Our founder Peter Chittick first became involved in education projects in eastern Nepal in 2008 after visiting schools in the Junbesi Valley. This area, once a key hub on the trail to Everest established by Sir Edmund Hillary, had long been abandoned by trekkers. Shocked by the hardship endured by the community, Peter set about trying to understand how better education could play a role in changing the local dynamic from one of eternal poverty to one of gradual prosperity.
With the help of Stay At School’s Nepal Executive Director Gele Rapke Bhote, a variety of initial projects were undertaken including building projects, teacher training and scholarship programmes for the students and teachers of Junbesi Secondary School and local primary schools.
By 2017, it was clear that these efforts were making a difference and a more co-ordinated, strategic approach could deliver yet greater and lasting change to the communities of Solukhumbu. We created a new UK registered charity (1173685), Stay At School to expand the reach of our charitable activities and to meet head-on the challenge of rural education, poverty and prosperity.
Our ambition is to have a meaningful impact on the lives of at least 1,000 children over the next three years by helping them to ‘stay at school’ and achieve a better education leading to a happier more prosperous life.
We have a great team to make this happen. In Nepal, working hand-in-hand with local stakeholders, we have a dedicated group of trustees and staff led by Gele Rapke Bhote. Back in the UK, executive director Kathryn Griffith and our UK charity team give strategic direction and global fundraising support to the whole endeavour.