Nepal school founded by Pestalozzi alumni destroyed by earthquake

Ram Rijai (front centre) in front of Bloom Nepal, the school he founded SUS-151105-151619001
Ram Rijai (front centre) in front of Bloom Nepal, the school he founded SUS-151105-151619001

A charity is fundraising to help the thousands of people affected by the Nepal earthquake, including those at a school founded by one of its Nepalese alumni.

Pestalozzi, based in Sedlescombe, offers life-changing opportunities to young people from disadvantaged communities.

It awards scholarships to exceptional 16-19 year-olds who are academically gifted but have limited educational prospects in their home countries.

Ram Rijal was one of those to receive a scholarship from Pestalozzi in 2006.

For the next two years, with support from the charity, Ram completed the International Baccalaureate Diploma at Sussex Coast College, Hastings, and went on to study for a bachelor of mathematics and economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

Ram, who now works in the education sector at the World Bank as a data analyst, founded Bloom Nepal School to help establish a stronghold of good educational practices in Nepal.

However, the school collapsed following last month’s devastating earthquake.

A Pestalozzi spokesman said: “The staff at Pestalozzi have been in contact with their recent Nepali graduates, who are safe but obviously distressed by the disaster.

“Although we are relieved to hear that all our alumni and current students’ families are safe, some have lost their homes.

“Sadly, a school founded by Ram Rijal, a Nepalese alumnus, has also collapsed.

“Pestalozzi students are continuing to organise collections to go towards the disaster relief fund and have already raised an astonishing £828.58.”

Speaking about Bloom Nepal before the disaster, Ram said, “The school is an institution that is committed to giving wings to young people.

“The Pestalozzi philosophy of head, heart and hands has helped me see value in things that we do at the school.

“The important thing about gaining a good education is being generous in using that knowledge to serve the less privileged, which makes life meaningful.”

People can donate either via Pestalozzi at www.pestalozzi.org.uk or through a number of supporting organisations; MSF Nepal, Oxfam, UNICEF or Himalayan Trust.

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