The selection process is one of the most fascinating components of our work

Our extraordinary teams go to tremendous efforts to find the perfect children for our programme. Cheme Dolma Palden, our Indian Director, has recently returned from a selection trip to the Spiti Valley.

These are her thoughts on this leg of the selection process, the location, the extraordinary journey, the children she met and interviewed, and the spectacular landscape.


Indian Director Cheme, with a potential new candidate for Pestalozzi India in the Spiti Valley, Himalayas

“Spiti Valley is located in the Himalayas in the north-eastern part of the Northern Indian State of Himachal Pradesh at a height of 12,500 feet. It is a cold desert mountain valley. “Spiti” means “The middle land”, i.e. the land between Tibet and India. Tibetan Buddhism is the predominant religion similar to Ladakh and Tibet. This valley is considered the least populated part of India.Being in the rain shadow area, rainfall here is negligible leaving the land devoid of forests and green vegetation.

Due to the dry arid conditions, the soil is very dry but yet, crops like barley, potatoes and green peas are grown. They are dependent on melting snow as the only source of water for all life sustaining activities. Life is very hard and harsh here, but yet the people live with happiness and pride.

Spiti valley is accessible throughout the year via Kinnaur from Shimla on a difficult 412 kilometre-long (256 mi) road. Tourists from outside India need Inner Line Permits to enter Spiti. It can be reached via Manali which is 201 km from Kaza, headquarters of the Spiti subdivision. The road joining Manali to Spiti is treacherous and in bad condition as compared to the Shimla to Spiti road.”

Cheme, Indian Director on the selection process in Spiti Valley, Himalayas, India

Selection process update: June 2022

Selection Process continues into Nepal

Our Indian selection team are going to tremendous efforts to discover the best and brightest children to join our programme. They are now in Nepal in the very rural heart of the Gulmi District. 

It’s incredible to get a glimpse into the worlds of some of our future children, their families and towns, and their entire worlds right now.
It emphasises how courageous our new ten-year-olds are when they join us and leave everything they know behind to enter a world that is completely unfamiliar to them.

We know it’s worthwhile to them to gain such a valuable education, but it’s always wonderful to be reminded of their lives before joining us ❤️

The Pestalozzi World Selection Process

Our teams in India, Zambia and Nepal travel to some of the most remote areas, where schools are poor and under-resourced.

Here, we work with the communities to select the brightest children at age ten, choosing at least two girls for each boy. We identify those who excel in the areas of emotional intelligence and academic performance. We choose these children for their potential to become role models and changemakers in their communities.

With the support and encouragement of their families, we offer these children the opportunity to join our programme and move to one of the Pestalozzi Villages.

Here is our Zambian Director Clarence Mwami, discussing the selection process in Zambia.


Find out more about the Pestalozzi Village here.


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