Sir Richard Butler: PestalozziWorld was inspired by the work and thought of Johann Heinrich Pestalozzi, a pioneer in the field of education. The Pestalozzi philosophy is 'Head, Heart and Hands', which means that education isn't just about academics - it's also about interacting with other people. We give scholarships for secondary level education to about 500 bright students from underprivileged backgrounds from India, Nepal, Tibet, Malawi and Zambia. Many of these students live in Pestalozzi Villages, like the Asia Village in Dehradun, India, which has 150 students, and go to nearby schools.
How much do you spend per student?
$1200 per student per annum, and we raise funds through trusts in four countries. All of the money raised goes directly towards education. Trustees pay administrative expenses themselves.
How much of a presence do you have in Nepal?
Over one third of our scholars are from Nepal. There are about 130 in Nepali schools ranging from small rural government schools to Budhanilkantha School in Kathmandu. Another 50 Nepalis are at our Asian Village in Dehradun. Our alumni run the Pestalozzi Association Helping Advance Development (PAHAD), which is chaired by Jana Thapa. It was set up in 2000 and coordinates PestalozziWorld's activities in Nepal.
What do these students go on to do?
We teach our students that they have an obligation to their communities, so most stay in their country and many become teachers. Some Pestalozzi alumni get scholarships to study abroad and return to do good work for the local community. Many success stories can be found ourwebsite: www.pestalozziworld.org.
What unique challenges does PestalozziWorld face in Nepal?
The people who need most help live in remote areas that are hard to access because of Nepal's terrain. For example, I had to get on a helicopter to visit a school in Doti. It's also tough to find jobs for our students. Many people work in NGOs, but this isn't necessarily in the long-term interest of the country. We would prefer that they set up their own businesses and help build the economy.
Middle ways - FROM ISSUE #488 (05 FEB 2010 - 11 FEB 2010)