The Fiann Paul Foundation is an Iceland based project, established in 2011 by world-renowned ocean rower, photographer, and educator Fiann Paul after two years spent living among the local people away from the touristy tracks of the Annapurna range and Eastern Nepal.

Its aim is to provide education and skills training to the Himalayan children. The foundation strives to build schools, sponsor education, furnish a thorough library, provide scholarships for talented children, lessen the burden of buying stationery and clothes, and raise awareness of the plight of Himalayan children worldwide.

Chidldren in the Himalaya region work every day with few future prospects, as does everyone else. With very few schools providing proper education and little outside educational support, the indigenous people of the Himalaya face an uphill battle to become a self-sustaining community with good health care, educational systems and basic necessities for all.

With a few million children tied up in the labour force, there is no chance for the country to create their own leaders, teachers, specialists or politicians. Child labour is a core problem at the heart of mass poverty, underdevelopment, illiteracy and miseducation, problems that affect a majority of Himalayan society.

Focusing only on one section of the population – children—while ignoring the rest will not bring about efficient results. The importance of education has to be made clear to the whole society: in order for kids to complete their studies, first we’ll have to convince their parents that it’s worth it—for their family and for the society as a whole—to send them off to school, rather than shipping them off to work.

Education is a tool, not a goal
. What we would consider as a success within the local communities would be building children's self-confidence, giving them a chance to explore the world in a classroom, and allowing children to pursue their career goals, whatever those may be.

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