Past Projects

Project Namaste X
 
 

 

WHEN

December 2016

 

WHERE

Gyan Jyoti Secondary School
Armala Village
Nepal

 

IN PARTNERSHIP WITH

Pokhara Chamber of Commerce & Industry (PCCI)

 

WHAT WE DID 

After a year-long hiatus due to the Nepal earthquake in 2015, Project Namaste returned to the Armala Village of Pokhara in December 2016, marking its 10th installation ever since its beginnings back in 2006. 

Project Namaste X saw the team returning to Gyan Jyoti Secondary School in line with the project's new 3-year sustainability model, with the aim of further improving its educational framework and infrastructure. Building upon the feedback and evaluation from the previous team, we sought to refine the programme's framework to cater to the specific needs of the students and teachers. 

Taking on on the same batch of students (8 to 16 years old), the programme focussed on various jobs and occupations in Nepal aiming not just to improve their conversational English but also expose them to the various job sectors in their country. From the feedback we received after Project Namaste IX, the team recognised that there was a need to further understand the school's needs as well as the challenges faced in teaching English to the students. Hence, multiple dialogue sessions were conducted with the teachers and the principal of Gyan Jyoti. 

 

This year, the team also completed the mural paintings on the exterior of the school building, focussing on the second level that was left unfinished from the last project. With the support and generosity of our sponsors, the team managed to donate 70 over books to the school's new library. Our fundraiser prior to the project also raised a total of 1000 USD for the school which will be channeled to the purchase of reference materials as well as the maintenance of Internet connection in the school.

REFLECTIONS 

Kimberly Gwee

Project Namaste X

Alston Yeong

Project Namaste X

This journey with Namaste X taught me to appreciate the

conveniences we have back home – sanitation, transportation, 

electricity, water. Things we take for granted day in day out. Additionally, seeing the children so content with whatever little they had was a wake-up call, reminding

me that happiness is immaterial and that material contentment can only give you so much. They managed to find joy in the simplest of things.

 

It dawned on me that there is so much more in the world that I have yet to experience or discover, being tied down by the mundanity of a material life. Being in the mountains brought out a

different side of me – it made me realise that I appreciated nature and its beauty, it made me more grounded, saner and more introspective and that’s what I carried forward with me to 2017. Namaste helped me achieve inner balance and personal Nirvana.

Project Namaste has been nothing less than perfect. We started from squatting in dirty toilets, to braving freezing nights, to eventually finding this mindset of appreciation; and it is the people that made this experience one I

would never trade away for anything. 

 

We may have been selfish in our own ways here and there, or lazy, or stubborn, or annoying, but every night, we do not  retreat back to the confines of our rooms to be engrossed in our own activities. Instead, we go back to each other and forgive ourselves for our shortcomings. We huddle by the fire, we gaze at the stares, we share about our lives, and we let our hearts connect. And it is really because of these little heartfelt moments that we share up on the mountains, that we find ourselves so candid and bare and vulnerable with each other, that we fully let each other in our hearts and keep the Namaste family in there for good. 

 

So it may be biased, but I hold this thought close to me - takeaways from every oscp are pretty much the same; but Namaste is gonna be the only OCSP experience you wished you had.

Nicholas Ng 

Project Namaste IX

Project Namaste X leader

Project Namaste has been a three-year journey, punctuated by the devastating earthquake that happened in 2015. Through these years, we partnered Shree Gyan Jyoti Secondary School, providing it with IT equipment, shared new methods of learning, and gave the school an external makeover. It was truly heartening to see the trust built between the teachers of the school and our members, as both sides exchanged issues and solutions on a level unseen in previous projects.

 

What makes a student-run project like Project Namaste successful at the end of the day is its people that sacrifice sleep, time and energy towards creating an exceptional lesson and infrastructure improvement plan and successfully executing it thereafter. The experience that we managed to give the students, and vice versa, has been both enriching and unforgettable at the same time. 

 

Finally, having experienced first-hand the Nepalese hospitality and culture through our homestay and time there, I believe that each and every one of our members has expanded their sensitivity and knowledge towards what’s out there - and it will be something that they will cherish for years to come. Leading this project has been nothing short of amazing, and here’s to the next 10 years! ☺

© 2020 by Singapore Management University. All Rights Reserved.