ICS has a partner school - Shree Mangal Dvip School (SMD) - in Kathmandu, Nepal. A boarding school for children from remote Himalayan villages, it gives them an education they would not otherwise receive. Schooling is not compulsory in Nepal and schools in the Himalayas are very few and far between. Our Mission Statement commits us to "fulfil our responsibilities". Our relationship with SMD is one of the ways we do so.
- We offer scholarships to SMD students, enabling them to enter ICS in Grade 11 to study for their IB Diploma.
- Our students and teachers volunteer at SMD. ICS Teachers helped set up a literacy scheme at SMD and have taken student groups - including the Grade 10 Expedition and the Grade 9 Service Learning and Adventure trip - to volunteer at SMD.
- ICS families offer Scholarship Students a home while they study here. This is often a life-changing experience for both the student and family.
- Some ICS students spend part of their gap year or Personal Development Month volunteering at SMD.
- Update: the Nepal earthquakes in April and May 2015 damaged SMD school buildings and made them unusable. Since we set up a fund to channel money to the school to help with repairs/rebuilding, the ICS community has contributed over 80,000 CHF. Our Nepalese Scholarship students and Grade 9s who visited the school in March ran awareness-raising assemblies and fundraising initiatives. We are also proud of former Scholarship Students now back in Nepal who have been helping deliver aid to those in need.
Scroll down for more details of our relationship with SMD.
A scholarship to ICS can change the life of a Nepalese student. SMD only goes up to Grade 10, so its students need to find another school if they want to continue their education. When they come to ICS, they study for the IB Diploma - and this opens the door for them to go on to university.
Dechen Dolma, who studied at ICS from 2011-2013, says this opportunity directly helped her get into the University of Victoria in Canada. "For me and my fellow students, coming to ICS really changed our lives. Getting into university from Nepal would have been really difficult. But having the IB Diploma really helped me as my university gave me credits for my IB studies."
- Sherab (who graduated in 2011) is studying Human Geography at university in Canada and hopes in future to work with an NGO (non-governmental organisation) helping aid development in Nepal.
- Lhakpa (who graduated in 2012) is studying on an Engineering programme at university in Finland. Nepal struggles to provide enough jobs for its people and Lhakpa hopes his degree in Materials Processing will help him create manufacturing opportunities when he returns to Nepal.
- Tsering (who also graduated in 2012) is studying for a Bachelor's degree in Social Work and hopes to work in the Himalayas, addressing problems created by the lack of education and health care.
- Tenzin (who graduated in 2014) is applying to university in Finland and hopes to return to Nepal as a teacher.
Our 2015 Nepalese Scholarship Student was Tsewang Gyurme. Tsewang is in Grade 11 and after finishing his studies, he hopes to go and work in northern Nepal, helping people affected by caste discrimination. You can meet Tsewang in this video, made by a Grade 9 student who visited SMD School in March 2015.
We can offer Scholarships thanks to the generosity of ICS Host Families: they offer a home to these students for 1 or 2 years while they study here.
Former host parent Rachel D says. "I would endorse what a life-changing experience it can be. Tenzin & Kunchok came into our family as very shy 17-year-olds with incredible backgrounds, being born four days’ walk from the nearest road. They both changed and grew, through their experience at ICS and living with us, into self-assured young men and role-models to younger students.
It was an absolute pleasure and honour to have them as members of our family. They brought strong values of care and responsibility into our home. They taught our children how to appreciate what they have, the education they are being given and how to have simple fun together. Of course having a new member of the family is always demanding, but I would urge potential host families to make the leap of faith. I am sure you won't regret it."
James Lindsay graduated from ICS in 2014 and is taking a gap year that includes four months volunteering as a teaching assistant at SMD. In his blog, Ambles in Asia, he reflects on how his experience has changed him. He also explains how he feels the ICS Scholarship Programme has helped SMD students: "It warmed my heart to hear Tenzin Lama talk about how his moral views, his opinions of justice and his perception of truth were radically changed by his time at ICS. It convinced me of the vital importance of the scholarship program, because, ultimately, our school does not just simply teach Maths and German, but it also opens the students' minds and fosters in its graduates an attitude where we are questioning and demanding and aware."