Last year, I worked as a College Lead; Volunteer basically for an organization called “Teach For Nepal”. I was totally unaware about that organization till the morning I applied for it, But Trust me the decision I made so Hastily that morning has helped me a lot to shape myself into who I am today!
Here, I am sharing you my extremely memorable journey of a whole 1 year with Teach for Nepal where I learned how privileged we are and how lucky we are to live the life that we are living.
When I applied in Teach for Nepal I had basically very less idea about how my life was gonna change in the upcoming 1 year. I had no clue about how many things I was going to learn about life that I couldn’t learn otherwise. This is a story about my community visit to Sindhupalchowk district of Nepal. Come, let me take you on a journey, where you might learn how blessed and privileged we really are to get this life.
Sindhupalchowk district, is barely 70 KM away (3 hours Bus ride) from Kathmandu, The Capital City of Nepal. Where Kathmandu is named as a hub for education, health, finance, business everything you can possibly name, there was Sindhupalchowk; away from all these facilities, hidden behind beautiful hills and covered with so much of poverty and lack of proper education.
We were taken on a community visit to Sindhupalchowk, Bhimtar, which was a beautiful village undoubtedly, but the lack of proper education and poverty had dragged that village so low that Despite being 3 hours away from the Capital city, it was hidden and masked from all the people in power. We were taken there to see how Teach for Nepal was working with a Government School there and how it was helping the school and the students to provide and get quality education that they deserved. While reaching there, I saw so many beautiful faces, standing to welcome us with their handmade beautiful bouquet of flowers and their never ending smiles. They were so pleased to have us there that my heart kind of cried seeing their hospitality. We were given some theoretical knowledge there and then came the time we all were really excited for.
That day we individually were assigned to students of that school, who would take us their home, and host us for the day! The family that Me and My senior (Alina) were assigned to was the Family of 6. Our Host was a girl studying in Grade 10 named Urmila, and she had her elder sister, two younger brothers and her mother and father in the family! Her father was a worker in Kathmandu and her sister was married already so that day we only got to meet two little brothers and Urmila’s sweetest mother. After being assigned to individual students we were set to go on a life-changing adventure. Along with our respective students we then went towards their home. While going through the village and while looking around, I actually didn’t see the dirt, the muds, the uglier part of the place, rather saw the pain, the poverty, and all the burdens that even the smallest member of the family was bearing on their head! They were not stable financially, they were not stable in any sorts. Even the basic needs were compromised there, but the way they hosted us, I still get tears in my eyes remembering that moment.
The children of that village had to walk almost 2-3 hours to go to school for their basic education. They had no other choice at all. Even though they reached school in time there was no guarantee of whether they would get proper education at all or not. Government schools of Nepal have extremely less Pass rates than the Private schools. More than 70% students fail every year and they leave their education to earn some money so that their family won’t die due to hunger. Younger girls get married very early at the age of 13/14 so that they won’t be a burden to their family and also so that they can avoid studying and failing the class.
When I was being told about all these things, My heart was shivering, I felt numb for most of the time. Being born and brought up In a city where you barely get any kind of problems, where you’re provided with the excellent education and the life you deserve, I actually never knew this part of life. The journey of life that they and I had was same, the only difference was I got everything plated in the silver plate, but they needed to earn it, they needed to work hard to get what we always got even before we asked for it. My heart sank to know that in some part of my country there are people out there who are living their life hoping that they get some basic education just the way we do and on this side we never ever valued the education that we were getting. We never knew how privileged we actually were to get the things like basic education untill we went there.
We learned that Teach for Nepal was basically working for students like them and helped them in providing quality education by sending them good quality teachers in their own cost. I felt so attached to this organization because from the very young age my only dream was to work as a teacher and to help people like those of Sindhupalchowk. I also learned that Every year Teach for Nepal organizes an event called Walkathon where hundreds of youths walk together to express solidarity with these students to ensure that no child regardless of their socio-economic background is left behind and that they receive the same opportunity and choices as children who go to private schools in Nepal. Here, Every Participant in Walkathon should collect the minimum of Nepalese Rupees 1000 (~$10), for being a part of the event. And as a College lead myself, I had the task to motivate and to inspire them to help us collect the donations and Participate in that event.
Being a big Introvert myself, I never had that courage and that will to go infront of people and pursuade them for anything like this. For the first few days I didn’t even had the courage to speak up about it to my own friends. But later, I gathered up my courage for my beautiful host Urmila, and many other Urmila like her. I decided to fight against my fear for the children who really deserved the best. I decided to do something for all those Urmila, who basically strive to get that basic education for surviving in this global world! When I finally decided that I was going to do something for them, Then I started telling people about this event. There were almost 50-60 college leads in our batch. And to everyone’s surprise, I was the highest donation collector among the college leads team. I collected Nearly 65000 Nepalese Rupees (~700$) alone! I still look back at that time today and feel so blessed to have so many support from people around me for this good cause.
Now that I look back, I am glad that I could help those students in some small scale. I am glad I did what my heart felt was needed to do! I did what was expected from me, and What I was really capable of! Even though after the trip I sometimes now and then take my education and all other facilities as nothing special. But whenever I remember these events I realize how privileged it’s to be where we are today and get everything served in a silver plate.
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Education is not a Privilege, It is a Right!-William J Clinton
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