2019 Rotaract Friendship Exchange Trip to Nepal

Six Rotary District 7475 Rotaract members recently had a life-changing experience when they traveled to Nepal to distribute donated school supplies and engage in community projects.

The students, Jeremy (Hightstown), Aiden and Collin Nodoro (Martinsville), Abby and Emily Fabiano (Somervillen), and Manuel Ramirez (Bound Brook), are all members of the Rotary District 7475 Rotaract members. They traveled to Nepal, January 2- 14, 2019 carrying 300 pounds of school supplies, which they donated to various schools in the region.


The supplies had been collected through fundraising efforts at the College in conjunction with the The Asha Project and members of the community.
While in Nepal, the students participated in Rotaract community projects that included painting benches and walls. In conjunction with the ASHA (Nepali word for “Hope”) project, the students also visited many schools and community people in handing our sweaters and blankets.


As part of the trip, the Rotaractg members attended club meetings and projects in Pokhara, Patan, Kathmandu, Gorkha and Lamjung. They also met with representatives of Rotaract Nepal and other community groups; toured temples, schools and hiked the region.
Rotaract member Abby Fabiano recalls many memorable moments in this trip, especially seeing little kid’s big smiles. “Imagine that a simple pencil and a notebook can bring such a wonderful smile”, said Abby. Despite the language barriers, Abby said “Giving a small gift to children was one of the most impactful experiences, just being able to communicate human to human.”


As members of the Rotary District 7475 Rotaract Club, students are given the opportunity to serve the community and learn about leadership, civic engagement and responsible citizenship. For additional information about Rotaract District, contact Nemanja (Nik) Nikitovic, Nemanja.Nikitovic@raritanval.edu.
If you are interested in traveling contact RotaryDistrict7475@gmail.com or visit http://www.theashaproject.org

Mission of humanity

Traveling to Nepal for Daniel was a mission of humanity. The language spoken there differed from his own. He had to adjust to eating the Nepalese food, so different from what he was used to in America. To a foreigner’s mind, the notion of an exotic locale at the top of the world incited mystery. Seeing the cracks in the roads, encountering the dust, walking among the ancient architecture in a completely different culture could have been very uncomfortable for Daniel. But that was not the case. The Nepalese culture did not shock, and any discomfort from a long journey was washed away by the love and gratitude of the people.

Any of those differences were superficial in light of the welcome in Nepal. In fact, Daniel reported not noticing the differences till returning home. For example, most of the food in America is processed while what he ate in Nepal was mostly grown locally and prepared by those most likely to eat it. The Nepali life struck him as more wholesome after he came home.

RVCC Rotaract

While there Daniel delivered school supplies to students. Those supplies did improve conditions for students but, more importantly, were a gesture that made ripples through the community. His acts of kindness forged connections with people and benefited people more than with tangible goods.

As Daniel said, “At the school for blind, I befriended a particular group of kids. We hung out and they played on my guitar. All along I couldn’t help wondering what it will be like to meet them again in a few years time. Its true I have many new friends, and they all have brought me wisdom, but above all, there was one who has impacted me in ways that cannot simply be put in words. I will not give his name, so I will call him the ‘man on the moon.’ Like a brother who I have never had. Humble as a man can be. Any lick of avarice, if present, was covered by a pure gratitude and welcomeness for life. If I could give one phrase to describe his air, it would be, ‘hard work in silence, success is your noise.’ I feel that the seed we, the Rotaract clubs and other friends, have planted, will provide a fruitful future.”

Daniel’s life was touched by his service in Nepal, just as he touched the lives of so many with his generosity of time and effort. If you would like to experience joy of meeting someone in an exotic land, and helping others, please contact the Friends of Nepal – New Jersey’s The Asha Project.