Pakistan: Romanian NGO covers the salaries of three teachers at Askole school for second year
Romania's Alex Gavan Foundation keeps supporting the small community of Askole, a remote mountain village in Pakistan. For the second consecutive year, the NGO set up by mountaineer Alex Gavan is paying the salaries of three teachers at the Askole school, where 271 children are studying.
The pandemic strongly affected the isolated Pakistani village and its small community, forcing three of the school teachers to volunteer as their salaries couldn't be paid anymore. The Romanian non-profit, which decided to step in last year and cover their pay for the whole school year, offered support again this year.
"271 children are currently studying in Askole, the remote village of the Braldu River valley in the Baltistan region of Pakistan and the last to the base camps of the four 8,000+ meter peaks in the Karakorum Mountains. The pandemic affected the community so much that three of the school's eight teachers could no longer be paid and continued to teach voluntarily," Alex Gavan explained in a Facebook post.
"For the second year in a row, through the Alex Gavan Foundation, I humbly and gratefully created the possibility for Muhhamad Iqbal, Khathija Fatima and Qurban Ali to receive their salaries," he added.
Three of the other five teachers are paid by the Pakistani government and two by the Juniper Trust in the United States.
Alex Gavan first went to Askole in 2007 and kept returning to this remote village over the years during his climbing expeditions. He also made a stop in Askole in the winter of 2020/2021, as he attempted a winter climb of K2. So far, he has successfully climbed seven of the world's 14 peaks over 8,000 meters without supplemental oxygen or high altitude porters.
The Alex Gavan Foundation is also raising donations for a project aimed at saving the asprete - a "living fossil" fish that still survives in a very restricted area in the Valsan Valley in Romania's Fagaras Mountains.
(Photo source: Facebook/Alex Gavan; photo credit: Muhhamad Ali)