Celebrating Rotarat’s 50th year.

A half-century has passed since those first Rotaract clubs began inspiring young leaders to take action to improve their communities. The world has changed, as has the way Rotaract members connect with one another. But the underlying values of the program, and what attracts people to it, remain remarkably the same.

To celebrate Rotaract’s 50th anniversary, Rotaractors from New Jersey and Nepal will have a special program on November 9th in Kathmandu..

Janasewa Sanskrita Higher Secondary School, Huwas, Parbat

DSC_1511.JPGMeet students from the Janasewa School in Huwas, Parbat. The school has been  supported by many expats.  We are trying to establish a new Rotary club here and assist them with a Rotary Global Grant to improve the program quality through technology and professional development for the teachers.

DSC_1513.JPGThere are more than 600 low cast dalit students studying at this school.  The Asha Project will provide 10 scholarships a year at this school. The emphasis will be entrepreneurship and service learning and keep students in the village and have them feel proud about their community. We also met many entrepreneurs in this village who are trying to start their own business as well. If you like to help in the filed of agriculture, entrepreneurship and business management, please contact us at the Asha project. www. theashaproject.org.

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My 2017 Youth Exchange Experience in Nepal by Jenna Douglas

 

In my time getting to learn more about the fantastic place I traveled to, someone referred to your country as a place of beauty and peace. It was a description that I quickly agreed with, yet after spending 11 days in Nepal I don’t believe even these words can do your country a justice. My life-changing visit to this place makes me feel that nothing can accurately describe how special this nation is.

Upon my first moments in Nepal we were encountered with love from the Rotaract crew from Kathmandu. They took all of our worries off of our shoulders with assisting us with luggage, food, water and a safe travel to Pokhara. Immediately I was shown some of the greatest hospitality in my life. Even with the enthusiasm the group shared whilesinging songs on the bus trip was enough to raise my spirits. After a long journey to our destination, we arrived and was once more greeted by some of the nicest people I had ever met. The beautiful scarfs and flowers we were given made me feel like royalty. It was treatment that continued throughout the entire trip and made me feel like I had hit the jackpot, lucky enough to land a spot on this trip.Out of all of the things of the fantastic things on the trip that made it so memorable, it was the love received from our new friends that stood out for me.

After becoming accustomed to the friendliness that I was surrounded by I was then equally impressed by the dedication I saw by my friends. Each Rotaractor took time off of their busy lives to make it a point to welcome us and share their beautiful country with us. It amazed me that even with a busy school or work schedule, they still showed commitment to their organization and made time for their guests. The effort was continued in their service to the community. It amazed me to see how much work they did to serve others that needed it the most. I was so honored to have had the opportunity to distribute stationary supplies to disadvantaged children, and provide them with a new source of happiness. I also enjoyed working with the Asha project helping contribute to necessary earthquake relief in construction, and improving a local park in Kathmandu. These were great opportunities to make a small difference in the lives of others, yet the service we did was incomparable what these Rotaract groups have achieved.

What really touched me was how easy it was for all of the people of Nepal to do it. Not once did I hear a complaint and continuously saw smiles on everyone’s faces. The enuthisuam your groups displayed was awesome, and very different from what I was used to in America. You have inspired me to live with a better attitude and become more active in my local area.

I cannot thank both the Rotaract New Road Pokhara and Rotaract of Kathmandu enough for helping make my trip the best one of my life. If it wasn’t for you guys, I am not sure I believe I would have been able to appreciate your land has to offer. Thanks for treating strangers as your own and building life lasting friendships. You live in a beautiful country that offers not only peace and beauty but compassion, hospitality and love.

Stony Brook School’s Student Leadership Team Sends Message of HOPE to their peers in Nepal

 

4th grade Leadership CouncilMembers of Stony Brook School’s 4th and 5th grade Leadership Councils participated in an outreach project spanning across the globe. Supporting the Branchburg Rotary’s ASHA Project, an initiative that “provide(s) HOPE in all aspects of life by supporting initiatives that are run by the people of Nepal for the people of Nepal”, the leadership DSC_9165members spearheaded the “Flags of Hope” project in which they led their classmates in creating flags that sent messages of hope to their peers in Nepal. On the flags were written the word “ASHA” (which means “HOPE” in Nepali) and words of encouragement. asha2These flags will hang in newly constructed homes and schools. The Leadership Councils also organized a school supply drive. The decorated box, filled with over 100 flags and school supplies will travel with Branchburg Rotary President, Dr. Maharjan in February on the group’s humanitarian mission to Nepal. We are so excited to support the Branchburg Rotary in this wonderful endeavor!

Love without borders: Branchburg to Nepal.

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School supplies distribution 2017

Times have not changed in Nepal, many families can not offered to purchase school supplies. This is not new for Dr. Tulsi Maharjan, who grew up in Nepal before coming to the United States in the 1970s. He remembers the excitement of a new pencil for school. Maharjan is now the President of the Branchburg Rotary and Chair of the New Jersey based non-profit group The Asha Project, and will be leading the Rotary’s 2018 humanitarian mission to Nepal from February 12-25, 2018. Before leaving on the mission to assist people in need in Nepal, he is working with local schools and community groups to collect school supplies.

DSCN4456Recently, the leadership Council 4th and 5th grade students of the Stony Brook School in Branchburg decided to send their love and show their compassion by collecting school supplies and wrote messages of “HOPE” for the schoolchildren in Nepal. They pulled together donations from their class and every member of the student council wrote a message with the Nepali word “ASHA” which means hope in Nepali language. These school supplies will be distributed to schoolchildren in Nepal during our mission trip in mid February 2018.

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School supplies distribution in Nepal 2017

In addition to the school supplies like notebooks, boxes of crayons, pencils, erasers, and folders, the Branchburg Rotary donated $1000 toward the purchase of new school bags. The Rotary Club of Branchburg has been helping in Nepal for the past 25 years.
“Individuals from all Rotary members also donated a variety of school supplies that the students or the school could not afford,” Maharjan said. “These supplies will help to make a better learning environment for students in Nepal.”
According to Leadership Council Adviser Ms. Toni Lynn, “The Leadership Council piloted this collection, but I am sure next year we can do it on an even larger scale! Although the box may not be big, it is filled with a lot of friendship and love”.

Maharjan said that students in Nepal are always anxious to receive these gifts of love as he used to be when he was a young student in Nepal.  Students from Nepal will SKYPE with the leadership group in Branchburg where students will have opportunity to  exchange stories and broaden their international understanding,  explore NEW CULTURE, build enduring friendships, establish a foundation for peace and greater understanding and learn about a region’s people, food, languages, customs, and history.

He hopes to continue this project with many other schools to promote Peace and understanding. If you are interested in participating in this program contact us at trm7510@gmail.com or visit http://www.theashaproject.org.

 

 

GIFT OF HOPE FROM THE STONY BROOK LEADERSHIP GROUP TO BE SEND TO NEPAL.

DSC_9164BRANCHBURG — Times have not changed in Nepal, children are still in need of school supplies. This is not new for Dr. Tulsi Maharjan, who grew up in Nepal before coming to the United States in the 1970s. He remembers the excitement of a new pencil for school. Maharjan is now the President of the Branchburg Rotary and Chair of the New Jersey based non-profit group The Asha Project, and will be leading the Rotary’s 2018 humanitarian mission to Nepal from February 12-25, 2018. Before leaving on the mission to assist people in need in Nepal, he is working with local schools and community groups to collect school supplies.

Recently, the leadership group of the fourth and fifth grades of Stony Brook School in Branchburg collected school supplies and wrote messages of HOPE for the schoolchildren in Nepal. They pulled together donations from their class and every member of the student council wrote a message with the Nepali word “ASHA” which means hope. These school supplies will be distributed to schoolchildren in Nepal during the mission.
In addition to the school supplies like notebooks, boxes of crayons, pencils, erasers, and folders, the Branchburg Rotary donated $1000 toward the purchase of new school bags. The Rotary Club of Branchburg has been helping in Nepal for the past 25 years.
“Individuals from all Rotary members also donated a variety of school supplies that the students or the school could not afford,” Maharjan said. “These supplies will help to make a better learning environment for students in Nepal.”
According to Leadership Council Adviser Ms. Toni Lynn, “The Leadership Council piloted this collection, but I am sure next year we can do it on an even larger scale! Although the box may not be big, it is filled with a lot of friendship and love”.
Maharjan believes that the students in Nepal are looking forward to this special gift and students are lucky to receive this special donation. Students from Nepal will SKYPE with the leadership group in Branchburg where the student can have a cultural exchange. He hopes to continue this project for future humanitarian missions.

 

Success Story: Shree Bal Kumari Secondary School -Sunakothi.

Jyoti Maharjan and Niraj Maharjan are two of the four siblings who came from a modest family background. They share their experiences about how the Rotary – Friends of Nepal-NJ scholarship they received in school changed their life.

The eyes of Jyoti Maharjan shine when she says how happy she feels to teach dancing to students. She works at a finance company and runs a dance center and tuition center in her free time. But she hadn’t always been this way. She recalls her school days, “We felt uncomfortable when we couldn’t see our exam results after failing to clear our exam dues.” She further shares how her sister felt embarrassed when she couldn’t afford the school fees, “My sister went to the school to give exams but she was stopped at the gate as she hadn’t cleared her dues. She had to lose a year of school as a result. Being the eldest she was mature enough to understand and feel the humiliation of not being able to pay the school fees”. Jyoti recalls how hard it was before when she along with her four siblings were enrolled at the school and none of them got scholarships. She tells us how she used the money she got from the Rotary-Friends of Nepal-NJ to pay her own and her brother’s exam fees. She shares how she didn’t have to ask her parents for money to buy stationeries. She was supported from Class 6 to 10 and passed her SLC in 2064.
After teaching students for six years she started working at a finance company. The catastrophic earthquake of 2072 brought down her house. So the steady income she had before is now spent on paying the loan interest she took for rebuilding her house. She says, “Life isn’t easy even now. It’s hard to meet the financial obligations but the scholarship we received in school has helped us to face life’s challenges now.”

By Medha Joshee

Nepal – How Much do I Miss it Already? Abby Fabiano

I can honestly say that travelling to Nepal, and the experiences that I had while there with the fellow Rotaract Clubs was something that I will never forget. I feel that it was a life changing experience for many different reasons. For one, I met so many people while I was there, whom I have continued to stay in touch with.

 

It’s a great feeling to be able to say that I have friends halfway around the world. Also, being able to experience what life is like first hand in a developing country was an experience that has allowed me to take a different perspective on the life that I have been provided with.

 

Everyday spent in Nepal was a new adventure. Picking one highlight or “best moment” of the trip is definitely impossible because the trip was unforgettable. Visiting Pokhara was one of my favorite parts of the trip because there was just so much to see and do. Seeing the lakeside and the mountains in person was very surreal considering these images are the types of pictures that we would see in movies.

 

Throughout the trip, we definitely had our ups and downs as a group. I can say that the worst part of the trip was the long bus rides. When traveling from town to town, we would have to ride buses for 6-8 hours, on very bumpy roads, going over mountains. When we came back to America, it was weird driving again on paved roads, and I started to quickly realize that I had missed the bumpy, dusty roads of Nepal because we enjoyed the trip so much.

 

In addition, I remember there was this one group of kids that I met one night, who I will never forget. One night in Pokhara when we were leaving a picnic, it was dark out and a dog came up to me who I started to pet. There was about five young kids, maybe ages five to eight, with a couple of adults that were with the dog and started talking to me. They realized I was not from Nepal, and asked where I was from. I told them and they were shocked and started asking me what America is like. They were ecstatic to have met me, and as flashlights then started shining in my face they all wanted to take a picture with me. Although I only talked to these kids for a few minutes, they were very sweet to me and definitely impacted my life by showing me how different cultures truly have an impact on their country.

 

I could go on and on talking about the experiences I took part in Nepal; such as trekking to schools on top of mountains and riding on the back of motor scooters through crazy traffic. After more than ten days in Nepal when it was time for us to leave, I was not ready to come back to America. Once we got back, I realized how much I appreciate their lifestyle as well as ours because of the simplicity that is evident in their lives. A few of us have already organized a trip to go back in March, and I could not be more excited to see the dusty roads again very soon.  For more information about the Asha Project visit http://www.theashaproject.org.

 

My unforgettable experience in Nepal- Lauren Wougk

I never thought I would miss dust. But when I remember my last day in Kathmandu, racing down the streets on the back of a motorcycle with dust in my mouth, I miss everything about Nepal. Yes, even the dust. I remember the times riding in the back of a van, on roads so bumpy that my head would hit the ceiling and my stomach would be doing somersaults even after my feet were back on solid, not moving ground. And yes, I miss that too. I miss the mountains that reached impossibly high into the heavens- with their peaks covered in fresh quilts of snow. I love that what we call mountains, they call hills. When we take an hour and a half to climb up only 50% of a hill (mountain), they take one hour. I miss standing in the middle of a busy highway, cars and motorcycles going every each way, and thinking this is chaos.

There were lots of times in Nepal where I wasn’t sure that we would make it. We probably climbed a zillion steps at the Swayambunath temple. I would look up, and lo and behold, there would be even more stairs. But we made it to the top, and the views of the Kathmandu valley were incredible. This city seemed to stretch on forever, until the hills rushed in and stopped it from going any further. On our bus ride to Pokhara, it had been an eight hour long, super bumpy, super cold ride, and we didn’t even know where we were getting off. It was four in the morning and we were the last ones on the bus. But we made it, we always made it. On our ride in a little van from Chitwan to Kathmandu, the transmission was shot around three quarters of the way there. Sometimes we’d be stuck in neutral for awhile, unable to go anywhere. But we made it. Of course we made it.

I hope that our efforts in conjunction with the Rotaract clubs in Nepal to help out schools and orphanages make them smile as much as all of Nepal has made me smile. We painted several murals in schools in Kathmandu and Chitwan. The murals are bright and colorful, with animals and inspiring quotes, and I hope that whenever the children look at these, they smile. Even if they have no idea that a ragtag team of five Americans came across the globe to splatter paint on their walls, I hope that these paintings make them

happy. I hope that the students at the school on top of the hill in Chitwan laugh from time to time when they look at the blankets that we had distributed to them- because those five Americans couldn’t even reach the top of the hill to give them out. Because

whenever I think about anything from my Nepal trip, I can’t help but to smile.  If you like to know more about the project or like to donate for this project, please visit http://www.theashaproject.org.

Nepal Experience – Emily Fabiano

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Emily with team members.

As I signed up for a trip that would take me to the other side of the world, I was nervous and started second guessing why I signed up for this journey. In the end, I found that being a part of this humanitarian mission to Nepal was the most incredible and life changing experience I have ever had. An amazing thing I got out of this trip is the fact that I have made lifelong friends from this journey. Everyone in Nepal was extremely welcoming and caring towards myself and the four other students from America. Since I have returned home from Nepal, I have stayed in touch with some of the great friends I made while in Nepal.

I really loved that this trip involved both a humanitarian aspect and a cultural exchange. I enjoyed going to the schools and to the orphanage because I could tell that the children were very happy to see us and we had so much fun interacting with them. It was touching to see how thankful the people of Nepal and the Rotaract members in Nepal were to see us dedicating our time to participate in the various service projects. I also appreciated the fact that we were able to see a very different culture and lifestyle. For example, we learned a lot about Nepal culture when we went sightseeing and when we went to the picnic with the Rotaract members in Pokhara.

One of the most memorable moments of the trip occurred as we were leaving the orphanage in Chitwan, we were sad to say goodbye to the children. So, myself and the four other students from America dug through our backpacks to put together any snacks and candy we had on us. We did not have enough for all of the kids to get something, so we asked them to share what we did have for them. It was heartwarming to see that the children were not selfish at all, as we were leaving we saw them splitting the food evenly, piece by piece, so that they all got the same amount.
The trip as a whole was very memorable to me as this experience was unlike anything I had ever done before. Going to Nepal was my first time leaving the country, so I did not realize how different it would actually be in another country. Another reason why this trip was so memorable was because it made me become so appreciative of the life I live everyday. Overall, I definitely plan on going back to Nepal in the future and truly loved my experience in Nepal!

Please visit http://www.theashaproject.org for more information about the project and other activities.

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