CFFN Members Bring Aid, Raise Funds in Wake of Earthquake

CFFN is pleased to announce that the organization raised a sum of $2220 to help with Nepal Earthquake relief efforts. This amount will contribute through the Canadian Red Cross Nepal Earthquake Relief Fund. With the Canadian Government matching all donations, we were able to make $4440 worth of impact in Nepal! We would like to make special mention of Jason Dai and Amanpreet Minhas for their generousity.

Red Cross Donation check

 

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Developing A Made-In-Nepal Source for Teaching Aids

Montessori equipment has been carefully designed to have children follow a straightforward task to completion while having fun doing so. The children learn pattern recognition and matching, sorting by shapes, sizes and colours, solving puzzles – all skills that will last a lifetime and prepare them for higher learning.

Unfortunately, since this equipment is made in Europe, the price per product is very high and essentially unreachable for the kinds of centres we are promoting. Hence the need for a made-in-Nepal source which uses local labour, uses local materials and runs at low overhead. Continue reading

Humin, Palpa District Community Child Care Centre

Now that the Madi Project is near completion we initiated another pilot project in another district to see if the same start-up conditions apply. Our goal with these projects is not so much to create a network of Community Child Care Centres across Nepal – that would be well beyond the scope any NGO could accomplish. Rather we are looking for a formula, a model of how a small village, given a small amount of assistance from outside could create and run their own sustainable child care centre.

This time we came with the knowledge gained in Madi. Consequently we went in looking for an existing building which needed simple upgrades only, not a new building. We also are advising the Humin Board of Directors with more guidance on the advantage of choosing candidate teachers who were firstly, good with children and secondly, reasonably well educated. We also suggested offering employment for a trial period and having the candidate teachers assessed at arms length by an expert child care worker over a trial period. This project is expected to run until 2016. Continue reading

CFFN Co-Hosts Early Childhood Education Seminar in Pokhara

Early Childhood Development and the Montessori Method are two complimentary approaches to early childhood education.

Early Childhood Development promotes the value of Learn Through Play (LTP) and Role Play, educational ideas now well accepted in many countries as the ideal way to educate children in their early years. The concept of mixing school with “play” however does not meet with much acceptance in Nepal where a more traditional approach is the accepted norm. Educating the parents on the inherent value of LTP might take some time.

The concept of Montessori education has established a beach-head in Nepal. In fact appending the name “Montessori” to a school name in Nepal is code for a high quality child care establishment – whether or not it has Montessori equipment or teachers schooled in the Montessori method. Nevertheless the Montessori approach is seen as novel and parents express pride in sending their child to “Montessori”. Continue reading

Laughing for Mina 2013: An Evening for Early Childhood Education in Rural Nepal

Laughing for Mina 2013

Canada Foundation for Nepal (CFFN) is hosting an evening of Nepalese cuisine and Canadian comedy on Friday May 31, 2013, and you are invited! Laughing for Mina is an event to entertain while helping to create scholarships for rural women to receive training in early childhood programs as part of our Community Child Care Centre (4C) initiative. The evening includes appetizers, a full Nepali-style dinner and dessert, as well as a comedy program from Absolute Comedy, a raffle for great prizes, and a table where you can purchase Nepalese goods – all to support education for the youngest of children in remote villages.

We would love you to celebrate our success and help us to prepare for the year ahead! Laughing for Mina again promises a different kind of 4C: Company, Comedy and Cuisine for a Cause.

Venue: Rinag Banquet Hall, 88 Jamie Ave, Ottawa (See Map)
Date: Friday, May 31, 2013
Time: Doors open at 6:00PM

Only 150 tickets are available, so please reserve your place in advance!

Email: tineke@cffn.ca
Phone: Tineke @ 613-730-4963

Please contact us at tineke@cffn.ca if you or your company are interested in sponsoring this event.

Book: Why School? by Will Richardson

World War I was an important point in the world’s history, and certainly one for Canada, both as a nation and as a nation of the world — so much so that The Great War was a major unit in the grade 10 Canadian history curriculum. Just like every other unit, there was a test at the end, to evaluate what we students had learned. To prepare I frantically poured over the class textbook and my notes, collecting important dates, places, people and events, and using them to draw out timelines.

I didn’t do well on that test; however, I ultimately cleared the class with an 83%. I credit part of this eventual success to an assignment, ironically tied to World War I. That assignment had us write a paper blog (I mean diary) of a soldier caught up in the war. Presented on tea-stained, oven-burnt paper, bound inside dirt-covered, paper-machéd cardboard covers, my diary was simply titled, “La Guerre Mondiale” (thankfully I caught a grammar mistake at the last second and added that last ‘e’ before submitting it). It detailed the desire to go home, the awful state of the trenches, loss of friends, and an impromptu sports game with both sides on Christmas Day.

In the days when Google was just getting started, well before things like Wikipedia and Call of Duty, I was researching and trying to envision what it would have been like to be in the front lines. I took the most complete picture I could piece together, peppered on WWI details and threw in my views on war and how I would feel losing my friends to gunfire. I wrote it all out. I did well.

This experience falls directly into Will Richardson’s premise in his short-length book Why School?: How Education Must Change When Information and Learning Are Everywhere (SEE: Book at ted.com). In his mind, the age of Memorize and Mumble is over. Knowledge and the ability to connect with others is no longer scarce. “If we have an Internet connection,” says Richardson, “we have fingertip, on-demand access to an amazing library that holds close to the sum of human knowledge and, equally important, to more than two billion people with whom we can potentially learn.” Why would we limit our youth’s studies to a handful of books and facts that likely leave very little long-term impression?

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External Video: RSA Animate: Changing Education Paradigms

“Don’t look. Don’t copy. That’s cheating! Outside school, that’s called ‘collaboration’.” – Sir Ken Robinson

This is a video animation based on a presentation given at the RSA by Sir Ken Robinson, a world-renowned education and creativity expert. In it, Robinson argues the need to change the current education paradigm, whose origins are rooted in the ideas of academic ability of the industrial revolution, to match the current world in which we live. Education is modelled after the interests of industrialism, notably by it’s assembly line-like design. “Why is there this assumption that the most important thing kids have in common is how old they are?

“We are getting our children through education by anaesthetizing them. We should be waking them up to what is inside of themselves!”

Please view the video below for the presentation:

View here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zDZFcDGpL4U

4C Update – 2012 Annual General Meeting Report

Last fall Mike and I (Tineke) went back to Nepal and visited Drona Rasali and his uncle Om Prakash. We discussed the plan to start a daycare in their village of Humin, Palpa District.

Om and Arjun Rasali will be starting the ground work of finding a space for the daycare and looking for 2 teachers. We also hired Bel G.C. to help us with different tasks for CFFN. Bel G.C. came with us to visit Madi and discus the progress of the daycare building and help the farmers with growing vegetables in the dry season so that they can sell those in the villages nearby. This would help the village to become self sufficient. The building still needed a fair bit of work but they were hopeful to have it done before the monsoon season.

We identified a lack of early child care teaching opportunities and consequently when we returned to Pokhara we had meetings with Milan K.C. who owns a Montessori School to discuss setting up a Montessori Teacher Training Institute. Tineke has been working with Milan to develop the curriculum for the training. We also have had meetings back in Canada with officials to investigate how to have the Montessori Teaching Institute accredited internationally. The teaching program will start this summer in Pokhara. We will train the teachers, who we will hire for our 4 C program. Bel G.C. has been in contact with Madi village and Humin village community members. Milan K.C. is set to visit Madi and Humin in the next few weeks. Our plans are to visit Nepal again in the fall and continue with our projects. We will continue the updates as the work progresses.

Thank you all.

Press Release: CFFN Hosts Successful Fundraiser for Early Childhood Education Initiative

Laughing for Mina FundraiserMay 3, 2012 – Ottawa, Canada: Canada Foundation for Nepal, a non-profit organisation working to bring the light of knowledge to the margins of Nepal society, hosted its first fundraiser on Friday, April 27, 2012 at the Rinag Banquet Hall in Ottawa (SEE: Event details).

Over 110 friends of the organisation came out for the Laughing for Mina event, enjoying an evening of comedy featuring an Indian/Nepali dinner. With tickets, drinks, raffle tickets and donations, the event raised funds, all of which will be used to hire and train teachers for two Community Child Care Centres (4C) in rural Nepal villages.

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Laughing for Mina: An Evening to Bring Community Child Care Centres to Rural Nepal

Laughing for Mina Fundraiser We are pleased to invite you to join us at the Laughing for Mina Comedy Evening! CFFN is organizing a night full of laughs (courtesy of Absolute Comedy), prizes, and a full South Asian dinner. Tickets for the event are $50 each, or $45 each when reserving a table of ten.

Venue: Rinag Banquet Hall, 88 Jamie Ave, Ottawa (See Map)
Date: Friday, April 27, 2012
Time: Doors open at 6:00PM

Only 150 tickets are available, so please reserve your place in advance!

Email: info@cffn.ca, tineke@cffn.ca
Phone: Tineke @ 613-769-0842

On top of a delicious meal and laughs, alcoholic beverages and Nepali goods will be available for purchase to help support our cause.

All proceeds from this event will be invested to train teachers in Montessori early childhood education for the current Community Child Care Centre in Madi, Nepal and a new centre under development in Humin, Nepal, as well as maintenance and repair of the Humin village school.

Please contact us at info@cffn.ca if you or your company are interested in sponsoring this event.

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