Ibn Batuta Community School Kosht

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Kosht, end June 2001.

Dear donors,

It took some time, but now finally some news from Pakistan.  We have to admit it: our task is not easy.

Football game 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 difficult.  

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 time. 

wendy.in.class7.kosht 2001

Wendy teaching math in class 7

What did we acquire and spend till now?

bullet 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 of admissions!
bullet 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  €1250.
bullet 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 on request.)

Our son in good hands

The future expenses are estimated at:

bullet ±€1250 for the furniture
bullet ±€1250 for the textbooks
bullet ±€1250 for references books and reading books for the young (according to availability of funds)
bullet ±€500 for a science lab
bullet ±€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

Tel: +32494435128
Internet: info@ibcsk.com


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E-mail: info@ibcsk.com
© Wendy&Jürgen 29-Mar-2004

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