Chickens Chickens Obies
For the summer of 2017, I returned to Maya Universe Academy with $10,000 from the Katherine Davis Foundation to carry out a sustainability project involving chickens. Accompanying me to facilitate the daily functioning at the school were five Oberlin College students that I had recruited the past semester.
Sustainability through chickens
There is a big demand for quality education in rural Nepal. Private school are too expensive and public schools are horrible. To tackle this Maya Universe Academy emerged to provide free education. Currently, with 450 students, it needed resources to sustain its expansion. This is where the chicken project comes in.
Families are given chicken coops, chicks and all other supplies required to raise the chickens. They are compensated fairly for their work with a monthly income, as well as having their children educated at the school. The chickens are then sold to restaurants and businesses in nearby towns and big cities like Kathmandu. The profit goes back to the school to provide further resources.
Despite many obstacles and delays, I and my team at Maya build 6 coops and increase the chicken production from 300 chickens per month to 1000 chickens per month. Although we are yet to reach our targeted production level, this summer was a big boost towards it.
Obies in Nepal
Maya can always use volunteer and Oberlin Students always want to learn. We have a match!
This summer I took the second group of Oberlin Students to Maya Universe Academy for two and a half months. The five went were involved in agriculture, teaching, and construction. The trip was filled with emotions; everything for happiness to tearful goodbyes.
As usual, I was teaching Math to the students. However, this time I also had to take up the volunteer coordinator position, assessing need and assigning duties. More information on the trip here.
Building on the work we have already done we have five goals for the upcoming semester.
The first is raising more funds to expand the chicken project. I will be applying to LanchU at Oberlin which can grant up upwards of $25,000. In addition, we will be partnering with Maya Universe Academy-Netherlands, a registered non-profit in the Netherlands, to secure few more external grants.
Our second goal is to found an international nonprofit for the school. We, a group of volunteers from five different countries, have realized that an international non-profit extending to all of our home countries would provide future support for Maya. I will be working to establish non-profits both in the USA and Nepal.
Continuing our Maya-Oberlin collaboration the Oberlin group will run a Winter Term trip to Nepal. Two students from the summer group have stepped up to lead this trip.
Our fourth goal is to raise $4,800 for a Science teachers at Maya. As the school expands we need more teacher to educate our students. So we, the Oberlin group, have decided to raise that amount to pay a teacher's salary for the first two years. After this time, the chicken project would have been raising enough revenue to fund the future years' salary.
Finally, we want to recruit more Oberlin students to our group. We currently have ten members and having more students would help us to support Maya in many more ways.