USHA: Ushering Shared Aspirations
This invitation stems from an understanding that the world of the future will be an increasingly connected one and young people of Canada should have a better understanding of the world and its ecological, economic, social and cultural environment so that they could become successful and better contributing citizens of the 21st century.
To realize this dream, we provide our students an opportunity to transcend beyond books and connect to the grassroots people from distant geography and culture. This makes allowance for them to understand each other through meaningful encounters and interactions. This connection will enable our students and volunteers to learn about other cultures and economies, and allow them to solve each others’ problems through mutual cooperation and collaborations. We welcome you to be part of this noble endeavor. Please contact us if you are the one to advance this dream. (See Contact section)
We believe in advancing learning while harnessing the constructional energy of the young minds to solve real-life problems of the world. This project is inspired from an earlier endeavor carried out a decade ago between a school in the USA and a school in Nepal. We were able to deliver some lasting results through distant collaborations in the absence of telephone and Internet to connect the two sides. Today we want to build on the success of this past endeavor much further by bringing telephony and Internet to enhance our communication with the people of remote Nepal.
This project was re-launched by awakening an entire team that was active in 1997-99. We had suspended the work in 1999 as the armed conflict intensified in Nepal and it became increasingly difficult to keep the communication channel intact. Since its revival in late 2007, the project has been steadily making progress and inspiring many well meaning people. We are solving a series of technical problems and building human capital. We have already established Internet connectivity through low bandwidth telephone lines in four locations by January 2008. Educational enterprises and institutions from Canada and any other country can now connect to these places through emails and other Internet based interactions. We want to expand this work to at least forty other locations.
This project provides an opportunity for grassroots people of North America to get directly involved with the grassroots people of Nepal without involving governments and big organizations in the middle. Our approach is to let the people themselves evaluate the utility of the activities and tune them appropriately with time. Retired teachers of Illinois Donna Lea and Tom Lea went to the place in January 2007 and Pramod Dhakal visited the place in July 2007 for assessments. Two volunteers David Campbell and Zachary Gaydos of Illinois, USA went for three months mission to the area (Sept-Dec 2007) followed by Kelsey Wood of Pennsylvania (Dec-Jan 2007). The volunteers established Internet connection and set-up servers for gaining off-line access to educational material in two schools.
The next sets of volunteers went from Canada and Kathmandu, to train the educators on basic maintenance and operation of the communication infrastructure. Our volunteer Geeta Thapa and Smita Khatiwada left the location on the second week of March 2008. The third set of volunteers from Kathmandu are expected to arrive in the area in mid March, 2008.
Through these efforts, we have come to gain reasonably strong understanding of the need of the people of the area. If you are the one to be part of this team and would like to make a positive contribution towards transforming the lives of these people using a long term and sustainable approach, we are here to welcome you.
Nepal, is a small country 2/3 the size of Labrador, Canada. With a population size approximately equaling that of Canada, Nepal has been reeling for long to meet the basic needs, including education, of its people. The lack of access to education is much acute among children of rural Nepal, and especially among Dalit communities. The stark divide in educational opportunities has proven itself as a great impediment to Nepal’s peace and prosperity.
It is in this context, this project intends to achieve the following objective:
- Enhance the quality of education delivered to the children of rural Nepal through the injection of modern technology and international volunteerism
- Work towards removing barriers imposed by the socioeconomic environment on the disadvantaged children of rural Nepal
- Create a meaningful connection between students, educators, and parents of Canada with those of rural Nepal
- Establish the international collaboration at a grassroots level
- Provide a safe and inspiring environment for Canadian youth and adults to enjoy travel, volunteering, and education in Nepal
- Advance research in the area of society and development.
“Education is the largest single contributor to break poverty, income gap, gender inequality and ethnic inequality, and also to improve nutrition, health and longevity of people”
– Conclusions of the 2005 OECD Report on Education
North America is the highest energy consuming society in the world and Nepal is one of the least energy consuming ones with an estimated consumption ratio of 170:1 by some statistical figures. This stark difference and non-industrialized nature of Nepal’s agriculture and economy and heavily industrialized nature of the North American economy must give plenty of opportunity for learning the facts, figures, rights and wrongs of these economies and societies that may be of value to future generations. We are primarily motivated in discovering new avenues for developing and distributing knowledge that could prove beneficial to the future development of the industry, economies, and societies on the both sides of the planet.
- Improve learning environment, general literacy, and computer literacy among children.
- Develop better understanding of world economy and world issues.
- Build knowledge resource relevant to people of rural and remote communities.
- Improve people-to-people connections and contribute towards world peace.
- Engage children in endeavors of building bodies of knowledge resources.
- Bring English, mathematics literacy to rural children of Nepal
- Build a better world.
- School in North America and rural Nepal, operating in pairs.
- Children of the same age group and grade level paired grade-by-grade.
- Teachers, parents, and community volunteers.
- One good computer for each participating classes.
- Freely available educational web-content, and communication software.
- Internet access for emailing and communication.
- Traditional organic and mixed mode agriculture of Nepal.
- Industrialized agriculture of North America.
- Cultures, religions, and communities.
- Energy, environment, conservation, sustainable development.