There are certain things in the world that are universal and do not need any translation. Whether it is a joyful laughter, tears of sadness, or a cry for help – these emotions transcend language barriers and connect all humans, no matter which part of the world we are from. When the devastating earthquake struck Nepal on April 2015, it received a lot of global coverage in the media and the pictures of massive destruction and stories of families losing their loved ones and homes made the world aware of the suffering of the Nepali people. During this tough time, the tiny Himalayan nation was fortunate to receive thoughts, prayers and kindness from people all over the world. One amazing act of kindness came from a 4th grader in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Nancy, who is now a proud 5th grader, attends Spring Valley School, a small Christian School located in Southeast Pittsburgh. Spring Valley School had already reached out to Rukmini Foundation to find ways to help, and after a team member, Anup Aryal, visited Spring Valley to speak to the children, Nancy was one of the many students keen to find out more about the earthquake in Nepal and the work Rukmini Foundation was doing to help survivors. They looked to find ways they could help children like them stay in school. Nancy, then a 4th grader, was one of the students who had listened to Anup talk about the unimaginable struggle girls her age went through in their daily lives and now they were in a worse situation due to the earthquake. Shortly after this visit, Nancy won the 1st prize in an environmental poster contest. She was delighted when she opened the prize envelope and saw that part of the prize was a $100 gift certificate from Target. “The first reaction of our class when they saw that gift certificate was – let’s use this card to buy school supplies for Rukmini Foundation,” Brian Dunn, their teacher, said.


The school supplies included colorful A4 and writing paper, crayons, color pencils, pen, and erasers.

The children bought wonderful school supplies including colorful writing papers, crayons, color pencils and pens. With the help of the foundation’s Advisers, Basu and Laxmi Aryal who had a personal trip planned for Nepal, these supplies made their way to our scholars in Pharping, Nepal. Touched by the generosity of Nancy and Spring Valley School, the Rukmini Foundation’s Nepal team didn’t want to just simply hand these materials out, but rather organize an entire program around it. Thus, the team held a special mentoring (Didi) program and talked to the scholars about Nancy and the inspiring fourth grade class in Spring Valley that wanted to send their token of support to the children in Nepal. Basu Aryal shared with the scholars how much their story had resonated with the school children in Spring Valley. “The children from Pittsburgh have sent you these supplies because they have heard about your endeavors and they hope that this will encourage you to study and continue your path towards good education.” The supplies were divided into individual packets and distributed to the students during the Didi program.

Deepika taking a Stantionery

Deepika, RF scholar, proudly holds her folder containing the school supplies and says “Thank you Nancy!”

The scholars were grateful to receive such wonderful gifts all the way from Pittsburgh. “Their act of kindness really showed how girls and boys from different communities can understand each other’s problem and help one another,” said Prakriti, who is the Director of the foundation’s mentoring program. “We loved every single item that was sent with so much love,” Deepika, a Rukmini Scholar said ecstatically, “Thank you Nancy and all of the teachers and students at Spring Valley School for your love and support!” Nancy and her friends’ love and support crossed international boundaries – for they proved that language and culture barriers does not stop one from understanding the pain and need of others, whether that person is from a small community in Pennsylvania or from a village in Nepal.


From Right: Sushmita, Sandhya, and Puja – all very happy to have received this thoughtful gift from the students at Spring Valley.

About Priti Bhattarai

With a Masters from London School of Economics in NGOs and Development, along with courses in Social Policy and Gender and Development, Priti brings with her the experience of both policy and development. She was born in Nepal, brought up in Japan, and has lived in England for eight years. Before moving to the United States, she went back to Nepal and worked on issues concerning Education for All and Gender Equality. Her work entailed creating awareness amongst the communities in rural Nepal on issues concerning both health and education, whilst striving for change in the country’s education policy. She recently moved to the Untied States and has become part of the Rukmini Foundation. With her previous experience working in Nepal, she has a great understanding of Rukmini Foundation’s mission and vision and will chair the Nepal Team Committee to work closely with our team on the ground to ensure progress, productivity and help forge new relationship with other entities in Nepal.
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