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One drop. Big ocean.


Updates on our projects and work in Nepal

One drop. Big ocean.

Michelle Welsch

If you have to go to the hospital, might as well make it fun.

If you have to go to the hospital, might as well make it fun.

I see so many problems around me, so many people needing and wanting, so many people asking for help. Inept systems fail to support people in need. Lack of education, leadership, management and responsibility impact young lives.

I hear young men telling me of their dreams to go abroad. I listen to stories of people being shown container boxes to live in once they arrive in Korea for work.

Talented, smart Nepalis leave the country every day in hordes looking for opportunity; unfortunately, they’re often met with low wage jobs and situations that take advantage of their position. Recent suicide has shook the Nepali immigrant community in USA. It’s like modern-day indentured servants. 

Thank you, Dr. Ajay!

Thank you, Dr. Ajay!

I get angry. Angry at people who consider their own pockets before helping others. Angry at people who affiliate themselves with religion yet fail to ask questions, take responsibility for their actions, look after their neighbors, protect children.

But then I remind myself, it isn’t their fault. When you view the world and its resources as limited and finite, it’s a natural instinct to hold on, take for yourself, and fill your bowl before considering others around you. When your entire life has been filled with corruption and injustice, it is only natural that your perception and worldview is distorted.

I believe education can solve many, many issues. Unfortunately, not all families have access to such, and Nepal’s leaders fail to provide students with what they need to succeed. NGOs are relied upon to fulfill basic needs, and many are corrupt. Parents don’t know; they send their children away, to homes, to monasteries for care and education. 

Creative writing workshop, government school in Pokhara.

Creative writing workshop, government school in Pokhara.

There’s a test called the School Leaving Certificate (SLC) exam. It’s equivalent to an American high school diploma and is needed for many job opportunities and continued study. Less than half of students pass this. Families with a bit of money send their kids to boarding schools and tuition centers. Places they know they’ll have a shot. I started teaching a few classes to get a feel for these centers — they offer exam prep and career coaching and place a huge emphasis on overseas placement and study abroad. They hang flags of foreign countries in their windows, USA, UK, Australia, Singapore, New Zealand and Malaysia — dream destinations for many students. Not only are these centers costly, they’re stale, uninspiring, boring, archaic.

I’ve realized that, as one person, I can only do so much. This is what frustrates me most. One person makes small scratches at big problems. But I have a big dream. 

I’ve been “pitching.” I’ve spoken to people in the community, academics, entrepreneurs, parents who want the best for their children. I’ve been tapping my network in the USA and beyond, seeking advice and tips and making business plans. My nights are spent applying for grants, researching sources I might be able to find the funds I need to make this dream come true. Since I’m not a registered 501c3 AND I’m doing international work, it limits the funding resources available to me.

Curious? I’ll email it to you. Send me a note.

Words of encouragement are always welcomed, too.