I was searching for a volunteer program that helps improve the education in a developing Asian country and found the Teaching in Schools and Orphanages program of VSSN a big match with my original expectation. So came my 12-day visit to Nepal with my friend Nan in July 2009, which turned out to be a nice and unforgettable experience.
For the first two days we stayed in the Millennium Hotel in Kathmandu. We studied basic Nepalese in the morning and visited some famous touring sites in the afternoons, some of them being world heritage.
On the third day we were taken to a village called Chapagaun where we lived with a local family and taught in Emerald Secondary English School. Our host family was very hospitable and we had nice communications in simple Nepali and English. It was also fun to learn eating with our right hand rather than chopsticks in accordance with the Nepalese tradition. At school we taught students of class 5 and 6. Different from the students we saw in a government school, children in this school were very active and eager to learn. They were especially kean to know about other countries in the world, and to us they showed special interest on China. So we decided to teach them Chinese history and culture, which made interesting classes to them. Our topics ranged from the Great Wall, Terra Cotta Soldiers, to Confucius, Chinese medical treatment, Chinese characters, etc. While teaching them we also learnt the Nepalese cultures and traditions from them.
During breaks we talked with the principal, a nice and well-educated man. From him we learnt how hard it is to provide good education to kids in Nepal under the unstable political status and with disturbance from the government. It is good to see that there are some people making their hard effort in the hope of shaping the children a good future. In China there are also many poor kids who struggle for education, but at least the 9-year compulsory education policy generally makes an unchallengeable and nationally exercised guarantee for Chinese kids to receive basic education. It is only after our visit to Nepal had we realized how hard and crucial good education can be.
Time passed fast and we both felt not having stayed in Nepal enough at the end of our stay. It is a nice country with rich and mysterious religious culture and tradition, worth visiting for tour. But more importantly, it is a country that demands more international help. I'm looking forward to go there again for a hand.By,
Miss. HUANG SI NIE (Sinie Huang)BSc 2009, School of Life Sciences, Peking University.