We would like you to meet Sam Chodar Sherpa, a young boy born into a deprived family from the Solukhumbu region in Eastern Nepal. Sam came to Kathmandu with his father when he was just three years old and lived with his aunt while his uneducated father took a job as a guard at a construction site, living in small hut.
Most parents living in the hilly areas of Nepal are illiterate and have very poor numeracy skills. As a result of their poor education their job prospects are very limited to non-existent. The parents who manage to find work are paid very little for extremely hard labor and menial tasks, such as Sam’s father who was initially paid just over $40 a month, not enough to support himself and his son.
When we first met Sam he shared with us his dream to go to school, since being in Kathmandu allowed him to easily see kids going to school, and he knew he wanted to be one of them. In his own way, even at a young age, he told us,“Our family is very poor. Sometimes we get to eat, sometimes we don’t.”
A kind -hearted neighbor to Sam’s aunt initially helped Sam to attend a small, local school close to where his aunt lived, but when Shenpen met Sam we knew we wanted to offer him as good an education as possible as it was evident that he was a very talented child. Sam also needed to be in a boarding school, as his aunt was facing many financial difficulties in caring for her own daughter, so also caring for Sam overwhelmed her, and it was impossible for his father to support Sam’s education.After searching for a school it was decided to enroll him in the Montessori Nursery program at Shangrila School in April 2013. Shenpen paid a third of his fees as a boarding student, with the other two-thirds covered by private sponsors.
We are very happy to announce that Sam was the top student in his Upper Kindergarten studies at Shangrila School in 2015-2016. He received A+ in all of his studies, something we have never seen before in any student, even in the Kindergarten level. Shenpen is very proud of Sam for his big achievements in his Upper Kindergarten class studies.
For the new school session it was decided to move Sam to school situated closer to where his aunt lives, making it easier for her to visit Sam and keep close tabs on his health and overall development. His new school is Mahan Siddhartha English School, and it is in Boudha on the south side of Boudha Gate.
Apart from home, school is the single most important place in the life of most children. Their school experience will play a vital part in their lives and will determine their academic, social and probably, their occupational future. Sam is very happy in his new school, and after a recent visit it is evident that everyone at the school loves Sam. Over and over again we hear what a talented, loving, curious boy he is.
Sam is currently the best student of our Shenpen’s scholarship program. He has a partial sponsorship from Shenpen, paid through both Pay Pal and private donations.
We are proud of you, Sam!