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Principal’s special Xmas gift to Nepal

Principal’s special Xmas gift to Nepal

A PRINCIPAL gave children in Nepal a special Christmas present — a new school.

Gavin McCormack, the new principal at Farmhouse Montessori in Manly, spent the festive season finishing a new school in Kavre in the Himalayas.

He raised $30,000 to get the school off the ground, and it was unveiled on Christmas Day.

It's the second school Mr McCormack, 39, from Glebe, has built in the country and he's planning more.

Mr McCormack, said: "It was such an amazing moment that I'd say it was the most amazing feeling anyone can have.

Principal’s special Xmas gift to Nepal

"I'd spent the day painting with children who'd never seen paper. We had built a school from scratch and there it stood.

"A place where children could be educated, doors would open and these children would be given a freedom that they never knew existed.

"I ate rice and dahl on Christmas Day at the top of that mountain. But it was the best Christmas I'd ever had."

Principal’s special Xmas gift to Nepal

Called Danfe Primary School, the facility has three classrooms, a vegetable garden and a chicken coop.

It was on Mr McCormack's first trip, to the south of the country, that he visited the area, near the Indian border, where locals live in extreme poverty.

He said the school, was like a 'chicken shed' after the previous one collapsed in an earthquake.

He was offered land to build a school for 180 children, which would also provide jobs for locals, and took on the challenge.

Principal’s special Xmas gift to Nepal

Fundraising feats included him running a Sydney half marathon in his granny's dress.

Mr McCormack shipped a tonne of teaching materials, including books, to the school.

Children created art work to decorate the walls before their new building opened.

Last year Mr McCormack trained Montessori teachers in Kathmandu, where he was given the title, Honorary Principal of Kathmandu Montessori Training Centre.

Principal’s special Xmas gift to Nepal

Next year he aims to build a teacher training centre run by women in capital Kathmandu, and hopes it can help improve overall education in the country.

A self-published author, he's written three children's books inspired by his experience of bullying, and starts working at the North Head school in the new term.

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