Category Archives: News

Visitor’s Voice of YouMe School vol.1 – Ruth –

The last new year holiday, some guests visited our YouMe School Khotang. We are so grateful to you for using your precious holiday to come all the way to far mountain regions of Nepal. We are so happy to be able to share your impressions with everyone here.

Please have a read!


Q. What kind of experience were you expecting out of the visit?

My choice to go to Nepal stemmed more from an inexplicable impulse than a reasoned decision. I heard about YouMe Nepal from a friend, Ryuichi, while I was on working holiday in Japan, and got involved with some translation work from Japanese to English. I liked the idea of the organisation, providing education to young people in Nepal, and the translation work was a productive way to  practice my Japanese.

(The Founder Sharad Rai’s speech contest video with subtitle Ruth helped to translate for)

I had never considered going to Nepal in the past, and although I enjoyed traveling, I had never been to a developing country. I didn’t consider myself an active or adventurous type of person, and going to an intrepid country like Nepal sounded impossible for me.

But as I was translating the webpage for the new years YouMe School visit programme, I read the amazing stories of the many others who had visited in the past. As I tried to find ways to express the accounts of their experiences in English, I found myself moved again and again, sometimes to tears. I realised that this was an experience that was indescribable and unforgettable for so many people and started considering going myself. I thought ‘what am I thinking?’ but the more I thought and prayed about it, I realised Nepal was on my heart, and I couldn’t wait to go and see Khotang and the YouMe School and it’s students for myself. I was lucky enough to get the opportunity to spend 5 nights, and almost 6 days in Khotang, even extending my stay 1 day before going back to Kathmandu.

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In the old and historical city Patan, before visiting Khotang

Q. Once you decided to join the visit program, did you have any particular preparation? If yes, what kind of preparation did you?

I am not an active person, although I do plenty of walking in Japan and New Zealand. But I couldn’t have imagined the walk from Chumakku to YouMe School. I tried to eat well and exercise at least 10 minutes everyday to strengthen my legs for about a month in Japan before I left for Nepal. But the walk to the school was sometimes like rock climbing. I was actually really surprised that I could manage it though, especially at the beginning of the trip while I was still fresh. Walking with the YouMe school students was such a special experience, and holding hands and following behind the confident little feet gave me the energy and endurance I needed to keep going. Even though it was a tough walk, I remember being surprised that I didn’t feel like it was tough at all. Walking with the students made it seem easy.

Q. How was your experience staying in Durchhim village of Khotang (place where YouMe School is located) How long did you stay there and how did you cope up with your stay?

It’s hard to put my experience in Khotang into words. It seems like no words could really express the feeling of being in a place of such pure beauty. The scenery alone was enough to move me to tears. The breathtaking mountains, valleys and night sky had a transcendent kind of beauty I’d never experienced before, even in my homeland New Zealand. The buildings and villages perched in precarious looking nooks along the mountains, expressing a kind of defiance against nature itself, a carefree confidence that was characteristic not only of Nepal but of its people.  I felt like I was at the top of the world.

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But the beauty of nature was by no means the biggest highlight of the experience. If anything, it was the people I met, the hospitality I experienced, and the hope in the students faces as they studied so hard. Although there were so many beautiful and memorable moments of the trip, it’s the students that stick with me the most. No matter where you go, children seem to have a certain openness and purity which a lot of adults lose as they grow up. But these YouMe children were especially so. Despite their initial shyness, these kids have amazing ability and grit. I knew that a lot of them walked for hours every morning and afternoon to get to and from school, but walking with them myself (even just for a 1 hour commute!) made me realise the endurance and drive they have just to come to YouMe School. Not only this, many of them get up early in the morning to do really tough chores or farm-work at home, and the same when they finish school and get home in the afternoon. Despite them being pushed to work at a level which most first world kids could not even dream of, they are also passionate about their studies. From the tiny kids in the nursery class who memorise spelling of English words, to the top classes reciting definitions of English words that some native English high school students would probably struggle to understand, these are ridiculously hardworking students. By witnessing the classes, you can tell these students are soaking up all the information and teaching they can get, and working hard to retain the information. When you see students who are this committed, it makes a lot of the (still very hardworking) students I’ve met look lazy in comparison. These YouMe students have so much potential, so much energy and so much drive, and through YouMe school their futures are looking brighter day by day. I can’t wait to see the progress they continue to make.

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Q. Was there any change in your way of thinking after the program?

The main thing that stays with me is the memory of the YouMe School students. Those sweet, pure, hardworking kids are still on my heart even after leaving Nepal. When I think about their bashful smiles and echoing choruses of “Thank you miss for teaching us very very well!” my heart swells. I miss those kids so much it makes me want to cry. But more than that, it makes me want to help. It makes me want to spread the word. It makes me want others to see and experience the magical power that these students have.

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We need more YouMe School students in the world. We need more resources for YouMe School in Khotang and we need more YouMe Schools!

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Q. Do you have any ideas to make this kind of program more successful?

One of the things I would have done differently is preparing for lessons with the students. I thought I would have time to prepare while I was in Khotang. I thought maybe I would have a meeting to discuss my options with the other teachers or have some guidance from YouMe Nepal staff. But I realised that if I were to do any lessons with the kids I had to decide what I was doing myself and just do it. It was nice to have the freedom to decide what I wanted to teach the kids. But I wish I had known that it was very open, so I could have prepared properly before coming to Khotang. I also assumed I might have some time for preparation after school when I was at the homestay, but the experience of spending time with everyone was so special I didn’t want to use that time. If YouMe had a system where visitors had to submit some rough lesson plans, it might encourage people like me to prepare beforehand and make some more effective lessons. I still really enjoyed the lessons I taught with the students and with the teachers though, and I hope it was valuable for them. I think it would be a bit more stressful for someone who didn’t have teaching experience though.

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I really would like to encourage the teachers at YouMe School and request that they are given continued support. I was also lucky enough to hold two workshops with them covering English pronunciation and grammar and some language teaching techniques. These teachers are top level educators, with huge passions for the students they teach. They endure quite a difficult lifestyle in Khotang because they are passionate about real education and about teaching at YouMe School. They are also eager to learn and improve, and would love more training and professional development. I know this is something YouMe Nepal is working on but I really feel with more training and support these teachers will be able to provide even better quality education to the students. The teachers are really the source of all the students’ knowledge and it is because of them that these students have grown and learnt so much. The teachers also work very hard to prepare their lessons outside of class and some even do extra private lessons. I know in New Zealand teachers get no-contact hours during school time every week in which they don’t have to teach students so they have time to prepare. I’m not sure if that’s possible for these teachers or whether it’s already happening, but I want to acknowledge the time and energy it takes to prepare for lessons. These teachers are working hard and need continued support to prepare even better lessons for the students. I’d like to keep in touch with them and maybe send through some resources for other teaching methods for their continued professional development.

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Q. Did you get something out of this program? Were you satisfied with this program?

I enjoyed the experience more than I could have ever imagined. Being in such a remote place with so few luxuries sounds harsh for someone who hasn’t experienced it. But the warmth and hospitality of the teachers, staff, students and villagers felt more real, honest and satisfying than even the most luxurious first world lifestyle could ever be. I came to really understand that the things I took for granted as necessities were things many people went without. But instead of feeling inconvenienced or frustrated, I was overwhelmed by a feeling that I was being cared for and looked after. On a personal level, having never been to such a rural place before, I surprised myself at how well I was able to handle it. I found a renewed sense of confidence that no matter what the circumstances, if I had faith, then I would be able to do anything. When I was young I wanted to be a Christian missionary and go to foreign countries to help people, but as I grew up I thought it was something I wouldn’t be able to do because I wasn’t strong or adventurous enough. Coming to Nepal helped me to prove to myself that even if it is tough, I am able to go to places and do things that seem impossible, I just need to trust in God more and follow his plan for me. Despite coming to a country with strong Hindu and Buddhist faith, I actually feel that this experience has helped me to become closer to God as a Christian. I had the chance to visit a small church in Khotang, and the warmth and joy I felt there worshipping with other Christians was a really special experience for me. I felt that maybe God had guided me to Khotang, and also to that church to meet those Christians. I wish I could somehow keep supporting that little church on the road from YouMe School to Halesi. I would like to donate to them if possible, or visit them again one day.

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I would love to visit Khotang again, perhaps even next year if it fits with my finances and work schedule. I’d like to maybe visit for longer if possible, maybe 2 weeks or more, and make sure I am properly prepared, with resources for the teachers and students that they can continue to use in the future. I would also like to express my heartfelt gratitude to all of the YouMe Nepal staff and team who made me feel so welcome from the moment I arrived in Kathmandu. I felt as though I was taken in as family and welcomed, from Nisha meeting me at the airport and travelling with me for many hours on the long jeep ride, to Jharana making me delicious food and Chiya and teaching me the most important phrases of Nepali language like ‘khana mitho cha’ and ‘bhok lagyo’, also Sate for her beautiful words of wisdom and encouragement, and of course Ryuichi, for getting me interested in YouMe Nepal in the first place. I’d also like to say thank you to everyone at the Chumakhu homestay, like Sajana for her delicious cooking, and Tanaka kuchipa for his cheeky smiles. I feel so blessed to have met you all.

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Q. How do you understand YouMe School or YouMe Nepal as for now?

I understand that YouMe Nepal works to provide educational opportunities for students at YouMe School in Khotang, supports other students who have difficult circumstances, and is also working towards opening a second YouMe school. What I admire about YouMe Nepal is that it is a charity run by Nepali people for Nepali people. Sharad and all the YouMe staff have built a grassroots organisation inspired by their own experiences in Nepal, but also with influences from experiences in foreign countries like Japan. I really appreciate that this organisation is not about foreigners intruding on a country they don’t understand and implementing new methods, but it is run by people who are from Nepal or who have experienced and understood the situation for themselves and know best what the students need. I would also like to continue supporting YouMe Nepal with translation and financial support as far as my work situation allows. I will be returning to New Zealand next month and looking for work, so I am not sure what my new lifestyle will be like, but I definitely want to keep YouMe Nepal in my life somehow.

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Thank you very much, Ruth!
We are welcoming your visit to YouMe School.
You can see this link about visit program.
If you have any other questions or concerns, please feel free to contact us at info@youmenepal.org .

We’re looking forward to hearing from you!

Visit to YouMe School, the school above the clouds. Applications open!

Would you love to spend your New Year’s break with the kids from YouMe School, in a remote area of Nepal?

We are currently seeking applicants for the “YouMe School Visit Programme”, where you can visit YouMe School in Durrchim village in Khotang, which was built by our organisation in 2012, and rebuilt with a new school building in 2015. This programme is designed to build awareness and understanding through a number of different activities and experiences at YouMe School.

– A trip to the school above the clouds, in an unchartered area of Nepal
– Create and implement your own workshop at YouMe School
– Cultural exchange with the YouMe kids, teachers and villagers
– Learn how the locals live. (Preparing food, exploration trekking around the area)
– See the first sunrise of the new year from a mountain village, looking out over Mt. Everest and the Himalaya mountain range
– In a village with no electricity, high in the mountains, experience stargazing at a night sky full of stars.

and more!

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[Purpose]
To visit YouMe School, which would be extremely difficult to reach without the help of the locals, and to experience firsthand the environment that these kids study in. Also, by being immersed in the villages’ traditional way of living, to move beyond your comfort zone and gain a new perspective on life.

[Accommodation]
The local staff will make sure to secure a safe hotel for you at both Kathmandu and Khotang.

[Transportation]
You will be transported in a private rental car (4WD) for only the staff and the participants.

[General Programme Schedule]
Arrive at Kathmandu – Tribhuvan Airport

Stay the night in a Kathmandu inner city hotel

Depart Kathmandu in the morning. 8 hours later, arrive at Durrchim village, Khotang.

Local homestay

Depart from Durrchim village. 8 hours later, arrive at Kathmandu

Stay the night in a Kathmandu inner city hotel

Depart from Kathmandu Airport

[Be Aware]
Worried about traveling to a place like Nepal? Nepal is by no means a dangerous country. Since the country became a democracy, public order has been very stable, so please don’t worry about safety. However, especially for a visit to a mountain village like this one, there will be a lot of traveling and walking. You will need to have a bit of endurance!

The flight from your country to Kathmandu will probably take up most of a whole day. In addition to this, the trip from Kathmandu to YouMe School in Khotang will be a bumpy 8 hour ride in a 4WD along rough roads. During your stay in the village you will also be walking long distances everyday. Although our local staff is putting the utmost consideration into creating a programme which keeps the participants as safe and healthy as possible, for those who are unused to long journeys such as this, and especially to a very Spartan lifestyle with no electricity, water or gas, it will be a bit more exhausting than you might think.

Make sure you are prepared for this, and if you are chosen for the programme, try to keep yourself healthy and maybe even do some training to make sure you are strong for the trip.

(But, in saying this, don’t worry too much! If you have a healthy curiosity and a desire to learn, you’ll be able to overcome anything😊)

 

The YouMe Kids doing their own strength training with a Tug of War rope sent over from Japan. A rare sight in Nepal!

The YouMe Kids doing their own strength training with a Tug of War rope sent over from Japan. A rare sight in Nepal!


[Participation Requirements]
1. We are looking for healthy men and women above the age of 20, who have an interest in the activities at YouMe School. (For those under 20 who still wish to apply, please contact us directly. We would still love to have you along, so let’s work out a way we can make it happen!😊)

2. To ensure a level of security required for a visit of this nature (Visiting and staying with the elementary school students), as a general rule, we are seeking those who are already acquainted with a Member of YouMe Nepal or who are staff members. (But please contact us if you would still like to apply and are not acquainted with a Member).
(This includes Administration, Endorsed Members, Foster Parents, or Teacher Support).

※There is also the possibility to become a member at the same time as applying for the visit programme.

Endorsed Members: Joining fee – Free.
Yearly Membership Fee – Individual 10,000 Yen.  Student 3000 Yen.

3. We will require you to buy your send your application, letter of consent and buy your plane ticket at least 2 weeks before departure.

4. The programme fee must be paid in advance to YouMe Nepal before departure.
(You will also need money for times when you will not be accompanied by a local YouMe Nepal staff member, such as for food, everyday items and souvenirs.)

Estimate of Costs (For a 3 night stay in Khotang)
1
〜3 participants 45,000 JPY

4 or more participants  30,000 JPY
(Airfares are not included. See below for a breakdown of costs)
※If you also wish to visit places other than YouMe School we would be happy to consult with you.

[Stories from past participants]
1. Kimi(February 2014)
I’m jealous that you might be going to Nepal! A week before the trip I bought a guidebook about Nepal, so I felt I had some idea of what it would be like. In amongst the hustle and bustle of oriental Bazaars which I’d always been drawn to, solemn temples lined up, as if you’d travelled through time. Dal Bhat and Tibetan food looked so delicious. I turned the page of the guidebook, and this time, a beautiful mountain. Mountains in Japan are green, but Nepal’s mountains are blue and white. A perfect match for the clouds and morning sun. How amazing would it be to travel freely in a place like this, unfettered by the obligations of Japan.

The reality of Nepal did not disappoint. Nepali people are inexplicably kind, and their smiling faces hold no hint of malice. The adults would sit relaxing in happy circles of chairs outside their houses, while the children would rush up to you asking you to play with them. Just by staying there I felt as though my heart had been cleansed. That was the final week of University for me. Japan is great in its own way, but there is a certain something that Japan seems to have lost, that is definitely present in Nepal. So even while I work, I find myself mumbling under my breath involuntarily “Ah, I wish I could take a break and go back to Nepal.”

2. ERIKO(2016.5)
At Rai’s family home, there’s a child who lives there, who’s not related to their family in any way. His name is Tanaka. Even though his name sounds like a Japanese surname, he’s a Khotang-born and raised, member of the Rai household.
His family’s place is down the hill a bit from Rai’s house. But if he has a family, why is he living separately from them? I was a little curious, but I knew that it was also common in South America to live together with people who were not related by blood, so I didn’t think much of it at first. Tanaka is now 8 years old. His hard working personality always caught my eye.

As we were leaving Rai’s house, I remember Tanaka scrambling to find my sister Sate’s scarf that she had forgotten and running to catch up with the moving car to give it back to us. The sight of him running with eyes sparkling, he was so full of goodness and life. I really believe there are certain people who touch your heart just through their everyday existence. Meeting Tanaka and being able to experience a new set of values I’d never felt before, is something I’ll always treasure.
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” The life of 8 year old Tanaka, who lives at Rai’s house ” Taken from the blog of Model and permanent traveller ERIKO
(Link here (in Japanese)):http://youmenepal.org/ja/news/2136.php

3. Shiori(2016.1)
Happy New Year! I spent the New Years period in Nepal, which has a different calendar to Japan. (Perhaps that’s why it doesn’t feel like New Year’s at all, haha!)

Two connecting flights from Japan, and around 9 hours in a Jeep later… In a place that’s so very very far, you feel like you can feel the distance, there stands Khotang’s very own YouMe School. I was allowed to visit the school, which my senior at APU named for “You and Me” and the Japanese word for dream, “Yume”.

There I met a 6 year old boy who did a 6 hour round trip commute to and from the school, saying “I want to learn”.

I met a 5 year old girl who came to YouMe School every single day at lunchtime, who told me “I actually want to go to YouMe School. I want to learn more.” She would gaze at YouMe School enviously from the government school which she attended further up the hill.

I met a boy whose parents were so financially troubled that they would never have the income to send their son to school. But the determination of the boy with the seemingly impossible dream of going to school was so admired by the townspeople that they gave him a scholarship so that he could attend.

I met my host family mother, who told me how happy she was that her children could go to YouMe School, with a bright, full-faced smile.

I met the local staff who are so close with the children, continuing to support them, sometimes as mothers, sometimes as big sisters, and sometimes as good friends, but all the while saying “I want to change these kids’ futures.”

YouMe School was packed with so much love, and filled to the brim with the dreams and aspirations of so many people.

I could have gone decades living my daily life without meeting as many inspiring people as I did on this trip. If I hadn’t set out to find them, I wouldn’t have been able to learn the many things they had to teach me. I have nothing but gratitude for all of these encounters.

Clean, clear water that flows when you turn the tap. A hot shower you can use anytime, 24 hours a day. A flushing toilet. A washing machine that washes your clothes beautifully with just the touch of a button. A heater which warms your room with a remote control. No worrying about whether you will have light when the sun goes down. The ability to contact your friends any time you feel like it. This is what it means to live a wonderful convenient Japanese lifestyle.

On the other hand, huddling together to keep warm when it’s cold. Walking along the road all together at night in the pitch black with only torches to light the way. Considering carefully how to use each day’s restricted amount of water in the most efficient way. Climbing down a steep cliff to find a spring to wash your clothes when you need to do laundry. This is the Khotang way of life. It was definitely tough, but for some strange reason, I also found that lifestyle to be “wonderfully convenient”. It must be because, somewhere inside of me, my understanding of what makes something “wonderful” or “convenient” has changed completely.

I hope I get to see a day where I can be reunited with those YouMe Kids!12548833_930590007026592_668890376160203226_n(Taken from http://youmenepal.org/ja/news/1879.php

4. Motoki (2016.1)
“Seeing is believing”. This saying never rang more true for me.
It was one thing, hearing about a world with no electricity, gas or running water, where kids have to wake up early in the morning to work and wanting to experience it for myself. But seeing it with my own eyes, the reality of it hit me hard. Or rather, I realised that when I heard about it, I really knew nothing about it. After the experience, I felt like for the first time in my life, I could explain to someone what the world was really like, and I wanted to tell everyone I could about what I had experienced.

There are so many essays trying to explain the reality of the world, like “What if the world were a 100 person village”. But I came to learn, that the fact that we are so incredibly lucky to have been born in a country like Japan, is something you can only truly understand and continue to appreciate if you have experienced the alternative.

I think that from now on I’ll always have the memory of those kids from Nepal in the back of my mind. It made me realise that the only way to live without feeling embarrassed by the memory of those strong, tough kids, is to take advantage of the amazing environment I’ve been placed in, and to find work doing something that will make others happy.

The memory of those kids never fails to give me motivation.
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(From http://youmenepal.org/ja/news/1926.php

5. Masa(2015.3)
When I visited Khotang, it was March. There was still snow on the mountains and the air was so pure, I was completely touched by the majesty of nature. Even though I had never met the people living there before, I somehow had this nostalgic feeling that I had missed them. They were so direct and open that it made me feel they had a certain something that Japanese people of the past used to have, but have forgotten in modern times. Even if that was the only realisation that came out of the trip, it still would have been worth it just for that feeling.
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6. Yuka  (2016.1)
Going on this Nepal trip really reinforced the importance of education for me. Having an environment to learn, and being able to make the most of that environment to study. A society where children can dream and have their own aspirations. These are all things which we, as adults, have a responsibility to provide. Nepal has its own challenges, as Japan has its challenges. But in both places, I believe that it is necessary to invest in education and provide better environments for study. I feel that children are the ones who will carry us into the future, and creating a society where those children can aspire to be what they want to be, is our responsibility as adults.

I try and live by the quote, “Knowing is the first step to understanding”. But I feel like this Visit Programme was a really important first step for me. I would love to be able to visit again some day.
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[Breakdown of Fees]
Transportation within Kathmandu

A YouMe Nepal Staff member will come to pick up participants from the Kathmandu Airport. Then they will take you to your hotel accommodation in Kathmandu.
Taxi Fee – About 1,000 JPY
Hotel Accommodation – About 3,000 JPY per person
(Depending on the hotel grade. This is about the price for the hotel which we have always used for past participants. For experienced travellers, you may be able to find a guest house or the like for less than 1,000 JPY.)

There are currency exchange services around the hotel area which offer better rates than the Japanese domestic, or Kathmandu airports. We recommend changing money for shopping, food or souvenirs here.

Food
Meals are around 200 JPY〜1000 JPY per meal. For the times when you are accompanied by a YouMe Nepal Staff member, they will pay for the meals for all participants together. (It is often cheaper this way).
During your stay in Khotang, your homestay will provide two meals a day for you at breakfast and dinner. It’s not common to take a meal at lunchtime in Khotang, but the YouMe School students sometimes have a light meal of cookies or snacks. There are food stands that locals run near the school, but the prices are higher than in Kathmandu city.

Transport from Kathmandu to Khotang
There are busses running on a fixed schedule every morning from Kathmandu to Khotang, but not many drivers speak English and it is very difficult to use these busses unless you are Nepalese. Because of this, the YouMe Nepal Team rents 4WD jeeps with drivers especially for multiple visitors. This means it is much easier to stop when needed, makes for a much smoother ride and is generally a much better option than the bus.
Jeep Rental Fee:One way 20,000 JPY / car(Round trip 40,000 JPY)
(If split between 5 passengers, a round trip will cost around 8,000 JPY per person)

There may be a possibility that not all participants can be transported on the same day. In this case, it may be necessary for participants to take the fixed timetable bus, accompanied by a YouMe Nepal staff member for your safety (at participant’s expense).

Bus Fee:One way About 4000 JPY / person
(In the case of a staff member accompanying the participant, round trip would be about 16,000 JPY)

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Founder, Sharad Rai, going back to his village, Khotang

Founder, Sharad Rai, going back to his village, Khotang

(You can watch this movie with English subtitle from here! )

 

※Expense Breakdown Example (1):4 people visiting together, 3 night stay in Khotang
<Expenses paid in advance>30,000 JPY
☆Direct Expenses
Taxi from Airport to Hotel: 1,000 JPY/ 4 people
Hotel Accommodation: 3,000 JPY
Taxi from Hotel to Rental Jeep Meeting Place:1,000 JPY/4 people
Transport to Khotang by Jeep: 20,000 JPY/4 people
Homestay Accommodation: 1,000 JPY×3 nights
Transport from Khotang to Kathmandu by Jeep: 20,000 JPY/4 people
Taxi back to Hotel:1,000 JPY/4 people
Hotel Accommodation: 3,000 JPY
Taxi from Hotel to Airport: 1,000 JPY / 4 people

☆ Programme Overheads(About 1/3 of the total cost)
・Administration Expenses
(Preparations and arrangements made by YouMe Nepal staff, YouMe School teaching staff and local villagers.)
・YouMe Nepal business administration support expenses, (For the continuation of YouMe Nepal’s charitable activities. )

<Other expenses covered by the individual participant> Around 4,000 JPY
Meals in Kathmandu: Around 3,000 JPY
Light Meals in Khotang: Around 1,000 JPY円
Other daily necessities, clothes, souvenirs

※Expense Breakdown Example (2): 1 participant, 3 night stay in Khotang
<Expenses paid in advance> 45,000 JPY
☆Direct Expenses
Taxi from Airport to Hotel: 1,000 JPY
Hotel Accommodation: 3,000 JPY
Taxi from Hotel to Bus Stop: 1,000 JPY
Bus to Khotang with YouMe Nepal Staff Member: 4,000 JPY×2
Homestay Expenses: 1,000 JPY ×3 nights
Bus back to Kathmandu with YouMe Nepal staff: 4,000 JPY×2
Taxi back to hotel:1,000 JPY
Hotel Accommodation: 3,000 JPY
Taxi from hotel to airport: 1,000 JPY

☆ Programme Overheads(About 1/3 of the total cost)
・Administration Expenses
(Preparations and arrangements made by YouMe Nepal staff, YouMe School teaching staff and local villagers.)
・YouMe Nepal business administration support expenses, (For the continuation of YouMe Nepal’s charitable activities. )

<Other expenses covered by the individual participant> Around 4,000 JPY
Meals in Kathmandu: Around 2,000 JPY
Light Meals in Khotang: Around 2,000 JPY円
Other daily necessities, clothes, souvenirs

 [Applications and Enquiries]
For those wishing to apply:

1. Questionnaire

2. Application form

Please fill out and submit these two forms online.

If you have any other questions or concerns, please feel free to contact us at info@youmenepal.org .



We’re looking forward to hearing from you!

 

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Our NPO members participate in Microsoft Nepal’s program

Two representatives from YouMe Nepal, Ms, Saraswoti Rai and Jharana Rai participated in the “NGO Day event” and “Experts Educators Conference” organized by Microsoft Innovation Centre, Nepal on December 11, 2015. Altogether, 17 NGOs from different parts of the country participated in the program

microsoftMicrosoft Innovation Center Nepal (MIC) is Microsoft’s branch working as its wing in Nepal to provide different facilities and launch their Information and Communication Technology (ICT) related programs. It has a network of 100 centers in 40 different countries. It has been offering a comprehensive set of programs and services to students, entrepreneurs, academicians, professional software developers, IT professionals, local government agencies, organizations etc. The mission of MIC is to bring together people and organizations in the software ecosystem and give them access to resources, experts and facilities, collaborations and skills development.

The main purpose of NGO Day event was to highlight on the use of technological tools like crowd funding that help in raising funds for NGOs to run their programs. It was also aimed at empowering government School by donating computer lab under MIC`s “Edunet Nepal Program” i.e. “Infrastructure Donation and Digital Literacy Training Program” that have been operational in several public schools of the country.
microsoft 2The Microsoft education programs and technology showcase was the main highlight of Educators Conference. During the conference, 120 educators from various parts of the country came together and discussed on how technology could be useful in educational institutions. It was organized to celebrate the importance of teacher’s contribution and educate them about the usage of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) tools as a motivating factor for teaching. By familiarizing teachers with new innovations, it was targeted at creating practical and productive teaching-learning environment at schools.

microsoft 3Being informed about several dimensions of technology, our members learned about digital literacy and the role it plays in the enhancement of students` intellectual growth. They also had an opportunity to interact with the representatives of several NGOs and shared our organizational vision. Most importantly, they got feedback from the organizers on the concept of our second school (which would be integrating ICT in its curriculum) that is in the planning phase.

Earthquake Relief Project and Our New Plan

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My name is Jharana Rai and I am in-charge of Earthquake Relief Project launched by YouMe Nepal. I am based in our country office in Kathmandu, Nepal.

The effect of devastating earthquake that struck Nepal in April-May 2015, causing damage to over half a million buildings and taking away the lives of about 9000 people was a heart wrenching moment for Nepalese people.  Witnessing the destruction has almost left indelible scars to the people as most of them had to bear separation from their families forever.

This was a kind of breakthrough for a country like Nepal that had almost never felt the predicament of the earthquake consequences. This was when the country saw the power of unity where everyone from inside and outside the country came together for the support.

12607285_10153870780339104_1531669716_n 12583943_10153870780639104_1000921181_n(Aftermath of Great earthquake in Nepal, 2015)

Similarly, the deadly quake affected every sector of the country including the educational sector. Several thousand schools had a hard time resuming classes owing to the damage inflicted and the fear of repeated aftershocks back then. The educational institutions were nearly closed for two months; students were bound to stay back home because of the constant fear of aftershocks and the severe damages caused to the buildings by earthquake. After the quake, the main priorities of people were education and the shelter.

Thus, YouMe Nepal started out with the conclusion of making Temporary Learning Centre (TLC) as a short term relief project for the earthquake stricken schools. Initially, we set off with implementing the project in Lamjung district’s remote village in Pahcok, VDC; that lies in Gandaki zone of North-Western Nepal. This village was one of the severely affected area in Lamjung district where not many helping hands dared to go. Pachok Secondary School with 350 students, serving the 2 wards of the village was not in the condition to operating classes. Though the school had received some tarpaulins from some INGOs,  it was still not in a condition to run normal classes. What further aggravated the case was the start up of rainy season in Nepal.

Our primary objective was to provide the earthquake affected children a safe and protected learning environment where they can study until the government reinstates the school.

12584076_10153870780009104_1604917133_n(Overview picture of school)

12575872_10153870780174104_1350477725_n(The walls were damaged)

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(The condition of classroom was not functional at all)

Despite numerous hurdles and hardships we were successful in making 2 TLC’s for Pachok Secondary School, for what inspired us most amidst the complicated circumstances was we could at least provide them the roof where they could continue their studies safely.

1112570991_10153870778634104_1693748722_n 12571310_10153870778334104_742107162_n (1)(The students studying at their newly constructed Temporary Learning Centre)

In the second phase, we were again approached by the Principal of Ilam Devi Primary School of the same VDC that had 37 students studying previously.  It was the same village but the wards were different. So, starting out the work in even a farther distance was another adrenaline experience for us. However, with the ongoing strikes, the worsening condition of roads, challenging weather and a limited manpower, we still managed to do everything smoothly and successfully.

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(The School’s previous temporary shelter)

 

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(The wall of the School was entirely collapsed)

12557773_10153870782089104_1674502521_o 12562801_10153870782044104_70788934_o 12596970_10153870781879104_180118619_o(The process of making TLC for Ilam Devi Primary School)

Though it was for temporary usage, we didn’t want to compromise on the safety and quality. To this cause, we opted for metal truss for long lasting result. It was a life changing experience for us, we went through a process where we had to build a school that is functional and safe at the same time.

Completing the construction of two TLC’s simultaneously in spite of various difficulties and complications we faced during the process, we realized that the situation we went through was nothing as compared to seeing bright smiles on the faces of innocent children. This was merely the least we could do for them to give a shelter to study continuously without any problem of sun or rain. As concerned with the student’s sanitation, we even provided two toilet pans and one water tank that could be used after their new toilet construction for both the schools.

At the moment, we are working on our big dream project where 5 to 6 children will be benefited from our Sponsorship Program. We have made some flexibility on the choice in terms of selection of these students, considering the current situation of the country. Some of the children we are choosing are real earthquake victims and others are indeed a family who are in dire need of financial support to help their children continue their studies. We are still in ongoing procedures of meeting the parents, children and finalizing the schools according to the requirement of both children and parents. Soon, we will be releasing the list of our sponsored children. The aim of this project is not only to support them financially but to conduct a process where we can perpetually monitor on their education and figure out the way to motivate them on making their future brighter.

The aftermath of great earthquake was a phase where we saw the downfall of so many infrastructures. However, it was also the time where we saw and experienced the power of unification. Therefore, the whole journey from making TLC’s to sponsoring the children has made us little wiser. Our journey till date has been full of priceless emotions and encounters. Learning from the mistakes, we are committed to move forward only to bring a little change to people’s life and their thinking. To our understanding, this is the asset we want to gain and own in our every work and effort.

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【チャリティーイベント】 ソルト・パヤタス×YouMe Nepal Trust

12650444_10153405713892045_1159656651_nフィリピンで教育支援、女性収入向上支援、スタディ・ツアーを主な軸として活動をおこなっている、『特定非営利活動法人 ソルト・パヤタス』

ネパールでの教育支援、震災復興支援を行っているNPO団体『YouMe Nepal Trust』

上記2つの団体による、初めての協働イベントを開催します♩

◎各団体の紹介や、お互いの国の教育にまつわるクイズゲームなど、楽しく教育について学び、語り合いましょう‼
クイズでは景品もご用意しております‼

◎美味しいフィリピン料理とネパール料理のスペシャルコラボメニューをご用意してお待ちしております!!

★日時:1月30日(土)夕方〜(追って詳細をご連絡します。)
★参加料金:2500円程度 + ドリンク代
(うち1500円はYouMeと、ソルト・パヤタスに寄付されます。)
★場所:ナマステレストラン 高田馬場
http://www.hotpepper.jp/strJ001111216/map/
★参加方法:当イベントページから参加表明をお願いします。※参加表明は50名までで締め切らせて頂きます。

イベントページ:https://www.facebook.com/events/1161825047180025/

★参加団体
YouMe Nepal Trust
http://youmenepal.org/
特定非営利活動法人 ソルト・パヤタス
http://www.saltpayatas.com/

『Salt Payatas×YouMe Nepal Trust』Charity Event

This is a collaboration charity event hosted by Salt Payatas Foundation from the Philippines and YouMe Nepal Trust from Nepal.
Two non-profit organizations will be introducing their projects, and give you some quize games related with the educational issues in their respective countries!!
We will be preparing some prize for the winners!
Let’s have fun experiencing our social activities in the two different countries!

You can of course enjoy delicious Filipino and Nepali foods!!

★Date: January 30th (Sat) Time: TBD
★Place: NAMASTE Takadanobaba
http://www.hotpepper.jp/strJ001111216/map/
★Price: 2,500yen including foods (1,500yen will be donation for YouMe Nepal and Salt Payatas), drinks are cash on delivery.
Please press “JOIN” on this event page if you can join us.
※The number of participants is 50.
★Host organizations
『YouMe Nepal Trust』
http://youmenepal.org/
『Salt Payatas Foundation Philippines』
http://www.saltpayatas.com/

Economic blockade in Nepal

Nepal is a land-locked country with a complex topography.  The Himalayan region in the Northern border makes it hard for Nepal to build a good transportation system linking with China. India borders Nepal in three directions; namely East, West and South. While there is a provision of visa requirement for Nepalese to go to China, no such provisions are required for the people of Nepal and India to cross the border. Therefore, Nepal has no choice but to depend heavily upon India to meet most of the daily needs.

In April-May 2015, Nepal suffered a deadly devastation as the result of a massive earthquake. It is estimated that more than $7 billion will be required for the reconstruction purpose. Enlisted as one of the least developed countries, allocating such a huge sum of money for reconstruction remains a challenge for Nepal. Lack of technical capacity, infrastructure, human resources etc. delay the process. Despite these challenges, Nepal is continuously struggling to march ahead towards the path of recovery.

Just four months after such an upheaval, what has aggravated the plight of Nepalese people is the continuous economic blockade imposed by India starting September this year. The cumulative loss from the blockade has exceeded the amount of money allocated by Nepal for post-disaster reconstruction.

Nepal amended its new constitution in September 2015 for the first time after it turned into a federal democratic republic since 2008. With the political reforms in the country, federalism had stood as a big issue. While there are so many factors that prevent new federalism structure from its implementation, one of the major one has been the dissatisfaction shown by a greater fraction of people residing in the Southern belt.

People in the south (commonly known as Madhesi) claim that they have not been able to enjoy equal rights as other Nepalese. However, it should be acknowledged that new constitution has given a lot of priority rights to represent these people at the core of the national politics. Turning their dissatisfaction into protests, people in South demand an ethnic divide of the country.

Making the unrest in southern plain a cause, India has stopped supplying the daily necessities into Nepal for the last two months disregarding various bilateral, regional and international agreements. This has led to a severe humanitarian crisis in Nepal at the moment. There is shortage of fuel, food and critical medical supplies throughout the country. According to UNICEF, the disruption of vital life services has put more than three million infants at risk of death or disease. More than 1.6 million children have been deprived of schooling in the due course. Due to the lack of gas supplies, people are compelled to use firewood to cook food at the moment. Peoples rising dependence on firewood has increased indoor pollution. Fuel crisis has triggered black-marketing.

Therefore, it is very necessary for us to give a due consideration to this crisis and spread the message to the international community to help 28 million people of Nepal.

One Young World Summit 2015: Joshi’s reflection

I had an opportunity to participate in One Young World (OYW) Summit that was held in Bangkok from November 18 -21 in 2015. It was my honor to represent YouMe Nepal Trust being the sole representative from Nepal and meet with 1300 delegates from over 196 countries or regions, charities, NGOs, corporations and universities.

OYW

OYW Summit is a premier global forum organized by OYW which is a not-for-profit organization. The aim of the summit is to create a platform for youth between the age of 18-30 and help them build lasting connections so that they learn to develop solutions to the world’s most persistent problems.

Founded in 2009, OYW has staged 6 annual summits so far: London (2010), Zurich (2011), Washington (2012), Johannesburg (2013), Dublin (2014), Bangkok (2015). In these summits, well known figures from different spheres of politics, business, social causes etc. are invited as counsellors. Some of the notable figures or counsellors include noble laureate Professor Muhammad Yunus, Kofi Annan, Unilever CEO Paul Polman, former president of Ireland Mary Robinson among others.

During my participation, I shared the vision of YouMe Nepal Trust with as many friends as possible and also spoke about the reason behind its establishment. Many delegates expressed their willingness to visit Nepal and also volunteer at schools built by YouMe Nepal in the future. In addition to that, I was also selected to make a call to Conference of Parties (COP) of the United Nations on behalf of Nepalese youth addressing the Prime Minister of Nepal.

This was truly a life-time opportunity that made me realize the kind of world we ought to live in: a world where we are not judged by the country of our origin but by our sense of responsibility to serve humanity.

This was also featured in one of the widely read English Newspapers of Nepal (http://kathmandupost.ekantipur.com/news/2015-11-26/nepal-represented-at-one-young-world-summit-2015.html)

Smriti Rai: A Day in her Life

From October 15th to November, 14th, a young couple stayed in Khotang and helped conduct  volunteer activities in YouMe School. While volunteering at the school, they made us a fascinating short clip about one of our students, Smriti Rai.

This is a great movie that touches our heart.