Name: Ram Rijal
Pestalozzi Scholar: 2006-2008
I am Ram K. Rijal, and I am founder and chairman of the Bloom School in Nepal which provides scholarships to the best and brightest young children in the country and connects them to skilled teachers.
After graduating from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2012, I couldn’t wait to return home and to start to change the way in which youth are educated in Nepal. Now that is happening.
I grew up in rural Rukum, Nepal where only ten percent of the village is literate and the closest bus stop is a two day walk away. When I was 10, I gained a scholarship to study in Kathmandu, and later was selected for a scholarship to Pestalozzi in the UK. My experience was rare. It almost never happens, so I decided to set up the school.
The school’s first-year enrolment was 17 students and we were expecting more than 150 students in April 2015, when the earthquake struck and devastated the school. So we set about rebuilding it and that’s what we’ve done.
We built this school with the idea of making the country ‘bloom’ by providing quality education to children from even the poorest families. We realised everyone has a passion. So let’s use that passion to create living experts who have a huge contribution to the development — and recovery — of Nepal.