BUILDING A SUPPORT NET, NEPAL
Heaven Hill Academy is the first 100% free private school in Nepal. Located in Gaunshahar, one of the poorest regions in the country, they cover all tuition fees, uniforms and school materials for children from the lowest castes and economic backgrounds, easing the burden on families and allowing children to focus on learning in a non-violent environment that promotes self-development and creativity.
The impact that Heaven Hill Academy has had in the community is great. So far they’ve helped over 120 children access quality education and become fluent in English, whilst at the same time they’ve changed the mindset of a whole community around violence and education.
To learn more about Heaven Hill Academy go to http://www.heavenhillacademy.org/
Nepal is one of the poorest and most unequal countries in the world, around 30% of Nepalis still live under poverty and struggle to access quality education. Private education in Nepal is expensive and public schools, whilst free, still use violent punishments to impose discipline, creating a hostile environment for learning and reinforcing a vicious circle of violence.
At the moment, Heaven Hill Academy runs from nursery until 5th grade, hosting about 120 students with a cost of USD $15 a month per kid. This is uniquely sustained by donations with no support from the Nepali government.
The challenges ahead are plenty, as each year Heaven Hill needs to keep growing to provide full scholar education to the children in Gaunshahar. For 2020, there is no classroom for the kids moving on into 6th grade, they desperately need funds to be able to secure their education.
In addition to this, they are currently building a second school in another remote village. Their future plan includes opening more schools across the country to transform Nepali education and to provide at least one meal per day to their students, as malnutrition remains to be a huge problem in Nepal.
How might we help a remote charity to create a sustainable source of income to continue to deliver high quality education in rural Nepal?
To address the challenge of constant needs of funds Heaven Hill faces we created a new fundraising strategy supported on three main pillars:
1. Focus on developing long-term relationships.
Heaven Hill Academy receives about 350 international volunteers per year, yet for many of them the interaction with Heaven Hill is a one-off, as once they leave there is no connection what so ever with the NGO. Building a volunteer alumni network is key as they are an invested group of people who is more likely to donate and share the campaigns provided with the right means.
2. Build transparency and accountability.
One of the biggest faults of many charities and NGOs is not being open about what they are doing with the money they receive. Being proactive and keeping donors and volunteers updated in the development of the project is crucial to develop ownership and make people feel involved.
3. Diversify the donations models.
Rather than just having random fundraising campaigns when they have needs, Heaven Hill could create programmes of fundraising, providing donors with alternatives such us sponsoring the monthly cost of educating a child or a number of children, supporting a specific project such as providing food or school materials, and finally, creating seasonal campaigns such us the Christmas campaign where people can donate for themselves or on behalf of someone else as a gift.
This strategy has been materialised into a digital platform and a set of guidelines to deliver these pillars and bring them to life.