Dzagyel 1+1 = 2

Those of you who have been following our work will know that 2011 was a busy year….we built a school in Dzagyel! In 2012 we went one step further, we build a dormitory to sleep 30 children from Nomadic family’s in the region. It has taken time to be able to provide you with an update. It’s a remote area and our Field Officer has vast ground to cover and many projects to oversee. With such a grueling schedule it is all to easy to loose a USB stick with the last field trip foto’s…these things happen! But finally we’re able to show you the progress that has been carried forward from 2011. And indeed, what a progress.

Take a look at how remote Dzagyel is on Wikimapia…

The major funds (€10,000) donated by Stichting Overal were actually allocated to to this phase of the project. The initial plan was to build the dormitory as a separate building but in the end, it was considered most cost effective and easier for heating and maintenance to add a whole new floor level on top! We at Norlha build trust with the communities we help, we don’t dictate the details to them. We know it is the project managers on the ground who know best, and seldom do they let us down.

So what now? Well, Norlha Nederland discussed this at length with Agathe Paron (Field Officer) and management, recently at our Switzerland HQ. Problems remain. The school running cost and salaries are still difficult to find, over 50% of the money for the total building of school and new dormitory was gathered by the local community, it hasn’t left them with much in the pot.

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Additionally we been asked to find funding for the salaries of two doctors for a clinic in the same region. That will cost €500 per month. So that’s it, we’ve made a success story in Dzagyel and in this remote region of Western China but there’s still lost more to do.

So we need to find more funding for both teachers and doctors, not forever, just for a while until they can get things working smoothly themselves. So far they’ve done us proud…lets keep it that way…keep donating, keep supporting us, keep the good work going.

And thank you Stichting Overal.

Dzagyel in 2012

The renovation of the school has been completed. Walls have been painted and the classrooms are decorated with traditional Tibetan paintings. Moreover, the classrooms have been equipped with proper desks and chairs! The weather is now severely cold in the area but classes can still continue.

Later this year we will continue with the Dormitory building, but with winter temperatures well below -30 we have to wait until early spring 2012 before we can commence this next phase of the project. If you have read previous posts you will see that this phase has been sponsored, in large part, by Stichting Overal. Securing a residential qualified Chinese/Maths teacher is still a major goal. Staff can be found for the summer months but few are able to deal with the challenging harsh winters in such a remote area. Presently most lessons are giving in the Tibetan language with some Chinese being taught also. Our focus right now is to increase Chinese language lessons in the summer months when it is easier to find good qualified teachers. We still trying to convince more parents to send more daughters to the school, presently 9 out of 61,  are girls. The fact that the school has become a place of change, a place that impresses the community will help us achieve this goal as will a residential dormitory.


The ‘one-meal-a-day’ policy is going well and a new village greenhouse now provides more vegetables but once again the winter weather puts a limit on that also. The trials of living in the Himalaya’s are many.


We trust you will see that Norlha Nederland has delivered on it’s commitment to this project, we hope you can see the difference that your funds have made. We’ve come a long way from 2010 with just two small rooms made of mud walls. The dormitory with be another major step taken this year. We will still need funds to furnish it with fittings, beds and small cabinets for over 30 students (the school has 60-70 students). It will also increase the schools responsibilities, becoming full-time guardians for the boys and girls. We here to help them, to continue with fundraising for their needs and to help the community in other areas such as health and medical care. In 2011, we built a bridge, in 2012 we will cross it many times.


Stichting Overal

Overa logo

Met grote vreugde willen we u laten weten dat we een grote stap in ons Dzagyel project gezet hebben. Stichting Overal heeft 10.000 euro gedoneerd voor de bouw van een slaapzaal. Stichting Overal is een niet-gesubsidieerde organisatie met meer dan 30 vrijwilligers die tweedehands huishoudelijke artikelen verzamelen, herstellen en verkopen. Dit is duurzaamheid ten top, het is dan ook de vrijgevigheid en het harde werk van de Nederlanders die dit mogelijk hebben gemaakt.

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Deze donatie stelt nomadische kinderen, die ver van de school wonen in staat om goed onderwijs te volgen. De slaapzaal zal worden gebouwd van steen en maakt het mogelijk dat tot 30 kinderen er comfortabel kunnen slapen. Er zijn zeer strenge winters in het gebied met temperaturen tot -30. Maar…er is nog steeds veel meer te doen en er is nog meer geld nodig. De school heeft nog een goede vaste leraar Chinees nodig. Ook hebben we financiering nodig voor lopende kosten, geschikte tafels en materialen. We hebben een hele goede start gemaakt, laten we de school en de schoolkinderen tot een goed einde brengen’!

Dzagyel – updates from our Field Officer


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“Dzagyel school was the only school supported by Norlha which didn’t close during the Caterpillar Fungus season! This shows a real motivation from both the teachers and the parents to give to their children the best chance to build their future. In all the other villages, the schools closed during two months (from end of April to beginning of July), because all the families move to the hills to pick up the Caterpillar fungus (a fungus with medicinal properties which is sold at a very high price in all China).”

“The construction of the building has already started, and the children have now their classes in a big tent. The walls have been built (all in stones) as well as the windows frames (very beautiful!). They think the construction should be finished in October.”

“As you all know, there are currently only Tibetan courses in the school, and no Chinese course. Actually, it is very difficult for Dzagyel school to find a Chinese teacher willing to live in such a remote area, without a reasonable salary and good living conditions. This is why building this teacher resident room is very important for them, for the school, and especially for the children, if we want them to have all the necessary “tools” to build their future!”


Video: The children of Dzagyel and the old adobe mud school before the new building commenced.

“When we arrived, all the parents were at the school as the headmaster, Sonam Darje, was explaining them the importance of encouraging their children to do their homework, as well as to wash their children clothes (who are very dirty). So it was perfect time to start our workshop on hygiene! The parents all stayed at the school and they were all very curious about what we were doing so, the workshop aimed at the children ended up to be also beneficial for the parents! Some soaps, towels, nail clippers, tooth brushes and tooth paste were distributed to the children and Lochoe explained to them the importance of keeping a good hygiene, and how to wash hands and wash teeth. All the children participated with enthousiasm to the activity, which ended with a quick cleaning of the garbages around the school.”

“Dzagyel school leaders and teachers are highly motivated but they do lack the financial resources to realize all the projects they have in mind. This year, thanks to Norlha support, they have all the financial means necessary to build the two classrooms and the teacher office. But for next year, they still lack some money for the dining room, kitchen and teacher resident room.”

Cosima Thommen – Field Officer Norlha

Betere Scholen op het dak van de Wereld

Nieuwe Hoop voor Dzagyel.
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en sponsors voor kinderen, scholen en andere projecten.

Onze project aanvraag betreft de bouw van een school in Dzagyel in West China. China maakt op dit moment een snelle groei door, maar helaas blijven sommige gebieden achter. Dzagyel is een afgelegen gebied op 4000 meter hoogte. In dit gebied zijn veel nomaden. Hun cultuur wordt ernstig bedreigd. We willen graag de Tibetaanse cultuur behouden en versterken. De Tibetaanse kinderen zullen ook Chinees en wiskundeles krijgen. Dit alles leidt tot een betere dialoog tussen Chinezen en Tibetanen. We werken vanuit compassie voor meer onderwijs en tegen armoede van zowel Tibetanen als Chinezen. In totaal kost het school project €31,426.

Wordt actief. Doneer nu!

Norlha Stichting
Rabo Bank Nr. 1465.71.649