Ten young adults from Papa’s House participated in the Empower Social Entrepreneurship Program, organized and led by Karina Jansen and her team. The two-week intensive program provided the platform for our students to connect to participants from different business schools, work in teams, and learn from Nepali business leaders in the area of Social Entrepreneurship. On 23rd May, the participants received certificates for successfully completing the program.
“Four years ago, I used a computer for the first time at the Chelsea Center. The simple coding Rahul Sir taught us fascinated me like anything, and I started enjoying coding the most,” said Anupa during her presentation on June 2nd. Srijana, Sita, Rajan, and Ashok shared similar stories. Back then, Ashok was in class 10 and the others were in grade 6. Now they are helping each other become computer experts!
The team made a formal announcement to start the "IT club" at the Chelsea Center. In this club, one can learn and share skills in programming, coding, and other basic computer skills.
The words in our social studies textbooks are meant to explain vividly the beauty in the diversity of Nepalese culture. Witnessing the beauty during Diversity Day at the Chelsea Center is an entirely different experience. It was a day full of laughter, joy, and celebration.
“When I see a monk, I want to become one; this mostly happens when I see a monk kid.” This was Apsara’s (grade 8) comment upon seeing a group of monk children dressed in their attire. While not sure of Apsara’s monk pursuit, one thing is for sure: the kids looked adorable in the dress when they joined our trek to Nagi Gumba Monastery.
It was a long trek, and the participants were tired, but they made it. Upon reaching the top and witnessing the pride of the victory and the confidence they had gained, it was clear that the efforts were worth it. This was the first of the seven Gratitude Tours we will do this year, promoting the theme of Gratitude for the Nepali year of 2076.
Thinking Out Loud is a platform where we lead interactive brain-storming sessions among the teachers and the students. Here we bring a topic and encourage discussion among the participants. On 22nd May, we introduced the platform to the students in grade 8, 9, and 10 and their participation was even more active than our expectations.
While English language is a challenge for the students in government schools, Nepali is a challenge for the students in English-speaking private schools in Nepal. At the Chelsea Center we are working on both languages. On 17th May, the after-school teachers Samir Khan, Sushil Dumre, and Pawan Rai led an activity to promote learning both English and Nepali language.
There's nothing like a family gathering on a Friday night! Staff, children, extended family, and volunteers packed the community room of the Chelsea Center to view Toni Thomson's poignant documentary What It Takes to Be Extraordinary, about the development of Nepal Orphans Home. Part home movie and part celebration of family, the film brought smiles and tears. What an occasion!
This year's Summer Camp Finale was a wonderful presentation of talent and self-confidence! Led by new Chelsea Center teacher Meenashi, the participants practiced poise and relaxation techniques. The audience was in awe of the composure displayed by these young women in their final production. Each of the participants performed a song, dance, recitation, or demonstration to rousing applause of appreciation.
Today's field trip started with a bus ride (two full buses!) to the movie theater to see Captain Marvel! What fun to experience a 3-D movie and sooooo much better to be inside since there was pouring rain outside!
Since the morning's rain ended by the time the movie was finished, we continued today's field trip by traveling to Chandra Giri for beautiful views, lovely walks, and a memorable cable car ride. What fun to have staff and the full range of children and young adults together for this adventure!
The Chelsea Center has provided many learning opportunities for the students and the teachers, but on Art Exhibition Day it became a beautiful art gallery. Indra Khatri is an professional artist and our Saturday art tutor at the Chelsea Center. His tutoring, work, and love for art has inspired several young artists in the NOH Family. On this day, Indra and his students exhibited their work. We imagined it would be a good day, but the beauty transcended our expectations.
Books do talk. Book talks have essentially encouraged the young readers, and hugely promoted the book reading culture among many of our students. April 2, board members Liz Early, Elizabeth Early, and Anne McAdden, along with her daughter Alyssa and Alyssa’s friend Charlotte, led Book Talk 2.0. The students were delighted with receiving the books they had requested on the day of the much awaited book talks. The Chelsea Center is grateful to all the individuals who contributed. We are most thankful to this generous group for making this happen as these books are priceless gifts in the lives of our young readers.
Ngawang, as a volunteer, served selflessly, and Waro, as the creative writing teacher, served with purpose. Ngawang served at the Chelsea Center starting in December 2017. Waro led creative writing classes since June 2018. On April 1, we said our farewells to Waro and Ngawang since they are going to pursue their further studies outside the country. They added much love and creativity to everything we do at the Chelsea Center. The students learned to act creatively and playfully. The students also made a tribute video for their teachers. It was hard for him to say goodbye to them.
A creative, thoughtful, and humorous interaction among the teachers was led by Saroj and Diwakar, on Redefining Teaching. The two teachers participated in a workshop on Redefining Teaching at Tribuvan University on the 8th and 9th of March, and then shared what they learned by leading their own workshop at the Chelsea Center on March 29. The participant teachers’ involvement was one of the best elements of the workshop. Congratulations to Saroj and Diwakar for their leadership. They will lead a follow-up interaction in the days to come.
“There are no goodbyes for us. Wherever you are, you will always be in my heart." -- Mahatma Gandhi
I find the word "Farewell" very ironic. Ironic because although it is a celebration, it is never too happy. After fulfilling the dreams of so many aunties to learn something new, she now flew to chase her own dreams. With her ecstatic energy and cheerful voice, Anuja Miss paved a unique way of learning. With warm hearts and teary eyes, we the team of Chelsea Education and Community Center and all the teachers bid her farewell. After cutting the farewell cake, some of the aunties also wrote pages full of their blessings and memories.
The program ended with all the aunties sequentially putting akshata (tika) on Anuja Miss's forehead and wrapping shawls around her neck as a token of love.
Prepared by: Meenashi Pokhrel (Anuja’s replacement)
It’s always an alluring experience to see the women students performing on the stage. We celebrated International Women’s Day on 8th March. This is the third year of celebration at the Chelsea Center. The students performed dramas and dances, did dohori battle, recited poems, and delivered speeches. The acts were full of humor, and the content carried the voice of Nepali women. Dhan Kumari (member of Papa’s House Board) said, “Seeing the women performing on the stage, speaking confidently in front of more than a hundred people in the audience, performing, and enjoying, I felt very good.”
Every Friday we design, organize, and lead activities for the students and the teachers. We believe feedback is the Breakfast of Champions. Meenashi introduced the Sugar Cubes (feedback tools) to the Team Chelsea during the interaction session with the teachers. The chart includes the name of all the teachers. The idea was to write a feedback note to the other sugar cube pocket when one’s action made another feel good or offended the other in any way. Meenashi is a social studies graduate, currently pursuing a Master’s Degree in Counselling Psychology.
Laurie Levine’s volunteering adds positive energy to the Chelsea Center. Every time she visits us, she leads yoga and meditation class, for the women students. After each yoga session the students make her their doctor, asking questions regarding their health.
"My name is Chili and I resemble Chili because I get angry very quickly," said Gita (8th grader), during the warm-up introduction session of the workshop (The Power of Choice) led by one of our volunteers . Lieutenant Commander Santosh Chetteri (an ex-navy captain) owns three businesses and leads a leadership organization in Nepal. The workshop was fun! A number of activities were followed by a task and then a presentation activity by the participant students, keeping everyone involved. During the session he shared his insight and philosophy on making choices. Along with this, Santosh explained the important of practicing the widening of space when making a choice between what happens to us (Stimulus) and how we respond to it (Response). His philosophy says, "In that space lies our ability to make a choice."
Prashanna Bista, Director of the Chelsea Education and Community Center
It was the best first day of the year! We, the teachers of Chelsea, could clearly feel the excitement and warm presence from each child as they entered the gate of Chelsea. The workshop hall was waiting patiently for the children to be filled with their excitement and laughter. The talk show workshop was held as soon as they entered the hall.
As always Prashanna gave a lecture--more than a lecture--a vision of our future. He gave us some work to do which was to write about our 2019 evolution. In this session, the children were so honest with themselves and wrote down a few commitments for themselves to do things better in 2019. After reading through all the writings, a feeling of relief and joy filled my own visionless mind. I, too, got a strong feeling to write down my 2019 evolution. The words of these students made a difference in my life this year.
Sumi Devkota, evening teacher