'I am living my dream', says one of our change agents Ms, Rukmini Humagain. Rukmini Humagain is a teacher at Adarsha School who thinks that teaching profession means more than source of income. Teaching has become an important part in her life. She has always dreamt of providing service to her society and country and teaching has made it easier to live her dream. She has been teaching for over 15 years in the school.
Her school is in Naxal, Kathmandu, but she lives in Kaushaltar, Bhaktapur, about 1 hour bus journey. In addition to her teaching job and her dedication to it, she is also a mother of 2 children, is currently doing M.Phil from Tribhuvan University and teaching at a campus in the morning hours. Yet, she regularly nominates her students for KG's gifts and awards program, attends various meetings to help her students and makes sure that her students are receiving stationary and gifts through KG. She is active and hardworking teacher who is concerned about her students and is eager to help them.
Out of the 200 students studying in the school, about 75 percent are domestic child workers and 25 percent from a very low economic background. 35 years old teacher Rukmini is dedicated to continue her service and profession for more years to come to build a better society by educating the underprivileged children. She finds her work very satisfying that gives her inner peace and happiness because she has been able to provide education to the children who cannot afford it.
'A mother’s power in shaping the fate of her children' says Ms. Keshari Ghale Gurung. Keshari Ghale Gurung is a great example of compassion. Before her retirement, she taught at the Balbikash School for more than 30 years. Then, with her heart still set on educating underprivileged children, she started EDUC – Nepal (Education and Development for the Underprivileged Children of Nepal). Currently, EDUC provides education, stationary, text books, meals and uniforms for 45 underprivileged children.
Keshari is 57 years old but her drive to affect change remains youthful. While she was teaching at the Balbikash School, she would regularly perform the janitorial duties (cleaning class rooms, corridors and the kitchen) whenever the helper was on leave and was frequently mistaken for her. She was never fazed by this though, as she believes in no hierarchy with regards to work.
As a child growing up in Singapore, Hong Kong and India, Keshari used to make-believe she was a teacher. When she was 21 years old, after her family returned to Nepal, she finally got her first teaching opportunity at government school called the Balbikash School. Here, many of her students were from poor families and a number of them from the Dalit community. Some even lacked clothes and would attend school barely dressed. The need combined with the despair she saw in these underprivileged students’ eyes touched her and moved her to make a pledge to help them forever.
EDUC is the fruit of this pledge. Keshari wanted to see her students study in better conditions and her students wanted this as well. Yes! They wanted to study in a better school where the infrastructure was intact and they could wear ties, belts and colorful uniforms! The dream of EDUC was their answer and first became reality through the encouragement and financial support of Keshari’s elder brother. Since its opening, EDUC has been finding more and more ways of attracting funds. At present, EDUC has 2 quotas of teachers paid by the government. All the other expenses are covered by Keshari's loved ones (her daughter, nieces and nephews abroad who raise money overseas for EDUC) and by KG’s gift angels and sponsors who contribute towards students' uniforms and stationary.
Though EDUC is now a reality, Keshari has not finished dreaming. She longs to touch the lives of even more children. Increased funding would enable her to enroll more students, but more importantly would also allow her to open EDUC to illiterate mothers. As a mother herself and the founding mother of EDUC, Keshari knows the power a mother has in shaping the fate of her children.
"I married the teaching profession"
Kanya Mandir School is a government school exclusively for girls in Neukha near Kshetrapati, Kathmandu. Among its teachers, Sarala Pant stands out for her commitment to help students in need. There are many other examples of her benevolence; she has bought food and clothing for her students with money from her own pocket on numerous occasions. Her philosophies are: “it’s the duty of each human being to have kindness and humility” and that “it pays to respect and be kind to others”.
Born in Ragnathpur (Dhanusha), she lives with her parents and siblings in Dhobichaur (Kathmandu). She has been a teacher for 20 years – married to her profession! She spent her first 10 years teaching at a private school and the next 10 years teaching at this government school, which she finds even more rewarding. Most of her students belong to lower class families, who earn their livings on the basis of daily wages. Some of her students are even domestic child workers. Sarala recalls a particular incident when a student fainted from lack of food while she was teaching. The child’s parents had nothing to eat because they had not earned anything the day before. Sarala also routinely sees her students not doing their homework due to lack of stationery and books, and shivering due to cold in the winter. Yet, her students are hungry to learn and enthusiastic to attend school.
It pains her to see little pairs of eyes searching for food, to see tiny pairs of hands shivering with cold, to see homework undone due to lack of books and stationery. And so Sarala made a commitment to affect change.
'A face that glows with satisfaction'. Teacher Nima Rajbhandari’s face always glows with satisfaction who has been teaching passionately at Shanti Siksha Sadan since the last 12 years. She studied in a government school herself. After SLC, she had to work to support her family and that obligation introduced her to teaching. In the beginning, it was solely to earn money but slowly teaching gripped her and made her addicted to it. She graduated in economics and teaches the same in the school.
When she enters the classroom with a smile on her face and a hello in the form of 'good morning everybody', the students cheer up. It makes her day. 42 years old teacher has been living this treasure of a life every single day.
""My students are from the families who are from a very low income bracket or are almost at a point of destitution. Their parents are street vendors, rickshaw drivers, maids and daily wage labors. It makes it worse when they cannot even afford a square meal despite working day and night. For them, meal is the first priority and it should be! Children's education comes later. But even in this scenario, they have been sending their children to the school and I really appreciate that instead of using children for income-activities, the parents are sending them to school.
I had been helping the students without stationary by providing it myself, but I could not help all those in need. When I found KG, I have been relieved. I found with KG I could help a lot more children than the ones in my classroom. I am always encouraging other teachers to participate with KG.""
In our blog, you can read updates of activities conducted by our enabling team.