Hope Alliance Work Experience Project April 2012
SMD has been working with an Australian NGO for the past few years. We met musician Phil Tweed at the Hyatt a couple of years ago, when he was doing a gig there. Phil good-naturedly took all our requests. Later we got to talking and the next thing we knew, Phil and Jodi came out to SMD to do a concert for the kids, from their original musical s'Plat, which features an assortment of Aussie animals who learn to accept and tolerate differences, to cooperate with each other.
Within a few months, Jodi and Phil were back in Nepal with their crew, to mount the musical at SMD, involving SMDers in the entire production, performing, making props and costumes, stage managing and doing marketing and promotion. 125 SMDers were kept busy and learning through the winter holiday.
s'Plat played to sold out crowds. Last winter, Phil and Jodi returned with their crew, and they did another s'Plat musical, this time, at the Russian Cultural Centre, closer into town.
As time's passed Phil and Jodi have got closer to SMD kids and then they got into the Himalayas to see for themselves what the needs are. Jodi founded Hope Alliance, and are working in concert with villagers in Lhi (Nubri, Gorkha District) where the school had been in an abysmal state, and teachers not doing their jobs. This is the village where we send two Reading Angels every year, so teaching standards are improving. (SMDers have the heart to work hard.)
Hope Alliance has also been mentoring SMDers. In April, several kids and Pema Norbu flew to Australia for a work experience programme. Here's their report.
I am writing this to express my gratitude for giving us this life changing experience and for supporting Hope Alliance.
Since it was my first time traveling internationally, everyday was a new experience and there was always something interesting to look forward to the next day. During my stay in Australia I got an opportunity to meet many professionals, many families and experience many different things which has led me to think in a better perspective. My first time seeing the ocean, first time walking at the beach, visiting movie world and so on has been my dream come true.
With my visit, I have learned many things both in general aspects and with work experience and I would like to assure you that the experiences I had and the knowledge that I gained will be passed on.
Thank you so much for everything. It is people like you who make a big difference in our lives and give us HOPE to do and expect something better in the future.
It was the first time in my life to travel to a foreign country, Australia is so big, green and clean too. The people were so kind and always there to help and support anytime. I really had a good time and the work experience was one of the most unforgettable moments in my life.
I have never thought that I would get the chance to go and see the beauty of the country called Australia and I thank God for opening the door for me and my friends.
While I was over there I experienced lots of things which I have never experienced or imagined in my life before. To tell you the truth about my highlight while I was in Australia, I have got lots of highlights which I will never forget. Like going to the beach was one of the my first highlights, meeting all the team , going to church, meeting all the sponsors and going to movie world.
The experiences which I had In Australia has taught me lots of things which I can shared with my friends back in Nepal , what we have learnt and the skills I got through the work experience I can also use in the work I do for Hope Alliance.
The work exchange program was exclusively designed for Nepali the team to develop skills to transform communities. Just being able to be part it and be included has given me lots of opportunity to see, hear and learn for my own experience. From the first day cruising through the tunnel which was touched by the ocean, going to the beaches, meeting the team, going to church, getting to see the professionals work and so on made each day special and also intimidating. I’d like to thank each and everyone and especially the hope alliance team for your constant support which has made this possible. I’ll assure you that we will pass our experience to others too.
Our time at Australia was one of the best things that could happen to us.
We observed and learned so much from this trip and from the time we were with you. You all have somehow made a difference in our lives and now with the skills we gained, we can make a difference in our own community here.
The trip has changed my life in so many ways. This trip has given me a strength that I never realized before. I have been inside my school for my whole life and I hardly know what is going on around the world. Going to new places and learning new things is more than we learn in a classroom. I now have the confident to be independent. I think I have started to see what is outside the box!
From the time we found out that we got our visas, it has been the best part. The moment we stepped into the plane and the moment we saw Jodi waving at us at the Sydney Airport was the best part too. Meeting all Jodi’s family and all our friends and Hope Alliance supporters was wonderful. Each day was a different day for us to experience. We had a tight schedule but each moment was special. Nepal is a landlocked country and going to beaches was a moment to remember. Making the promo video and knowing it helped not only me but also help the kids in lhi was one of the best parts too. Getting to know and meet very professional people was the best part too. Going to Australia was an adventure.