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Youngsters inspired by story of Himalayan children sent away to school for 12 years

PUBLISHED: 05:30 06 November 2019

Nima Gurung, star of  'Children of the Snow Land' with Director Zara Balfour  Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Nima Gurung, star of 'Children of the Snow Land' with Director Zara Balfour Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Archant

Most children travel no further than a few miles to school but pupils in Aldeburgh have been learning about a death-defying school run that took 12 years to complete.

Nima Gurung, star of  'Children of the Snow Land' with Director Zara Balfour  Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNNima Gurung, star of 'Children of the Snow Land' with Director Zara Balfour Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

As part of Aldeburgh Documentary Festival or DocFest, 140 schoolchildren were invited to a very special screening of Children of the Snowland.

The documentary tells the story of children living in the High Himalayas who are forced to travel miles away from home to the big cities to get an education and then forced to stay there for years.

After 12 years away from home, the documentary follows three of the school pupils as they make the long trek home.

Among them was Nima Gurung who was on hand to speak to pupils about his mammoth journey home alongside the documentary's producer and director Zara Balfour.

"We have a feeling that our parents don't care for us and that they put us away from their life," said Mr Gurung.

"But when we did go back and spend time with them, we learnt that they were living a hard life and that's why they sent us.

"To make our lives better."

Ms Balfour said that reaction to the film had been incredibly positive.

"It's really lovely to have the film out in the world now and to see people's reactions," said Ms Balfour.

"The children are born with so little and yet in a way they have so much. They have more patience than we do and more resilience in many ways.

"I think they have got so much to teach us and I am pleased that they are now teaching other people in a very inspiring way."

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