Challenge Accepted!

Dec. 1, 2020

Text: Eva Manandhar (TFN Alumni 2014) | Photos: Amrit Puri  (TFN Alumni 2015)

The Fellowship is full of challenges. One after the other. 

It starts with the day you see that ad on a newspaper – What if your first job was changing the nation? 

You try to find out more about what it is about, so it is an ad for Teach For Nepal, where they have called for the best graduates in the country to go teach in a remote village, and you do not just teach but live in the community for two years. 

So, why would you go and live in a village when you were the best in your batch, you have finally earned a degree, you can now apply to organizations you have dreamt working for and earn that salary you deserve, why?

It’s a question you need to ask yourself, dig deep within, and find the answer to. 

When you have so many options, why did you stop to look at that ad, to find more about it, consider applying to it? 

My assumption - you are not someone who is looking for the security of a 9 to 5 job, you want something more challenging. You have this burning desire for change, to go beyond the expectations and boundaries set by society, and to see if you have it in you to face those challenges. 

So, what kind of people are selected or do opt for the Fellowship? 

I have seen and known all kinds of people join the Fellowship. People who have degrees in Engineering, MBAs, people who have returned after completing their undergraduate courses in the US, Germany, India, and people from all walks of life who have worked as professionals in various fields, people who are married and those who have children, all they have all joined taking this as a challenge and an opportunity to explore within themselves. 

Photo By: Amrit Puri (TFN Alumni 2014)

But most importantly, I have seen people who may not have scored the highest marks or worked before, but have been selected for their intense passion and commitment towards this cause.

I have heard Fellows share their stories, of how one Fellow’s dad sold off all his land so that his son could complete his engineering degree, another whose parents are running a tea shop and he is the eldest son of the family, a Fellow who gave up a scholarship in a prestigious college, a Fellow for whom life until then was shopping and hanging out with friends in posh restaurants around town. 

I have seen them all join and complete the Fellowship with aplomb.

The first and most difficult challenge that most of you are going to face is that of convincing your loved ones to set out on this untrodden path. Convincing them is going to be tough, but then when you let them see how much you want this, how much this means to you, and when they finally support you, it is going to be a beautiful journey. 

Are there going to be other challenges along the way? 

Yes, there are. 

Many, many challenges. 

Just because you joined the Fellowship, does not mean that it’s going to be one happy, la la la sort of a journey. 

From the village you are placed in, the food you eat, the small space you will have to call your room for two years, might not be, well definitely will not be what you are used to back home. 

Just because you decide to give up everything and go and teach in a village, does not mean children are going to be over disciplined and sit quietly when you teach. 

Definitely not going to happen. 

From what you eat, to where you sleep, to the community and even the classroom will all be challenging to you when you first go into a village. 

Trust me, the first few months are going to be the toughest and there is no easy way out of it. 

After a few months, you learn to adjust and adapt. 

It is in the second year that things finally come together, which makes it all worthwhile. 

It is with patience, hard work, and self-belief that you get there. 

And give yourself and those around you time, for them to accept you, for you to appreciate them. 

So, after reading all this if you are questioning yourself, if it is this tough, why should I join this? 

It is only through such experiences that you will realize the strength that lies within you. 

I guess it is because when you are confronted with these challenges that you need to decide are you going to let those challenges overwhelm you or are you going to face those challenges head-on. 

I guess it is because every Fellow who has joined, who stopped to look at that ad was looking for a challenge, for a chance to make a change.

What I have seen in every Fellow is that they come with this attitude that they are not the ones to sit quietly and let things happen the way it is, they feel the need to bring about the change, and they are the ones who bring about that change.   

They are as stubborn as can be, and when they want something they go ahead and get it. 

I have seen them complete the Fellowship and move ahead with the optimism that they can do anything.  

And yes, when you do join the Teach For Nepal Fellowship, you are going to face those challenges, so when you join this willing to take up that challenge, will you back off when you face a challenge?

You can sit and complain about everything, or you can stand up, face that challenge, and come out the stronger and better person on the other side of it. The choice is yours. 

I believe it is up to you whether you are going to let that challenge defeat you, or you are going to look that challenge in the eye, forge ahead and defeat that challenge. 

Application for Teach For Nepal Fellowship 2021 is currently open. I ask you to take the challenge to change the nation especially at times when an entire academic calendar is halted and there are millions of students waiting for that one individual who would come out of their comfort zone and say 'Challenge Accepted!' Apply Now

Eva Manandhar is an Alumni who did her Fellowship in Terse Higher Secondary School in Melamchi, Sindhupalchowk. Prior to joining TFN Fellowship, she completed her B.A. (English) from People's Campus, Kathmandu.

Learn more and apply for Teach For Nepal Fellowship 2021 HERE! 




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