Sandy Adhikari and Jess Knight, who are studying A Levels at Truro College, spent their summer volunteering with Education Earthquake Nepal, a trust in Nepal that helps children from disadvantaged backgrounds who have suffered the loss of their schools because of earthquakes to go to school and get an education in safety.
The volunteering trip was instigated when Sandy heard about the fundraising efforts of the Foundation Studies students at the College. As he has family just below the foothills of the Himalayas where the project takes place, he was eager to get involved by travelling out to the trust to deliver the donations in person.
As Sandy wants to go on to university to study Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence, it was decided that the money raised by the students would go towards buying the children a laptop so that Sandy could teach them about IT during his visit. Not only did this go down a treat with the children, Sandy was able to design a new website for the charity and show charity-co-founder Juliette Cunliffe how to manage the page.
Jess, who plays for the county women’s hockey team, was similarly eager to share her interests and skills with the children of Nepal. Over one-hundred new and used hockey sticks, tennis rackets, cricket bats, hockey balls, t-shirts and other sporting goods were donated by hockey clubs around Cornwall and the sports company Gryphon. This meant Jess was able to teach the children of the charity how to play a completely new sport.
Alongside sports and IT, the Foundation Studies students also thought hygiene was an important topic to get involved with so part of the money raised was used to provide hygiene kits for each child, which included toothbrushes, toothpaste, hand sanitiser and wet wipes as well as sanitary towels and black underwear for the girls to help with period discretion.
The fact that Sandy and Jess were able to visit Nepal to hand over the donations meant that the Foundation Studies students were able to see exactly where their hard work has gone.
“The students really embraced learning about the culture of Nepal and worked hard to raise money for the children who have been affected by earthquakes,” said Karenza Pariyar, Foundation Studies lecturer at the College. “The students' enthusiasm and compassion for the project shone through as they organised and managed a jumble sale, a plant and cake sale and a competition to guess just how far it is from Truro to Kathmandu. Overall, their incredible efforts combined with an anonymous donation raised enough money and they agreed that it should be spent to provide the hostel with a new laptop and a health and hygiene package for each child.
“As always, I am so incredibly proud of the Foundation Studies Volunteers who embrace every project and task with genuine compassion and enthusiasm. I feel they have learnt so much along the way - about a different culture and about how others struggle too - all helping them to put their own lives in perspective. The impact on the children in Nepal has been wonderful as they have learnt a new and exciting team sport, have a laptop to help them with their school studies and homework and feel the support and love of other students around the world. It is hoped that the students in Nepal will start to make pen-friends with our Volunteering students, so they can learn more about each other and their lives.”