The Melodores: Building a Future for EDUC Nepal
Organized by: Camille Parker
Welcome to EDUC, a school that provides free education for impoverished children living in the squatters’ area of Kathmandu, Nepal. In addition to educational classes, the students at EDUC school are given lunch every day, clean drinking water, ongoing support from the staff team, uniforms, books, haircuts and baths as well as dental and health check-ups when required. All of this is provided free of charge to the children and their families. The students are aged three to 12 years old and are nurtured by the staff to become bright, eager learners who stay at EDUC for a few years until they are ready to join a mainstream school through education sponsorship.
How did EDUC start?
EDUC was started in 2002 by Nepali brother and sister team Keshari (Principal) and Bishnu (Chairman) after noticing that the children in the nearby Basundhara slum district were not attending school, instead often begging on the streets or staying in their homes all day. Keshari, a teacher of 29 years, left her job in a government school and decided to create a place for these underprivileged children to learn and gain an opportunity for a brighter future. EDUC runs entirely on the generosity of Bishnu and Keshari’s local friends and family. The school has no donors. There are currently around 60 students, a number that is rapidly growing and includes a number of families from village regions who have fled to Kathmandu for safety after the recent devastating earthquakes.
So, what’s the issue?
The current school building is on lease and is not only too small (with only four classrooms), but isn’t earthquake safe. Since the recent earthquake and subsequent aftershocks, the building has continued to weaken, making it increasingly unsafe for the children. A block of land at the front of the current school has just become available for long-term lease, and we see it as the perfect opportunity to build an bigger, earthquake-proof school building for the incredible staff and students of EDUC. This has long been the dream of Keshari and Bishnu. Let’s make it happen.
What’s the plan?
The staff at EDUC are currently looking at options for constructing a safe, sturdy building. Their preliminary estimates put the cost at about $10,000 USD to build a single-story earthquake-proof building with 10 classrooms. Other volunteers and friends of EDUC around the world are raising money for the school build, and the Vanderbilt Melodores are personally aiming to raise $7,000.
How can I help?
If you feel like donating funds to our effort, please follow the links on this page. Your contribution will go directly towards building supplies and labor which will provide a safe backdrop for the education of these amazing kids. You can also help by spreading the word about EDUC! The school and kids need your help.