end June 2001.
It took some time, but now finally some news from
Pakistan. We have to admit it: our task is not easy.
during a picnic
First obstacle: the prince didn't fulfill his
promises, and didn't finish the buildings (unfinished classrooms, ceilings,
pavements, non-existing doors and windows, no toilets,...), probably due to
financial problems (being a prince doesn't necessarily mean being rich,
but rather having power), yet we were prepared to this eventuality. In the
meantime things moved to some extent, but results are not very visible yet.
Second problem: the conservative religious
fraction tried their best to ruin the project. Luckily enough we have the
support of the government, and we have new admissions every day. It
's indeed very courageous and brave for illiterate parents to go beyond the word
of the religious leaders. You can easily compare these to the Christian
Inquisitors of the Middle Age. The whole situation over here is very
similar to that specific era, and we like to say that education is the best
weapon against extremism and ignorance.
Third problem: the drought raging for the
second year now. For the first time since years the pool near the fort is
dry. Harvests have been cut before time. Fruit trees are empty (we
can still count seven apricots in one of ours...). This is a true
catastrophe for these people who already don't possess much. Therefore
sending children to a paying school is out of consideration or really
More trouble: many parents wait for the next
year to send their children. Indeed they want the school to prove itself
first, and if the school survives trust will come. A big number of
admissions is expected for March 2002.
So not all is negative. The society running the school counts today 27
members, coming from all classes and belonging to many surrounding
villages. 40 students attend school, and new ones are still
arriving. About twenty adults come for computer classes after school
math in class 7
What did we acquire and spend till now?
||First of all we purchased school furniture for about €2500. It is
of long lasting quality (iron frames and wooden planes), painted green for
the primary section and blue for the secondary. It is the aim to
carpet the KG-classes, and furnish them with low wooden tables. We
probably need to place a new order for the two supplementary classes next
year. (€25 per student, or €1250 in total.) We expect indeed a lot
||We have a nice library of 1687 books, for a value of €3750.
All books are registered in the computer. According the incoming
money, its content will be extended. At present half of the books are
textbooks which we lend to the students for one year. Again we will
have to purchase the course books for the two new classes, for about
||The computer center is equipped with 5 computers, soon 6, all connected in
a network . Two of these are quite recent, the three other ones are
really 'old', but doing fine thanks to the network. We also have a
laser printer and a scanner, all much in use (reports, letters, mark sheets,
labels for the books, colouring drawings, children activities, tests and
exams,...). All this for the sum of €2500. |
The total expenses amount to €8750. (Accurate details are available
Our son in good
The future expenses are estimated at:
||±€1250 for the furniture|
||±€1250 for the textbooks|
||±€1250 for references books and reading books for the young
(according to availability of funds)|
||±€500 for a science lab|
||±€750 for the computer center (according to availability of funds)|
Due to the difficult financial situation of the local population we lowered
the school fees for the small children, and gave lots of family
reductions. Donors who gave money for one child, give now for several
ones. We thought it was better to open the school to many, than to
exceptions. We hope you agree to this. As soon as the school runs
properly these individual gifts will be made possible again.
Looking at the salaries, all of us (6 teachers + a good-for-all) receive the
small sum of €15. This of course is totally insufficient, but we share
whatever we have.
We worked like hell, and are quite impatient to get some distraction
conquering some high passes during the holidays which start within a week.
All donations are more than welcome! Your donation will be used
correctly. If you desire some more information, we are very ready to
provide it at simple request.
Thanks for your support,
Wendy, Jürgen and Yuval.
You can download
the thanking letter from the people of Kosht (107KB).
For more information, please contact:
Wendy & Jurgen; Ibn Batuta Community School Kosht; P.O. Kosht, Tehsil Mulkhow; District Chitral, NWFP; PAKISTAN