19th March 2020
The future of the Baleygon Village School and the education of almost 100 children has been secured through a new partnership between the Wild Frontiers Foundation and the Felix Foundation Baltistan, a non-profit organisation helping to develop communities within Pakistan’s remote Hushe Valley.
Re-building the Baleygon Village School has been Wild Frontiers biggest and most challenging project to date, spanning over 10 years.
It was a proud day in 2012 when all came to fruition and the new school was officially opened amid much fanfare and celebration in the village.
The two years previous had been a hard slog, both for our group of charity challengers who raised an amazing £20,000 from trekking to K2’s ‘Throne Room of the Gods’, and for our local team on the ground who used the funds to build two new classrooms and get the school kitted out ready for the pupils’ return.
With continued funding and invaluable support from Wild Frontiers’ clients, work continued with the building of a new toilet block, which was essential in giving the girls of the village the equal opportunity to attend school, paying teachers’ wages and providing educational materials.
Over the years since we have enjoyed watching the children progress and grow, while continuing to fund the development of the school.
However, without the ability to closely and continuously monitor the management of the school from the UK, it became increasingly difficult to ensure the quality of the students’ education, attendance and school upkeep, so in late 2019 we began talks with the Felix Foundation Baltistan, which supports and manages schools in the valley, catering for approximately 1500 students from infants to secondary school.
With its progressive strategies for education in the valley, the Wild Frontiers Foundation’s board of trustees made the decision to transfer the management of the school to the Felix Foundation.
With the blessing of the community, the school management was officially transferred in February 2020, making The Wild Frontiers Foundation sponsored school the tenth in the cluster being run by the Felix Foundation.
With more recent progress and a new government school now also established in the village for junior students up to Grade 4, the Wild Frontiers Foundation sponsored school will now accommodate and educate students from Grade 5 to Grade 8, offering more focused learning for the age groups.
After graduating the students will have the opportunity to attend secondary school in a nearby village.
As its guardians, the Wild Frontiers Foundation has committed to funding the school until 2025. This funding will pay teachers’ wages, provide teaching aids, including white boards, science equipment and laptops, and contribute to general maintenance and upkeep.
After a long, cold winter in the remote mountain region, the students are set to return to school in April.
Our clients travelling in this region of Northern Pakistan, will have the opportunity to visit the school to meet the students and teachers.
We are proud to be working with the Felix Foundation Baltistan and continuing our support of education in this isolated region of Pakistan.