News and Special Events - 2018

December 20, 2018

It was a lovely morning and with lots of excitement when we left for a picnic travel to NamoBuddha. I had seen the aunties excited for events many times before, but the charm on that day was really different. I eagerly wanted to know the reason behind that, so I asked one of the aunties. She shared what an amazing impact this picnic had on her life:

“It is my first picnic. I used to attend regular classes in Chelsea and go back home. On my way people used to ask me, 'Where are you going?' and I always felt ashamed to say that I was going to school, at this age to learn. I feared the judgment they would make, knowing the real reason. That is why I used to tell them that I was going for some personal work.  But today after seeing so many women together I experienced a positive energy. I realized that I am not the only one who comes to learn – I met many other friends of different ages at the Chelsea Center. Now I can come to Chelsea without hesitation. I feel very happy and proud to have friends and a school I can call mine. I am also very thankful to Chelsea.”

Ankit Lohar, morning teacher

December 20, 2018

It all started in the month of November with the nervousness and the excitement we could clearly see in the eyes of the students. Each and every one was excited for this beautiful day. Sandip, one of the youngest boys of NOH, came forward confidently and recited a beautiful poem. The kids of NOH expressed themselves differently and in the best way they could.

I could not believe my eyes, the kids were so good! They each wrote a fantastic poem. We all could see their interest and emotion through the poem. Sita and Sandhya were the ones who reminded us of our childhood memories. Some of the children cried, as the poem recited by their friends touched their hearts.  It was really a wonderful exposure to the kids as well as to the teachers. Even though the Alive Poets’ Society was held for the first time, we were successful doing it.

Sumi Devkota, CECC teacher

Photos:  One nervous poet preferred NOT to face her audience while reciting.  Another asked for assistance in holding her poetry notebook  so it wouldn't be shaking.

November 23, 2018

Waro and Prashanna led a talk show for the NOH children where they shared the obstacles they faced in their friendship, and how they overcame them. It was really an incredible life lesson talk show.  After that, the students listened to a speech given by Muniba Mazari (also known as the Iron Lady of Pakistan). The students watched the speech twice, and, needless to say, they enjoyed the talk. Later during the sharing session for the day, the students confidently expressed what they had learned from the speech and also shared how they felt about it.  Personally, I felt this talk will help them be a great friend and a great person. I believe this workshop had a strong impact in the lives of NOH children. The talk show was absolutely wonderful and heartwarming.

Prepared by Sumi Devkota, evening teacher

November 7, 2018

Volunteer Karolina started her workshop on Menopause and Gastric by asking, “How many of you have faced menopause and its consequences?” Women started to share their experiences. Karolina also explained about the digestion process. She elaborated that the food we eat passes through the esophagus which releases acids to help crush food into small pieces and then passes through the intestines.  “This was a much needed workshop for us,” the women said. “We learned new things about our body and its functioning.” The women felt shy when the presenter initiated a discussion about their private body parts, but admitted they had learned new things about their bodies.

Sushma and Kabita, Morning Teachers

October 5, 2018

The 8th graders, Anita, Bhumika, Saraswati, Gita and Jenny led a workshop on Entrepreneurship. The best thing about the workshop was the team itself.  Our workshop leaders had only three days to prepare beforehand.  They spent two of the three days gaining the necessary knowledge on the topic.  On the third day they planned for the workshop where they discussed the case studies in order to shape the business ideas of participants.  I still wonder how they managed to prepare for their terminal exams in school and a workshop at Chelsea both hand in hand.  It is clearly seen that our students are growing stronger at managing stress as well as learning great time management skills.

For me, the overall experience was gratifying. Some of the students still talk to me about the bike-servicing and the milk-selling business plan we discussed during the workshop. It feels great to be a part of such projects which give our students an extra exposure towards life and also the confidence they need to have to do what they want in life.

Anuja Niroual, evening teacher

October 4, 2018

I believe there is no such thing as born talent, but sheer hard work and willingness to grow makes someone talented and there are many talented children in NOH. Being a part of their journey has been a spectacular experience. Dashain-Aayo project has to be one of the most exciting yet challenging tasks for me. I had three extraordinary students in my team: Rajan, Khusbu and Anu. Surprisingly, we all were shy, self-effacing, yet a bit venturesome. What a team!

My three musketeers started making a ground for big finale from day one. They had a new topic “Art Therapy” to work on. They were reticent, but took every challenge as a broad learning curve. They put out their best efforts and made a massive transformation in a short time. The result was magnificent. I couldn’t be more proud of how they presented themselves in the finale. I personally improved my time management and teamwork skill. Overall, I had a whale of a time working with these kids, and all other mentors did an amazing work including their remarkable kids. 

Ngawang Tsering Lama (a counselor by profession, and one of the mentors for the Dashain Aayo project)

September 28, 2018

“Mentoring the students during the Dashain Aayo project was an overwhelmingly joyful experience for me,” said Jashmina Thapa, one of the mentors during the project. Grade ten students (Srijana, Anupa, Sita, and Gita) led a workshop on “Confidence Building and Team Work,” on 28th September.  With an aspiration to teach the younger ones to work together and support each other, to learn to understand and to be creative, the team designed an activities-oriented workshop inviting all attendees to take part. Despite the rigorous preparation for their boost-up exams, the students’ willingness to lead a workshop empowered them to work through extra hours preparing the creative content. At the end of the workshop, the attendees wrote feedback for their presenters on sticky notes.  The presenters said, “The most satisfying moment was when our friends (the participants) hugged and thanked us for leading such a fun-learning workshop."

September 14, 2018

Grade 9 students Mary, Sandhya, Muskan, and Kailashi, with Waro’s (our writing teacher) mentorship, led a workshop on the re-use of  plastic bottles and other non-biodegradable materials.  The resulting plastic bottle planters are now hanging on the walls of the Chelsea Center.  The team started the workshop by sharing some facts on how plastic bottles are polluting our environment, followed by the confession that they would use the least amount of plastic and do the best re-use possible. The 70 teachers and students who participated were divided into eight groups and each group made a flower vessel out of a used plastic bottle. The presenters did a phenomenal job on their presentation day.

September 8, 2018

Teej is one of the most important festivals for Nepalese women. It is a festival of dance: all the women wear red dresses, come to a single platform, and dance.   After 9 weeks of preparation,  the Chelsea Center celebration focused on empowering the life skills of our women students. We organized a special program with public speaking, poem recitations, dance performances, and a Mrs. Teej Chelsea talent show. 

August 24, 2018

Twenty-two year old Rohit Malla is young leader and a professional motivational speaker.  He led his first motivational talk at the Chelsea Center on January 14th during the Winter Camp and the students who could not attend his talk then had been requesting to invite him again.  His words and the humor-filled stories touched the hearts of the 50 students and 10 teachers who participated.

August 19, 2018

Some of our kids were “guest teacher assistants” in the women’s classes. Different activities were designed to establish a connection between the community women and the Papa’s House kids at the Chelsea Center.  Some of the kids used to say they could never teach the way others do, and here they are helping the women, consoling them to not worry a lot, observing their challenges, and trying to explain the ideas in easier language.  At the end of the class they shared their experience and observations; kids and women had learned a lot!

July 30, 2018

Using breathing techniques as the tool of all the practices, Laurie Levine led a program on yoga, pranayama, and meditation for the women at the Chelsea Center. Laurie is a yoga practitioner and teacher. The science of yoga has important value in Nepali society and seventy women participated in the program. At the end of the session, the participant women requested that Laurie lead more yoga classes when she comes back to Nepal.

July 27, 2018

Teachers and students celebrated this special day in a traditional Nepali way very close to all our hearts:  the Papa’s House students organized and led a surprise program of activities and performances for their teachers. Though they call it Teachers Day, it is celebrated like Children’s Day, making their teachers dance, act and sing.  They made us feel proud of the students we teach!

July 26, 2018

The museum, the Golden Temple, the Krishna Mandir (Krishna Temple), the Dhunge Dharas (the stone taps) and the fascinating small details of handmade arts and crafts made the tour of Patan's Durbar Square special.  Ted Seymour and Laurie Levine organized the visit, initially inviting students interested in photography.  As is turned out, seventy-one students signed up, which is the total number of students below grade ten.  The photo lesson tour became the photo session tour--though only two of the resulting photos are shown here.  The tour was organized after the end of the First Term Exam at the school and was a joyful experience for all of us.

July 15, 2018

The afternoon teachers participated in a workshop led by Ted, Laura, Justin, and Blanca for the higher grades of Papa’s House students (see July 13 event). Like any good teacher, whenever we learn something we want to share it with our own students, so these teachers led a sharing workshop for the women students on “Personality and Character.”  The session started with basic questioning and discussion about the idea of personality and character and ended with the assignment of understanding the personality and character of each member of one’s own family.

July 13, 2018

On July 13, Ted, Laura, Justin, and Blanca organized an event for the grade ten and higher Papa’s House students. There were four different activities running simultaneously in different classrooms at the Chelsea Center:  Ted led a workshop on “How to Start Your Own Business” in the first session and “Finding Your True Job” in the second. Laura dedicated her workshop entitled, “Choosing your Character,” to leadership wisdom.  Justin led a workshop on “Budgeting your Dollar” a subject of very high need for the Nepalese students since no one here teaches any lessons like this and we really struggle with managing our budget.  The workshop led by Blanca entitled “Fun with Confidence,” was full of activity, role-playing, and fun.  These multiple and simultaneous sessions became a beautiful reason to bring all of the older Papa’s House kids together under the same roof.  Oh, and did we mention that there was pizza?!

June 30, 2018

The daytime English teachers and the students were very excited about the arrival of our long-time volunteers Shaily and Saurya and the re-start of conversation classes for the women.  Every year the two of them volunteer at the Chelsea Center when they come to Nepal during their vacation from school in the U.S.  This year they led six  conversation classes in only two weeks (June 15 to June 30)!  The women were very happy to see Shaily and Saurya again and on the last day of the class, told them, “We will speak better English when you will come back to Chelsea Center next year!”

June 22, 2018

The best part about working with the kids is that you get to observe “Everything fascinates them like nothing else,” and if you are open, you realize you are getting back in touch with the child inside of you as well.

Information Technology(IT) professionals, Rahul Bajracharya and Pritishma Tuladhar came to the Center on June 22, and led a question and answer session about their field. Previously, Pritisma tutored our younger students for a year and Rahul was a computer tutor for our upper grade students for two years. The session was a surprise we prepared for the students because we knew they would love it. When the students realized that Rahul and Pritisma would arrive in the workshop hall within a minute, they began a countdown like it was the New Year's Eve they were waiting their whole life for.

The students asked a lot of questions about Rahul and Pritishma's personal and professional lives. The benefits of this interaction can be observed since some of our students already interested in IT decided they will study B. IT after studying management in the intermediate level, and others have started analyzing the options in order to make a choice between B. IT and BSc. CSIT studies in the future.

June 16, 2018

A completely new and one of the most awaited experiences for the students was the opportunity to interact with professionals in many fields on June 16. The best part of the event was that the students got an opportunity to interview someone in the profession of their choice. How could the excitement not be at the peak when you are going to meet someone who can respond to all the queries inside your heart, and you have prepared a lot of questions for them?  A heartfelt thankfulness to all our volunteers who serve us in every possible way and on so many different levels.

June 15, 2018

With the theme “Things Can Always Get Better,” this Friday was a reflection day for the daytime classes. Starting with the question, “How to make the learning process more effective?”  we divided the participants into five discussion groups. We provided them with paper and pen, and they had to write about their experiences in class in three different categories. In the first category they had to include things that they are enjoying the most in their classes, second being the difficulties/challenges in learning and after group discussion, they had to write possible solutions in the third category.