The mission of the Rotary Foundation is to enable Rotarians to advance world understanding, goodwill, and peace through the improvement of health, the support of education, and the alleviation of poverty. Consistent with the mission, the Rotary Club of Whitefish will provide scholarships and partial living expenses for three poor students living in Nepal for the coming fiscal year. Usha is a highly motivated young woman completing her Master's degree in Environmental Science during this grant period. She hopes to better address critical issues such as clean water in a desperately poor nation with most people accessing polluted water which adversely affects their health. The second student, Shibu, is enrolled in elementary school and completing his 4th grade. His parents pray he will achieve a very good education to break the family's multi-generational cycle of poverty per the cherished dream of his great-grandfather. Mamata, the third student, completed her undergraduate degree and is mid-way earning her Master's in Social Work, a two-year program. She was prohibited from further education because she lacks citizenship, as her father (deceased) was Indian. Inexplicably, she was allowed to enter graduate school, although she cannot publicly receive her diploma like all other students given no citizenship. She is a bright young adult and passionate about making a difference in the lives of children and women of Nepal.
The club's International Committee met the three students during video calls and continues to enthusiastically support their educations. Committee members will receive reports regarding studies and conduct further video calls with the students. The chair of the International Committee (and past president), and at personal expense, planned to visit Nepal in April 2020, to meet with the students and visit their schools. Given Covid-19, the trip was cancelled although an on-site visit may occur during the grant period if travel is allowed and conditions safe. The committee will review the students' academic progress reports and receipts for expenses and participate in video calls.
The budget reflects the net required support as the women work part-time while attending university. Further, Shibu's father lost his job as an apprentice tailor due to Covid-19 and now works construction as a laborer. While the committee wanted the father to help financially support Shibu's education at 10% of his monthly income, that's not now realistic as the family lives in abject poverty. In closing, the total support of $251/month ($3,012 overall), for three students, two in graduate school and one attending elementary school and living at the associated education hostel, is a modest sum of money. Yet, good educations for these three students can ultimately make a significant difference in a country where more than half the population live each day on less than the cost of a single latte.
Addendum to Project Description (added after the project was signed)
The elementary school student will attend another school and not be included in the grant application. The remaining two graduate school students and their costs remain the same. The revised budget is $1,712 ($856 district, $856 club).