Tuesday, December 31, 2013

A man on a mission

Dorje Gurung’s story and his reason to travel to Qatar is nowhere similar to those of thousand Nepalese migrant workers but the fate he was met with was pretty much alike and astounding. A global teacher, Gurung, while his tenure as a Chemistry teacher at the reputed Qatar Academy was put behind the bars one fine day for the alleged insult he made towards Islam.  

In a recent interview with The Kathmandu Post, Dorje Gurung retells his story of the
bitter experience inside the Qatari jail, how he saw the harsh realities of numerous other Nepalese workers in the Gulf State unfold all at once to until now -- where he is determined to ensure proper education along with COMMITTED for the underprivileged kids in Nepal to avoid any such scenario in the future.  

Article published on The Kathmandu Post on December 27th, 2013.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Annual Summary Report of 2007

2007 started with writing a grant application to the Rotary International to renovate the students and staff toilets, provide drinking water supply facility, build infirmary, and conduct health awareness programs at Kanya Mandir School. During the second half of 2007, we began renovation of the computer lab with funds made available by primarily kind U.S. based Nepali individuals and concurrently submitted a grant request to the Western Union Foundation to purchase the equipment necessary for the project.

More details at Annual Report- 2007

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Annual Report Summary of 2008

Budget for 2008

Total Income US $27,507.89 and Total Expense US $17,213.96.

For 2008, our focus was primarily spent towards the rehabilitation of Kanya Mandir School, the first girls’ school of Nepal. Following up on the needs assessment survey conducted in 2006, we implemented the Kanya Mandir Computer Literacy Project.
During the second half of 2008, we acquired funding from Rotary International group to implement the Kanya Mandir Health and Sanitation Project. 

More details at Annual Report- 2008

Annual Report Summary of 2009

Budget for 2009

COMMITTED Total Income -US $18,243.57 and Total Expense US $12,371.84

A lot happened in 2009 -- from building a drinking water supply system, renovating old toilets and building new ones in Kanya Mandir School to refurnishing the school’s science lab and library. 
Support from United Parcel Service (UPS) enabled us in providing basic goods for Children at the Mother Theresa Orphanage in Kathmandu. We also initiated a project to help Sri Raithane Secondary School in Sindhupalchowk District to renovate existing facilities and provide basic critical infrastructure. Similarly, in collaboration with Open Learning Exchange (OLE), Nepal, we initiated a project to provide basic infrastructure and renovate classrooms for Sri Samaijee Prathmik Vidyalaya in Dandeldhura District. In 2009 we also conceptualized the Green Dream Initiative to reduce environmental impact in urban and semi-urban areas of Nepal.

More details at Annual Report- 2009

Annual Report Summary of 2010

Budget for 2010

COMMITTED US: Total income US $19,240 and Total Expense US $14,248.
COMMITTED Nepal: Total Income US $60,678 and Total Expense US $14,247.

Our focus in 2010 was to serve the urban communities with little if not much stress in rural areas. We completed the Science Lab and Library Improvement for Kanya Mandir School during the first quarter of 2010. During the second half of 2010, we completed the Computer Literacy Project for Shanti Nikunj School in Maru Tole of Kathmandu. 
Much of our concentration was spent towards fulfilling the prerequisites of our new program for 2011, “Social Business for Education” as a part of part of COMMITTED’s Sikchya Mero Adhikar (Education-My Right Campaign). 

More details at Annual Report- 2010

Annual Report Summary of 2011

Budget for 2011

COMMITTED US: Total income US $11,999.29 and Total Expense US $11,248.88.COMMITTED Nepal: Total Income US $9,537.51 and Total Expense US $17,365.36.

2011 was completely focused on rural needs and was spent towards raising funds and majorly coordinating with different bodies to establish Sri Raithane School as a Higher Secondary School with the addition of grades 11 and 12.

Towards the end of the year, we carried out meetings with stake holders for our program “Social Business for Education (SBE)” as a part of COMMITTED’s Sikchya Mero Adhikar (Education-My Right Campaign). We successfully gained membership of Nepal Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene (WASH) Alliance (NWA) becoming the one of the fifteen members of the NWA, funded by the Dutch Government. Also, we participated in a rainwater harvesting project to identify water stressed villages of Kanchanpur village. 

Our major projects were Rainwater Harvesting at Kanchanpur District; Classrooms Construction at Taltuleswori Primary School, Thangpalkot VDC; Art on the Road, Thangpalkot VDC; and Social Business for Education (SBE)at Sri Raithane Secondary School.

More details at Annual Report- 2011.

Annual Report Summary of 2012

Budget for 2012

COMMITTED US: Total income US $6,737 and Total Expense US $7,181.COMMITTED Nepal: Total Income US $60,678 and Total Expense US $46,286.

COMMITTED’s achievement in 2012 has been joyous. For this year, our focus has been the two campaigns -- Sikchya Mero Adhikar(Education-My Right), a campaign that seeks to establish free and quality education for Nepali children as their basic right; and The Green Dream Initiative where COMMITTED is initiating the Re~Leaf Program and Children, Parks, and People program. Our major projects in 2012 included two science labsthree book libraries, one computer lab (E-library), and renovation of five classrooms as a part of our School Improvement Program (SIP). As a part of Social Business for Education (SBE), we started a fish farm, one pig farm, and one recreational boat ride project.
Donations were made available by Ncell, Western Union Foundation, Union Finance Ltd., Sieun Alice Park family (South Korea), Rainwater Harvesting Capacity Center-Biogas Sector Partnership (RHCC-BSP).  
Another major achievement for this year has been the fund raising strategies. Implementing learning from previous years, we were able to raise our targeted goal during the Summerfest 2012 event held in the Washington DC area. Numerous individual donors and volunteers have also been a part in helping us make substantial contributions to the children and communities in our project sites.  

More details at Annual Report- 2012

Monday, November 18, 2013

Crowdrise Holiday Challenge:...Teach a Man to Fish...

A reproduction of a blog post on his blog, by our Education Program Director, Dorje Gurung, about our fundraising drive.

Establishing a Fishery as a Social Business for Education project to finance rural Nepalese children's education and upgrading the school's teaching resources and infrastructure.

Coming from a low socioeconomic background in Nepal, even as a primary school student in Kathmandu, I  dreamt of making a difference, through education, both to myself and to others in Nepal.

  what your contribution will pay for

Ever since realising the first part of my of my dream--beating the odds to graduate from secondary school, getting  degrees from tertiary education institutions abroad and pursuing a professional career as an international teacher around the world--I have been acutely aware of not having realised the second part of my dream.

After over two decades abroad, I had finally decided to return home to work towards fulfilling the second part of my dream. However, following an incident in the school cafeteria, not only was I fired from my job, losing thousands of dollars in the process, I was also jailed for allegedly insulting Islam.

Luckily, my friends around the world launched a massive campaign, and after only four days of initiating it, I was freed.

Following the ordeal, I was more determined than ever to see through the second part of my dream. 

During my time in Qatar, I came to see, hear and read about the exploitationabuse and sufferings of hundreds of thousands of Nepalese (and other Asian) migrant labourers in Qatar. I met a number of them languishing in jail as well.

I discovered that the main reason for their ending up in Qatar and being exploited was their lack of education. They came from low socio-economic background, just like myself, but unlike me, they had lacked opportunities for education. Lack of education combined with poverty and lack of employment opportunities at home had driven them to Qatar.

I realised that to enable nepalese children to have the freedom to dream and chart their own destinies we must provide high quality education at home.

Returning to Nepal, I ran a successful fundraising campaign and raised over thirty thousand dollars

Following the campaign, my friend Jayjeev and I have been running COMMITTED, an NGO dedicated to implementing holistic development works through education-related projects, project that improve infrastructure, resources and quality of education at Raithane School in Thangpalkot village, Sindupalchowk.

To make sure that the education program is sustainable, COMMITTED has initiated a Social Business for Education  project: a Fishery, with funds (totalling about US$20,000) raised through other means. But, we need an additional US$45,000!

Once fully set up, a significant part of the profits from the business will cover all the expenses of the school. The remaining profits will be used for community development projects as per the Community Development Plan (CDP) the community devises with help from COMMITTED.

In the mean time, additional funds are required for resources, teacher training, infrastructure upgrades and other expenses, funds we were not able to raise in June's campaign.

An additional US$15,000 is required to upgrade the school library and provide library management skills training to the school staff, to provide enhanced support for Science, English and Arts curriculum. A further US$28000 to complete the new school building, to upgrade the classrooms, to set-up rainwater harvesting system and to address WASH (Water Sanitation and Health) issues. And finally, not unlike all other government schools in Nepal, Raithane struggles to pay teachers' salaries. In order to pay a decent wage to four school-employed teachers for the next two years an additional US$12000 is necessary.
COMMITTED therefore is aiming to raise a total of US$100,000 to provide free, quality and sustainable education to the children of Raithane School in Thangpalkot, Sindhupalchok, Nepal. These funds will support the education of 350+ students attending Raithane School in Thangpalkot VDC, a community with a population of over 3000--education that will give them the freedom to dream and chart their own destinies, just as it did for me!

We are looking for interested individuals to help us raise these funds by being a team member in this campaign. If you are interested, click here or on the image below for instructions on how to join.
join our team image

Fundraising Websites - Crowdrise