golden

Goldenites to help rebuild Nepalese school

Volunteers will work to make facility for students in Nepal

Posted 6/15/15

Lhakpa Sherpa’s school principal, Biruman Sir Rai, said one of the happiest moments for a teacher is when former students realize an urgent need, and come back to help the community.

Sherpa earned his high school diploma in 1992 from a school …

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golden

Goldenites to help rebuild Nepalese school

Volunteers will work to make facility for students in Nepal

Posted

Lhakpa Sherpa’s school principal, Biruman Sir Rai, said one of the happiest moments for a teacher is when former students realize an urgent need, and come back to help the community.

Sherpa earned his high school diploma in 1992 from a school in a Nepalese village called Chaurikharka, which is located near the base of Mount Everest in the Himalayas.

He had a two-hour commute to school every day — one-way, on foot, on an incomplete trail. Nepal’s climate is similar to Colorado’s, said Sherpa, who has lived in Golden for about 16 years.

“During the winter months, we had to walk very fast to get home before dark,” he said.

Sherpa, 40, was the first from his hometown village to earn a diploma. Schooling in the small villages in Nepal is a relatively new thing, he said, so school is taken very seriously now.

“It’s normal for students to walk one or two hours to school,” Sherpa said. “In the old days, there weren’t any schools. They realize the importance and significance of education.”

On April 25, a 7.8-magnitude earthquake struck Nepal. Among the 11 districts that sustained severe damage is the Khumbu Valley, where the Chaurikharka school is located. The school, which is the only one in the area, serves children first through 12th grade. It was completely destroyed, and left 400 students displaced.

After the quake, people reached out to Sherpa and inquired about ways they could help, he said. Their generosity helped raise $22,000, which funded temporary learning structures for the Chaurikharka students, who were able to return to classes on June 21. The temporary classrooms made a huge difference, Sherpa said.

However, “they’re very simple,” he said, and consist only of a large tent that provides shelter for a table and chairs.

Sherpa founded the nonprofit organization Hike for Help in 2011, with the main goal to build a trail from his hometown village to the Chaurikharka school.

“I’ll continue to work on the trail-building project until it’s done,” Sherpa said, but the 2015 trip has shifted its focus to more urgent matters. “Those 400 students are the future of that area. It’s very important they have the opportunity to continue to study.”

The goal is to raise $200,000 to build a new school for the students, Sherpa said. The buildings of the new school will be earthquake-proof, Sherpa said. Traditional construction materials, such as rocks, clay and wood, will be replaced with concrete, rebar and aluminum. The goal is to have the project completed in two years, Sherpa said.

On Dec. 26, volunteers with Hike for Help, consisting of Colorado School of Mines students and community members, will be working hand-in-hand with the local Nepalese people to rebuild the Chaurikharka school.

The Sherpa House, a restaurant and cultural center owned by Sherpa, is a prominent part of the Golden community, said Kyle Heser, a 2015 Mines graduate who is participating on the school rebuild trip.

“It’s incredible the amount of people who are willing contribute and get their hands dirty,” he said.

Everyone has the right to basic, quality education, Heser said.

“In the grand scheme of things, there are a lot of problems going on in this world,” he said. “An educated world would bring a more globalized approach to solving these problems.”

Rai has dedicated his life to the Chaurikharka school, Sherpa said.

“All he wanted was for the students he taught to be educated and make a difference in the community,” he said. “He called me and said he is very happy his students are still looking out for the school.”

Nepalese students have a school break in December and January, so the next objective is to have a “real structure” for them before the winter months, Sherpa said.

“Those little kids need a warm classroom.”

Golden fundraising events for the Chaurikharka school in Nepal

Golden City Brewery, 920 12th Street

Date: June 20, 12 p.m. with no set end time

Cost: free admission; $10 donation.

What: A donation includes a beer or soda and a special glass. The event is part of the brewery’s annual Summer Solstice charity event.

RSVP: not required.

Sherpa House Restaurant and Culture Center, 1518 Washington Avenue

Date: June 29 and July 13, 5-9 p.m.

Cost: $25 per person.

What: Price includes a dinner buffet of the restaurant’s Himalayan cuisine and a slide show featuring Nepal. RSVP: required. To make a reservation, call 303-278-7939 or visit the restaurant’s Facebook page.

Hike for Help, www.hikeforhelp.org

Date: in progress, closes Oct. 31.

Cost: any, crowdfunding effort.

What: All donations will benefit the Hike for Help volunteers who are going to Nepal in December to help rebuild the Chaurikharka school.

RSVP: N/A. Direct link to crowdfunding site: www.youcaring.com/lhakpa-sherpa-362844#.VW46oA5ryyc.facebook

In addition to the fundraising events, both of Lhakpa Sherpa’s Golden-based businesses, Sherpa House Restaurant and Culture Center and Sherpa Landscaping, will be contributing a portion of their profits to the Chaurikharka school rebuild efforts.

Golden, Nepal, earthquake, education, Lhakpa Sherpa, School of Mines, philanthropy

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