Last term, as part of Winchester's Investor Soc competition, a team of pupils developed Edosphere; a charity that enables refugees in post-conflict zones to gain access to high quality teaching from UK teachers. Having made it to the finals, the Sixth Form pupils didn't want that to be the end of the project. Instead, they decided to actively support an existing charity with similar ambitions. Here they explain more about building support and delivering education to children in a remote part of Nepal.
When the competition was over, we remained driven to bring our project to reality. Coincidentally, we met the founder of Impact Schools, Prakash Bista, who was inspirational and we recognised the parallels between our ambitions for our project and what he is already delivering.
Mr Bista was born and raised in Lalu, a remote village in the mountains of Nepal. He had first studied at a boarding school in the region. However, when that school shut down due to a bomb threat during the civil war, he received a scholarship to the capital. Before being able to complete his studies, his parents tragically passed away and so he came back to the village to take care of things at home and started Impact Schools, providing children with a basic level of education. He then received a scholarship to study in the US, but instead of settling there or in London (during his year at LSE), he came back to his village and developed his initiative further. Impact Schools now has two schools in the region, educating 248 students and accommodating 32 orphans.
As a team, we wanted to help in any way we could. During the summer, as it is the rainy season in Nepal, the three-hour hike path to reach the school is washed away, so we decided to run daily English classes via Zoom. A number of us have worked with primary schools through the school's Community Service and Outreach programmes, supporting pupils with maths, chess and French, as well as working with vulnerable children, including refugees. Almost 30 friends, predominantly Wykehamists, agreed to help and delivered lessons online.
The children progressed from only being able to introduce themselves in English, to having a wide grasp of vocabulary, learning how to tell the time, what to do in everyday scenarios, identifying different foods, animals and many other things. By the end of the summer, they were writing poetry and annotating their drawings. Their talent and high levels of happiness and enthusiasm were inspiring. Everyday they joined lessons smiling and eager to learn.
The next stage is try and provide reliable WiFi to the school. Due to the current economic crisis, the school is not able to afford WiFi. We have already raised funds for six months’ worth but we hope to provide it for at least a year.
The team also plans to visit the school in December to teach in person.
7th May 2021
In this year's Wykeham Journal, Professor Paul Elkington MBE (Old Wykehamist) highlights how his work on researching and treating patients with tuberculosis led to the creation of an entirely new type of respirator hood, which is now standard issue at Southampton Hospital and 16 other NHS trusts. Instead of patenting their design, Paul's team put it out on the internet for anyone to copy.
7th June 2023
June is Pride month. Pupils and staff reflect on what Pride means to them in a short film.
16th May 2023
After leaving the College, scholarship winner and music exhibitioner Thomas Sharrock, now at the University of Pennsylvania, reflects on his time in Winchester.
2nd May 2023
In April, a team of seven College students travelled to the Brecon Beacons to participate in the Duke of Edinburgh Gold Practice Expedition.
1st May 2023
The Drew Travel Art scholarships returned in 2023 with independent study trips to Madrid, Dubai, Athens and Berlin. The resulting work is on display in the Angelus Gallery this May.
25th April 2023
A team of Winchester College pupils has won US$25,000 as runners-up in an international sustainability competition.