10 Oct What is one person capable of?
Whilst in Nepal, Ky Furneaux and I had the pleasure of spending several hours with a truly wonderful human being. Just another example of how one person can make such a huge difference in not only his world, but across his entire nation and beyond.
Our conversation was one of the most engaging conversations I have had for a long time. The combination of heart, purpose and intelligence were infectious. I actually truly and honestly had to pull out my phone to take notes as he spoke, for fear of forgetting the vital elements of knowledge… not latest book knowledge, but knowledge acquired through experience and life.
From a young village boy who at 11 began to do a bit of first aid in his village, to a PhD from the UK to building schools in remote communities, to advising the Nepalese government departments on policies to ensure opportunity and sustainable development for his country and a perspective of global citizenship that starts from the top… this guys walks the talk every breath.
He shared with us a story where he was speaking with a group of children from a very poor community in rural Nepal and a young boy asked him., ‘But sir, do we have the right to dream?’. He remembers feeling shocked and sad. The children here were not even sure they were worthy of having dreams and so the first step for the children in these communities is to teach them that it’s ok to dream first. I watched Ky talking in front of the children in the school here about how she was told, after breaking her spine in a car accident at 19, that she would never play sport again, and how she defied opinions of other to go on and be awarded as Best Female Stunt Woman in the world. As she spoke I watched the eyes of the children light up. Perhaps they too have the right to dream and have hope that their dreams could actually become reality. It was like magic as they begun to nod with the excitement of possibility.
Tshering also shared with us how high quality in anything cannot be taught or explained . The only way it can be truly learned is through experiential learning. If people can see and feel the quality they can one day BE the quality. So in providing a school facility of quality these children will begin to understand and embody what that looks like and feels like.
But what got me the most form our conversation was what Tshering said when we were talking about school governance and structure and he was providing guidance and advise on what we are doing in Bardia and how to jump though all the loops to make it happen. As he spoke about all the hurdles that are part of the journey along the road to making the school a reality, my eyes began to swell and emotion swept over me. It’s hard people! It’s hard! When your heart is 100% in its hard. Rather than trying to make it better and say it will be alright, he walked right towards my fears with me. He told me how when he was building his first school in his village every day there were challenges, and often he was commissioning work with no idea where the next donation would come from, but the hundreds of faces of the children would not allow him to stop, so he kept going, committed and with faith that the money would come and the school would provide for the community for generations to come. Then every night he would drive home and cry like a baby in the car, because this was not easy, and it took so much courage, heart and faith, but it was so absolutely worth it.
He built that school, with donations from around the globe, and after the earthquake hit, it was one of only two buildings that did not crumble in the entire village, and provided shelter for an entire community whilst they re-built their homes and their lives. What if he gave up because it got hard?
For walking with me towards my fear Tshering, I thank you. As I know the challenges are worth it and I will not stop until we build this school for Bardia. Even when it feels hard.
If you would like to contribute or check out some further details of the project please check out https://www.chuffed.org/project/bright-futures-of-bardia or follow us on instagram and facebook @brightfuturesbardia