Leading One Child Towards Higher Education!
Aug. 31, 2021
Is teaching the kids and making them appear for SEE, enough? Where does our responsibility end? How do we make sure that the kids walk towards the path of getting a college degree? These were some of the questions Nimmi Basnet, 2020 English Fellow asked herself.
Nimmi quickly shared the idea of wanting to do something on this issue with Subina, her immediate point person and TFN’s Municipal Lead for Indrawati, Sindhupalchowk. Together they brainstormed ideas on how they can help students who have passed out from school, but lacked opportunities for their higher education. After few conversations, other Fellows from the cluster came on board for this noble pursuit. Subina who spent her two years of Fellowship in Sindhupalchowk knew the difference this new idea would make among the intended students of Indrawati.
Thus, the ‘One Child-One Sponsor’ project team was formed. The project was a brainchild of six Teach For Nepal Fellows and the Municipal Lead working in Indrawati Rural Municipality. Other members of the project were: Kavita Keshri, Pukar Shrestha, Rashmi Thapa, Sanju Thapa, and Sarala Pandey.
The project started with the vision - 'Leading one child towards higher education!' The project aimed to make sure that at least a few, if not all students should get a chance at higher education. Often students are forced to discontinue their education because of multiple obstacles in this region. The economic conditions of the family are often roadblocks for the students who aim to pursue higher education.
After the ideation, members of the team divided into different units within their small group and started handling their unit’s responsibilities. The team members started looking for sponsors through their social circles. They were successful in finding sponsors for at least five students.
The students went through a rigorous selection process; the selection board team consisted of two Fellows, two members from the alumni, and the Municipal Lead. The students were selected based on four indicators: academic level, economic background, determination level, and verbal & written Exams. After carefully examining each participants, the sponsorships were announced. Of which Ayush Mainali, Merina Lama, Sujan Magaranti, Sujan Majhi, and Sukuram Tamang made it to the final list.
One Child-One Sponsor Project was successful in providing scholarships to 5 students from 5 public schools of Indrawati Rural Municipality. This scholarship will help these students continue their higher education in Lalitpur. The students have joined Advance Academy, Kumaripati.
Three of the students will study Computer Science whereas the other two are interested in Management studies. Dostel Living Learning Center - a TFN Alumni-led initiative that provides accommodation as well as mentorship to the students, will provide the students with accommodation support.
Students in their villages would not get as many opportunities as they will get in Kathmandu. In the villages the courses in higher education are limited. “On the way to Kathmandu, we stopped by a café and my student Merina was with me. Upon seeing the menu her eyes lit up and she showed me the menu and asked me, ‘Is this a menu? You showed us the menu in the class while teaching,’ shares Nimmi.
The sheer joy she displayed while seeing the menu for the first time made Nimmi realize the number of new things Merina will be learning in Kathmandu.
Merina is thrilled with the opportunity too. “If it were not for the opportunity, I would probably be studying in my village. With this opportunity, in a not-so-distant future, I intend to be self-reliant and I wish to keep my family happy”, says a jubilant Merina.
Despite several problems, the exemplary work done by the Fellows serves as a ray of hope for the students. “During the pandemic when things were not happening, I see this as a major accomplishment, something I can be proud about”, says Subina.
The students from Indrawati had a zeal to pursue higher education. They were just looking for a push to help them achieve their goals. That push came in the form of Fellows and the Municipal Lead who started the sponsorship project from the get-go. The Fellows then collaborated with the TFN Alumni for the accommodation support. The amalgamation of Fellows, and TFN Alumni and their first-ever initiation is about to support at least five students from Indrawati to receive a quality education.