Project Namaste VII
IN PARTNERSHIP WITH
Manabiya Srot Bikas Kendra Nepal (MSBK)
WHAT WE DID
For the seventh edition of our project, Project Namaste worked with Jateswor Lower Secondary School in Thumki Village, situated in Pokhara, Nepal. By collaborating with a local NGO, Manabiya Srot Bikas Kendra (MSBK), we aimed to develop a sustainable education programme for both the teachers and students.
Our education programme was targeted at the older students who were in Grade 7-10, and we strived to develop life skills such as Confidence, Creativity, and Critical Thinking. By helping to develop these skills, the students were able to apply them not only during their English lessons, but for every subject, and even in situations non-academic related.
For the teacher's training program, we worked on developing similar skills for the teachers. Project Namaste 7 believes in the importance of such skills, and the rationale behind sharing these skills with the teachers was simple: it will maximise the impact and increase our Project's sustainability. Teachers, with these skills, will be able to impart them to the current students and the students to come. This ensures that what we shared with them is able to have far-reaching and long term effects.
On top of the student's and teacher's training programme, we also helped in the upgrading of the school's infrastructure. We painted an outer mural that covered the entire nursery block, which was centered around the theme of sustainability, while the inner mural had a colourful pictorial alphabet chart to aid the nursery students in their learning of english alphabets.
This partnership with Jateswor Lower Secondary School and MSBK marks a milestone in Namaste's history. Of the past six Project Namastes, we have help developed 6 different unique schools. In December 2013, it will be Namaste's first time whereby the same school will be revisited. Project Namaste VIII will return to Jateswor to build upon the foundation previously laid by Project Namaste VII. This time round, they will to continue to facilitate the education programme, as well as promote computer fluency amongst the teachers in the school.
Of the many heart-warming moments I had experienced during Project Namaste VII, the one which has left the most lasting memory has to be one I shared with one of the teachers in Jateswor, Ms Sita.
At the crack of dawn, my buddy and I were warmly invited into the home of Ms Sita. She kindly prepared tea and some popcorn for us. Speaking a common language proved to be difficult, hence hand gestures became our main mode of communication for that morning, interspersed with smatterings of English and Nepalese. We conversed about the school, the village, her life, her family. We saw her toothbrush stuck above one of the wooden panels in her room. We tried to understand the mathematical equations on her whiteboard. She tried to keep the conversation going, and took great pains to make sure our stay was comfortable.
Then, it was time to leave. Ms Sita walked us back, taking time to watch the sun-rise over the misted valleys, enjoying the silence.
We often hear the adage “enjoy the simple things in life”, it is nothing like having that “New York minute” when you realise what it really means. It’s a moment I will always remember, a memory from Namaste 7 which when I re-call brings leaves me with a deep appreciation of the simple things in life.
Project Namaste VI
Leader, Namaste VII
Project Namaste VII
Leader, Namaste VIII
I embarked on the Namaste journey with the intention to give and share, but have grown and received in ways that I could never have imagined.
The experience was one that was filled with laughters, tears and love from both the local Nepalese and my fellow Namastees.
For me, Nepal was an entirely different world populated by people with sincere hearts and a rich cultural backing.
There, I learnt the simplicity of happiness by appreciating the little joys in life. The people, the bonds forged and the times that was spent together there will never be forgotten.
Project Namaste VII
"You can't always get what you want. But if you try sometimes, you just might find you get what you need." - The Rolling Stones
Our fast-paced lifestyles rarely accord us with the time to take a step back and ponder – what are we really doing with our lives?
I think of Project Namaste VII as happenstance, a fortuitous event that has impacted me in ways I could never have imagined. I came to appreciate the smallest things in life. I felt pure joy just by chatting with the local kids, cried tears as the Nepali villagers warmly embraced us.
Bliss was savouring the simple breakfast of roasted dahl beans prepared by my homestay host.
My friends and I went to Thumki village with the intention of teaching and giving, but little did I expect that I would be eternally grateful to my new-found friends for what they have given me.