Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Opportunity Box - Hiking to Bethanchowk

Recently, a group of 7 of our team and students headed to Narayanthan, Bethanchowk, for a hiking escape from Kathmandu. As part of the experience, they were each asked to complete 2 writing activities.

Here are 10 lessons Sarita, our Special Projects Leader, learned from the trip.

Bethanchwok Hike (Narayanthan)

Ten things learnt

  1. The foremost thing I learnt about was my fear because the place we went to and the people there were new to me and I am not good in coping with new places and with new people unless there’s someone with me. Also, the other reason I was nervous was because we also had our students (kids) and we needed to make sure they were all well and doing good. 
  2. The name of the temple we went to is Narayanthan and we were told few of the legends about the temple. According to the name of the temple we thought that the temple was of Lord Vishnu but the temple at the destination happened to be of Lord Shiva which was totally different from what we had expected and imagined. 
  3. I also got to learn about our kids’ nature i.e. I got to learn how loving, caring and helpful our boys are (Sudip and Sushil). I don’t know how they will be when they grow up but they succeeded in making me imagine them growing into wonderful men also, because of them I was able to push away my negative thoughts on men. It was also surprising to see how fun loving our girls are, I hadn’t seen the fun-loving side of them, but I am glad I got to see and their dedication to reach the destination anyhow. 
  4. I thought there’s nothing that special about the special but then I realized I was wrong because even though people have to walk for hours they go there it could either be religious or fun purpose but people do go there because the place has secret specialty such as fresh and nice air up there, the clouds or the temple that makes people to forget about their stresses and chaotic life. 
  5. Seeing our kids’ skill to take photos amazed me because they knew how to take photos from different angle making sure the beauty of nature and the person posing for photo is captured properly. 
  6. Kaley the dog who hiked with us was attacked by two of the dogs while we were climbing down the hill because while we stopped at one of the places he had barked at one of them who later teamed up with another and came to attack him. So, this made me realize teamwork doesn’t only get implemented in human life but also animals do. Realizing this I was happy but seeing Kaley being attacked, wasn’t a good incident for any of us. 
  7. Seeing the moon rise was a first time for all the seven of us which was amazing. The moon came out from behind the hills slowly was a very beautiful moment. 
  8. While we were coming to Panauti from Dhungkharka by bus there was an old man who kept on offering his seat to old people and women who was carrying either child or heavy stuffs so, he helped me realize there are people with kind heart whom we often ignore. 
  9. Before we went on hike we had met one of the staff from the retreat center we were planning to stay the night and he had told us it would only take us 45 minutes to reach the retreat center but it took us almost 2 hours. So, it was frustrating but made me to think of how the others feel if we tell them the wrong time to reach certain places like we were told. We also spoke about one of the incidents about our friends who took the guests on hike and telling them they would be reaching the destination in one hour but took more than the mentioned time. So, we should not mention the wrong time is the lesson I learnt from it. 
  10. The hotels in Dhungkharka are affordable such as the prices they charge for local tea, vegetarian food and other food items are quite cheap and it was unexpected. I am not sure about others, but it did give me a reason to go back to the same place because it is affordable and worth visiting. 
Three things I will do differently 
1. Make sure to wear proper shoes while hiking depending on the place I am hiking to. 
2. Make sure to either take the power bank to charge my phone or to keep my phone close to me so that the battery will stay warm and doesn’t die then, I will not only be able to take photos but also be able to be in contact everyone I am supposed to. 
3. Make sure to keep the record of the expenses properly.

Friday, February 22, 2019

Our blog is back - Jyoti and Rojina share their passion for dance

After a few years of publishing and sharing the creative musings of the students in different forums, we have decided to reinvigorate the Dream Speakers blog! 

We plan to regularly post ideas, essays, poems, stories, conversations, artwork and other creative outpourings from our passionate students with you. 

To begin with, here's a conversation with Jyoti  (aged 16) and Rojina (aged 10) about their passion for dance and how dancing makes them feel. 


1. What type of dance do you do?

I do free style dance class but really I love b-boying. 

2. Why do you love dancing?

I love it because I think that dance is a gift that brings people together with creativity and music and also it is good exercise.

3. How do I feel when I dance?

I feel that it reduces isolation, reduces stress and feel happy and I enjoy it a lot.

4. How does dance help me in my life?
It helps me to explore different ways to make a shape learning a series of steps in music and also it is the way of moving the body as an instrument of expression and communication.


1. What type of dance do you do?
I am doing Nepali and free style dance classes.  

2. Why do you love dancing?
I love to dance because it makes me happy and excited to learn.

3. How do I feel when I dance?
I feel that I can be a good and talented dancer in the world.

4. How does dance help me in my life?
I feel that I can show my good dance and win a trophy for my family. It makes people happy when I dance.

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Do we need an International Men's Day too?

On the occasion of International Women’s Day, we the students of Mitrataa Foundation, gathered together to celebrate this topic. Bec led the meeting with many interesting ideas on the topic of which we were not aware.
Do we need International Women's Day?

We discussed on major questions like; why should we have International Women’s Day? Is it necessary to have International Men’s Day? And other similar questions under the topic. We came to know the theme for this year is ”Make It Happen” which means if we’re planning to do something for women ,then let’s not just make a plan, let’s make it happen.

In order to get ideas on how we involve men in discussing women rights issues we were divided into 4 groups of 4 members in each group. At the end, each group came up with different ideas to involve boys, realising that if we don’t involve them in these conversations, we will not address all of the problems facing women and girls today.

We decided to vote one idea among different ideas collected by our groups and make that our ”Make it Happen” project. Through the votes we chose to run a workshop where we will each invite 2 boys or men we know (friends, brothers, fathers, uncles, teachers, tutors). We’ll show videos, play games, share experiences with the participants. Our goal is to get active participation of male participants so that they understand and experience the importance of empowering women and the power of all of us working together. We have set one committee to run this workshop, which will be run by June.

We finished the meeting by writing a letter to an important male in our lives – friends, boyfriends, brothers, teachers etc. We wanted to focus on the fact that there are good men out there too and we should not always focus on the bad ones.

It was a fun plus knowledgeable meeting. We came to know more about equality, rights and even about development. Many things were not familiar to us and we were doing many things in the name of women empowerment blindly without even knowing what actually it means. The most interesting question that’s still in my head is “If we talk about equality, why we don’t we celebrate International Men’s Day?”

Sabitri Pathak
Class 11, A Levels 
Presenting ideas for how to involve boys and men in the conversations on issues of importance to women

Writing letters to the positive male role models in our lives

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Anita's views on the dangers of drugs in Nepal

Anita Budhatoki is one of our class 10 students this year. I asked her to write about a topic which she felt passionate about. Below she shares her views on the problems of drugs with youth today.

People of our society are of different kinds and their attitudes are also different. Some people are greedy, some are nervous, some are in tension and some are even involved in drugs. I think drugs are not good in everything. Drugs are substances which make our body weak and even it can harm our nervous system. Drugs are also illegal in our country. People take drugs in different ways. Some take drugs to relax themselves and to be free from tension. Drugs are also one kind of medicine which fight against diseases.

This problem can be seen in the whole world, not just in Nepal. Mostly we can see that the youth of today are taking drugs. Drugs like: smoking, tobacco, injection, cocaine, heroin etc are some of the examples of harmful drugs. Youth of today are taking drugs as fashion also. We can see the youth of today are involved in drugs so they are more involved in social crime. People get involved into drugs due to peer influence. Drug abuse has been one of the social problems in our country. Many people take drugs due to following reasons:                                                                                                               
1.    Tension and stress
2.    Poverty
3.    Lack of care of parents and teachers etc
4.    To imitate others
People can suffer a lot after taking drugs. They may have the health problems and have to waste a lot of money. The families of people who take drugs often lose their prestige in society. If the youth of today are involved in drugs then who are the nation developers? If youth of today are involved in such crimes then we cannot imagine our country with peace. The world is not afraid of violence of bad people but afraid of the people who don’t speak against violence of bad people. So to control drug abuse we should stop them from taking drugs. Following things can be done to control drug abuse in our society as well as in the country:
1) Giving proper counselling to youth about the dangers of drugs.                                       
2) Establishing rehabilitation centres.
3) Involving youth in creative works, sports, volunteers etc. 
4)Avoiding company of bad friends.
5)    Conducting awareness programs related to drugs for all youth.
If today’s youth are good then coming youth will be better. So, not only students but parents should also look and care after their children. Not only in home but in everywhere they support and encourage their children in good things. Students and youth of today should not copy the bad attitudes of their friends but instead they should copy good behaviour and should have feeling of national pride. So in my view we should say no to drugs and say yes to a happy and healthy life.                                       

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Paying it Forward – Our SLC graduates spend time with children at Kathmandu Model Hospital

Princess slippers for a princess
Gratitude and generosity are very important values which we strive to instil in the children we work with in Nepal. In celebration of finishing their SLC exams, we encouraged our SLC graduates to find a hospital where there were children in need of a smile and to spend some time with them, making them laugh and feel special.

A quilt full of love for a fast recovery
Sarika took the lead in organising the visit. She contacted Dr Shanker Rai from Kathmandu Model Hospital who does wonderful work with his team in operating on children with the need for cleft lip and cleft palate surgeries. With the help of the manager of the hospital, Dr.Hemantadhwaj Joshi, the date was set for their visit.

Thanks to Sarika, Sarita and Sabitri for their energy and passion in doing this. I hope we can continue to work with Dr Rai’s team to bring smiles to the faces of children around the time of their surgeries to remind them that people care about them. And thanks to St Catherine's for the handmade quilts which the girls gave to the children and to Seow Yuin of the COMO Foundation for the hand

Bubbles can fix almost anything!

In Sarika and Sarita’s words:
What was the purpose of your visit?
Sarika: “To bring smiles on the face of children and celebration of finishing the SLC exams.”
What happened on your visit?

Sarita: “In hospital we distributed clothes, toys and some books and puzzles to children who had just had surgery. After distributing, we also played with the kids. They were happy to wear new clothes as well as to get toys and to blow bubbles!
Sarika gives a doll

How did you feel on your visit?

Sarika: “It made us feel happy. This is our first time we distribute clothes to the kids. It encouraged us to do social service to the kids. And we are happy to get such opportunity to distribute the clothes to those kids in hospital. And we feel happy to have finished our SLC.”

Handpainted t-shirt for a princess in waiting

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Freedom - Finishing the dreaded SLC!

A few weeks ago, Sabitri, Sarita and Sarika finished their SLC exams. The SLC is known as the "Iron Gate" - the final frontier of school. So much pressure is put on the students by their schools, their teachers, their families, society.

As they wait for their results, we asked the girls to write about how it felt to finish their exams and be free of class 10 and the dreaded SLC.

Sarita wrote:

I was really excited to finish my SLC exam because I was really being bored going to study class every time. After waking up from morning coaching class to night study we had to see the face of same person. I always made silly mistakes unknowingly though I didn't want. So I was tired of getting scoldings from sir each and every time. I wanted to be free from everything so I was feeling very happy thinking that I have no more days to get scoldings from sir. After waiting for 2 to 3 weeks SLC arrived knocking on our doors. From 6th of Chaitra our SLC started and it finished on 15th Chaitra.

I felt happy very much because thinking that now I didn't have to worry about my study. SLC has finished but there will be lots of challenges that I have to go through in college. So I am scared a bit and also I am scared thinking about my result. I am also worried about my future what if I won't be able to do things that I have to do confidently. I have to do lots of hard work to achieve my goals successfully. So I am planning to do all kind of work properly and confidently. I am thankful to Bec because she gave me opportunity to teach Alisha and Rebina. While teaching them I could also learn many things from them. So now I am happy and waiting for my result to be published and also I am trying to build up more confidence on me to face the challenges that I will be getting through in college. This is all how I feel and if I won't be able also there are lots of friends and Bec to encourage me so am grateful to them all.

Sabitri wrote:

SLC SLC and SLC my head was filled of this three letters. All plans were held on pending due to SLC. I was so hurry to finish it fast and carry out plans that we had made to do after SLC. In the time I was so excited to complete school. I wanted to feel how life goes on after finishing SLC.
So I did it. Yeah I did it. I felt so proud to pass the Iron Gate. I felt so free. I thought not to miss school anymore. I thought to complete my remained works. I made lots of plans to do in these holidays. But contrary to this, things went in such a speed that I start missing school days before I complete my plans.
I think this happens to all the SLC appeared students. Three months holiday was what we waiting for so long. It is the best time to make up our self, giving time to our interest.  Considering this fact I joined computer class and foot ball coaching. Having SLC finished has not only filled excitements on me but also made me to take responsibility. I am feeling little matured to take responsibility and I think it’s kind of good to have such feeling.
It is the best time to take decision and plan for future. We have to join college and choose subject as per our goal. I’ve planned to join law in order to be a lawyer.

Sarika wrote:
I am very glad to have finished my SLC because now I don't have to go to again that school. And I am bored of waking up early in the morning and studying up to 11 o’clock. Now I don't have to wake up early in the morning and studying up to 11 o’clock. Now I feel I am free from all things when I finished my school. Now I can wake up late in the morning whenever I want. I am very happy to have finished my SLC.
When I finished my SLC I thought for my future plan. What can I do for my future to make bright. I take decision from many people but at last I thought I should study management for my future. Because it can help me to make my future nice forever. So, I thought I should focus in management for my future because I want to help my family business. So, I will study management nicely for my future.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Women - Poem of Hope and Thoughts of Gods

For International Women's Day on March 8th, we asked the girls why they love being a woman and we asked the boys why they love women. Puja wrote a beautiful poem inspiring women to have hope and Simon shared his thoughts on women as gods.




I am not feeling guilty

To be a woman

Whoever feels guilty

That is very filthy

Never less, neither less

Maximum women always

Watch their weakness

That is shameless

This is their foolishness

That's why they never fly

Even they have wings to

Touch the sky so high

Because of their own thought

About themselves

This is so filthiness

This is so sadness

Nature is crying

That is why I am saying

Raise your voice!!

They will shut your mouth

Again raise your thought

They will salute you but

After converting you're thought into action

That is all about you, even a fraction

Of your thought change into action

Will change many things in the world

Weakness is strengthness

See yourself into that level of deepness

Then you will find sense, knowledge

Had more along with that thought, sense, hope

You will never be dominated

Because dominating people are dominating themselves

This world is full of negative people

so be full of hope, be a woman!!


Puja Chaulagain

International Women’s Day 2014
I love women because women are those people who are like a god. They are very different from men but their minds are much more active than men's.  They are helpful as well as frank with everyone. They will always be in my eyes as god. One parent does not give the right to eat properly, right to education, as well as the right to shelter. Women always fulfilled these needs for their children. Some people made the women work instead of educating them. If such thing goes on how can wives or a daughter live a happy life? This is such a bad thing. We must respect them as a god.
Simon Raut
Class 7