Shari Davis & Ellen Currin are InTheField Travelers with GlobalGiving who are visiting our partners’ projects throughout Nepal. Here is a “Postcard” from their most recent visit in Nepal:
While visiting the Koseli School, it was impossible to ignore how happy all the children were to be learning. As we entered each classroom, we were greeted with songs and dances. “The most important thing is to smile,” founder Renu Bagaria explained, “first they must smile, then they will learn.” The children are smiling because they have been given a unique opportunity to escape the slums and receive an education.
But the Koseli school cares about more than simply educating children; Renu explains that she wants to “bring them back to life.” In the morning, this means providing baths and breakfast for each child. In the evenings, creative activities are arranged for the older children to keep them off the streets. The students receive all these things, as well as uniforms and school supplies, for no cost.
The staff goes above and beyond to take care of the children when it is needed: We met one child who had a broken arm, and we soon learned that Koseli staff sat with him in the hospital for two days because his parents were busy working.
Older children are not turned away, but rather Koseli staff work with them one-on-one to prepare them for the future: We heard the story of Ishwar, a young man from a mountain village who was destined to be a low-wage porter for trekkers passing through. After studying at Koseli, he now knows conversational English, is also learning French, and can now be employed as a bilingual guide.
Before leaving the upper-Kindergarten class, I asked the young students if they like Koseli School.
They answered me as a chorus, loud and strong:
“Yes! We love Koseli School!”