Let the little children come

ASWWU Global Service helps children in Nepal learn to read

Every year the Associated Students of Walla Walla University Global Service division chooses an international project to support. This year ASWWU Global Service will partner with a nonprofit organization called Room to Read to bring the gift of literacy to children in an elementary school in Nuwakot, Nepal. Room to Read works with first and second grade teachers, librarians, and school administrators to develop literacy skills.

For the joint project called In His Name, ASWWU Global Service is working to raise $35,000 during the 2018-19 school year. If that goal is reached before the end of the year, it will be extended to $70,000 and will fund the program in two schools instead of one.

“In Nepal, many children do not advance to secondary education, and almost half of the country’s adults are illiterate,” said Laura Egolf, senior biology (premedicine) major and ASWWU Global Service director. “Many of the schools are underfunded and in poor condition, making it extremely difficult to break the cycle of poverty. Recognizing the potential for change, Room to Read has been working in Nepal for 20 years, trying to make quality education a resource available for all. Through effective teaching training programs, purchasing of books in the local language of Nepali, and structurally improving the schools, children for years to come will be equipped with the invaluable tool of literacy, opening endless doors for their future.”

The inspiration for the project was taken from chapter nine of the biblical book of Mark where Jesus says, “Whoever welcomes one of these little children in my name welcomes me; and whoever welcomes me does not welcome me but the one who sent me.”

“We believe that one of the best ways to spread Jesus’ love is to empower these children, opening doors and building connections for a brighter future, In His Name,” said Egolf.

Local mentoring project
ASWWU Global Service is also working on a project in College Place, Washington, partnering with a branch of the Friends program to help establish sustainability in the mentoring program at Davis Elementary School, which has been facilitated by Troy Fitzgerald, University Church youth, collegiate, and young adult pastor.

“The Friends program is hoping for sustainability in the sense that instead of only mentoring kids at the elementary age level, the opportunity is available for kids who have been mentored to turn around and mentor kids younger than them, fostering a chain of mentorship,” said Egolf. “The idea is that teens who have been previously mentored can then fill that role for children younger than them.”

For more information about both ASWWU Global Service projects, email ASWWU.globalservice@wallawalla.edu.

Posted Dec. 23, 2018

Official logo for the 2018/2019 Global Service project, In His Name.
ASWWU Global Service is working this year to help fund an elementary school literacy program in Nepal.