Deep within the rugged interior of the eastern Himalayas, is the village of Dubling, in the Darjeeling District. The village cannot be seen from the crude roads, one can only reach the three-shop village by walking a steep 2 hours from the access road.
Since 1986, the Dubling Primary school has been providing basic education for one of the most isolated people of the Himalayas, the Lepchas. The Lepcha are the original inhabitants and ancient tribe of the Himalayas. As new groups of people were brought into the Darjeeling District to work for the British Tea Company, the Lepcha were slowly pushed from more habitable areas into the higher, more remote areas of the mountains where land is arid, barren and landslide prone.
Education is allowing some of the children in the remote areas to escape the cycle of illiteracy and poverty, and immerse themselves into the main town of Kalimpong, as leaders of social change for their area. Many of the former students of Dubling are now teachers in the larger districts of Kalimpong, and others are earning decent salaries for their families back home, in various occupations.
Today, the Dubling primary school has grown from 2 classes, to 6 classes with 70 students and 6 teachers. The school, which has been privately funded for over twenty years, has recently learned their funding has been discontinued, due to political instability and global economic disparity. Because of the extreme poverty in the area, the children will not only miss an education, but also the only guaranteed meal of the day. The school provided a lunch meal consisting of rice, daal and vegetable curry.
The Dubling primary school is in danger of closing its doors, as early as June 2010. With the help of a few new sponsors, we will be able to keep the doors open for a few months longer. However, we need more support to ensure the schools’ security for a few years, or until they are able to receive funding from a consistent source again.
Project costs: $7,200 annually
- Providing primary school education for 6 classes and 70 students, for a year
- Providing a guaranteed healthy meal once a day, for 70 children, for a year
- Providing a secured salary to 6 full-time teachers, for a year
- Operating costs, school supplies, school building maintenance
If you would like to help raise funds or donate towards the Dubling School, please contact us.