BY ERNIE SCHILLER
Special to the Current
LEE COUNTY – Plans are to leave mid-May of 2019. We plan to leave and again do volunteering missions to the remote villages of Nepal that were totally devastated by the massive earthquake of 2015. This earthquake was so massive that Mt. Everest receded 8 inches, while the largest city, Kathmandu-a city of over seven million raised up 10 feet in 30 seconds.
There was amazing structural damage to the country, but all the relief never got outside the city of Kathmandu. So volunteers concentrated time in those rural regions where no support has been received. Volunteers go into the schools, teaching and delivering much needed supplies as well as providing scholarships to the neediest students and their families who simply lost everything and cannot afford to send their children to school.
In 2019, the fourth Education Mission to Nepal will include several people that want to go to volunteer including a partnership with The University of Iowa and the Science Education Department. Dr. Ted Neal and several of his Pre-Service Science Teachers are joining forces with Rebuild Nepal Education Foundation and sending 10 science teachers and a university faculty member to Nepal with me and our volunteer team in May of 2019.
They will spend two weeks in Nepal, teaching, delivering educational supplies, helping our foundation deliver scholarships. They will be living with Nepali families on a distant mountain. They will interact with the culture of the Nepali’s, working in the fields in evenings, networking with the locals, etc.
In addition….RNEF is planning on sponsoring a Nepal Art Festival. Our foundation has been observing numerous students creating their own individual art pieces. So, this year, our foundation will sponsor an Art Festival in Kathmandu in conjunction with our volunteer mission dates. I have been working numerous teachers in Nepal since 2016 and we will invite students from all of Nepal to create their art pieces: drawings, paintings, jewelry, textiles, pottery, etc.
We will have an open display where the art can be viewed by the Nepalese. Our foundation will provide Participation Awards and prizes. Then, if students want we will bring art back to the United States to exhibit in Iowa or to other areas in the U.S. to exhibit and sell. 100% of money will go back to that student to be used for their continued Education back in Nepal. We have two local ladies in Ft. Madison who are helping me organize the Nepal Art Festival creating a form for the teachers of Nepal to invite their students to the festival.
Retired teachers, Linda Heitz and Angie Sodey have taken the lead in this effort. They are working with other artists in our community putting together a flier for the Nepalese. They are also working with the FMAA (Not sure of the acronym) for the Ft. Madison Art Association to display the art work locally and to try to sell their art. They are also reaching out to churches and other organizations that might be interested in supporting this cooperative venture between RNEF and the teachers in Nepal.
But I need your help. Our foundation board of directors are sponsoring over 320 students in Nepalese schools. From kindergarten up to and in college. We are needing much needed funds to continue our work. I am pleading for support from any of you or your churches, or your organizations or your community groups. We want to continue our work in this badly devastated regions and areas. We need badly needed funds to help the children for our 2019 mission trip.
Can you help? Send a check to: Rebuild Nepal Education, 2224 204th Avenue, Donnellson, Iowa 52625. Or drop by any Pilot Grove Savings Bank and ask for a Special Account under the name of Ernest Schiller and make your deposit there. Online donations can be made for the GoFundMe Site for the Nepalese children at: https://www.gofundme.com/2f2mgsek
Remember all donations go directly to Nepal. No middle man skimming. Come and support the kids of Nepal-they will greatly appreciate your support.