— FIRST & FOREMOST: THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT!
It has been nearly two months since my trip to Bhaktapur, Nepal, where with your generous support I was able to help TOIT School for Children create video and photo content for their organization to establish an online presence which will assist in obtaining more volunteers and resources helping to grow this incredible endeavour — I couldn’t have done it without you!
— THE PROBLEM: SOME BACKGROUND INFORMATION
My time working side by side with all of the students, teachers, and administrators allowed me to meet many inspiring individuals dedicated to the betterment of education; not to mention spending time with all of the adorable kids! I was able to visit some of the children at their homes to further understand the financial constraints and the living conditions they endure outside of school — this was a truly eye opening experience.
Simply put, the education system in this region is broken. Schools are operated like businesses and high achieving students are flaunted like trophies in order to attract business from the social elite; struggling students are punished. The result being an extremely high pressure environment for children of all ages, not to mention the racial and caste connotations which are prevalent throughout Nepal. This detrimental combination affects developmental confidence and ultimately results in abuse towards children. On top of all of this, for many, education is simply not affordable and children instead spend their days toiling in the fields or working in the markets in a collective family effort to survive on a day to day basis.
At a young age Indra Prasad Khaitu (the founder of TOIT) experienced this type of pressure and abuse and was motivated to do things differently. Indra founded TOIT on the ideal that all students are individuals who learn at a different pace and are predisposed to different abilities and individual interests. Today TOIT runs mixed age classes free of caste, gender, and race connotations where children are taught not only academics, but are given plenty of opportunity to explore music, art, sports, and technology. Their capabilities are nurtured and cultivated by the individual attentiveness of the dedicated teaching staff at the facility. Children from financially strained situations are subsidized with funding from donors abroad, and struggling parents are counselled and assisted with procurement of income along with being kept up to date on the progress and development of their children.
— HOW YOU HELPED
Over the course of two weeks I spent my time learning about and documenting the TOIT system in action. I took hundreds and hundreds of photos and hours of video footage. I wrote an article about the school and its activities, and submitted the article for publication in an upcoming “Photographers Without Borders” issue.
The archive of photographic content will be used by TOIT to promote their school throughout Europe and worldwide via the world wide web, in a campaign to raise more funding to grow the school and the student body. Some of the photos from Nepal can be viewed in my photo galleries at www.ThinkFarmProductions.ca . The video content will be used edit more promotional content both for web and for fundraising tours throughout Europe and North America. The first of several edits can be viewed here: https://vimeo.com/339141676 .
— WHERE YOUR MONEY WENT
Due to the incredible generosity of many friends, family, and colleagues we were able to raise 120% of the funds I required to complete this project. The primary expenses the funding was used for included airfare, baggage fees for video equipment, Nepal VISA for travel, transportation costs and administrative costs to Photographers Without Borders. Any funds over and above have been donated back to the school to further fund their efforts in Nepal.
Visit TOIT.ORG.NP to read more about the school. I can’t express my gratitude to you enough! Thank you once again for helping make this project happen!