SStS Nepal: Girls Empowerment and Education in the Himalayas

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About

Experience Nepali culture, construct earthquake resistant schools and hike through the Himalayas.

SERVE:
With SStS, you will have the chance to work shoulder-to-shoulder with our trusted NGO partner, The Small World. As part of your work, you will build earthquake resistant schools and spend time with the children at TSW's girls dorm.

EXPERIENCE:
You will have the opportunity to experience daily life in rural Nepal, stay with local families, and trek through the Himalayas on a route once taken by Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay.

LEARN:
As part of your experience, you will learn about ethical leadership and global citizenship through SStS's unique Five Lens Curriculum. In addition, you will be immersed in a local homestay.

THE SSTS DIFFERENCE:
-Small groups (10-12 students)
-Leadership curriculum
-Expert course instructors
-Trusted NGO partners

Highlights
  • Visit UNESCO World Heritage sites, including the famed Monkey Temple.
  • Experience daily life in the remote Solukhumbu region.
  • Construct earthquake resistant schools to support girls' education.
  • Spend time interacting with children at the Himalayan Hope Home.
  • Trek through the Himalayas on a route that was once taken by Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay.

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Questions & Answers

Reviews

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Grayson
10/10

From Strangers to Family: My Incredible Experience in Nepal

I can confidently say that my trip with Shoulder to Shoulder and The Small World was the most eye-opening, incredible experience I have ever had. I chose to embark on this journey because I am passionate about women's rights and finding sustainable ways to improve global health and human rights in developing countries. The work that TSW and SSTS does checks all of these boxes and more. From the moment our group of eleven landed in Nepal, The Small World took care of us and went above and beyond to make sure we were comfortable. Throughout the first few days of the trip, I got to see several UNESCO world heritage sites and view the vibrant Kathmandu valley from the famous Monkey Temple, which was surreal, to say the least. The rich culture that is evident in every part of Kathmandu is difficult to put into words. It is simply beautiful.
One of my favorite parts of our trip was the four-day homestay. I and three other girls stayed in the home of a family from the rural village of Mukli. The family did not speak English, but we were able to communicate through the basic emotions that all humans share. We had several dance parties to Nepali music and soccer matches with the local children after hours of building an earthquake-resistant school for the village. By the end of the homestay, I felt a connection with people who had been strangers only days before. Another of my favorite moments of the trip was near the end of it when our group got to visit The Himalayan Hope Home, an orphanage for thirty at-risk girls that The Small World constructed a few years ago. The girls gave us handmade woven bracelets and performed a dance to a beautiful Nepali song. There were tears in my eyes. I was dumbfounded by the kindness that complete strangers showed us. The gratitude that radiated from the girls was inspiring, as they had gone though horrible atrocities before being rescued but still lived life with a lightness and joy that was simply incredible to witness. I often find that I do not express my gratitude as much as I should, and the girls reminded me to voice it more often. We spent the day playing volleyball and reading with the girls, and when it was time to go, I lamented that I would have been content to spend several more weeks there. Throughout the trip, The Small World staff aided us in every way possible. They helped our unexperienced selves hike through the lush forests of rural Nepal, they cooked incredible authentic meals, they filtered our water by hand, and they helped us communicate with locals. But The Small World's help extended beyond actions. The mission behind the organization is inspiring, and the resolve to make the world a better place that is exhibited by every member of the staff is evident in everything they do. I hope to one day make a difference in the world like The Small World does every day. Seeing the joy they brought to so many people who needed hope was an experience I will cherish for the rest of my life. Leaving Nepal felt like I was leaving a part of my soul behind. I was reminded of the world's propensity for goodness during this experience, and I enthusiastically recommend the trip to anyone who is passionate about girls' education, sustainable development, community, and global leadership. My experience in Nepal inspired me to take an ethical leadership class offered by SSTS this past fall, and I have gotten to present about my experience in front of my entire school. My experiences have led me to delve into women's rights around the world and to lead workshops on them in the past few months. I have learned lessons I will never forget throughout this experience, and I hope that you will consider the program as well. It will be the best decision of your life.

How can this program be improved?
I would have loved to spend more time with the Hope Home girls and the children who attended the schools we were rebuilding and building. We did a cumulative fifty hours of hiking, and while it was incredible, I would have loved to spend more time in the villages. Overall, the program blew me away.
Yes, I recommend

About Students Shoulder-to-Shoulder

SStS essentially began with a question: what can we do? As classroom educators striving to teach our students about many of the pressing problems that exist in the world, as well as potential solutions for addressing them, students were...