20 year Tapriza School: From the foundation up to the present (29/01/2018)

In the year 2018 we celebrate the 20 year anniversary of the Tapriza School. We are thankful to the commitment of the Tapriza team in Nepal and in Switzerland as well as the loyal support of our members, donors and friends

In 1996, I, Marietta Kind, lived in Dolpo for my ethnographic fieldwork and met two very motivated young Nepalese: Semduk Lama, an inquisitive yak-farmer, and Geshe Yungdrung Wang- yal, a dedicated monk, who supported me in my research on Bon religion with a lot of humour and substantial knowledge. In our many conversations around the fire we discussed their great wish for the region repeatedly. They dreamed of establishing an own school that in contrast to the existing government school operated properly and incorporated the local Tibetan language, culture, and religion in addition to the Nepali curriculum. Thus, the idea for the Tapriza School was born. Soon we could win over the American Catherine Inman for our project, who was working for the Peace Corps in Dolpo at the time.

Thanks to the relentless effort of our entire team and against all demurrals, we started in 1998 with kindergarten and Class 1. In a building in Sumduwa that belonged to the Shey Phok- sumdo Nationalpark, Semduk Lama, Geshe Wangyal, and Mahendra Giri taught 38 children from the region. Since then – hard to believe – twenty years have passed. Every year a new class was added and enriched the school life.

In 2002, the school moved into its own building where it is still located today. At that time there were five classes and a kindergarten. In 2003, the Tapriza School received the license for «Lower Secondary School» (class 6–8) and, in 2006, finally for the «Upper Secondary School» (class 9–10). In 2009, the first students graduated with the «School Leaving Certificate». Since then 99 Tapriza students have passed the exam with often outstanding grades.

We supported those students who were eager to continue to class 11 and 12 in Kathmandu and contributed to their further studies. Subsequently, they have become health assistants, engineering draftsmen, teachers, agronomists or well-educated farmers.

In 2018, we celebrate the 20 year jubilee of the Tapriza School in Nepal and in Switzerland. In time for the occasion the wall paintings in the multi-purpose building of the school have been completed. They illustrate the origins and the history of the school as well as local history.