Greetings, friends.

On behalf of the entire Samaanta Foundation family, I would like to wish all our friends, supporters, well-wishers, fellows, and families a very happy, peaceful, and prosperous holiday season!

The growing Samaanta Family says Hello!

This last year has been extremely busy and exciting for us, and I am pleased to share some recent updates from the Foundation.

First, two of our first batch of fellows, Jeni and Rojina, who joined us in 11th grade six and a half years ago, have just completed their Bachelor’s degrees. They both received Distinctions in their last semester at Thames College. Another fellow, Sarita, from the second batch, has also completed her Bachelor’s degree this year. Each of these three fellows have become strong, confident, and competent young adults who are now ready to face the world. I could not be more proud of their accomplishments, and look forward to seeing their growth in the coming years.

From left: Rojina Thapa (BBA), Sarita Purkoti (BSW) and Jeni Shrestha (BBA)

In the same vein, our Program Manager- Shiri- recently provided a detailed update to the Board on the progress of all our Bachelor’s level fellows. The crux of his message is that we can absolutely observe transformational change in the lives and performance of our fellows, and that our investment and belief in their potential is bearing fruit. Our fellows are learning to do incredible things now, and you can read his full message- which is filled with love, passion, and belief- about our fellows here.

At Samaanta, we believe strongly in service and leadership, and actively encourage all our fellows to “pay it forward” in their everyday lives. During the Dashain and Tihar holidays in Nepal, our fellows were all involved in service projects in their own villages and communities. Their projects ranged from collecting funds and materials to distribute blankets to needy community members in preparation for the harsh winter to cleaning the water source in their village. Precisely because our fellows come from disadvantaged and marginalised communities, they have a deep sense of giving for others, and you can read more about their projects this break here. These are small but important steps for our fellows to grow from students to become conscious, caring citizens.

Blankets being handed to 100 old needy women by Asmita and her school colleagues

Some of our fellows come from the most remote parts of the country. Pema, for instance, hails from Humla, and the conditions there are so difficult that she only gets to visit once every few years. After taking two flights from Kathmandu, she has to walk at least two full days before she reaches home. She has documented her life in the village during her recent trip home, and we present her photo narrative here. Pema has come a long way, literally and figuratively, since becoming a Samaanta fellow, and her story is the perfect encapsulation of our belief that it is the lack of opportunity, not ability, which limits the potential of public school graduates from rural and marginalised communities.

Breathtaking panorama taken on the way to Pema’s village

Thanks to your support and good wishes, we have now supported 45 deserving public school graduates, from 11th grade to the Bachelor’s level. Our programme has been growing in size and stature, and we are becoming a stronger, more comprehensive, and more organised fellowship. We have even bigger and bolder ideas to strengthen and expand the fellowship, but financial resources remain our biggest constraint.

This holiday season, you can give us the gift of Education, Empowerment, and ultimately Equality by support the Foundation so that we can continue our work. Much needs to be done, and we really cannot do it without you. Your generosity will ensure that this fellowship programme, which is the largest and most comprehensive higher education fellowship in Nepal (to our knowledge, and we have really looked!), will continue to grow and prosper so that those who would traditionally not expect to continue with their education now have the real possibility of pursuing high quality education that can be transformative in their lives. To make a contribution, please follow the instructions here: make a donation.

Thank you very much for your time, and please do not hesitate to contact me at any time if you have any further questions, concerns, or suggestions. Here’s wishing you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Best wishes,
Shrochis Karki
Executive Director
Samaanta Foundation