If a kid wants to learn she will learn!

Bikalpa Baniya

Staring at death in the 2015 Nepal earthquake, I asked myself: What matters the most to me? The answer was the dreams of my students.

Officially, I am a student at Oberlin College majoring in Mathematics and Economics. Personally, I am a man molded by my experiences: experiences ranging from struggling in school to being in the devastating 2015 Gorkha Earthquake. These experiences have molded me into a person dedicated to making learning accessible to EVERY kid in Nepal regardless.

This commitment was fortified on 25th April 2015. My house started to shake violently in the Gorkha earthquake. As soon as we went outside, I looked at my parents and saw them horrified to see our house tilt — their expression and days of aftershocks that forced me to think about the things I value. I was teaching at SOS Hermann Gmeiner, Sanothimi and my students gave me my most precious memories. I was inspired by the way their faces brightened when they talked about their dreams. This inspiration was future emboldened during my work in other parts of Nepal. Regardless of the backgrounds, every kid I met always had the same joyfulness.

Education is essential to making these dreams come true. However, getting educated is a whole different story. Most Nepali youth now go to elementary school, but eventually, drop out. The shackles placed by their background obscures their learning and inhibit them from achieving their hopes. As someone with a learning disability, I know how that feels. So, I am dedicated to making learning more accessible and making thousands of dreams come true.