“Three Summits Charity has built 3 schools in the remote region of Kanchenjunga. In 2015, I taught for 3 months in the primary school that had just opened in the village of Margem, returning the following year for a month. Margem is a 2 day walk up the trekking trail that leads to Kanchenjunga Base Camp. Trekking activity is sparse in that area and the villagers rely mainly on subsistence farming. Teaching there was a very rewarding and very challenging experience. The illiteracy rate among the adults is high. There are no books in the homes, no learning toys, and often no one to help the children navigate their way through the learning process. Despite that, there are many parents who are invested in having their children attend school and get a good education. Teaching there requires patience, flexibility, and creative lesson planning, as there are not the materials available that a teacher would find in a first-world school. In the classroom, I worked with a local village co-teacher, which is a rotating position for a few of the village women. Since the school is for preschool through first or second-graders, I taught Math, English, Art, a bit of Science and reading and writing in Nepali. The children loved to play circle games and sing songs while learning English. I ended up inventing games that would help them with English language skills. School is taught in Nepali, but most children speak both Nepali and their ethnic language, Limbu, with some of the youngest children still learning Nepali. The children loved the Nepali and English books that I brought (and the porters schlepped) up with me. Since they do not have books in their homes, having the opportunity to just look at books and read to themselves was a treat for them.
A group of older children came to me after their school day in the neighboring village of Hellok. They loved reading both the English and Nepali books. I would help them with their English and they would help me with my limited Nepali. They jumped into art projects and circle games with great gusto! School in Hellok only goes to grade 8 and, for some children, that is the extent of the education they will get. Beyond teaching specific skills, cultivating an enthusiasm for learning is one of the best outcomes that can come from sharing time with them.”
– Robin Hruska (Indianola, WA) Teacher Volunteer: 2015 and 2016
“I joined the team because climbing Rainier sounded like a great “challenge goal”, and I needed some goal to reach to help me lose some weight. Was a great experience, and before I knew it, I had joined the team 3 years in a row. While I never actually summited Rainier, I did make it up Adams, and had a lot of fun. More importantly, in that time I learned more about Nepal, the work Jwalant was doing there, and the very real need for what they are doing. Over time, 3 Summits became a lot less about the climb, and more about raising money for me.”
– Christopher Natsuume
“I met one of the founders, Jwalant Gurung, through a good friend from Virginia. As someone who loves the outdoors and is originally from Nepal, Jwalant decided to give back. I heard about the 3 Summits organization and decided it was a great way to help improve the lives of children living in Nepal.В The funds we raise support housing and education in one of the poorest countries in the world.В I was honored and lucky enough to be a part of the inaugural year! I summited Mount Rainier in Washington state that year. There were two other summits that year (Mount Baker and Mount Hood) that other supporters summited.”
– Phil Walko has posted some pictures and talks about his experience as a participant of 3 Summits here.