Grab a tissue, this is the story:
When my wife, Di, and I were visiting Nepal in February 2017, we had the privilege of meeting some truly wonderful and inspirational local Nepalis making huge changes to the lives of less fortunate families of Nepal.
This is Laxmi, from Padampur village, who does her best to care for between 20 and 43 under 5-year-olds each day.
Raj and Keshab Khanal are two locals Nepali’s residing in Chitwan, south-central Nepal, and they have taken on the humanitarian task of caring for and modernizing four villages in the remote Chitwan hills, villages that didn’t even have running water or schools. As a result of their efforts, Raj and Keshab have sunk wells for water and erected a basic school building. All the kids of the village and one of the parents, (acting as the teacher), gather in this ‘school’ daily, essentially to stay safely away from cliffs, animals, fire etc
Through local efforts and international help from a German Government aid fund, Raj and Keshab have been able to organise for stand-alone single room kindergartens to be built in each village, so each of the villages now has a dedicated hut for a kindergarten.
The focus of the assistance involved 4 small villages in the Chitwan area of south-central Nepal. The villages of Padampur, Manahari, Jinglau and Sapreni.
In the picture above, we see Laxmi, one of the parents from Padampur village, she is acting as carer, caretaker, teacher and mother to kids who were all under 5 years old.
Each ‘school’ averages around 40 children per day. They have a parent as a volunteer teacher, a few over-loved toys, and no educational materials. All of these little guys were under 5 years old with no educational prospects in sight.
Enter Di and I, we utilise our experience as Early Years Educators to create a curriculum for all the 4 villages and we stay long enough so that we can help to teach the parents ‘how to teach’. The kids will learn and within a few years, they will have opportunities to attend a government school and further opportunities to support their family and community.
We’re passionate about Education, it has been our whole lives. These children in Nepal didn’t have the opportunity to commence any form of education so we needed to change the situation. Di and I have over 50 years of experience between us in Early Years Education, so visiting these centres and seeing just what we could do with our experience and some funding gave us the strongest sense of purpose and efficacy.
After spending some time with the children, we knew that an educational program and some structure and routines that support and nurture their strengths will make a huge difference not only to their own future opportunities but to the prospects for their families and their community as well. So we raised some funds and we bought toys and educational materials for the little guys and off we went. We delivered the toys, implemented an educational program, created a flexible pedagogy for each village and we look forward to the updates every few months.