|Photo: Uddhav with village residents, planting their first crop.
|Photo: Uddhav Sharma, Pestalozzi alumnus.
|Photo: Uddhav with his village neighbours, planting seedlings.
|Photo: The first cabbage crop: a success!
I am having a great time here at MIT. It was always the place I wanted to be and I am happy that it worked out for me! Apart from my academic work, I’m volunteering as a tutor to help high school students in science and mathematics. I love teaching these students! They are very friendly and are enthusiastic to learn more. This semester, I was appointed as a grader for one of the mathematics classes.
Before going to Pestalozzi, I studied at Budhanilkantha School in Kathmandu. I received quality education there, but my future after graduating would have been tough due to financial difficulties. My life was transformed by getting a Pestalozzi scholarship and living at Pestalozzi. Besides being able to do the tough IB academic side of things, I was involved with community services like working in a hospice, organising a cultural weekend for twenty young people and volunteering in a local school. My horizons were widened at Pestalozzi and I became more interested in community service.
Last summer, I did my own project back in my hometown in Nepal. My project was selected first among 19 undergraduates from MIT and received the $10,000 Davis Peace Fellowship. The project’s goal was to create sustainable and profitable farming in my rural village in Nepal, generating enough profit to fund the local school (my previous school) to establish a computer lab. The villagers were given training on how to start their own cash crops and many received training from agricultural experts. The project took approximately three months to complete the beginning phase and it has now been handed over to the community. Currently we have planted vegetables like cauliflower, chili, turmeric and onion. Ninety percent of annual profit will go to the school. The first contract on leased land lasts for five years and the contract will then be extended. I am very satisfied with my work because this project gave me opportunity to work with my home community and do something meaningful for them. I have now been awarded the Martin Luther King Junior Leadership Award 2013 for my contribution to society, based on this project. This $1000 award is given out each year to 2-3 members of Faculty, 2-3 alumni and 2-3 current students.
I want to mention that Pestalozzi has played an important role in making me who I am today. I would never have been able to attend university like MIT if I hadn’t received the Pestalozzi scholarship. The Pestalozzi experience further cultivated my motivations to undertake the kind of creative and social work I have done with my village, and I hope to continue getting involved in such activities in the future.
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(Updated: January 2013)