Front Range Community College Blog

Helping Nepal’s Children through Education

DFID UK AID/Creative Commons

Recent earthquakes have rattled the small mystical Himalayan nation of Nepal. Buildings in Kathmandu collapsed, UNESCO World Heritage sites became mere rubble, landslides destroyed entire rural villages, and an avalanche at Mt. Everest took out the base camp, killing both Nepali and foreign citizens.

When the dust settled after the first earthquake (7.8 on the Richter scale), we learned that more than 8,000 people lost their lives and millions more were injured, homeless, or displaced.

Being Nepalese, I have been in touch with my family and am relieved that they were unharmed, just displaced. However, many are not so fortunate.

Mobilizing Help for Nepal

The response from around the world to help Nepal has been overwhelming. For those of us in the United States who have family living in Nepal, the sense of helplessness is unbearable. So we have mobilized in our own ways to help Nepal—some in medical fields are donating medical supplies, folks in IT sectors are creating real-time logistical support for response teams, etc.

#Education2Education

Being an economist and an educator, I wanted to do something that promotes education and helps the victims economically. Based on the Google-supported Give Directly concept, I came up with the #Education2Education project, which my community at the FRCC Larimer Campus has supported.

Paying for Children’s Education

We have established Nepal Fund 2015 with the FRCC Foundation to collect donations to help the children who have become victims of this tragedy. Specifically, we are going to focus on paying for an entire year’s educational cost (tuition, textbooks etc.) for the victims.

In our past experience with an education project in Nepal, $200-$300 can pay for a student’s one year cost of education. UNICEF estimates that more than a million Nepali kids are at risk of not returning to school, either because they won’t be able to afford it or that the schools have been badly damaged. To make matters worse, the Guardian newspaper reports that the risk of these children falling victims of human trafficking has increased alarmingly in the aftermath of this quake.

Keep Nepali Children in School

Our project ensures that the children stay in school, reduces the disruption to their lives, and helps alleviate the financial burden on families as they try to rebuild their lives. Apart from these immediate impacts, education is also important for these children to escape poverty and hardship in the long run. Therefore, it is imperative that there be no gap in their academic journey.

For this project to be successful, it is very important that we raise enough funds—the more we raise, more children we can help! Every dollar is useful. My goal is to fund at least 20 children! Help me achieve this goal.

How You Can Help

  • First, please share this blog with your friends via Facebook, Twitter, etc.
  • Attend a fundraising dinner from 5 to 7 p.m. June 1, 2015, at Mt. Everest Café in Fort Collins, CO. Please contact me directly (Niroj.bhattarai@frontrange.edu) to reserve a seat for the dinner. I can assist you with payment options. Dinner is $65 per person, $130 for 2, and $250 for a table for four.
  • To simply donate toward #Education2Education, please visit the FRCC Foundation and click on the red “Donate Now” button. When you fill in your information, please make sure to select “Nepal Fund 2015” from the drop-down menu. Every penny helps.

I have been involved in a similar education project in Nepal for the past five years. The project has been collaboration among Phi Theta Kappa honor society, FRCC, and Rotary. You can learn more about it here.

Thank you for your help, and please share this post with folks in your personal or professional network.

(Image from Earthquake-hit Chautara, Nepal: DFID UK AID/Creative Commons)

Avatar for Niroj Bhattarai

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Niroj Bhattarai is an economics faculty at the Larimer Campus of Front Range Community College.