In Bhattidanda, Nepal the Trust is supporting an innovative project to help raise the economic status of the villagers and sustain the Himaljyoti Commmunity School.
Faced with the challenge of how to make the school self-sufficient when many families could not afford to pay school fees, the local women's agricultural co-operative came up with an interesting solution. The idea was to buy buffaloes for the poorest families, who would earn money from the sale of milk, manure and calves. From their earnings they would pay the school fees for one child and over a period of two years, repay the cost of the buffalo, thereby providing a revolving fund to help other families in the village.
Kindly assisted by the Rotary Club of Thamel, Kathmandu, the Trust bought an initial 15 buffalo which were distributed to the most needy families. The number has now swelled to 30 as money is repaid into the fund and more buffalo are purchased. School fees and loan payments are meticulously recorded and families, who receive a buffalo but do not have a child at the school, pay the fees of an allocated student.
This micro-credit scheme has been an amazing success and has really had a positive impact on the whole community.