Imagine being a nomadic child roaming with your family and animals for months on end during the year. Living in tents and huts while making sure your animals get enough grass to eat on high mountain pastures. It is a hard life but for many children of the Changpa people in Ladakh, India there is also an opportunity for a few months of the year to go to school.
Today these nomadic kids at the Nomadic Residential School at Puga in Ladakh are learning about snow leopards, climate change and their environment. The school which is at 4400m has 125 nomadic Changpa students. The school, started in 2004, has 24 staff and educates the kids while at the same time supporting their nomadic lifestyle.
The Snow Leopard Conservancy India Trust (SLC IT) recently visited the school to help the kids celebrate Earth Day and learn about their environment and snow leopards which can be found in this region. Most Changpa have livestock like yaks and sheep and goats which can sometimes be attacked by snow leopards when their natural prey is scarce so it is important to support them in education and compensation.
The school kids sang songs and drew beautiful pictures on posters of wildlife and the mountains. The challenge to teach and support these nomadic kids is another amazing community conservation and education project by the hardworking folks at the SLC IT. But it is this sort of project that helps children and snow leopards alike.