"I'm delighted to be personally involved in this outreach project in Ladâkh. I'm personally acquainted with the president of the nonprofit, who engages forcefully in several projects for the poor children of the high valleys of the Himalayas. For her, access to education is a priority, and the culture of Ladâkh must be preserved."
The nonprofit Enfants du Ladâkh was created in 2001 to promote access to education for the children of Ladâkh. This region of high valleys and desert plateaux (between 3 000 and 5 000 meters altitude) of northern India is mainly Buddhist, unlike the rest of Jammu-Kashmir, which is mainly Muslim. Its culture is unique in the world. During the first 10 years of its existence, Enfants du Ladâkh focused its action on the Children's Hostel of Leh, the district capital. This boarding school accommodates 70 children from poor families (farmers or nomads) inhabiting extremely remote villages. From the nonprofit, and particularly via individual sponsorships, they have received the financial resources to pursue their studies. The nonprofit then undertook to refurbish the boarding school: a new kitchen, eight dormitories and a dining room were built. Today, Enfants du Ladâkh is recognized internationally. It is the laureate of Agence des Microprojets de la Guilde Européenne du Raid, and its founder, Catherine Omerin-Voilhon, has received the Women CEO trophy after having been named Chevalier de la Légion d'Honneur en 2008.
A multipurpose room for the public school of Ladâkh
Intensifying its mobilization, the nonprofit is launching the construction of a multipurpose room for its local partner, the Ladâkh Public School of Leh, which has no space for assembling all of its thousand students and its teams. This room is intended to accommodate the daily morning assembly, written examinations, prize awards, Open House sessions for the parents, seminars for teachers, etc. Twelve months of work, during two years, the severe winter of Ladâkh forcing the suspension of operations, during which tutoring and schooling of the Ladâkh children never weakens: a magnificent project to which the Veolia Foundation contributes alongside the funds gathered by Catherine Omerin-Voilhon across the world, the Ladâkh public school and the Eiffage Foundation.