All Fellows

It’s always tough to be away from home for a long period of time. I spent my nine years of school life in hostel. Being away from home, I was shaped in a different way; to be humble, disciplined, and less talkative. After completing SLC, I decided to stay home for two years for higher secondary education. Following the trend, and my parents’ wishes, I left for the US for my further education in 2004. Once again, I left my home. I didn’t only leave my home but also my country, my culture, my people, and my language. Being away was not a big deal for me then. The real challenge was the adjustment; adjustment with new people, new culture and new educational system. But slowly I was able to adjust with the support from my friends and seniors. Then my concern was my education; I had seen many friends who skipped classes for work and dropped out of college eventually. But I completed my undergraduate studies and I felt accomplished. I also got a nice job after college but after complet...

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In my community (Kanchanpur district of Far Western Development Region), most of the children go to government schools where education isn’t so good. Most of them drop out of their school before reaching Grade 10. After leaving school, one and only option for them is to go to India to make money through low paid jobs. But fortunately, being the eldest son in my family, my grandfather sent me to a private school. Because of our financial constraints, my siblings had to go to public schools. I could see the difference in education quality we received. I was a hardworking student and did quite well. I completed my Bachelor’s in Development Studies from Pokhara University. I was honored with the award of Deans List for my outstanding academic performance during my Bachelor’s level. Another big achievement for me was to be selected as the delegate from University students from Nepal to participate in JENESYS 2.0 conducted by Japan International Cooperation Center (JICE) in Tokyo, ...

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You wake up early morning and hear your dad saying over the phone “Beta, I’m doing well, you need to keep up your hard work.” You want to ask, “Dad! Are you really alright, there?” However, you become numb and carefully weight on every words your dad has pronounced. It then becomes your power and your strength to rise up again although you don’t know what’s next. The process then continues. That’s how my life was like while living on a foreign land. Asian University for Women (AUW), in Bangladesh, the university where I completed undergraduate degree from on a full scholarship, was more like an ideal world. Although I missed family often and it put me down especially during festivals, I felt so much relieved when I didn’t have to remind my parents about my tuition fee. I didn’t need to worry about payment to be made for using internet or the library. Despite each of our (AUW students) differences, AUW was home away from home. We were unique with our challenges and therefore our c...

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From early on in life, my siblings were very ambitious. Compared to me, they performed well in school. This is the reason why my parents had high expectations from me as well. Add to that, we had come to Kathmandu and had struggled to adjust with the city life. Our family once came to that point in life when my father lost his job because he didn’t want to take a bribe and we had financial difficulties. The situation made my parents insecure about our future so they wanted us to grow up and land on secure and high paying jobs. However, apart from studies, I also had interests in a lot of other things. During my high school and college, I was interested in sports; I was an active basketball player. I also participated and won two beauty pageant titles; Queen Nepal 2010 and 1st Runner up in Miss Youth Nepal 2015. I even worked as a VJ for a program in Nepal Television. Scoring the highest in English in SLC from my school was another big achievement for me. The dream my parents...

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While I was teaching in a school, one of my students in Grade 2 lost her father. Being the eldest child, she was given the responsibility of her father’s funeral. Despite going through such a hard time, she patiently managed to handle her household responsibilities and her studies simultaneously. This was a very inspiring moment for me. Even I was going through a difficult time at home. My father had met with an accident and the financial burden of my family was upon my shoulders, too. I also had the responsibility of taking care of my siblings. Before this, our parents had always pampered us. Despite coming from a remote village of Terai region and starting off with just a small room, one bed and a few utensils, they had made sure we had the most comfortable life. They worked extra time just to fulfil our wishes and we never had to worry about anything before. But with the new situation and challenges at hand, I was scared and not strong enough for the responsibilities yet. I wa...

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My mentor whom I met in the early years of my life has been the biggest source of inspiration for me. Coming from a foreign land, he dedicated years of his life teaching children in a school in my neighborhood. I feel lucky that he chose our neighborhood to live in because that’s how I met him. He lent me his books and inspired me to become an avid reader. It was after meeting him that I started visiting my school’s library often and losing myself in the world of books. He also gave me suggestions whenever I felt lost. I still talk to him on a regular basis and it always feels good to do that. After the completion of my Bachelor of Civil Engineering, I had many options to choose from. I had option to work as an Engineer. I even took a standardized test to apply for studying abroad but I was not really excited by the idea of going to another country yet. I wanted to do something bigger. My mentor’s presence in my life has always been so valuable to me that I've wanted to crea...

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I was born in a remote area of Salyan District. The village was underdeveloped and there was no facility of education. So my parents migrated to Dang when I was five, in search of a comfortable life and good education opportunities for us. I shifted to Kathmandu in search of better opportunities. It wasn’t easy for us to adjust in all the new places eventually did. My father’s economic condition also wasn’t that stable but I was never deprived of a good education. And due to this, I became strong at a very early age to face any challenge that came my way. Having completed Bachelor’s in Health Care Management, I started working in hospitals in Kathmandu. Later, I joined a project of a hospital called Yoga and Nature Cure Hospital and went to remote Banke for conducting health camps. I worked in the project for over 2 years. I had gone to the village as a health worker but there were many things that made me feel sad about that place. People there didn’t consider education to be im...

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I grew up in a peaceful village in Kalikot district of Karnali zone, enjoying the beautiful views of snowcapped mountains and enchanting sounds of flowing rivers. Even though I didn’t want to, my parents admitted me to a public school and it was an hour’s walking distance away from home. I considered myself lucky as I had some friends who had to walk up to 4 hours daily to attend the classes. Even though I performed well during my higher studies, I wasn’t a good student earlier. I preferred staying home to do the chores or taking our cattle for grazing instead of going to school. Reason: I didn’t like the teachers. They were very rude and thought that students can be taught only if they are threatened and scolded. I didn’t know how to write my own name in English properly even after being upgraded to Grade 5. The financial status of our family wasn’t good either. So I never owned books, pens or a schoolbag. My father, like many other men in the village left for India to work as a...

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Being a fifth child and the only son in my family, I always thought that all of us were equally loved and treated the same. We all went to private primary schools. However, when it was time to move to a secondary school, my parents enrolled my sisters in a public school while I was sent to a private school. My enrollment in a private school suggests two things. One is discrimination. For the first time in my life I felt that my parents discriminated between their daughters and son. They spent more money for my school fees but were afraid to do so in case of my sisters. Another thing is inequality in education. Not only my parents but also the whole community thought that private schools’ education is better than that in public schools. One thing was obvious, the SLC results would be better in private school than in public schools. I scored a distinction in SLC studying in private school while my sisters managed to score second and first divisions only. I knew that my sisters ...

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I belong to a middle class family. When my parents separated from a big joint family, inheriting almost nothing but some infertile land, they had accepted a life of hardship. Despite the challenges, they worked hard to provide me with good education. My mom regretted not having education though her brothers had gone to schools. Therefore, she wanted to see me getting good education. In school, I met teachers who designed courses of study that not only focused on the performance of students but also whether students were enjoying learning or not. They were the biggest inspirations for me to do well in class. I had made a decision to pursue my Bachelor’s and work simultaneously in order to support my family as much as I could. I had joined an English Language Institute as an Instructor where I had to deal with new adult visitors and learners who had hunger towards learning English language for different reasons. I had worked for the purpose of making money but the people I met ...

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