For me: Every people i meet are important in my life. Hence, i stay in touch with them either social networks or emails and it led to fortunate moment to be hosted by them during the time of difficulties in Copenhagen, Denmark.
Analysis based visit to school.
It was such a fortunate moment to visit the school in Aalborg and know most of the thing about how school functions with the principle of inclusiveness and promoting personal and professional growth of the children in Denmark.
The inclusion of all the children regardless of social, economic, physical and mental condition was one of the most exemplary model that other countries needs to learn from it. This is one of the lesson for the rest of the world to learn how children and other individual from diverse background whether it be migrants, refugees, people living in slums and even socially constructed divisions such as ethnicity, race are taught in friendly environment.
The aims and motives of the school to support the children in personal and professional growth by teaching the real facts of life and the basic social skills to adjust in the community was what I liked most. The teachings based not only on the national level testing subjects but other group works and adjustment social skills either through games or participative schemas fascinated me most.
I was surprised to see how visually impaired, also the child who could not hear Is well facilitated with the tools and equipment’s to participate normally as other normal children in class discussion and teachings. What I also felt is physically and mentally impaired children in school were not made to feel difference than other children, they were given same education from the different techniques. Everyone had chance to learn the only thing is the pace of learning could be different.
It was kind of surprise for me in comparison to my countries current political turmoil where people have been fighting based on their ethnicity and geographical regions. Our country needs to learn from this school where they have set an example in meeting everyone’s need.
Even the work setting that I saw was interesting!!!
The administrations and teachers in had separate departments but was completely open. To further illustrate this the work setting was open were everyone could see anyone where they are working or not. I think this was also one of the reason for the good productivity in the school where the administrations and other staffs do not use the time in unproductive sectors. This whole process surprised me as I come from a country where the organization has higher bureaucracy and where people are highly valued who are in power relation. Simply illustrating it, so called people in higher authority needs a separate enclosed well facilitated room.
Overall, one day visitation to this school taught me a lot about the school, environment and how inclusion is necessary in modern era in the world of globalization. Inclusion gives dignity and self-respect to the differently abled person which motivate them to participate in activities. Each individual need to be valued and one’s life world needs to be understood.
Dear Shrochis दाइ र भाउजु
Life has been wonderful journey coming from high hill terrain lands of Nepal to this land of Europe where every hard works count.
The beauty of my life has been added with meeting you people around you who have been helpful since our first meet. There is a saying that “everything that happens is mostly for god reason” and I believe in it as it really implied in my life from the experience of two days meeting being extended to more than a month’s stay at Oxford.
Guidance on academic writings; the crucial and daily bread and butter of university life which I had almost no idea was the greatest learning of during my stay. Probing to focus on writing, comments, guidance, suggestions and recommendation that you provided me has been helping me to shape up in my academic writing which is necessity aspect for the whole phase of my life from now.
Meeting people of your circle has been a wonderful opportunity for me. This added a premium benefit to meeting those people from Nepal whom I would not have got to meet without prior a month or more than that appointment.
Thank you for being so much concerned about me on my food and logistics every single day. I guess I might have changed your cooking habits since I came as you were more worried about me for everyday meals.
Finally, thank you Shrochis dai for creating such an environment where I could learn from a brother having PhD from Oxford; which will be once in a life time opportunity and vauju from German Education system.
On new year- first of January I went to Nar Bahadur Rana dais home. Who is currently retired British Army residing at Swindon-UK. Though he is almost 25-30 years senior than me i call him as dai due to a bond which we call it as SEBS- society of ex Budhanilkantha School students.
we met online for the first time 4 years back in 2012, when i started poultry farming project for the chepang community. He was the first one to send 100 pounds to encourage my project to move ahead. we had never met before and he trusted me with the SEBSers relations. He had a dream or aspiration to serve the community but as he is residing in Uk he cannot directly involve in these works so he supports indirectly through financial supports. This was the main motive of sending that money for my poultry farming project for chepang community.
Today we met after 4 years in UK where i came to UK as a postgraduate student. We both of us were surprised to see each other thinking back of how we got attached and also how facebook connected us all the way from Nepal to UK. I went to him home on NEW YEAR 2017, had dinner and met his family, We talked everything about our joys and sarrows. Shared the schools experiences. Compared the schooling in his period and during my period.
There existed another emotional attachment between us made by Rabilal Praja( my thulba his senior Budhanilkantha school friend). I made him to contact him on Rabilal Prajas mobile phone, They had a long emotional atttachment of few years stay at Budhanilkantha School.
#MoMO + Momo Aachar
Thank you NArbahadur Dai.
Biswash Chepang 125 D.
Photo: NarBahadur Rana Dai , Biswash Chepang and Vauju.
Introduction to Chepang Community:
The Chepang are one of Nepal’s most disadvantaged indigenous groups and are classified under the ‘highly marginalized’ category on the basis of a set of socio-economic indicators, such as population size, language literacy rate, house type, landownership, occupation and access to higher education. Although no longer a nomadic tribe, the Chepangs have largely preserved their unique tribal identity by maintaining their traditional knowledge system and continuing to practice animism.
The Chepangs inhabit in the hilly areas of the district of Nepal and is scattered mainly across the districts of Chitwan (40%), Makwanpur (29%), Dhading (20%) and Gorkha (5%) where the majority live in sheds made of tree branches.
According to the recent Nepal Living Standard Survey, almost 90 percent of Chepangs live below the poverty line, earning around 6,000 Nepali rupees per capita annually. Poverty dwindles the whole life process in acquiring education, getting health treatment and other fulfillment of basic necessities.
Immediate cause of vulnerability for Chepang is their lack of education. The Nepal Chepang Association (NCA) reported that more than three quarters of all Chepang are illiterate and that only 23% percent of Chepang are literate.
Lack of awareness:
A general lack of awareness of the importance of education among Chepang parents and the high prevalence of illiteracy also constitute a big obstacle for the education of their children. Faced with serious challenges in maintaining their livelihoods, many Chepang parents take their children out of school to help with household, agricultural and wage work. As a result, the dropout rate is very high among Chepang school children.
The remoteness of Chepang settlements is regarded as one of the main reasons behind these low literacy rates. Most Chepang villages have only a primary school and students need to travel three to five hours every day, usually over sloped and difficult terrain, to attend secondary level schools. Due to a lack of financial means, few Chepang students can afford to stay in hostels closer to educational facilities.
(C)The concept:Why community Learning centre ?
After the devastating earthquake every single house of Chepang people are cracked and there is a high risk to stay in the houses. 20-25 houses of Chepang in the nearest proximity has been completely destroyed but for making them new houses, a large amount of budget is required. And some of the people has already started making their own houses using local available resources. Hence, Self Sustaining Campaign has planned and focused to build community learning Center. The community learning Center will be monitored by the core team of “Self Sustaining Campaign”.
The community centre can be further used by the local youths, women club (aama samuha) and for any gathering in the village. The community centre is aimed to give shelter to the villagers in case of natural disaster like earthquake. The community centre will be a model of earthquake resistance as well. Further programs related to vocational trainings and other skills will be implemented as the follow up program in the village.
Self Sustaining Campaign, a group of Chepang youth working for Chepang for 3 years, is planning to build a community learning Center.
Jimling is a predominantly Chepang village seven hours walk from the nearest. Some of the basic urban facilities such as electricity and toilets are not to be found, but there are five taps in the village that supply running water every few days. There is a basic health post in the village that provides some elementary care, and a volunteer woman health assistant nominated from the village liaises with the health post.
(E)How we use Community Learning Center?
(A) Place for researchers
Compile all the information about Chepang community and conduct filing and handling
Keep all the information required for Researcher.
Achieving Universal primary education not only contributes for development and protection of children, but also helps prohibit and prevent child labor exploitation, child trafficking, child soldiers, and children with disabilities and children in conflict with laws. This will also help to bring down the child marriage rate and so on.
(i) Conduct adult literacy classes
(ii) Take volunteers to the government schools
- Show documentaries related to KRISHI KARYAKRAM,
- livelihood transformations,
- Documentry Screening
(D) Making of Chepang Museum:
Collection of antiques, museum, Preservation of dresses.
(E) Skill enhancement:
i) Animal husbandry training to rear goats, cow, chicken, duck, fish etc.
ii) Agriculture training for producing Tori, Kurilo, beans, faper, ginger, turmeric, potato etc.
iii) Horticulture training to plant and produce apple, citrus and other fruits.
To ensure the quality health, we will do the following activities:
i) Family Planning
ii) Awareness campaign
iii) Maternal and Child health training
iv) Yearly Health camps
v) Toilet construction
(G) Ensure Environmental Sustainability:
Every action of human beings needs to be environmentally friendly and sustainable. Otherwise, any development work no matter whether big or small will make an adverse effect to society. Chepang traditionally practices some slash-and-burn agriculture, or simple hoe-based horticulture along with mostly hunting and gathering from the forests, which has adversely affected the environment of nearby villages. There almost no trees nearby villages.
My academic journey began at the age of five when I was admitted to the nearest government school which was a two-hour walk from my leaky hut. Studying in non-native language was challenging, however, in the early days. Nonetheless, through hard work and dedication I fared well in my classes.
Growing up in a residential national school constituting diverse ethnic groups from all 75 districts in Nepal was an extraordinary feat and, of course, life changing opportunity. I was exposed to varied cultures and customs that students represented at the school. I grew up independent though; taking decisions on whether to study or play especially during the holidays and weekends. Day-to-day chores such as cleaning, gardening, maintaining personal hygiene allowed to understanding personal duties and responsibilities. I learnt to take responsibilities and in the process developed different leadership skills. Over the years, I was assigned different leadership positions and duties at school. For instance, I was the Vice-President of the health and fitness club, where I had to organize different programs, write proposals, raise funds, and conduct various health-related events on special occasions. Team work, collaborations with other clubs within and outside the school, coordinating and managing the club members were among the major tasks that I successfully performed as a leader of the team.
After completion of my Cambridge University’s Advanced Level examination, I left the school to further my Undergraduate education. It was a turning point in my life. I had to live alone in the capital city, Kathmandu. I had to work hard to earn my living- making enough for buying groceries and paying for my small room. I continued my Undergraduate education concurrently working for a job. Finding a job has remained a Herculean task in Nepal. However, I managed to find a job at an organization working to impart education for underprivileged children and worked as a life skills teacher overseeing overall activities of the students. During my three years of Undergraduate education in Nepal, I worked for different organizations, all related to child care and development. Working as a teacher at child care homes, my duties were to promote underprivileged children education. Additionally, I had privilege to coordinate earthquake reconstruction works with local organizations and also worked as a social worker for juvenile justice system.
After my undergraduate education, I started to realize that I needed to give back to my community. I also wanted to help and support many children just like me who are unprivileged and still deprived of basic education in this twenty first century which boasts of science and technological advancements and putting humans in Mars. To this end, I formed a group of likeminded people who are passionate and poised to volunteer for the upliftment of our community via implementing developmental programs in the community. With my leadership, we developed “One Sponsor One Child” project to support the education of those needy and underprivileged children. Currently, there are 14 children under this program funded by sponsors and are studying in residential boarding schools.
“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use it to change the world” said Nelson Mandela. Understanding the difference that education can bring in the society, I along with my team of 11 members developed a livestock entrepreneurship program. As a team leader, I was successful in supporting 50 households to improve their living standards.
In addition, I worked day and night during the time of crisis and emergency management when the earthquake measuring 7.8 Ritcher scale struck Nepal in April 2015. Through the funds provided by the Society of Ex-Budhanilkantha Students (SEBS)-North America, I carried out an immediate relief work for the earthquake victims in the community. The program benefited 600 individual members directly. Community people were happy to receive immediate support which brought a sign of relief for them. Recognizing my service toward the community in need, I was awarded “Outstanding work” during the time of crisis by SEBS-North America. Working at the grass-root level with the community, learning and growing with them, and working for them were my biggest strengths. While at work, I developed effective communication skills dealing with local people and assessing their problems at hand. I learnt to adjust in difficult situation during the time of emergency response helping others. I also learnt to develop projects, write proposals, make plans, budgeting skills, and implement what I have learnt for the good of others. What I have grown into today is a more independent individual who cares for those in need and dreams of more just and equitable society.
There are significant differences between the education system in Nepal and here in the UK. Postgraduate courses in the UK mandate students develop critical thinking and analytic skills. The role of lecturers and professors is not to teach how to do it but to show just the way of doing it. Whereas learning and teaching techniques in Nepal have mostly been rote learning whereby students memorize sentence-by-sentence by repetition. Although the postgraduate life here is a bit challenging, the course structure and the teaching concepts have helped me develop problem solving skills, working both independently and as a team player, and develop communicating skills (in writing, and via oral and poster presentations, and public speaking). Meeting deadlines, time management and prioritizing activities are also areas that I have been improving.
Lok Raj Pokhrel
“Biswash” is a Nepali word which means trust in English, it’s the title that I am given after 9 days of my birth during naming ceremony in Hindu culture which we call it Nawaran by priest. I called it as a title because it will be tagged to me as Biswash throughout my life and also after my death. Chepang is community or a tribe which is highly marginalized and disadvantaged group of Nepal, which is my family name. Chepang is my mother tongue and Nepali is National official language and English is my third language.
Winning the trust of everyone as per my meaning of the name, I began my journey of education as a scholarship student from kindergarten level as I belong to deprived community of Nepal. I was provided foods and lodging in community school for Chepang community in city area- Chitwan district which is 6 hours walk from my home. With my hard work and diligence in my academic results I was selected to study full scholarship student in Budhanilkantha School one of the best school in Nepal to continue my education from grade 4 to Advanced Levels course of Cambridge University-UK. It was the end of my residential schooling where I studied from the age of 7 till I was 18.
Residential school had all kinds of facilities where clothes were washed by washer man, foods were cooked by kitchen staff and many more. After completion of A Levels I had to move out from a residential school. Moving out and adapting in the outer environment after 12 years of dependency on school was just like being thrown on swimming pool and learn to swim by oneself, like wise to compete in the market and best fit in. I was taught to read and write and memorise the answers from the articles and books but I was not emphasized on practical skills like public speaking, communication skills, self-management, time management and of course applying for job and competing in the market.
The other side of story starts self-reflecting oneself by keeping in mind where I belonged and where my community stands I thought of working for the welfare and upliftment of my community for my undergraduate course. While I studied my undergraduate I worked as well. I worked in child sector for 4 years; Orphanage, underprivileged children and Juvenile delinquents. I developed some projects on personal level after I understood the dissonance and the discrepancy that existed in the policy level making level stage, project development stage and implementation stage that was practised in our community and main reason of remaining backward despite of several attempts from the government on improvement plans. There existed trickle down approach- where large sum of money being sent for the community development and empowerment program by international non-governmental organizations and government aid were distributed did not reach the grassroots level. So I worked on the ground level forming a circle of 11 members to work. I was not in strong position to support by myself but I asked help from my friends abroad. Which we call Self Sustaining Campaign for Chepang community.