A grassroots project initiated by Chhitup Lama
HEAD Nepal is fully focused and incredibly motivated as well as
committed towards the overall development of the persons with
disabilities especially in Humla district. Since its establishment,
providing special education to the blind and partially sighted
children in the district has been the central focus of our work.
In 2011 HEAD Nepal started The Head Mobile Blind School and in one year we have provided
special training and education to 25 children
with visual impairment throughout the different villages of Humla.
In May 2012, we have created a Head Vision Home, a residential training
center (hostel) for the children. Currently 25
blind and partially sighted children are being trained and educated in
our residential educational center.
Additional activities include but are not limited to:
-planning a school building with an adjacent home facilities for 25 children with
-preparing a comprehensive statistical report on
persons with disabilities in Humla,
-conducting a basic needs support
service for people with disabilities in
-conducting a regular and special computer skills/ICT
training, assorted vocational and skill building training such as
sewing/tailoring, and knitting.
The Head Skill Development Center has provided support, assistance and training workshops and materials
to different people with disabilities. We have set up a Disability
Information Advisory Services (Help Desk).
Simikot, Humla, Mid-Western Region, Nepal
My name is Chhitup Lama and I am the Founder and Executive Director of
the organization Himalayan Education and Development (HEAD NEPAL). I have been
partially sighted by birth. I have experienced all the sorrows of a
partially sighted child growing up in Humla. I had no access to
specialized training in mobility and orientation. I have experienced
many difficulties in receiving a proper education because people believed that I may bring bad luck to their
surroundings. I feel it is the right time to change the circumstances for
people with disabilities. As a result I started HEAD Nepal
and our work focuses on the blind and visually impaired children in my region.
With the creation of HEAD Nepal, in 2011 in
Humla, and after my training at kanthari, it was possible to build up support mechanisms to bring children with visual
impairment into the mainstream educational system. I believe in the potential of
the most neglected. Like a Himalayan spring hiding beneath the snow, I
believe that huge potential can be discovered once we give these
children a chance to blossom. I am passionate to work with persons
with disabilities in Humla. Consequently I set up a residential,
educational and training center, the Head Vision Home. Humla is one of
the poorest regions in the world and the disabled people, are the most
disadvantaged among the poor. However, I strongly believe that
empowering the disabled through education and early intervention will
have a positive effect on the general development of Humla, the
country and the world at large.
Number of direct beneficiaries: 60 children and youth with
disabilities in one year.
Number of indirect beneficiaries: 200 (Parents, family members and people from the community people)
HEAD Nepal has several projects:
A. HEAD Vision Home is a residential educational center for the children
with visual disability. It was developed to support the blind and partially
sighted students for successful inclusion in the mainstream educational system. The
activities include: training on daily living skills, Braille reading
and writing, music and dance, sports/games, computer lessons,
extracurricular activities among other things.
B. HEAD Skill Development Center: for youth/adult people with
disability. The activities include: income generating/vocational
training such as leadership, sewing and tailoring,
knitting, and crystal jewelry making.
C. Community Based Rehabilitation (CBR) Program was created to rehabilitate people with disabilities in their own community. It has various support activities like providing support devices,
conducting needs assessment and referral program, supporting the
children enrollment in schools, basic health services, raising
awareness about disability, and advocacy.
D. Disability Advisory Information Services (Help Desk): in order to
provide necessary information to people with disabilities and to their family members, community people and even stakeholders. The Help Desk includes information about available support services by the local government
and other local non-profit and other organizations.
E. HEAD Mobile School: was established to bring the children with disabilities mainly
physically challenged and visual impairment, into the mainstream educational system.
these children do not have many opportunitites to go to school because they live in rural parts of
Himalayan. The activities include: parents' education, awareness on
disability, basic literacy for the children, school registration
process and scholarship and obtaining disability identity card.
Website www.headnepal.orgFacebook page: https://www.facebook.com/himilayaneducationanddevlopment.heeadnepal/
15 year old Harimaya is partially blind and has walked unsteadily and had difficulty in reading printed books since she was a child. People from the community bullied her, “I could have sat in front row, but my classmates would not change place with me. They throw my text book to the back of the room, and told me to go to the back” (Harimaya shares in the Film The Activist Journey 2.) She failed many classes in the school. Fortunately Harimaya’s mother has not abandoned her. Her mother is a widow. Since her husband passed away 9 years ago, she has supported the family entirely by herself, providing for her four children through farm work. The family lives in the remote mountain of Humla. But Harimaya’s brother was unwilling to look after her. Her brother complains that she could not cook, and that she created more work for him. At night her brother had to take her to the lavatory. He felt she was a lot of trouble.
Like Harimaya, visually impaired children in Nepal are often bullied even when they get the chance to go to school. The totally blind are forgotten or ostracized, and can only stay at home. In 2011, when HEAD Nepal was established, we initiated the HEAD Mobile School. Harimaya was one of 25 children with visual impairment who benefited from the program in the first year. In 2012 she was enrolled in HEAD Vision Home, the residential educational center at Simikot. This center supported her regular studies at school and she received training in orientation, mobility, daily living skills, and computer skills. As a result in 2013, she was the 1st graduate of the HEAD Vision Home to pass School Leaving Certificate (SLC) in the 2nd division. Now, she is at grade 12 and she can independently go to college. Harimaya is able to handle all households activities on her own. She wants to be a teacher and travel to foreign countries in the future.