This Christmas, Help These Kids in Meghalaya Get Back to School

This school in West Khasi Hills district of Meghalaya provides free education to poor children, and you can help.

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Cameraperson: Veveane Sayo
Video Editor:
Kunal Mehra

Dommawlieh Pariong is a remote village in the West Khasi Hills district of Meghalaya. The locals are either poor farmers or daily wage labourers. Most of them couldn’t afford education. Till 1995, the children of these villages hardly attended school. Instead, they helped their parents with farm work and other odd jobs.

“My mother is no longer with us, she passed away a few years ago. However, my father is a daily wage labourer in Nepal. I have two other siblings, I am the only girl in the family. I am living in this school’s hostel.”
Patricia Pariong, Student
Queentina and her students at the Mount Hermon Hinsing Basan Vocational School.
Queentina and her students at the Mount Hermon Hinsing Basan Vocational School.
(Photo: The Quint)

Patricia Pariong is talking about the Mount Hermon Hinsing Basan Vocational School. This school is the result of the selfless service of Queentina Diengdoh and her resolve to do something for her village, her people.

“When I came back to this place, I found that the people are innocent and uneducated. They were still using their thumb impression. They didn’t know how to read and write. I was pained to see that the government had completely ignored this village. They never came to see whether it needed any development. They never bothered to check the condition of the school, electricity and drinking water in the village.”
Queentina Diengdoh, Founder, MHHBV School

So in 1995, Queentina quit her comfortable government job to start the school – with the only aim to educate the children in this village. She firmly believed that only education can lead to real empowerment.

Queentina Diengdoh taking classes outside the school.
Queentina Diengdoh taking classes outside the school.
(Photo: The Quint)
“We worked voluntarily from 1995 to 2002, without any money. But we sacrificed because we wanted to bring up the villagers in life and educate their children.”
Queentina Diengdoh, Founder, MHHBV School

The school has more than 100 students, no one is charged any fees. They are given free education and meals. Some students are also provided hostel facilities absolutely free of cost.

“There are 58 students in the Lower Primary Section and 45 in the Upper Primary Section. The students are mostly from the families who are below the poverty line.”
Goerge Diengdoh, Teacher
The hostel of Queentina's school.
The hostel of Queentina's school.
(Photo: The Quint)

Almost Rs 80,000 is needed every month to run the school. Though the school was recognised by the Government of Meghalaya in 2002, the school funds were never sufficient.

“We got the recognition in 2002 and the ad hoc grant from the Meghalaya Government. But we are still working voluntarily from secondary up to Class 12. I need money to feed these orphan children. The disabled and orphan children stay and study here. Due to shortage of funds I am not being able to take care of them properly. So I need funds urgently.”
Queentina Diengdoh, Founder, MHHBV School
“The main problem is of water. There is scarcity of water and the hostellers have to travel a bit to get water.”
Khiador, Teacher

Last year, a severe storm caused extensive damage to the school. The roof was blown away. Queentina could never rebuild the school since the pandemic struck soon after.

Your donations can really help Queentina and her students. With the funds collected, the school can be rebuilt and the students can go back to their classes and hostel.

The Quint's fundraiser to help Queentina's school.
The Quint's fundraiser to help Queentina's school.
(Photo: The Quint)

So this Christmas, gift the joy of education to these students of West Khasi Hills.

To donate, write to us at editor@thequint.com.

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