated programme of activity.

In the meantime please help us to help Nepal by making a donation. We are making £30,000 available immediately. The more you give the more we can increase this figure, and the more young people we can give a better quality of life.

Donate now >>

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How CHANCE has been responding to the Nepal earthquake

It is now a week since a 7.8-magnitude earthquake rocked Nepal, changing the lives of many thousands of people in barely more than a minute. To date there have been over 6,000 confirmed fatalities, and with the Nepal Army and police changing their focus from rescue to search, this figure is likely to rise as more bodies are recovered from the wreckage. An estimated 150,000 Nepalis have left Kathmandu to return to their home districts, support extended families and join their communities.

CHANCE has never before been involved in disaster relief, but the scale of the catastrophe is impossible to ignore, and with our contacts and access to supplies we have been doing what we can to bring aid to those whose lives have been turned on their heads.

Siling Ghale hands over CHANCE relief supplies to the family of Urgen Lamas in Sita Paila, who are living in emergency shelter.

Siling Ghale hands over CHANCE relief supplies to the family of Urgen Lamas in Sita Paila, who are living in emergency shelter.

One of our first priorities was to account for the children and families we have been supporting through school by your generosity. This was not an easy task, as many live in rural communities that are difficult to reach. It took us a few days, and if you have been following our posts on Facebook you will know the worries we had, but we are delighted to say that all the families are now accounted for. There were no injuries and no fatalities.

Although some have lost their homes and will need to rebuild, the most important thing is they are all safe and well. One child has been traumatised and requires counselling, and we are trying to arrange a qualified professional for her. On Thursday we took tarpaulins, tents and other supplies to the families. All are in good spirits and together with their communities.

All members of the Board for the Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award have been busy during the last week. Here’s a short summary of what some of them have been doing:

Emergency supplies: An open space in Dalko near to the Swayumbhunath Temple. Out of tarpaulins and into waterproof tents.

Emergency supplies: An open space in Dalko near to the Swayumbhunath Temple. Out of tarpaulins and into waterproof tents.

  • Sumnima Tuladur has been continuing to work for her regular employer CWIN. She has been coordinating the mapping and location of displaced children through information she has sourced from hospitals.
  • Chandrayan Shrestha has been working as a volunteer for CWIN.
  • Suman Shakya has set up a community-based operation called Nepal Rises to coordinate relief. They are the country representative for Life Saver water purification systems, which they are trying to get into the country. CHANCE trustee Tina has connected them with the UK Department for International Development (DfID) to help arrange this.
  • Sneh Rana is at SOS Children’s Village in Lumbini, the birthplace of the Buddha in southern Nepal, assisting with life support at the village and fundraising.
  • Dawa Steven Sherpa is coordinating logistics for vehicles providing relief.
  • Chimmi Gurung is managing community-based support for the Manang Youth Society.
  • Milan Dixit has been supporting her husband, a prominent Nepali journalist.
  • CHANCE trustee Tina Stacey Ghale is part of the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office’s (FCO) crisis team, based at the British Embassy in Kathmandu.

Community support and NGO-based activity has been incredible, though this has now been halted temporarily after the Nepal Finance Ministry issued a statement saying all incoming funds will be diverted through a central-government relief fund. We hope this decision will be lifted soon. Government protocol has meant there have been delays getting aid into the country. Airport and land border imports require official paperwork, and duties need to be paid. There have been protests by Nepali citizens, who are dismayed at the speed of response and do not trust the government, and you may have read about these or seen them the news.

Emergency shelter at British Embassy, Kathmandu. The UK accepted all nationals on the Saturday of the earthquake,  25th April 2015, as aftershocks continued at a high frequency.

Emergency shelter at British Embassy, Kathmandu. The UK accepted all nationals on the Saturday of the earthquake,
25th April 2015, as aftershocks continued at a high frequency.

The FCO are currently advising against all but essential travel to Nepal. Here’s who to contact if you have friends or family in Nepal:

  • complete the online form
  • email help@fco.gov.uk
  • calling on +44 207 008 0000
  • text NEPAL to +447860010026. You will then receive a reply. Please respond with your details.

These are hard times, but we would like to thank all our friends of Nepal for the overwhelming response, good wishes and support we have had over the last week.

Please continue to help if you can by making a donation to the DEC Nepal Earthquake Appeal or to CHANCE, or simply by sharing via Facebook, Twitter or elsewhere.

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Donations to victims of the Nepal earthquake

DEC Nepal Earthquake Appeal

DEC Nepal Earthquake Appeal

Supporters have been in touch asking how they can donate directly to disaster relief for the Nepal Earthquake of 25 April.

As we are not equipped to provide disaster relief, we recommend those wishing to support the relief efforts donate directly to the Disasters Emergency Committee Nepal appeal, which pools the resources of 13 UK charities in times of crisis.

CHANCE will remain in Nepal after the emergency response has ended. If you would like to support education in Nepal in the longer term then we will gladly make use of your donation further down the line.

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First National Awards Ceremony a roaring success

Last week the UK Ambassador to Nepal hosted the first ever National Awards Ceremony for the Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award at the British Embassy in Kathmandu to celebrate the first 100 Duke of Edinburgh’s International Awardees in Nepal.

HE Andrew Sparkes CMG opened the ceremony on 4 February with an inspiring speech about the founders of The Award: Kurt Hahn and Lord Hunt. With outdoor adventure and social responsibility being the underpinning ideals of The Award, he described how well-suited it is to Nepal.

A Bronze award participant treats event attendees to a display of traditional dance

A Bronze award participant treats event attendees to a display of traditional dance

Since the launch of The Award in Nepal over 350 young people from three development areas have participated. The event celebrated the success of over 100 young students who have attained their Bronze Award; the first of three levels of the scheme.

Attendees were treated to a very high standard of performance in traditional and classical dances by participants from Rato Bangala School and Kathmandu University High School. Some of the Awardees also shared their stories of personal discovery as they completed their Bronze level award. Aakash Pant spoke about the Skills section of the Award, and the need to maintain handwriting skills in the digital age, while Anushka Upadhyay spoke of her life-changing experiences pursuing the Service section and how helping others brought her great reward and satisfaction. For the Physical Recreation section Diksha Katwal talked of her experiences hiking and camping and how it helped her to develop personal resilience. Sangay Ongdi, from the British School told her story of completing the Silver award and provided a motivational speech about continuing from Bronze to the next level.

Special guest Dr Lava Awasti of the Ministry of Education spoke of the importance of non-formal education and how The Award complements the formal education system as a means of youth development.

CHANCE trustee Tina Stacey Ghale summed up by describing the impact of The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award in Nepal. She spoke of how the young Award participants were inspiring in their thoughts and words, and how humbling and excited the occasion made her feel.

The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award is the world’s leading youth achievement award. It is delivered in 140 countries worldwide, with over eight million participants. The Nepal secretariat hope to make the Award available to all young people in Nepal and look forward to welcoming more Awardees next year.

You can see photos from the award ceremony on our Facebook page. For more information about The Award please see:

Volunteer winners

Anish Luitel: National Volunteer for Impact on The Award
Anish is co-ordinating the implementation of The Award in Jhapa district. He has organised familiarisation sessions, Award Leader training and has inspired many schools, organisations and participants to take part in The Award.

Ram Chandra Parauli: National Volunteer for Contribution to The Award
Ram Chandra is Award co-ordinator at Kathmandu University High School. He has developed a best practice model for managing The Award in schools and is now supporting other schools and NGOs to implement it.

Nepal Board of Management

  • Chairperson: Chandrayan Pradhan Shrestha. Principal and Director Caribbean College, National Training Panel Leader, First Award Leader in Nepal in 1999
  • Treasurer: Dawa Steven Sherpa. Entrepreneur, Director HCI, Everest Summiteer, Great Himalayan Trail Initiative
  • Civil Society Representative: Sumnima Tulador. Co-Founder CWIN, First Child Rights Movement of Nepal
  • Education Representative: Milan Dixit. Principal Rato Bangala School, Vice Chair Rato Bangala Foundation
  • Private Sector Representative: Suman Shakya. Entrepreneur, Founder One Planet Solution
  • Outdoor Adventure Representative: Chimmi Urken Gurung. Treasurer Nepal Olympic Association, President Nepal Biking Association
  • Youth Representative: Sneh Rana. National Rifle Shooting Champion, Olympic Competitor, Medical Student
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