28 November-4 December 2014 #734

Australian cricketers hit sixes for education in Nepal

A unique way to help education in Nepal - contributions for every six Australian cricketers hit
Luke Pender

Michael Clarke, David Warner and Michael Hussey are three of Australia’s cricketing royalty, and they have found a unique way to raise money to help education in Nepal – by getting contributions from the public for every six they hit.

Over the course of last season all members of the Sydney Thunder raised funds to construct three new classrooms at the Heartland School in the Bafal neighbourhood of Kathmandu.

Ryan Carters (pic), a former wicketkeeper for the Sydney Thunder, came up with the idea of Batting for Change. He said: “I thought why not raise money from every six we hit in the Big Bash series for the Learning for a Better World charity. The Australian public really got behind the program with people pledging money for every time the batter hit a boundary.”

All Sydney Thunder players also made personal donations to the campaign, helping it reach the $30,000 required for the classrooms. “Education is a gift that lasts a lifetime, and the team believed in that,” says Carters. “And we chose Heartland School because of the work of the Centre for Learning and Children’s Rights in giving life-changing educational opportunities for disadvantaged children.”

In Bafal, construction funded by Australian cricket fans is underway. The school stands out with its child-centred approach and without verbal and physical humiliation as there is in other schools.

Principal Karan Singh Goyal, who has been here since the school started in 1999 says that the education of parents against corporal punishment and positive reinforcement is just as rewarding as educating children. Heartland has volunteer teachers from all over the world for teaching and teacher training.

The school offers some of the lowest fees in the area, enabling children to attend for as little as Rs 900 a month, and there is a boarding facility for those who cannot afford fees or don’t have homes.

Anish Gautam is 13, and one of 20 orphaned children who live in the school. He is a model student and tops his class. He likes football, is a fan of Real Madrid and Christiano Ronaldo and wants to grow up to be a hotel manager.

Anish was rescued from the streets three years ago, and says: “For the first time, I feel loved and cared for, the teachers are helpful and look after me.”

Heartland now wants to add higher grades and also build a vocational centre for students, so they can get jobs when they graduate. “The school doesn’t want the students to get an education and migrate overseas to work, we want them to go back to their communities and bring a change there.”

Ryan Carters plans to visit the school in May 2015 and added: “Sometimes I thought of the kids whilst at the crease, it gave every six a new dimension.”

Phillip Hughes (1988-2014)

Australian batsman Phillip Hughes has died after being struck on the top of the neck by a ball during a domestic match in Sydney on Thursday. He was only 25. The freak accident occurred on Tuesday during a Sheffield Shield match between South Australia and NSW. Hughes was hit by a delivery from bowler Sean Abbott.

Read also:

Peace dividend for quality education, Kul Chandra Gautam

Unlearning education, Anurag Acharya

Round Table Nepal, Elvin L Shrestha

Education for all and all for education, Naresh Newar

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