WHAT WE DID
Project Namaste IV aimed to improve the general facilities for Lower Annapurna Secondary School thereby stimulating a more conducive environment for learning. This included the construction of a new library as well as refurnishing their main school building. The library created a comfortable environment for students to gather knowledge and learn more about the world through books donated by donors, collected through a book drive in Singapore in September 2009.
Our teaching team led interactive English language classes aimed at encouraging an interest in learning. In addition, funds were also given to the school to purchase science materials, allowing the village children to have opportunities to conduct science experiments as a part of their curriculum. We also constructed a flight of stairs, allowing easy and safer access to the nearby sports area for the children.
Our documentary team spent a significant amount of time engaging with and interviewing the people in the village. It is our hope that we will be able to share and bring greater awareness to the struggles and breakthroughs the people in Armala have undergone.
Elizabeth Tan Ann Her
Project Namaste IV
Leader, Namaste V
It's what I call the amazing exchange. When people of different worlds meet, each offering what the other is lacking in. It should never matter who stood to gain more because just having an open mind and heart ascertains that we all come out richer in a blessed way.
We gave of our time to raise funds for you. Then we gave of our time to come to Nepal.
You gave us a lifetime of memories that will always bring us joy when we call these memories to mind. We couldn't have asked for more.
We gave of our money to come to Nepal. You taught us how to have fun without things that money can buy, toys, gadgets and the likes. We enjoyed just looking into your eyes, holding your hand, running and laughing together with you in simple joy.
We stressed about the many details of the Project for your sake. (We actually stress about a lot more other stuff back at home.) You showed us the wonders of your land and how to live in simple contentment. We were glad to find peace for our souls when we were there.
We have more materially now than some of you will ever have in your entire lifetime.
You showed us how we're actually missing out on the finer things of life - nature's wonders, simple communions, song and dance (not clubbing), peace and quiet. We miss being a part of your tight community and we must admit it's harder to be one with nature back in our homeland.
We have photos of you, your friends and your home. You have the real deal.
Project Namaste IV
This short trip to the Armala region has been an absolutely eye-opening experience for me! And I believe, for my team mates as well. What struck me the most definitely has to be how close knitted their community is. Everyone seemed to know everybody else. The community also strikes me as a very unguarded and generous bunch. Perhaps, it is much due to them not having much, thus having to worry less about losing anything. It might be due to their culture as well – to be very welcoming and respectful towards guests.
Their hospitality can be seen in the ways they tried to make the environment comfortable for us city dwellers and in the small things they do.
One of my students took the initiative to make a beautiful plasticine figurine for me. It was of a person sitting on a throne, and was even decorated with little flowers. The first thought I got was that she must have put in a lot of effort! There was another time, when I was struggling to fetch a bucket of water. Though they were many people around me, some standing around, nobody but this small girl came forward to assist me with it. I was pleasantly surprised. At that moment, it reminded me of how often we simply choose to be bystanders in many situations. And there are indeed many times when we can offer our help, or do something in the littlest of ways.
A learning point I would like to share would be how we need to come forward with an unassuming mind, and an interested and initiative spirit. This might just be the block that is preventing you and me from getting to know each other better, and a community that can be generous with each other.
Ngo Bang Lin
Project Namaste IV
Being part of Project Namaste was really a blessing for me. When I first heard about the project from my seniors, I knew that was the project I wanted to be part of.
My initial expectations was to learn more about the culture and people, in order to bring back a part of Nepal that people do not usually see through our documentary that my team and I were tasked to film.
However, what I have gained was so much more than what I have expected.
Every single time I walk out of the school compound, through the village to interview and talk to the villagers, I learned a tremendous amount about the way they live, their views about school, education and the government.
It was a real eye opener and understanding the plight of the villagers spurred me on to give my best effort in the making of Project Namaste IV's documentary. I felt that the only way I could really give back was to be able to spread the message, and be their voice through this documentary.
On a less serious note, I am truly grateful for the friends that I have made through this trip. Each and every individual in the team played a role in making this project a really memorable one. Special friendships have been made, and every single person who have gone through Namaste have told me the same. The journey is one that I will always hold close to my heart.