Just the Facts....
Status: Complete

School: Pakariya

Country: Nepal

District: Kailali

Village: Pakariya

Donor: Anonymous Matching Donor

Partner: BuildOn

Year: 2011

Students: 121

Why we Work in Nepal:
● Nepal falls in the lowest category of human development (ranking #138 amongst 169 countries with data) on the United Nations Human Development Index, a comparative measure of life expectancy, literacy, education and standard of living.
● Before Nepal’s revolution in 1950, only 1 child in 100 attended school. Now, the total adult literacy rate in Nepal is just over 50%.
● One of Nepal’s National Literacy Goals is to reduce the gap between the male and female literacy rates.

The Pakariya School was completed on May 17, 2011

The Pakariya School project broke ground on February 15th, 2011 and was completed on May 17th, 2011. During these weeks of construction the people of Pakariya contributed a total of 1,291 volunteer workdays to the project, finishing slightly ahead of schedule.

Children standing proudly in front of their new school


A first grade classroom


Students in Class


The faculty and staff

Before starting construction they also collected local materials for the project and met with buildOn staff to sign a covenant outlining the following responsibilities:

Community Contribution
• Unskilled labor: 20 workers (10 women and 10 men) per day, six days per week
• Commitment to educating girls and boys equally
• The land on which the school will be built
• High quality local materials: sand, gravel, water & rocks
• Volunteer management committee made up of 12 villagers (six women, six men)
• Lodging for buildOn Field Coordinator and skilled laborers in local homes
• Basic construction tools (picks, wheelbarrows, buckets, etc.) when available

buildOn and Opportunity for All Contribution
• Engineering and architecture
• Construction materials (excluding local materials) for school and latrine
• Skilled labor and plans needed to build the school
• Project management (buildOn coordinators)
• Instruction in basic construction techniques

Pakariya Community Profile

Pakariya is part of the Bauniya VDC (Village Development Committee) in the Kailali district of western Nepal. The recently elected leader of this community is Mr. Lal Bahadur Dagaura. The population of Pakariya is 492 people, living in 71 households or family groups. Most of these people follow Hindu religious practices, though there are some Christians in Pakariya as well.

The primary activity in Pakariya is agriculture- people grow rice, wheat, oilseed and vegetables. The climate in Pakariya is warm for most of the year. The months of June, July and August are extremely hot and wet while December, January and February are colder.
The people of Pakariya are almost all part of the Tharu ethnic group. The Tharu make up about 6.5% of Nepal’s population, and comprise at least 7 major clans, each with a distinct culture and dialect. What unites this diverse group is a shared history of exploitation. Until the practice was banned in 2000, many Tharu were forced into a form of indentured servitude called Kamaiya. Having no land of their own, these people were granted loans and a chance to work the land of wealthy landowners- who then charged exorbitant interest to keep labouring Tharu families enslaved for generations.

Old School Conditions

Mr. Jagat Bahadur Mahato founded Pakariya in 1854- but the community has only had formal education for the last 6 years. There are no permanent classrooms in the community, so students attend classes in rooms built with wood and mud. There are currently 120 students enrolled in the school (71 girls and 49 boys) with 4 teachers from Pakariya teaching grades 1-4. In order to continue past grade 4 students must walk 2km to another community.

The School Project

Pakariya was chosen as a buildOn project site after a member of another community with a newly constructed buildOn school visited Pakariya on business. He spread the word of buildOn’s support, and representatives from Pakariya sought out buildOn to seek similar aid.
The project broke ground on Tuesday, February 15th. With the help of a team of 17 buildOn students and staff- including founder and CEO Jim Ziolkowski- the community members dug the foundation for their new school block of 3 classrooms. The completed school has a poured concrete floor and a concrete slab roof, as well as 2 latrines. The latrines and school block were built with fired clay bricks. The Trek for Knowledge team- made up of students selected from schools in the Bronx and Bridgeport, CT- worked side by side with villagers for the first two weeks of construction. The entire project took approximately 12 weeks to complete.

Volunteers crushing stones into gravel