From student to sponsor: Making a difference
Chhiring: "Like Bhawana, if I am able to, I would also like to help get other children the opportunities they need in the future."
Bhawana celebrating Holi festival whilst at Pestalozzi.
Chhiring was lucky enough to receive sponsorship from Bildungsforderung Nepal (Supporting Education, Gifting Future.)
Bhawana at her graduation from university.
3 January 2015
Educating our students and providing opportunities that can lead to them investing in communities and making a difference in the world is something that Pestalozzi strives toward. Bhawana and Chhiring’s story is a perfect example of this circle of success.
Imagine being given a potentially life changing opportunity to study towards your future dreams, at a time when the cost of secondary education puts it beyond your grasp. Imagine taking full advantage of that opportunity, progressing to university and then into the career of your dreams. Now imagine being able to provide that opportunity to someone else, to an aspirational 16 year-old, not so dissimilar to your younger self. This is exactly what happened to Bhawana Bochmann.
Now a successful medical researcher, mother and charity director, Bhawana Bochmann (formerly Poudel) was once a Pestalozzi scholar herself. After graduating in 2004, Bhawana wanted to help people in Nepal pursue their education so she and her husband set up their charity, Bildungsforderung Nepal (Supporting Education, Gifting Future.) Bhawana believes that her journey of success is thanks to the help of educational scholarships such as that given by Pestalozzi.
‘I have funded my entire education with the help of external funding. I started my educational journey at a school in Kathmandu with the help of a government scholarship. During this period, I was fortunate to receive another offer from Pestalozzi International Village to do an IB Diploma at Hastings College. I then moved to Germany to do my bachelor’s degree with the help of another fellowship.’
‘Today I feel successful and very happy with my life and I would not be who I am today without the help of these scholarships. This is what made me realize that I would like to do something in return for others. I felt that I owe my sponsors a “thank you”, and how else could I have done this better than giving similar opportunities to others who are in need?’ she says.
Bhawana’s NGO was sponsoring the education of four girls in a school in Kathmandu. One of these girls was Chhiring Lama who now resides in Sedlescombe, in surroundings very familiar to Bhawana. ‘I am extremely happy, glad and relieved that our contribution to education granted Chhiring an exceptional opportunity to pursue further education at Pestalozzi. I know that she is now in great hands that will guide her to shape a better future.’ says Bhawana.
‘I would advise her to enjoy Pestalozzi and to make the best use of the opportunities, embrace the differences in people/culture and be a global citizen. I would also ask that in the future, please be kind and do something for others when you are in the position to do so.’
Chhiring believes that Bhawana’s sponsorship gave her the confidence as well as the financial support to enable her to achieve her Pestalozzi scholarship. She has settled into her new lifestyle, where she has learnt a lot about the multiple nationalities of her fellow students:
‘The experience you get at Pestalozzi is a lot more whole, you learn a lot. I hadn’t heard of countries like Belize or Zambia and now I have come to know them.’
Chhiring is embracing opportunities and starting to fulfil her dreams to become a doctor, hoping to continue to university or medical school after graduating from Pestalozzi.
‘I would like to study medicine because where I live at home (in the district of Humla) is one of the most remote parts of Nepal. There is one hospital in my district and not many health workers or doctors so people die from minor illnesses. Like Bhawana, if I am able to, I would also like to help get other children the opportunities they need in the future,’ she says.
This story was first published in our 2014 Autumn/Winter Newsletter which you can download here.