Archive for the 'Education' Category


Latems creatief: When pictures become art paintings

Between the 31st of January and the 2nd of February there was an exposition of paintings at the “Hof Van Ryhove” in Gent, Belgium.

Monk with cat

Monk with pet

It was a group of art painters, grouped as ‘Latems Creatief’ who organized this exposition and who exhibited a large number of art works.

Young monk


Eight of the paintings were for sale, and all profit was foreseen for the Kalyan English Secondary School in Lalitpur, Nepal.



These eight paintings were based on my photography, and I was very much honored by the request of their teacher Johan Morel to have some of my portraits selected to transform into art paintings.



Here you can see the transformations.

Inle Lake


To all members of the art group named ‘Latems Creatief’ I want to express my special thanks for their organization and for their donations to the Kalyan School in Nepal.

Red cap


Monk with bowl



bandana girl


March, 8th: International Women’s Day

International Women’s Day (IWD), originally called International Working Women’s Day, is marked on March 8 every year. It is the story of ordinary women as makers of history and it is rooted in the centuries-old struggle of women to participate in society on an equal footing with men. In ancient Greece, Lysistrata initiated a sexual strike against men in order to end war; during the French Revolution, Parisian women calling for “liberty, equality, fraternity” marched on Versailles to demand women’s suffrage.  The idea of an International Women’s Day first arose at the turn of the century, which in the industrialized world was a period of expansion and turbulence, booming population growth and radical ideologies.

“Every moment is an experience”

Jake Roberts

In different regions the focus of the celebrations ranges from general celebration of respect, appreciation and love towards women to a celebration for women’s economic, political and social achievements. Started as a Socialist political event, the holiday blended in the culture of many countries, primarily Eastern Europe, Russia, and the former Soviet bloc. In many regions, the day lost its political flavor, and became simply an occasion for men to express their love for women in a way somewhat similar to a mixture of Mother’s Day and St Valentine’s Day. In other regions, however, the original political and human rights theme designated by the United Nations runs strong, and political and social awareness of the struggles of women worldwide are brought out and examined in a hopeful manner.

“Love begins by taking care of the closest ones – the ones at home”

Mother Teresa

The UN theme for International Women’s Day 2012 is Empower Women – End Hunger and Poverty.In many countries, International Women’s Day is an occasion to honor and praise women for their accomplishments. In 2012, Oxfam America is inviting people to celebrate inspiring women in their lives by sending a free International Women’s Day e-Card or honoring a woman whose efforts make a difference in the fight against hunger and poverty with Oxfam’s International Women’s Day award.

“If you judge people, you have no time to love them”

Mother Teresa

On the occasion of International Women’s Day 2012, the ICRC is calling for more action to help the mothers and wives of people who have gone missing during armed conflict. The vast majority of people who go missing in connection with conflict are men. As well as the anguish of not knowing what has happened to the missing person, many of these women face economic and practical difficulties. The ICRC underlines the duty of parties to a conflict to search for the missing and provide information for the families.


Poor children in The Gambia, West-Africa

The Republic of the Gambia, commonly known as The Gambia, is a country in West Africa. The Gambia is the smallest country on mainland Africa, bordered to the north, east, and south by Senegal, with a short coastline on the Atlantic Ocean in the west. The country is situated around the Gambia River, the nation’s namesake, which flows through the country’s centre and empties into the Atlantic Ocean. Its area is almost 10.500 km² with an estimated population of 1.700.000.

A wide variety of ethnic groups live in The Gambia with a minimum of intertribal friction, each preserving its own language and traditions. The Mandinka tribe is the largest, followed by the Fula, Wolof, Jola, and Sarahule. Approximately 3.500 non-Africans live in The Gambia, including Europeans and families of Lebanese origin. Muslims constitute more than 90% of the population. Christians of different denominations account for most of the remainder. Gambians officially observe the holidays of both religions and practice religious tolerance.

According to the 1993 census, more than 63% of Gambians lived in rural villages, although more and more young people were coming to the capital in search of work and education. Provisional figures from the 2003 census showed that the gap between the urban and rural populations was narrowing as more areas were declared urban. While urban migration, development projects, and modernization are bringing more Gambians into contact with Western habits and values, the traditional emphasis on the extended family, as well as indigenous forms of dress and celebration, remain integral parts of everyday life.

The UNDP’s Human Development Report for 2010 ranks The Gambia 151st out of 169 countries on its Human Development Index, putting it in the ‘Low Human Development’ category. This index compares life expectancy, years of schooling, Gross National Income (GNI) per capita and some other factors. The Constitution mandates free and compulsory primary education in the Gambia, but a lack of resources and educational infrastructure has made implementation difficult.  In 1995, the gross primary enrolment rate was 77.1 percent and the net primary enrolment rate was 64.7 percent. School fees long prevented many children from attending school, but in February 1998 the President of the Gambia ordered the termination of fees for the first six years of schooling. Girls make up about 40 percent of primary school students, though the figure is much lower in rural areas where cultural factors and poverty prevent parents from sending girls to school. Approximately 20 percent of school-age children attend Koran schools, which usually have a restricted curriculum.


Lalitpur, Nepal – Kalyan Secondary School: be polite, be truthful ( Part 2 )

As mentioned in my yesterday’s article, I’ll provide you some additional information about the Kalyan English Secondary boarding school, situated in Lalitpur, Nepal.

Not all parents can afford this education + the extra cost of the school uniform and books. Actually some of the poor students are sponsored by people from different organizations, included Belgian benefactors. Most of the students are from local area. Some of them come from Patan or Kathmandu city.

There’re 4 exams in a year called the 1st, 2nd, 3rd and final terms. Mainly all students have summer vacation for 2 weeks, Dashain vacation for 10 days, Dipawali vacation for another 6 days, a 2-weeks taking winter vacation and some public holidays. The new school year starts from April 17th every year. Every year the students of the 10th class have to appear for the board of school leaving examination which is running under the Nepalese board. Until now all students leaving Kalyan Secondary School have succeeded in these tests. These students can go to 11th class in another place. In the near future the school management wants to add class 11 and class 12 to his facilitations. That’s why extension works are going on at the moment. An additional floor is under construction and should produce more classrooms.

The school has a club of former students and they come to school for different programs after invitation by the school staff. Several times a year different meetings are organized to inform the student’s parents about the yearly calendar, the school budget and about the policy of quality education. After each term of the examination, the parents are invited to come to collect the report cards of their son(s) and/or daughter(s). Once a year the school organizes a special parent’s program with dances, music, exhibitions, arts and crafts. This yearly program is attended by the District education officer and other VIP’s from the Nepalese Ministry of education.

Kalyan English Secondary Boarding School is located Dhapakhel – 9, Lalitpur, NEPAL and has a private Post Office box to receive letters from benefactors and sponsors from over the world. If you want to make a financial or material donation to the school, if you want to help the poor children by paying their monthly tutorial fee, or if you want to work in the school as a volunteer, you can take contact with the Director of this school by letter addressed to Mr. Shyam Karki, PO Box 20087 – Kathmandu, Nepal or by email to

In name of the staff and the students of the Kalyan English Secondary Boarding School, we thank you for your support!!


Lalitpur, Nepal – Kalyan Secondary School: be polite, be truthful ( Part 1 )

As promised in my articles titled ‘Nepalese children and education – a hope of a nation (part 1 & 2)’ dated February 27th and 28th, I want to inform you about the ins and outs of the Kalyan English Secondary Boarding school of Nepal.

Kalyan English Secondary Boarding School is actually located in Lalitpur, a village in the Patan district of Kathmandu. The school was founded in 1996 and was first run in a small rented house. At these days the school was under the management of 15 people and 125 students could enjoy the private education. Due to the 10-years taking civil war (1996 – 2006) between the King and the Maoists, Nepal and the Nepalese people suffered a lot. As a result of this civil war, tourism (only considerably source of income for Nepal) collapsed entirely. So my dearest friend Mr. Shyam Karki (see article published on my blog at January 27th), who was working as a tourist guide for many years, saw his income disappear.

Mr. Shyam Karki - Director of Kalyan School

In search for a new professional career, and with the assistance of some of his Belgian friends, Shyam got the opportunity to buy the school and to start his career as School Director in February 2003. Between 2003 and 2005 Shyam and his staff managed the school in the same old rented house. As more students were coming to the school, and as this old building had only small and dark classrooms, Shyam has let build the new school building in 2005. Mr. Shyam Karki (°January 27th 1964) is married to Anjoo and has two children, his son Swachchhanda  and his daughter Samriddhi.

Shyam Karki and his family.

Now the new school has around 350 students and offers education to children from Kindergarten to 10th class. Therefore there’re 14 class rooms available. Shyam is the principal (or Director) of this school and his staff exists out of 22 well qualified teachers for various subjects and 4 non-teaching staff members. Recently several volunteers came from different parts of the world, especially from English native speaking countries such as the USA and England to teach the English language. These volunteers are all graduated teachers.

The school offers a high qualified education and runs under the rules of the Nepalese Ministry of education. The education calendar (subjects, public holidays, etc…) is fixed by the government. The monthly fee to be paid by the students, is stipulated by the Nepalese government based on the facilities of the school and on the qualifications and experience of the teachers. The actual monthly fee to be paid by the students, varies between 650 Rs (around 10,00 € or US$15,00) for the nursery and kindergarten classes, to 1.290 Rs (around 20,00 € to US$30) for the students in secondary level. This fee includes the use of all facilities in the school, a high level quality education and the transportation by minibus. The extra facilities of this school are among other things: library, computer class with 6 computers and two laptops, outside play yard, music classroom, inside play yard for the children from nursery school and kindergarten and a sports play yard with possibilities to play basketball, table tennis and other sports. 

Tomorrow I will give you some additional information about this school.

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