Dear Supporters,

Although we have not been able to fundraise – for obvious reasons! – the Trust has continued to liaise with schools and students in Ladakh.  The Trustees have met from time to time, via Zoom, and at our recent meeting we thought it was time to give you an update.

Ladakh has been in lockdown, for a short period, there have been 15,054 cases of Covid in the Union Terrritory, with 163 deaths.  They are working on a comprehensive programme of vaccination – not an easy task with the remoteness of many communities.

Schools in Ladakh have faced my challenges during the past year in order to provide continuous education for their students. They have closed, then partly reopened and then closed again as infection rates fluctuate and lockdowns are reintroduced. All schools that we work with have introduced online learning programs for their pupils. Inevitably this has been difficult for some who live in more remote areas but we have heard of many instances where families and communities collaborate to enable learning to continue for these vulnerable children by providing them with access to the internet.

Whilst school fees have for the most part remained at similar rates to last year, some sponsors will note a reduction in their overall sponsorship costs due to the reimbursement of some hostel fees.

In total we continue to sponsor 36 students across 16 different schools. Most attend schools in or around Leh. We are extremely pleased that in the past 18 months, 3 more students have completed vocational qualifications in addition to their sponsored secondary education. These qualifications will inevitably place them in a wonderful position for employment.

As a charity we have had to develop new links and ways of communicating as Gail’s trips to check up on the progress and welfare of our sponsored children and their families have been impossible. Initially whilst schools were closed, there was very little communication but gradually through email, What’s App and the amazing work of Rinchen, our worker in Ladakh, we have been able to gain contact with schools and the vast majority of the children. To date, 22 academic reports and photos, with some video clips have been sent out to sponsors and more are on their way!

During these difficult times, we are truly grateful for the continued commitment of sponsors to ensure their students gain access to a full and continuous education…your support changes children’s lives!

Gail will book to go out to Ladakh when it is possible and safe to do so but at present it seems unlikely to be this year.

Once again, thank you for your amazing support.