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Rotaract Club Pestalozzi

Nkole Lobsang
Dikendra Prashant
Tim Ogolla from Uganda and Bibek Basnet from Nepal are both members of Rotaract Club Pestalozzi. In November 2013 they talked to Marketing Officer Jonathan Williams about what the club does and why it's important.

What is Rotaract and why are you part of it?

Tim: Rotaract Club Pestalozzi is a miniature version of the Rotary club. It is a club run by Pestalozzi students. In joining Rotaract, I was interested in getting to know more about interaction with other people in society.

Why is it important?

Rotaract aims at making students aware about the impact each life has on the whole society. We believe that helping people understand this fact would be a step towards a peaceful world. For instance, as Rotaract Club we raise funds to support some aspects of the livelihood of disadvantaged children in other parts of the world - such as their education or feeding. In so doing, we remind ourselves as Pestalozzi students of our humble backgrounds, similar to these people we support.

Bibek: The philosophy of reaching out in the world to make of difference in the lives of less fortunate people is what motivates me to work for Rotaract. In my life I have been helped by others so I know how good it feels to be helped. Now with my involvement with Rotaract I understand the happiness derived from helping others. Rotaract has helped me to reinforce my commitment to spend more time volunteering.

What causes have you supported in the past and what did you achieve for them?

Last year we supported Team Kenya, a charity in Kenya, and we proudly managed to sponsor the education of two students for that year.

What cause are you supporting this year and why?

Thank you letter form ECDC
Above: Thank you letter from ECDC Nepal to Rotoract Club Pestalozzi

Children supported by ECDC
Above: Six children who are being supported by ECDC with the help of Rotoract Club Pestalozzi.
Tim: This year we are supporting the Early Childhood Development Centre (ECDC) in Nepal - an organisation that takes care of children whose parents are in prison. In most cases, these are children of single parents or children whose relatives won’t receive them. In essence, they would have to be raised in jail with their parents. It is such a pride for us to be able to have a direct, positive impact on someone’s life.

Bibek: A young child, about three years old, was creeping on the floor crying as if he was looking for his long lost parents. Another, around eight, was trying his best to soothe the crying child. He was baby-sitting. I was there at the charity Early Childhood Development Centre in Nepal. I asked the eight year old, "Do you know why your parents are in prison?" He replied, "I heard that my father burnt my mother alive while he was in anger." He broke down.

There were 42 other children who had similar stories, similar fear and pain but thanks to ECDC had hope for bright future. These are the stories that make you realise how fortunate you are - stories to motivate you to act for these children. I was there only for a day, it was thought provoking. In fact, it made us act. Rotaract Club Pestalozzi has been working as a team to support these children. Now every month all the students from Pestalozzi donate £2 of their lunch money to help with the education of six of those children. All thanks to the students who are so kind to help the less fortunate kids.

Pushpa Basnet, who founded the ECDC, was voted one of CNN's 2012 heroes of the year. Read more about her here.