Vision: “From darkness to light”
The Jesuits run Moran Memorial School in Nepal’s easternmost Jhapa district, serving the children from a neighbouring tea estate and of the Rajbanshi tribe who live in surrounding villages – children on the margins of society.
The children work and study hard, their enthusiasm making up for the challenges they face, which include learning in Nepali and English, neither their mother tongue, and a deprived environment.
Life on the tea estates in eastern Nepal is very tough. Housing is basic and overcrowded, with an inadequate sewage system, usually without electricity and enough clothes or food to live healthily. Despite these risks, there is minimal access to healthcare. Tea workers earn $2 for an eight-hour shift, during which they must pick 26kg of tealeaves, which is backbreaking and tiring work.
Thanks to the education they receive, young people are starting to break out of the cycle of poverty, isolation and dependency in the estates, receiving the knowledge, skills and confidence that will encourage them to look for other means of employment.
It costs about $100 to educate a student at Moran Memorial School for one year. Most tea estate workers cannot afford to pay full school fees, but contribute a day’s wages per month, about $1.60. To provide basic education to the students, the school must make up the difference.
Director: Fr Nicholas Christuraj SJ
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