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Alumni blog: Expanding horizons, increasing confidence

Yadu at Dashain festival
Photo: Yadu during Dashain 2013. Dashain is the longest and most auspicious festival in the Nepalese annual calendar
29 October 2013

Yadu Poudel came to Pestalozzi from Nepal in 2011 and graduated in June this year. He is currently taking a gap year and working at John Dewey School in Kathmandu. Here, he shares some of the ways in which the experiences of the last two years have changed his outlook on life – from cats and dogs to professional skills.

In my society, cats are considered a killing machine for rats that linger in a house while a dog is kept in one’s house to chase away the cats that are unable to kill rats. Growing up in this society, I developed a hatred for dogs and cats. But when I first visited my Pestalozzi host mother’s house, I was welcomed by three dogs and a cat in the kitchen. I stared in awe. After two months of seeing people’s loving attitude towards animals, I began to change. Gradually, I developed a love for animals that had never arisen in the previous 17 years of my life. From that day I realised that had I not gone to Pestalozzi, my hatred for animals would have been lifelong. This is just one of the wonderful experiences that changed me in many ways while I was at Pestalozzi in the UK.

Now, after a challenging and fulfilling two years at Pestalozzi, I have realized that life beyond the village is very different. You do not get a monthly allowance knocking on your door on the first day of every month. You do not always get a chance to mingle with people of multicultural society. You do not often get such nice and loving staff that inspire and motivate you. And, importantly, you do not get the same opportunities and experiences as you can have in Pestalozzi.

Presently, being in a situation where independence is required more than dependence, I have understood the greatness of Pestalozzi’s effort to make me a confident and empowered man from a naive adult. The effort has been simply phenomenal and has opened up numerous doors for my future.

For example, in this gap year, I have been working in John Dewey School in Kathmandu, Nepal. I am pleased to have been hired in a school for the job that relates to the International Baccalaureate because of my previous IB experience. The school wants to start IB PYP for their primary level students. For this, I have been going through the process of applying for IB authorisation and explaining the basic principles of IB. Further, I have been updating the school’s website and giving tutorials to students in maths and science. In addition, the joy of playing basketball and football at Pestalozzi has been very beneficial for me as I have utilised these skills to help students at John Dewey.

I have also come to realise that even the small things one learns in life are useful at some stage. Getting involved in minor activities like helping students to make presentations in Prezi, making graphs, writing research projects in Microsoft Word and Excel and giving smart board training to the teachers of John Dewey are just some of the things I have been volunteering to do at John Dewey.

In this gap year so far, I have gained lots of experiences, increased my links and contacts. I feel confident that this year would be one of the glorious moments of my life. Finally, I would like to thank Pestalozzi for the opportunities they provided – those opportunities have made me an independent, confident, strong and empowered person today.

To give more young people the opportunities that have helped Yadu, make a monthly donation to Pestalozzi.