The Linbong* School project is part of the Church of North India’s innovative anti-human trafficking program.
For many children living in the remote districts of the North East Himalayas, going to school can be an arduous activity. Children have to walk up to four hours to attend the nearest primary school, often on isolated mountain trails. For many parents the risk is too great – they don’t send their children to school and the opportunity for education is lost for another generation.
UnitingWorld’s partner, the Church of North India, Diocese of Eastern Himalayas responded to this need by establishing a school in the village of Linbong. This access to local education means young people in the area are far less vulnerable to human trafficking because they have the skills and education to earn an income.
Initially a satellite of the fully established SUMI School in the village’s nearest city, Kalimpong, the first phase of the project involved the construction of six classrooms, staff facilities and dormitories for up to 300 students. Future developments will also include a medical clinic on the school site and a vocational training centre, as well as a boarding accommodation for children from remote areas.
There were no schools or medical facilities in the area, which includes a main village of 900 households and a population of 5000.
The Linbong School opened in February 2015 with its first cohort of Year 5, 6 and 7 students and will eventually cater for students from Years 5-10. This access to local education means young people in the area will be far less vulnerable to human trafficking because they’ll have the skills they need to earn an income. The Church of North India is extremely active in the northern Himalayas, organising vocational training for local communities and lay pastors in nearby Kalimpong. The Diocese also runs a number of anti-human trafficking and HIV/AIDS awareness programs.
Update 25 June 2015
Please pray for the students as they sit their tests – and wish them a safe and happy holiday.
*The name has been changed to protect the community.