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Home Global Activities Asia In Nepal, Tzu Chi Invites Drop-out Students Back to School

In Nepal, Tzu Chi Invites Drop-out Students Back to School

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About 10% of students of the Gautama Buddha Secondary School (GBSS) in Lumbini, Nepal have dropped out of school because of poverty. After learning this, what could Tzu Chi volunteers do?

 

The Biggest Difficulties

On December 8, it was 12°C (53.6°F). Even such cold weather could not stop volunteers from making home visits. They visited the families one by one to understand the problems of the students, hoping to provide solutions so that they can continue their studies.

In Nepal, the government provides ten years of compulsory primary and secondary education. Although there is no problem in learning,  transportation and meals at school are the biggest difficulties for poor rural families. They force many students to drop out of school.

After understanding the situation, a group of Tzu Chi volunteers from two tropical countries, Singapore and Malaysia, embarked on a major mission to help GBSS find their students in the cold winter of Nepal.

 

Door to Door

Among the 319 students of the GBSS, 34 dropped out, as high as 11%. Tzu Chi volunteers went into the villages to try to find them.

On the list of those who dropped out, there are names but no phone numbers or addresses. So how could the volunteers accomplish their mission? They needed the teachers of GBSS.

Before class, the teachers and volunteers went door to door to learn  the reasons why children drop out of school. They hoped to provide solutions to encourage children to continue their education.


 

Financial Burden

They came to a girl’s home. This girl dropped out of school in the seventh grade and got married a year later. She has been married for 5 months. Tzu Chi volunteers encouraged her to study. She said she would go back to school if she had the chance.

In Nepal’s rural areas, girls are married at an early age. This reduces the financial burden on their families and is also a factor in their leaving their studies.

The villagers earn their living from farming, and their families are poor. Many families cannot afford the cost of schooling for their children. From this village, it takes an hour for students to walk to school, and the girls do not have bicycles.


 

Back to School

After three days of home visits, some parents agreed to let their children go back to school. Rejoicing, Tzu Chi volunteers came to the school to provide stationery and show their concern for students’ resumption of classes. The principal was very pleased.

Manoz Kumar, principal of Gautama Buddha Secondary School said: "It is great to see them come back, and slowly I hope that all students can return to school to attend classes."

 

To thank the parents for the importance they attach to their children's education, Tzu Chi volunteers visited the students' families again and presented gifts to express their admiration and gratitude. Because they receive education, children in Lumbini should have a choice to make their own future.

With a thought comes extraordinary power. Tzu Chi volunteers from Singapore and Malaysia are truly mindful and are dedicating themselves to transform Nepal for the better. That is why they went there to serve. We truly feel grateful to them.

 


Article: Xie Qian-yi and Qiu Jian-yi from Nepal


 
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Jing-Si Aphorism

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