In about three hours, Anita Tamang, a 16 year old from Nepal, was transported from her foster home in Kathmandu to the bustle of Mumbai, and then to the foothills of the Sahyadris and up the MUWCI hill which would be her home for the next two years. But the journey from a young motivated student from a rural community in Nepal to landing a full scholarship and becoming a part of a global movement has not been a short one.
Anita is attending MUWCI this year thanks to the first Parent-Faculty Scholarship that was slowly grown through individual giving by parents and faculty between 2014 to 2016. Funded through donations by the adults most invested in shaping our young graduates, the scholarship has made it possible for the college to offer another life-altering scholarship to a deserving young person of exceptional promise. Anita comes from one of the worst earthquake hit regions in Nepal and has been through incredible hardships. After losing her mother at a young age, she had to support herself doing odd jobs during her school years. Eventually, as a fellow of the Samaanta Foundation in Nepal, Anita was able to attend a reputed school in Kathmandu and was mentored to apply to the UWCs.
“Anita represents Nepal proudly and is a good ambassador of her country,” observed Sonia Rawat, Anita’s language teacher at MUWCI. “In spite of not being used to speaking in English so much back home, she has managed to make good friends and is confident in her interactions,” she added. Before coming to MUWCI, Anita was involved in several social service and welfare activities back home. She taught at a primary school with Teach For Nepal. “Instead of teaching them coursework, I always taught something through drawing, dancing. Sometimes I would show a motivational cartoon.”
Anita also raised funds for the school; within 20 days she was able to collect Rs. 18,830. “I volunteered because in that school all children face financial as well as family problems. I am still in contact with the school and even when I’m here I know all the things that are happening there.” As a part of the team at the school, Anita’s efforts at volunteering were towards starting a model school in Nepal where children who have the capacity to do something for their communities can explore without being restricted by financial conditions.
In Anita’s words, “I want to do lots of things.” At MUWCI, she wants to plan projects for ways in which she can contribute to communities around campus. She hopes to get a chance to research and understand the community here during the home stays organised by Akshara, MUWCI’s local impact initiative.
A few of the many other things Anita wants to do include writing a novel, making documentaries, and writing for radio. “I want to write an inspirational novel about my story in my words (in Nepali). I want to write because there may be people whose stories are similar to mine and if they have given up doing something they might find the motivation to go back after reading my story.”
Anita believes that working in media would help her reach more people in Nepal. “There are lots of rural places in Nepal where they don’t know anything including education, communication or their rights. It is important their voices and problems are heard.”
Anita is very grateful for the Parent-Faculty Scholarship she has received from MUWCI and is very committed to using her experiences here to learn and grow up to take charge and become the change maker she sees in herself. Thank you to all the donors who made it possible to bring Anita to MUWCI. In addition to the unbelievable opportunity this presents to Anita, all of us at MUWCI also benefit by learning from her indomitable spirit.