SI Edmonton requested $500 in Canadian Funds for a scholarship for seventeen-year-old Rupa Basnet. An amazing and ambitious young woman, Rupa Basnet is one of many female students within the current 2016 Nepali Children’s Education Project (NCEP) scholarship project in Kathmandu.
The NCEP vision is based on the belief that education is key to the empowerment of children living in poverty, however for tens of thousands of Nepali children, access to this basic level of education is denied. The scholarship project is already structured and in place with NCEP and was established by Lorna Thomas of Edmonton in 2012.
Funds from the SI President’s Appeal 2015-2017 will facilitate six months of tuition, textbooks and school uniform for Rupa to ensure that she can complete her education, graduate from high school and realise her dream to study law. The project will be on-going until Rupa is finished her education and becomes independent.
Rupa will be receiving and providing educational resources on her journey, as a high school student at the Advanced English School and as a teacher/mentor at Orchid Garden Nepal, a community with the goal of creating a self-sustaining environment for children, where she lives. The Garden is a day care centre, early elementary school, and day hostel for children ages 6 months to 9 years old belonging to parents of single mothers/fathers dealing with issues of addiction, abuse, and neglect. At Orchid Garden, the children are provided a well-rounded and multi-faceted educational experience that encourages creativity and self-discovery. Rupa mentors and teaches 10 young girls at Orchid Garden Nepal and by providing the means to help Rupa achieve her own dreams and ambitions, she can inspire young girls and women to do the same.
Just 17 years old, Rupa has already endured significant hardship in her young life. When she was a little girl living with her parents in their home village outside of Kathmandu in Hetauda, her mother fell very ill and passed away. With no other immediate family who could take care of her, Rupa was sent to live with a distant uncle in Kathmandu.
Before she died, Rupa’s mother asked Rupa to promise that she would go to school and study hard, and Rupa has taken this to heart. She understands the value of education, and every one of her teachers has remarked that she is creative and intelligent beyond her years. “Given the right opportunity,” her class teacher said, “Rupa could be Prime Minister of Nepal”.
Before and after school, she was required by her uncle to work in a tea shop, and when she got home she was responsible for all the household chores. She began to fall behind in school, and the lack of so many things that every child should be entitled to – a loving and supportive home, regular healthy meals, friendship – was taking a toll on her.
NCEP worked for two years to try to help Rupa find a long-term solution in which she would be in a safe, happy and healthy environment to go to school. Rupa now blossoms and with the support of the SI President’s Appeal 2015-2017, is continuing to take strides to realise her dreams.
VIDEO: Watch a video message from Rupa
Find out more about NCEP
Read more about Orchid Garden Nepal