Ram Rijal

From a village in rural Nepal, Ram K Rijal used his astounding determination to gain an international education and a job with the World Bank. Even more impressive is his foundation of Bloom Nepal School. Ram was at Pestalozzi from 2006 to 2008.

Ram K RijalI have been incredibly fortunate to have had made transition from a remote school in Rukum, rural Nepal, through higher education and the International Baccalaureate Diploma in the UK, to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) USA. This was possible because of a government scholarship to Budhanilkantha School in Kathmandu and Pestalozzi’s support for the IB, and another full scholarship to MIT for a Bachelor of Mathematics and Economics.

Currently, I am working for the Education sector of the World Bank as a data analyst in the position of Junior Professional Associate. I feel blessed to also be working cooperatively with energetic and accomplished young people both from Nepal and abroad in establishing stronghold of good practices in Education of Nepal through creation of Bloom Nepal school network.

While at MIT, I was constantly worried by the political upheavals, social disorders and intentional misguiding of the youth in Nepal. Young people protesting in the streets, burning tires and making demands designed to feed the interest of the politicians had become an essential characterization of Nepalese society. This was in sharp contrast to MIT in particular, where young people were engaged in entrepreneurship, learning and knowledge dissemination. It was very unfortunate that many of the young people in Nepal were not even able to assess the consequences of their actions or rather preferred not to. Young people were constrained in large parts due to poverty and illiteracy.

Ram at Bloom Nepal School with Pestalozzi supporters Anne and Andrew HudsonThe country that cannot put hope in youth is destined to dwindle and do so for a long period of time. What Nepal really needed was to channel the vitality of youth for positive and affirmative actions. It was important to shape young people to be daring, innovative, learned and highly responsible. I wanted to at least take a shot at doing this by providing good education, which would also serve the purpose of eliminating poverty and bringing shared prosperity. Bloom Nepal School is the physical manifestation of this – my desire to improve my country.

The first Bloom Nepal School opened this year with 18 students. We are working to open more, with a vision of eventually providing 8 schools across the country. The school is based on three pillars: strong emphasis on languages; structured mentorship; and provision of financial and technical assistance to establish a culture of entrepreneurship. Bloom Nepal has been preparing students to pursue passion and become leaders in chosen fields.

As an institution that is committed to giving wings to young people, Bloom Nepal has already had the distinction of having organized the first Mathematics Olympiad in Nepal. The goal of Mathematics Olympiad is to identify talents and help them pursue higher education in some of the finest institutions of the world. The school deserves to become a phenomenon in education and serve as a platform for Nepalese people to gain good education at the most affordable price. To just make sure that educational needs of every interested individual are covered, the school will grow in size, numbers and scope in the ensuing years.

Ram Rijal, February 2013The Pestalozzi philosophy of head, heart and hands has helped me see value in things that we do at the school. People constantly question over my decision to tread on a risky venture as opposed to living a comfortable life in the USA. Many of my supporters including my parents dislike the fact that I do not live in the USA anymore. People fear that I will never reap benefits of the degree that I have earned. Irrespective of what the general perspective is, I think the important thing about gaining a good education is being generous in using that knowledge to serve the less privileged, which makes life meaningful. Abilities and education call for responsibility to the nation. I am just trying to play my role well.

Ram's story shows how Pestalozzi doesn't only make a difference to individual students but how, through them, we make a difference in communities around the world. Be part of the change. Donate today.

Inspiring young people to make a difference in the world.