Our goal and mission is to assist the young students in remote regions of Nepal recover and insure that their education is uninterrupted after the devastating earthquake of 2015. This earthquake not only destroyed their schools but destroyed their homes and livelihood. We are supporting the students in their quest to stay in school.
Rebuild Nepal Education Foundation grew out of a serendipitous series of events. I was only planning on one mission trip, however a former student wanted to take her entire family. The group of volunteers on my second mission trip included 15 volunteers from Iowa, one from Canada, one from London, one from Scotland, one from New Zealand, one from Bhutan, and three from Nepal. A nice cluster of volunteers.
One night on a mountain slope, talking this former student of mine and her children, we conceived of developing a foundation to establish our existence with the U.S. Government. Upon returning from that trip we formulated the Rebuild Nepal Education Foundation, a certified 501 c(3) organization. This former student is now the Vice-Chair of our foundation operations. Our foundation volunteers are vested in making a difference in this remote country that gets skipped over in terms of relief and other forms of support. Especially after this earthquake the world’s donations stayed in the capital city of Kathmandu where 6 to 7 million people reside. None of the donations never made it out of the capital city. Because of this, as well as tremendous need, our foundation is dedicated to remote regions.
Our board consists of a Lawyer/Mother/Volunteer, a Minister, an Earth Science Teacher, a Biologist/Research Scientist, a retired Special Education Teacher, a Conservation Director, and me, a retired Biology Teacher.
Here is what people are saying about our movement and what we do.
Rajan Simkhada was a businessman in Kathmandu, Nepal, who is a local television personality and operates Earthbound Expeditions in Nepal. He and his staff employ many Nepalese in the tourism industry in Nepal, including trekking guides, porters, cooks, and interpreters. His trekking company, Earthbound Expeditions, took me on a tour of Nepal 2 years before the earthquake of 2015. On a trek down the mountain my trekking guide took into some of the village schools, as he knew I was a retired science teacher. I was headed back to Nepal in 2015 to volunteer in the schools....well the earthquake occurred 3 weeks before my volunteer trip. I thought my last trip to Nepal was over, but Rajan contacted me after the dust settled in Nepal about 8 months after the earthquake and said: "Ernie, everything you saw in the remote mountainous villages that you trekked through is gone. Everything is gone: schools, homes, businesses, terraced fields and over 9,000 people died in less than 30 seconds. Now, Ernie, Nepal needs your help." Nepal needs my help? I contemplated what I could do to help. I talked to my family, and they said go for it....try to raise some money and supplies for the country. And in less than 6 months, after raising donated funds and medical and educational supplies, I flew to Nepal for a 2 month educational volunteer mission. Rajan and his team at Earthbound Expeditions picked me up at Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu and took me to the most devastated mountainous villages and I dug in to help the residents and students in those destroyed schools. Hear what businessman Rajan says in his video.
SanJok is a young man I met in 2019 when I went to volunteer and sponsor students at Princeton English Secondary School in Kapan, Kathmandu. He was the topper at Princeton. He introduced me to the entire school and welcomed me in his speech to the students and teachers at Princeton. It wasn't until after I left Nepal in 2019, that I was contacted by his school telling me SanJok's background. He comes from a rural mountainous village. Not only was his family's livelihood destroyed but he himself escaped the wrath of the earthquake, but SanJok was inside their humble abode when the earthquake occurred. The ceiling rafters began to fall and SanJok put his hand up to protect his head and face. The beams fell breaking his forefinger and knocking out one of his front teeth. He escaped in a cloud of dust, unaware of all the damage around him in the mountainside. Nepal was terribly devastated, and many stories exist of people who didn't escape the tragic events in 2015. Well, SanJok's family lost everything and Princeton English School paid his fees through Level 10. Rebuild Nepal Education Foundation picked up his fees for Plus 2 (11th and 12th grade equivalency). He has remained a top notch student, and while his parents still haven't recovered from the ravages of the earthquake, at least SanJok's education has been spared by donors to our Foundation. Listen to SanJok in his own words.
Namaste!!! Hear what one of our volunteer's from Damauli, Nepal has to say about his community and what he says about being a volunteer for Rebuild Nepal Education Foundation. I met Dipendra by accident at the Tribhuvan Airport, he was waiting for luggage to arrive from Kuwait where he was on a 7 year work for companies there, and I was waiting to pick up a volunteer coming in 2019 to volunteer with me in schools in areas recovering from the natural disaster associated with the earthquake of 2015. Serendipity put us at the same place, at the same time. We became immediate friends and Dipendra has extended a hand at volunteering during the pandemic in many facets. Dipendra was awarded our Foundation's Volunteerism Award in 2022, when our team returned this spring to continue our educational work. Thanks Dipendra for your assistance.
Manoj is another young boy I met in 2016 on my first Volunteer Mission. Earthbound Expedition guides took me to Gyan Joti Secondary School in Satebatto, Nepal which is a village in the mountainous Nuwakot area of Nepal. Manoj was young and we took him on to have him complete 10th grade and then helped him pursue his Plus 2 (11th and 12th grade equivalent). His success is just one example of what donations you have presented to our Foundation and how those dollars are at work in Nepal helping students, like Manoj achieve. Manoj in his video will talk about our Foundation showing what is outside his doorstep talking about his experiences with Rebuild Nepal Education Foundation and is proud of the misty mountain slopes of Nepal that his family lives on.
Damauli, Nepal is a nice size area outside of the earthquake zone of 2015, but still a very hard-pressed area. Hard life, hard work to survive. At this city area during the pandemic, two volunteers arose to help those Nepali in need. Saroj Basnet and his brother-in-law Ganesh Sapkota I met through a mutual friend. Both Saroj and Ganesh are integrally associated with schools in Damauli. Both have dedicated their time and talent to helping schools where students come from hard-hit families struggling for existence. During the pandemic they helped me find students needing assistance and helped distribute Food Boxes to needy families. Thanks to both of these young men for their determination to help. Both of these guys were awarded Rebuild Nepal Education Foundation's Volunteerism Award for 2022. This year on our Education Mission to Nepal, our team of volunteers coming to Nepal bestowed the award in person, when we visited these schools the first time teaching the students and working with the teachers, administrators, and school officials. We were serenaded with several of the students performing local dances and music honoring our presence in the school. Listen to this video of how we are perceived in Damauli.
Indra Sapkota I met on my first educational mission trip to Nepal after the great earthquake of 2015. He was a young boy then whose family's home and life was turned upside down by this devastating earthquake. Our Foundation found him and his brother and have helped them complete Nepal's 10th grade educational program. Since then, we have supported their educational journey by helping them in Nepal's Plus 2 program (in the USA, that would be the equivalent of 11th and 12th grade). Both now are in college. Indra is in Kathmandu pursuing a degree from a college there in engineering. His brother is attending a Veterinary Science Degree in Kisping. Indra has volunteered with our other volunteers in the different schools. Both are wonderful representatives and give you an example of our continued presence in Nepal and how we have been able to help students achieve educational success. Once graduating and they get a job, each recipient of our help must 'pay it forward' three times in their educational career. So, what does Indra have to say? Listen in
Sujan Tamang is an art teacher in Kathmandu, Nepal. He teaches art at 4 different schools in KTM. He is an incredible artist and body builder himself. His art is renowned around the world. His medium is water color of landscapes and personalities in and around Nepal. His art has been shown and sold internationally in several countries. He is also a body builder and has won international competitions, including one in Malaysia. He is one incredible role-model for Nepali youth. Sujan, also have become a volunteer with Rebuild Nepal Education Foundation. He has volunteered in many capacities. He has helped deliver Food Boxes to starving poor Nepali families whose life was devastated by the lack of jobs or income during the world-wide pandemic due to no tourism in Nepal. He has volunteered to help our Foundation keep poor children in school by taking needed funds to the various schools in Nepal. This has proven to be a big help during the pandemic when our Educational Mission Volunteers couldn't get there in 2020 and 2021. He has also helped me organize and orchestrate Nepal's 1st Art Exhibition and this year the 2nd Art Exhibition. Both of these events featured Nepali students exhibiting their art in a public forum. The art was judged and awards handed out to the students. The artwork was then transported to the USA where it was categorized and sold. 100% of all the proceeds goes back to the Nepali student to help pay for the student's school expenses. Listen to what Sujan Tamang has to say.
Arjun Adhikari, is one of Earthbound Expeditions senior trekking guides and he has become an integral part of Rebuild Nepal Education Foundation. Arjun has become one of our guides, interpreters, and volunteers supporting our Foundation's Educational Mission in Nepal. Arjun, being a seasoned guide, has taken numerous treks to Mt. Everest's Base Camp, many treks on the Annapurna Mountain Circuit, and treks to the Mustang Region as well as numerous other mountainous trekking areas. Hear what Arjun says about Rebuild Nepal Education Foundation.
Sudip Kafle is a School Administrator for a school in Kathmandu, Nepal. Our Foundation has worked with Mr. Kafle for several years supporting the unfortunate students whose families are deprived economically, either due to the massive earthquake of 2015 which caused the entire city of Kathmandu with a population of over 7 million residents to rise 10 feet in a matter of seconds, or those families whose jobs were halted by the worldwide pandemic. Sudip even helped us feed the hungry by distributing food to the hungry Nepali families. Sudip, in his own words, describes Rebuild Nepal Education Foundation as he sees our Foundation's work with unfortunate family dynamics
Ramesh is a young Nepali boy who comes from an extremely poor family in a remote mountainous village in Nepal. His father disappeared in the revolutionary war when Ramesh was not ever 2 years old. His mom was physically damaged in the earthquake of 2015, their home and property was also damaged by the earthquake. Our Rebuild Nepal Education Foundation has provided educational support for Ramesh and over 2,500 students similar to Ramesh's economic status keeping them in school due to the many donors from around The World that supports the many children in Nepal.