In 2009, Metta School established a branch in a remote village called Punnihawa, the village of fishermen and boat men.
In this area, there is no transportation, there are no schools, and there are no medical facilities. In the rainy season, traveling to the nearest town is nearly impossible. As this community has struggled to maintain their livelihood in the face of economic and environmental instability, an awareness of the benefits of education has grown.
For centuries, the people of Punnihawa Village have relied on the nearby river and surrounding wetlands for their livelihood. One of the most gentle and traditional communities of the Lumbini area, Punnihawa villagers are also some of the least educated, as they have not been interested in modernity and have generally remained isolated from the rapid changes surrounding them. Most villagers earned a living by operating boat services and selling fish caught in the river. However, approximately ten years ago, the toxicity of the Dano reached critical levels due to several large industries which had been dumping their chemical waste and sewage water directly in the river. Fish have declined drastically due to the pollution, and consequently, many Punnihawa villagers have lost their traditional form of living and are forced to search for other means of survival.
It was the villagers themselves who opened their hearts and minds and generously donated land and requested that the school be built.
Over 45 village members requested that a branch of Metta School be established in Punnihawa to provide much needed education for their families. Our hearts were in turn opened and local youths were mobilized and trained as teachers. In the first year we expected to have about 50 students but by the end of the year we had over 300 attending the school.
Currently there are approximately 350 students and we have constructed an office building and 6 classrooms. Some classes are still held in the open field and under the nearby mango trees.