June 2018 Trip to Rashmi School

Five Upper School students: Brady Knuff '20, Lily Newman '21, Tori Ingulli '21, Emma Shorten '21 and Jaya Singhal '21 are headed to Kathmandu this June to work on various projects at the Rashmi School.

Wooster students have started to collaborate with a peer group at Rashmi and plan to collaboratively create a new library. In addition, we plan to help create a new science lab and introduce some sustainable experimental science curricula. We will also continue our work on professional development and in the early childhood program.

If you are interested in helping support these projects, please visit their Go Fund Me campaign: "Wooster-Rashmi Partnership 2018"

Stay tuned to our Social Impact Blog to see what we are up to in Nepal!

History of the Partnership

Wooster School's partnership with the Rashmi Secondary School in Kathmandu, Nepal began in October, 2015. Matt Byrnes, Head of School, and three Upper School students traveled to Nepal to learn firsthand about Rashmi School, learn about Nepali culture, and to lay the foundation for our current partnership.

As a result, plans were developed to help teachers and administrators at Rashmi to redesign their early childhood program (3-5 yr old students) using the same philosophies and programs used at Wooster School. This redesign included ongoing teacher training and the refurbishment of learning spaces including a computer lab for use by all grade levels.

In June 2016, five students and two faculty spent 10 days trip at the at Rashmi School working to help develop the early childhood education program, creating a computer lab and building a new playground.

Our work on technology was led by Tyler Marcos '16, as a part of his SIS, and in partnership with OLE Nepal (Online Learning Nepal), a Nepalese non-profit which has been helping provide technology to schools in Nepal for the last eight years.

In October 2016, Wooster hosted two head Rashmi administrators, Gyanu Sir and Kafle Sir for 3 weeks to further our partnership.

Student Voices

A summons to meet with the Head of School often means a student is in trouble. For days, I racked my brain to try to figure out what I might have done to warrant the call. Luckily, it turned out I wasn’t in trouble at all. In fact, the Head of School delivered great news to me. I had been selected as one of five students to travel to Kathmandu, Nepal. We would spend 12 days there in June of 2016. Accompanied by two school chaperones, we would help the Rashmi School improve their curriculum, construct a playground, and build a computer lab for the students. Our team spent the next few months fundraising to raise money for supplies, getting vaccines, learning about the Nepalese culture, and researching the tools and equipment we would need to bring with us.

Due to unforeseen travel delays, an 18 hour trip took 56, which actually including fun but unexpected detours in Omon and Abu Dhabi. Finally, we arrived in Kathmandu late at night, but our luggage did not. Exhausted, yet excited, we checked into the hotel to get some sleep so we could meet the challenges that lay ahead.

We awoke the next morning (still no luggage) and had our first meal in Nepal which consisted of dry toast, jam and bottled water. Next, we walked around the corner to buy some clothes and explore a little bit. Wild dogs roamed the streets and screeching monkeys hung from trees. As cows wandered the roadways, all traffic came to a stop in honor of the sacred animal. The crowded streets were lined with earthquake debris and barefoot children. We had never seen anything like it.

The next day our luggage arrived. Fortified with clean clothes and personal belongings, we arrived at Rashmi and began building the playground and computer lab with the tools, supplies and computers we had brought with us. We first started working on the playground. Using the small area that had been designated for our project, we started to assemble the small slides and games. The Rashmi children watched us in silence as we constructed some of their new toys. However, they completely lost their composure when we unzipped the large duffel that was filled with colorful soccer balls. They could hardly control their excitement as we tossed balls to them and showed them how to play with the other structures we had built.

One of the best moments was when we unveiled the computer lab. The Rashmi students were eager to learn. They found the word “Google” to be hilarious, yet they were fascinated with how that silly word opened up a world of information to them. We really got to know the kids and teachers at Rashmi. The children were excited to see us each day and were constantly hugging us and asking endless questions about life in America. The teachers were grateful for our efforts and on our last day in Kathmandu, Rashmi threw us a big celebration where we were honored with Nepalese scarves and customized tokens of love printed with our names on plaques.

Our return trip home was smoother than our outbound. We arrived home tired, craving our favorite foods, and anxious to share our experiences with family, friends and our teachers and classmates at Wooster.

In Nepalese, the word “Rashmi” translates to “Enlightenment”. This word singularly defines my experience traveling to Nepal.

-Gib Shea '18

Enjoy the video clips from this trip to Nepal

For more information or
to get involved, contact:

Megan Rajbanshi '97

Director of the Center for Social Impact

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