Since the devastating earthquake that took place in April of last year, Nepal has been in a constant state of repair and reconstruction. Throughout 2015 the Nepalese have been busy rebuilding not only their towns and villages, but their homes and minds as well. In patriotic contribution to those efforts, MasterPeace Nepal launched a campaign to help provide educational relief in the form of awarding scholarships and educational materials to students living in rural Dhading.

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Preceding the scholarships was a storytelling competition that gathered students from rural villages most affected by the devastation of the earthquake to recount their experiences and their struggles to continue their education. 8 year-old Santosh Chepang, featured above, is one such winner. Before the earthquake, Santosh was living in a cottage with his grandmother; reliant on begging from their local community in order to stay afloat. Covering school expenses was always difficult, and the earthquake that destroyed their home made it all that much harder for Santosh to stay in school. Despite this, Santosh continued to study hard as a 3rd-grader; doing his best to attend regular school hours while attempting to provide for himself and his grandmother back home.

With no other person to support them, MasterPeace Nepal banded together with volunteers and social organizations and awarded young Santosh with a scholarship for two years. Launching the same day as the International Day of Peace, the scholarship provided Santosh and several other children just like him with pens and pencils, notebooks, geometry sets, and even money for a school uniform.

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And with an increased desire to further help young Nepalese kids stay in school, MasterPeace Nepal created another program to distribute educational materials to kids whose parents were intent on educating them, but were not able to due to the still-lingering effects of the deadly earthquake.

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With the success of MasterPeace Nepal’s educational initiatives and its scholarship program, the club has chosen to continue awarding annual scholarships every April to students of government schools that are most vulnerable to dropping out. Its goal by 2020 is to provide over a thousand scholarship packages to students from 40 districts.

“We believe in Nelson Mandela’s saying in that education is the most powerful weapon one can use to change the world,” said Punam Khadji, Creative Director of MasterPeace Nepal. “We give priority to students who remain committed to their studies in spite of their economic hardship. Our slogan is “Education for all.”

MasterPeace Nepal’s country coordinator and club leader Santosh Bidari expressed similar optimism: “Since Nepal went through the tragic effects of the earthquake, the educational institution has been crumbling, putting kids in rural parts of the country at most risk of dropping out. We will continue supporting these children by making it easier for them to stay in school.”

To learn more about MasterPeace Nepal’s ongoing efforts, click here.