• Post category:Projects
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help launch Nepal's first collaborative school

Please click here or on the image above to go to the fundraising page and donate to the project my mate Pete and my buddy Sakar are implementing.

The Story

More than a year and a half ago, many of you contributed to my good mate Pete Pattisson’s Webby-Award win by following the instructions on the blog post about the award and voting and also by sharing it. I am hoping that you’ll do the same now to help him and his team win over the students and teachers at Jana Uddhar school and make this first collaborative school project a success, and in the process, help them win the-powers-be to expand the program into other government (public) schools in the future.

While in Nepal, I worked with Pete on his articles — whether about migrant laborers or children employed in the brick industry — as his Assistant/Translator, whenever time permitted. Once, I even accompanied him to Janakpur to interview a Qatar returnee and to chase Prachanda and Baburam on their campaign trails.

In addition to being a video journalist, Pete is an educator, like myself! We share a passion for education especially at government (public) schools. Keen to implement a project to turn around government schools, Pete had been scoping out and evaluating schools in Kathmandu valley for a while. Naturally, I accompanied him on some of those visits and also contributed whenever I could.

I made the following Facebook post after one such visit way back in June 2013.

1st school visit with PeteThe last school visit I accompanied him on took us to Jana Uddhar School.

Jana Uddhar School-resized
Jana Uddhar School in February when I accompanied Pete to observe and evaluate some lessons to provide him with materials for his school report, in preparation for the project.

I had this to say on Facebook about the visit. (Click here to go to the blog post I provided the link to in the Facebook post.)

last school vist with Pete - Jana Uddhar School

Since that visit, Pete and his team have been working with Jana Uddhar and have already made some remarkable progress.

To continue to build on that, and to turn the school completely around by making very modest changes to infrastructure and resources and dramatic changes in other areas such as teaching methodology and administration etc. they are in need of some funds.

To that end, my mate and my buddy Sakar, another member of the team, is running a fundraising drive. They are aiming to raise a total of $10341 (£6826) towards some basic things, namely: free lunch, new books, warm sweaters, coaching classes, English Teacher, new chairs and desks, extra windows, a generator and a new coat of paint on the buildings.

Jana Uddhar not unlike Shanti Nikunj School where we, COMMITTED, have a presence, serve some of the poorest students. They are either themselves domestic workers or children of one. As such, even a single meal a day, for instance, is not a certainty.

Summer of 2012, making school visits in and around the beautiful city of Pokhara, I came across two schools — one a primary (elementary) school and the other a K-10 school — where roughly 75% of the children came to school on empty stomach, DAILY!

The schools catered to children of mostly day laborers. If the adults didn’t find a job that day or didn’t have enough, the children came to school hungry, which, it turned out, was often!

Promoting their work and appealing to your generosity with this blog post, I am doing what little I can to help Pete, Sakar and the team, from a distance — I am in the US now. Of course, I would have much preferred to be alongside Pete but that’s not to be!

The fundraising page, obviously, contains considerably more information and details about their work including a video of the school, links to blog posts where the team post updates on the progress of the project and stories of the children etc.

And thank you for reading the whole story!


July 31, 2016 Update

The following are links to blog posts my mate Pete maintains about the school.

A December 15, 2015 Thank You blog post.

March 15, 2016 Second Impact Report.

May 25, 2016 blog post describing an increase in school enrolment.

May 27, 2016 blog post with embedded video showing how little changes in teaching methodology are being implemented at the school to improve student learning outcomes.

July 13, 2016 blog post describing how the school achieved the best exam results EVER!

July 24, 2016 post What we achieved, with your donations, one year on.



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