Over the Christmas holidays, The Migration Agency’s Managing Director Sarah Thapa visited a very special place: the Shree Ganesh Education Centre in Sindhuli Nepal. Sarah and her husband Amit Thapa have been quietly building this K-12 school alongside the business.
The school is a joint initiative of The Migration Agency and Global Talent Agency, working under their foundation the Friends of Nepal Association (FONA). Sarah, of The Migration Agency and Amit, from Global Talent Agency, created this school from the ground up. Following years of hard work, challenges and disappointments, the school opened last year and is now proudly educating 400 students!
“Seeing the beautiful Shree Ganesh Education Centre with my own eyes was an emotional moment. After many years of waiting, I had the opportunity to meet parents, teachers and students,” said Sarah.
“Hearing how this school has inspired families to enrol their children in education was heart-warming. Many parents had not completed any schooling themselves so this will give their children greater opportunities in life.”
The school building was created by Angelica Rojas, an architect from the University of Melbourne. She used regenerative design principles to give back to people and the planet. The process was consultative and driven by the idea that when it comes to development in underprivileged communities, the school is a hub of the community. Change begins with a physical investment in infrastructure.
Shree Ganesh Education Centre is a public/private partnership. The Nepalese government employs teaching staff and FONA provides the innovative building and additional resources. Some of these include up-skilling using Montessori teaching principles, a health clinic and spaces for technical skills development for students and community members.
Shree Ganesh Education Centre is located in a rural area, where resources are few. A new road and bus service, and power and water connections were put in place to make the school accessible.
For many families, sending a child to school, instead of bringing on extra hands to work on their farms, is a fundamental decision. The school has inspired many to enrol their children, including girls. Three graduates from underprivileged families are now pursuing tertiary studies in the fields of IT, engineering and forestry.
“We’re thrilled to see the school in its first year of operation. When it gets a little more established, we will look to amplify educational and other resources as needed. For example, the school’s health clinic is emerging as a crucial resource for the students but also for the community.”
“We are already attracting some great teachers from across the country. They want to be part of the vision and raise the standard of education in this area,” said Sarah.
The Migration Agency is committed to contributing its people, profit and product to have a positive impact. It deploys 20% of all profits to local and international charities and social purposes.