Yesterday Blackpool Sixth welcomed Mr Bijay Raj Acharya, headteacher of Shubhakamana Academy in Nepal. The headteacher is here to see at first hand the UK education system and has spent two weeks visiting local schools.
The visit was the latest development in a longstanding relationship between Shubhakamana School and the Fylde Coast, led by Mr Jeremy Maninno, a former deputy headteacher who is currently a safeguarding advisor for Blackpool Council and a governor at Blackpool Sixth.
Over the past 20 years Jeremy, through the organisation Impact Travel, has led over 25 groups of students from St Mary’s Catholic Academy and Baines School to Nepal to take part in the journey of a lifetime, experiencing a very different culture and contributing to a small village community by teaching in Shubhakamana Academy. Blackpool Sixth also ran a volunteering visit to the school in 2016, led by our head of social sciences, Abby Heyes. This visit was accompanied by a large fundraising effort to support the school and followed up by the college’s sponsorship of the education of two pupils at the school.
Jeremy commented, “The results have been astounding – not just by changing the lives of those who have visited from Blackpool, but by changing the lives of some of the poorest people in the world. Today, Impact Travel pays for the education of 32 children – supporting the local families to make sure their children get the best possible start in life.”
During his visit to Blackpool Sixth, Mr Bijay Raj sat in on lessons and spoke to our Principal, Jill Gray as well as other staff and students. Jeremy said, “Bijay Acharya is passionate about his children and now we have brought him here to Blackpool to visit local schools to learn as much as he can from the experience to take back to his own school.”
This summer a further 40 Fylde coast young people will have the amazing opportunity of visiting Nepal and contributing to the success of Shubhakamana Academy and its surrounding community. Since September last year, these students began to prepare for the visit with a number of fund-raising exercises, raising over £5000, developing cultural awareness, building a successful team and preparing to teach English in the classrooms in Kathmandu.