Engaging Nepali Youth: Book Drive at Ullens for Classroom Libraries

Jul 06, 2017

Tanisha Rayamajhi

Education  Field

We are excited to announce that our recent collaboration with high school students in Kathmandu, Nepal to collect children’s books and school supplies was a huge success! I worked with Priya R. and Anushka U., students at Ullens School in Kathmandu, to coordinate a book drive that would enable us to start four classroom libraries in our Sewalung school and provide our students with necessary school supplies this summer. 

Organizing this book drive required a lot of enthusiasm and flexibility from our star volunteers. We hunted for boxes to collect books in: the backyard of the local supermarket chain Bhat Bhateni became a gold mine. We wrote to Ullens for the green light to visit classrooms: we were met with enthusiastic administrative support. We sought out help in publicizing the book drive and collecting books: the Ullens Service Club embraced us wholeheartedly.

On Thursday, June 15, Priya and Anushka spent the morning visiting classrooms and students from grades one through ten. They told students all about the Diyalo Foundation and our work in Sewalung. They talked about our plan to start classroom libraries in our Sewalung school this summer. They emphasized the impact that any degree of generosity would have on our kids in Sewalung - most of which have probably never read a children’s book outside of those that we have brought to the school. Each classroom was given a cardboard box with Diyalo’s name scrawled on it. Through the week, the Service Club popped into classrooms from time to time to remind students to bring books for the drive.

Six days later, it was collection time. Priya and the Service Club did another full round of classroom visits - but this time, they were picking up boxes filled to the brim with children’s books and school supplies! Our car was full; we co

uldn’t wait to get home and sort through all that the students of Ullens School had given us. It took a whole 6 hours to empty, sort and count the contents of the boxes!

In all, we were delighted to count:

108 English Storybooks

41 Nepali Storybooks

19 Textbooks

97 Notebooks

308 Pencils

322 Crayons

294 Colour pencils

140 Markers

89 Oil Pastels

93 Sharpeners

81 Erasers

69 Rulers

30 Pencil cases

25 Toys

3 Boardgames

It has been deeply humbling to see the generosity of the students at Ullens School. We received everything from classic fairy tales to fully bilingual English/Nepali storybooks; from colourful tin pencil cases full of stationery to bundles of new notebooks, pencils, crayons, games, and erasers. It’s clear that even those students with no books to give shared with us whatever they did have.

We have already ordered four shelves to display our wonderful new collection of storybooks. Our next steps include securing colorful carpets to welcome students to our new classroom libraries, and planning lots of art activities to make use of all of the crayons, oil pastels, markers, and colour pencils we are lucky to call ours! We couldn’t be more grateful or excited.

We would like to give a huge thank you to Priya and Anushka as well as Ekta Rana (senior school coordinator of Ullens) and the Ullens Service Club. Finally, a thank you to the students of Ullens School, who made the transformation of our classrooms possible! Each class in our Sewalung school will have its own reading corner come this August. Thanks to everyone involved in this book drive, our students will have an infinity of fictional worlds to dive into, and materials with which to explore their creativity. 

Thank you Ullens!

Watch our book drive video at: