Fellows and Students Take Leadership To Keep Their Community Safe
April 30, 2020
Dila K.C. is one of the many students from the Health and Fitness Club who is going around her community teaching her friends, family, and neighbors proper handwashing techniques. Student members of this club are finding spaces like communal water taps to inform people about the virus and ways to keep it from spreading.
Dila is a student of Teach For Nepal Fellow Sita Thapa. Sita, who is a graduate of Nursing from Rajiv Gandhi University in India, started her Fellowship journey in a village of Balapur in Dang. A nurse with a passion for Zumba and fitness, she started morning Zumba sessions for her students the very month she arrived at her school. This soon evolved into a Health and Fitness club that started conducting a series of health awareness campaigns through mime acts and plays in various schools and communities.
But Sita didn’t just start a club, she nurtured a group of young leaders and connected them with senior members of the community in order to sustain the club under student leadership.
The club has 40 student members out of which 7 are in the steering committee. Dila K.C. along with five other students have been trained and mentored on various leadership skills. Additionally, a local member, who is involved in poultry breeding and farming, serves as an advisor along with a few more community members. These local members contribute Rs.30,000 to support the group of students with their programs, activities and leadership transitions as and when needed.
This April 2020, Sita completed her two years for Fellowship and returned home. But she has left behind a group of youth leaders who take responsibility for their community and inspire the next generation.
EXTENDING SENSE OF POSSIBILITY DURING TOUGH TIMES.
Doing nothing is not an option. Despite the constraints and challenges, teachers have to find ways to support students.
This is the thought that led Bishwas Regmi to immediately connect with his students after the lockdown. The first thing that came into his mind was Zoom. While others were fretting over the feasibility of internet connections and the ability to remotely reach students, he wanted to start with whatever he had.
Bishwas called one of his students Pradip and taught him how to navigate Zoom. Pradip picked it up within two hours and then went on to teach his friends around his neighborhood. Within two days, Pradip had trained five more students to use zoom and they hosted their first zoom meeting. It wasn’t much, but it was something to start with.
Initially, Bishwas had planned to run different topics in science through his Zoom and phone calls. However, he soon realized that students were undergoing stress and needed a space to emotionally express themselves. So he gave his students an assignment: Lock Down Dairy which could include a range of topics such as their feelings, their daily routine, and the situation in their community.
In her lockdown diary Sama (name changed), one of his students shared how deeply she was worried that all her preparations for the board exams would now go in vain.
Reading the many stories that his students have been sending him, Bishwas has realized how important these communications have been to support students in these distressing times.
Bishwas is one of the 138 Teach For Nepal Fellows who are extending their sense of possibility and, through several trials and errors, finding innovative ways to reach as many students as possible. Fellows are continuously learning and evolving with a high sense of responsibility and duty.
Bishwas Regmi who completed his Bachelor of Science from Tri Chandra College, TU, joined TFN Fellowship in 2019 has completed his first year of Fellowship in Nawajagaran Secondary School, Kutechaur, Dang.
Sita Thapa is one of the 68 Fellows who recently joined the Alumni movement from April 2020. She completed her two years of TFN Fellowship in Balapur Secondary School, Dang.