This is IICS’ first (currently only) community and service project that travels overseas. This project was awarded the ECIS Peter Ustinov Outreach Grant in 2012 and the TIECare International Community Service Award in 2013 to further the good work we are doing there.
IICS students travel to Nepal in April to teach classes at Panchakanya Primary School, a poor school in the village of Jambu, Nepal, with approximately 60 students ages 3-10. Our IICS students who travel there must develop their own lesson plans and resources to teach English, math, art, music, sports, and science to the Panchakanya students. IICS students receive lessons in classroom management and lesson planning by IICS teachers.
Students are not required to travel if they are part of this project; they still participate in our awareness building and fund raising activities.
From October through April the traveling and non-traveling Project Nepal students raise awareness and raise funds for a physical improvement project there each year.
While in Nepal we also do cultural tours and outdoor challenges like hiking, camping, rafting, rappelling, and canyoning.
The IICS PTA has been very generous in supporting our outreach with matching funds of $3000 in 2011. For the first 3 years the Booster Club has generously donated IICS tshirts for all the Nepali students, too!
In previous years we have made the following improvements for the Panchakanya school:
We continue to help Panchakanya finish the second story of their school and provided teacher training to Panchakanya and other Jambu village schools to help them motivate students with inquiry-based teaching methods.
This incredible project was sparked by inspirational visit by Peter Dalglish in May 2009.
• May 2009 Peter Dalglish, founder of Street Kids International, visits IICS to encourage students to volunteer in Nepal.
• July 2009 IICS student Vidal Meric travels solo to Nepal for 8 weeks, teaching school to 88 students in a remote mountain village.
• April 2011 IICS organizes its first student community service trip abroad to Nepal, facilitated by Himalayan Voluntourism and Vidal. Ten students, two parents, one IICS staff member.
• October 2011 Project Nepal Coordinator Jennifer Gokmen returns to Nepal to check on the project and meet with the Jambu community.
• April 2012 IICS organizes its second student community service trip abroad to Nepal. Six students, one parent, one IICS staff member.
• November 2012 IICS Project Nepal wins the ECIS Peter Ustinov Outreach Grant to further the good work we are doing
• April 2013 As a result of the ECIS Peter Ustinov Outreach Grant, Project Nepal Coordinators Jennifer Gokmen & Monique Sweep conduct a teacher training in Jambu, Nepal for 11 village schools and make a documentary of it.
• October 2013 IICS organizes its third student community service trip abroad to Nepal. Ten students, one parent, three IICS staff members.
• October 2014 Due to the success of our 2013 Teacher Training,IICS Nepali partners Himalayan Voluntourism wins an international grant to bring teachers from three villages to Istanbul for advanced teacher training in inquiry based methods.
• February 2015 IICS organizes its fourth student community service trip abroad to Nepal. Six students and three IICS staff members.
IICS students taught English, math, art, music, and sports. We also engaged in outdoor challenge (trekking and canyoning) as well as cultural touring.
Due to unforseen circumstances, there wasn't a student trip to Nepal in 2013, so we went and conducted a teacher training instead.
Despite no trip in the 2012-2013 school year, the Project Nepal group students raised funds via their successful International Day booth games, a hilarious Pie Toss, and through donations from some very generous parents. We raised $2500 towards the physical improvement project this year, which is to help fund the ongoing construction on the new school building we helped begin in 2011.
In April 2013 Project Nepal Coordinators visited Jambu to conduct the teacher training outlined by the ECIS Peter Ustinov Outreach Grant, in which 11 Jambu area village schools came to Panchakanya Primary School for a workshop on IB inquiry-based teaching strategies.
The Project Team is actively seeking to expand Project Nepal to make an annual teacher training event as well as a student trip, during different school breaks.
We had an incredible time on the October 2013 trip! Ten students, one parent, and three IICS staff members participated this year. For our physical improvement project we donated three netbooks to Panchakanya to expand their IT offerings. We have moved the trip earlier in the school year so that Project Nepal students start the year with a deep connection to the project. Having already visited and become part of the Jambu community has made their community service efforts through the year more meaningful for them already. They already personally know the community they are working to help. We expect this change to have a profound impact on the future of our project.
Already, Maria D. prepared a table at International Day. With the help of Daniela C. they sold beautiful photoblocks of Maria's photography from the trip, raising quite a bit of money.
Daniela has made an instructional video for making origami frogs. the video serves as both an art activity and an English lesson. It will be an excellent resource that we will load to youtube/vimeo and also load directly to Panchakanya's computers on the next visit.
Daniel A. is nearly finished with his documentary of the trip, which we will promote on multiple channels once released.
Students are now planning a HOLI FESTIVAL as a fundraiser. Details coming.
Grade 3 will soon begin their Nepali hat sale, which will raise funds to help support tuition for a Turkish school girl. The purchase of those hats from Kathmandu also supports Nepali village womens' micro-entrepreneurial efforts.
Prior to our February trip, we also had a visit from our Nepali friends IN ISTANBUL! October 21-24 IICS hosted a group of Nepalese teachers and social outreach pioneers as an extension of its Project Nepal. Our Project Nepal began as a Secondary School outreach trip and its annual success has allowed the program to grow to include a Teacher Training Trip for faculty as well.During this visit to Istanbul, three teachers from different towns in rural Nepal (Jambu, Nargakot, and Bandipur) received inquiry-based teacher training and participated in classroom observations to help them learn creative techniques to infuse their own classrooms with the kind of energy IICS classrooms have.