With CÎME, we create organic and fair-trade skincare products based on superfoods from the Himalayas. This November, we travelled to Nepal with our friend and photographer Nena from Studio Nunu to visit our projects. In 4 blog posts, we tell you all about our trip.
Part 3: How children become little doctors – How we want to contribute to the education of children in the north of Nepal
Humla is situated in the northern part of Nepal, close to the the border with Tibet, what makes the trip towards it sort of exciting. We arrived at the Simikot airport in a tiny airplane. The airport resides at an elevation of 2,800m above sea level. And the runway is not very long to say the least. Result: you can still see two crashed airplanes next to the runway (fortunately there were no victims!).
But we don’t complain, because the best alternative to get there is to walk 8 days by foot through the mountains starting at the closest road. The remote location of Humla is a key decision why we as CÎME wanted to support a school project here. Humla is ought to be one of the poorest regions in the world. The people here are dependent of the import of rice to survive the freezing winters, the average life expectancy is about 58 years and an estimated of 1 out of 3 children dies before their 12th birthday.
One of the key solutions to this problem is to invest in the education of the local population. That is exactly what the NGO Nepal Trust does with the ‘Little Doctors’ schooling project. In the framework of this project, school children in Humla between the age of 11 and 16-year-old are being taught on aspects such as hygiene, health, aid and nutrition. The young teens are being educated to be ‘Little Doctors’ that pass on their learned knowledge to family, friends and members of the community. For every CÎME products that fly over the counter, a part of the proceedings goes to the training of ‘Little Doctors’.
The ‘Little Doctors’ projects seems to be big fun! The Little Doctors as well as the teachers seem to be very enthusiastic about the program and how much impact it has on their daily life.
Student Sarita: “First, we received one month of theoretical classes and afterwards the practical lessons. Those are the most fun. Then we can assist in the Health Post (The Nepal Trust in Humla has build 7 healthcare facilities, where people can get first aid and healthcare). We are allowed to heal burned marks and dog bites and we also help with vaccination.”
Student Prakriti: “We all receive a first aid kit, with basic tools such as scissors, disinfectant, bandage and diarrhea medication. We are allowed to take this home with us, but we can also use these at school. We are called in when one of the other students get hurt on the playground to take care of them.”
If we ask what the students want they want to become when they grow up, the most popular answer is a doctor or a nurse. This does not come falling from the sky. Part of the staff in the only hospital of Humla has followed the Little Doctors project when they were young. However not all students want to become doctors.
Student Tejendra: “I don’t want to become a doctor. I want to become a farmer and stay in this area.”
Jaya Bam, teacher in English and Vice-president of the school in Simikot: “For students like Tejendra, the Little Doctors program is also interesting. That’s what makes the project so beautiful. The information that they learn has the potential to improve the life circumstances of the students and their respective families because they learn practical information that is of important value for their state of health.”
Want to know more about the Nepal trust and their initiatives in Humla? Check their website:
Anke and Isabel
Pictures and video’s by Studio Nunu.
Did you enjoy reading this blog post? Check out our other blog posts about our Nepal trip: