A GRESFORD man recently returned from Nepal where, twenty years ago, he founded a school for children making clay bricks in the Kathmandu Valley.

David Phoenix first visited Kathmandu in 2000 to develop partnerships between schools there and in north east Wales, where he was working as an education adviser.

He has been back to Nepal sixteen time since.

Over the years, 19 school partnerships have been established funded with grants from the British Council.

Teachers from schools in north east Wales and Nepal have visited each others schools and children have learnt about living in each others countries.

The Brick Children School founded by Mr Phoenix was officially opened in 2002.

Since then around 3000 children have benefitted from being able to access the education given to them at no cost.

The school moved sites ten years ago and was renamed as Kopila Nepa.

In 2016 Mr Phoenix contacted a charity called Street Child to explore the possibility of expanding the work of Kopila by adding a number of smaller schools alongside brick factories in the Kathmandu Valley.

Last year, eight satellite schools were built, each providing free education for twenty-five children.

Mr Phoenix said he was delighted to be able to go to Nepal to mark the twenty years since he first went there.

He said: "It is wonderful to see the progress made at the Kopila Nepa and in the new Satellite schools which has made an enormous difference to the lives of so many children working alongside their parents in the brick fields of Kathmandu.

"I hope that more schools like these will be added in the near future so that many more children will benefit".

It is hoped that more satellites will be added in the coming years so that more of the 50,000 making bricks will be able to go to school.

David visited the Kopila Nepa School and two of the satellite schools during his visit.

He said he was delighted to see the quality of education at each of the schools managed by Mrs Anita Shrestha, principal and manager of Kopila Nepa and the satellite schools.

Accompanying David on his visit was his friend, Bryan Jones from Llangollen, who runs a charity called Katkando which he set up two years ago.

Since it was established donations have enabled Bryan to fund several projects in Nepal.

These include the provision of a kitchen for children with cerebral palsy at the SGCP centre managed by Bimal Shrestha who studied for a Masters degree in Wisconsin USA with David in 1988.

During their fact finding visit, Bryan and David went to see the VIP satellite school satellite school which is sponsored by KatKando Charity.

They also went to see children with cerebral palsy being educated in several centres supported by Bimal Shrestha and his outreach workers from the SGCP Centre in Kathmandu.