Author: tristan@astdesign.co.uk

Fun Ladybird resources for kids

Fun Ladybird resources for kids

During the current Coronavirus pandemic, there will be many of you trying to juggle working from home whilst looking after little ones who are currently out of nursery or school.
We know that this can be a challenge, so we wanted to provide some fun ladybird inspired colouring sheets to help keep your little ones busy, if only for a few minutes!
The ladybird is a symbol of hope and good fortune, so let’s spread this.
Please send in pictures of your little ones coloured ladybirds so we can share them to give hope and support to those in need. There’s also a little box at the bottom of each page to write a message of your choice. Send them to office@pestalozzi.org.uk or simply post a photo on our Facebook page.
Download and print them off here:

Paint a ladybird

Most of all we hope that you all stay safe and well.

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Paying a visit to Gandaki Boarding School

Paying a visit to Gandaki Boarding School

Education is the key to success

Prabidhik KC and fellow Pestalozzi alumnus Aayush Aryal at GBS
Ever since I started working for Pestalozzi, education has fascinated me. What doors can it open, why is free access to it necessary and how would our communities be different if it was readily available? What education systems work best, what environments bring out the best in people… and so many more questions that were multiplied tenfold after my trip around the US visiting Pestalozzi alumni studying at a number of prestigious educational institutions.
And so whilst currently on a visit to Nepal, I was invited to visit Gandaki Boarding School, one of several schools in Nepal from which we have selected Pestalozzi scholars from in the past, all who have gone on to do amazing things. I jumped at the chance to visit, wanting to learn more about the backgrounds our students have come from and to understand a place which has helped to shape so many of them.
My tour guide for the morning was Prabidhik KC, a Pestalozzi alumnus who is currently studying Maths and Physics at Harvard on a full scholarship. I had heard him speak fondly and proudly of his educational experience there and it came as no surprise to me that we were received very warmly when we arrived.The teachers we met with were incredibly complimentary of Prabidhik from his time at the school, as well as fondly reminiscing other Pestalozzi students all noted for being incredibly bright, driven and well-rounded. Having visited Prabidhik at Harvard just two months ago, it felt worlds away to see him sat at his old desk or to have him show me the place where he used to study.

Prabidhik KC in old classroom
The visit to GBS was another way of cementing the importance of Pestalozzi’s existence for me. Whilst GBS has provided an amazing foundation for Prabidhik and so many other students, their need and want for higher education and good resources after this is so important. From my understanding, GBS is one of the best school’s in Nepal. The teachers are caring and the environment is one which encourages students to thrive. With this being said, the resources in even some of the best schools in developing countries are often not comparable to what is available in educational establishments in places such as the UK or USA.
To be able to see a place where many of our students began their education, gave me a greater understanding of Pestalozzi’s purpose. If we continue to work with schools and charities across the world to help us to find the most deserving students, then we can give other young people the chance to go from a rural area of Nepal on to universities such as Harvard. Pestalozzi is the stepping stone to see this happen, and with the right support, it can continue to be for many years to come.
Nancy Anderson

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Tenzin Jampa at MIT

Tenzin Jampa at MIT

Nancy caught up with Pestalozzi alumni Tenzin Jampa on her recent visit to the US.
‘I often stop to think on the corridors of MIT and it strikes me with sheer wonder that a Tibetan boy like me, coming from a humble family and simple beginnings, can study and live in MIT – one of the best educational institutions in the world. This to me stands as a testament to how effective Pestalozzi’s education programme has been. It is also a strong testament to the conviction of the many donors who believe that global prosperity and global peace comes from the education of one person at a time. And it only takes one person to change the world.’
As one of the students I spent the most time with during the PAUSE project, I assumed Tenzin Jampa would be one of the easier alumni to write about. Yet somehow his consistent passion for learning and unquenched curiosity to understand everything around him leaves me continually at a loss for words.

Born in India, Jampa’s upbringing shares many similarities with Pestalozzi’s other Tibetan alumni. His grandparents fled from Tibet in the 60’s under the Chinese occupation and sought refuge in Dharamsala, where Jampa’s parents were born. His father and mother are both teachers at the Tibetan Children’s Village, a charitable organization providing care and education for Tibetan refugees and this fortunately meant that they didn’t have to pay for the education of Jampa, or his younger brother and sister.
‘Due to Pestalozzi’s connection with the Tibetan community in exile, I was able to apply for the Pestalozzi scholarship and I was accepted for the programme in 2017, meaning I could continue my further education. Through the two years in Pestalozzi, I learnt a lot of things. I had the privilege to live alongside people from different countries and communities, who I now deem my brothers and sisters. It was interesting to simulate a truly global community and traverse that social dynamic in the tiny village of Sedlescombe’.
Whilst studying under the Pestalozzi scholarship, Jampa threw himself into just about every extracurricular activity available. His name could always be found on a sign-up sheet and he became an integral member of the choir, performed the role of the Rabbi in Claremont School’s production of ‘Fiddler on the Roof’ and helped in the Eco-Club. He visited the residents of care homes and sang for them, played volleyball, established a Ted-Talk club for students to share new ideas and alongside his academic studies, also pursued an EPQ in ‘Why Studying Black Holes Can Be the Key to Our Universe’. For someone already so academically gifted, the resources and educational opportunities available in the UK opened up a new way of learning for him.
‘I got to meet amazing teachers who truly sparked my interest in learning, teaching and having fun. I was able to study subjects such as Physics and Maths at a much deeper level than I ever could have hoped, which was truly fun.’
Jampa’s natural academic aptitude already made him a highly competitive applicant for university scholarships and he was offered places at three prestigious institutions in America. In March 2019, he accepted a full scholarship to Massachusetts Institute of Technology, consistently ranked as one of the best universities in the world. Having dreamed of attending there from a young age he had also been taking online courses through their website to further his learning outside of the classroom.

‘Currently I am a freshman at MIT. I am taking a range of classes including an introduction to solid state chemistry, writing in rhetoric and engineering. I plan to become a Theoretical Physicist and I am also a part of MIT’s Taekwondo club, which has been amazing. The very fact that I’m here at MIT is mostly due to Pestalozzi. My most meaningful experience there was realising that there are so many different cultures and religions. For me, it was important because we come from a society where we believe similar things. Being in an environment where people believe in different things was important as I was seeking truth and exposure to different ideas helped me with that. It made me more sceptical and objective’.
While visiting MIT, I was lucky enough to attend a number of lectures across a variety of subjects. My experiences on their campus showed me a glimpse of an institution that selects the greatest minds in the world and fuels their curiosity and potential tenfold. I have had some of the most thought-provoking and intellectually stimulating conversations of my life with Jampa, who teaches with such natural patience, humour and a dedication to learning the likes of which have been un-paralleled by any other student I have met. Massachusetts quickly became my favourite stop of the PAUSE campaign and I attribute so much of this to the time I spent with Jampa on the campus of MIT. I relished these moments in the knowledge that several years from now, when I am certain he will be a world renowned academic professor, I will be able to recall the times he tried to teach me about philosophy or physics or when we attended a chemistry class together. If he can inspire me to learn about things I had not before shown such an interest in, I can only imagine what he might be able to do with a classroom full of people.

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Catching up with Patry in Nepal

Catching up with Patry in Nepal

While in Pokhara, let’s visit Patry! Patry, from Spain, volunteered at Pestalozzi in the UK for almost a year through the European Voluntary Service Programme. She taught the students Spanish, participated in numerous extra-curricular activities, supported the students and Student Programme staff and also ran workshops on Emotional Intelligence.
‘At Pestalozzi International Foundation I learnt a lot of things. For me the most important one was that if you love what are you doing anything is possible. The staff there were amazing and the students were brilliant and very hard working. They fight for their future with the organization’s help and being a part of that for me was a gift. I also learnt how big our hearts can be and how easy it is to help other people. Always head, heart and hands!
Not everyone is as lucky as I have been, growing up in a peaceful place, with a family that loves me and provided me with a good education. If I, we, can help others who are less fortunate, then why don’t we do it? The thing is that it is working thanks to the Foundation and their amazing work.’
On completion of her time in the UK Patry was keen to volunteer overseas, so we directed her to the Pestalozzi Children’s Education Centre based in Pokhara Nepal, which supports 36 students who attend local schools. Although the organisations are not related, they both follow the ethos and teachings of JH Pestalozzi. The project director is Phuntsok Tashi, who himself was a student at Pestalozzi in the UK between 1963 and 1978. He attended Sedlescombe Primary School, Claverham Secondary School and Bexhill Grammar School, where he completed his A Levels. He went on to study at the University of Nottingham where he gained his degree in Economics. Phuntsok Tashi was at the helm of the Pestalozzi Children’s Village in Dehradun for a decade. It is wonderful to see him still so actively involved.
Patry has spent a month volunteering at the centre in Pokhara, time that she feels has passed too quickly. Her main task has been to practice English with the new students, who have quite a basic level. She has made this as interactive as possible to engage the children using games, songs and also through the preparation of a Christmas play. Patry has also shared fun activities including some river swimming, momo making and visits to local places. From her interactions with the six new students who were around during our visit Patry is clearly enjoying the experience as much as the young people are enjoying having her around.

‘I have shared this month with great people, from the office staff, to the 36 students who come from very poor backgrounds, and have had the opportunity to help develop and improve their schooling. It feels like being part of a big family.’ Having the opportunity to volunteer has clearly been important to Patry. ‘I feel that if you want to change something, the first step is to be a part of it. Education for me is something very important, not only for the future of the children, but also because it is the door to make that change and improve our own world.’
Gracias to Patry, thu-je-che to Phuntsok Tashi and dhanyabad to the staff and students for the warm welcome.
The centre is keen to welcome new volunteers, particularly native English speakers or those with a very good level of English, to support the students with classes and activities. If you are interested in volunteering at the Pestalozzi Children’s Education Centre please contact the centre directly: pcec2016@gmail.com

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Around the world in 25 days: Lessons learnt from the Pestalozzi Alumni United States Expedition

Around the world in 25 days:

Lessons learnt from the Pestalozzi Alumni United States Expedition

If I asked you what part you thought education could play in changing someone’s life, what would your answer be?

For the last two months I have been in the USA and Canada and have spent part of that time working for Pestalozzi on our PAUSE campaign (Pestalozzi Alumni United States Expedition). The aim of the project was to meet with as many Pestalozzi UK alumni as I could and speak to them about their experiences at Pestalozzi and what they have gone on to do since leaving our programme.

The idea behind the project ran as follows; I would travel from Kentucky, up the East Coast of the US and into Montreal to collect the stories of twenty eight different alumni who are currently studying and working in North America. At least, this was the initial plan. In actual fact, at the time of writing this reflection, I have met with forty alumni from eight different countries. It’s funny how life always works out in ways we never would have expected.

The importance of access to an education is not something I ever had to think about growing up, because I lived somewhere where free schooling and an abundance of resources were available. In meeting with our alumni I learnt to understand the impact of receiving an education on their lives as individuals, but in doing this, a bigger question arose: what part can education play in changing the world?

Our alumni have built schools in Nepal and established non-profits in Zambia. They are computer science majors and chemistry minors, Harvard graduates, PhD students, engineers, published authors and refugee tutors. They have gone on to set up libraries in Nepal, teach classes in Ohio and build toilet blocks in rural Bhutan. The one thread of commonality running through all of these journeys is Pestalozzi. Without an education, how much of this would have really been possible?

In our office, we have a map of the USA on the wall, showing the names of our alumni and where they have gone on to study. Two months ago, that’s all they were to me, names, dates, and colleges. Now I can look at that map and see people, faces, and stories.

I have heard so many stories that have changed my perspective of the world. A student banned from entering school exams because their family couldn’t afford to pay the fees on time, yet they still came out top of the class. Someone who now earns a wage that is used to pay for the schooling of their brothers and sisters in their home country. Two alumni who remember crossing the border from Tibet into India when they were children.

Being able to travel across North America and run this project has been one of the biggest privileges of my life. When you are constantly meeting with people who have done things so much bigger than themselves and people who are always seeking out ways to serve others, it turns on a different part of your brain. Interactions become about creating meaning and trying to find ways to allow other people to access these same educational opportunities so they can go on to walk similar paths.

Conversation after conversation in work places, colleges, homes and any coffee shop we could find in-between. University libraries became places of inspiration and sending the message ‘green backpack, glasses, and ginger hair’, to make sure I was recognisable to the stranger I was about to meet became normality. Each interaction was filled with questions, from ‘which languages do you speak?’ to ‘what accomplishment are you most proud of’?’.

Statistically I could tell you the number of alumni I’ve met with (40), the number of states I’ve visited (10) and the number of border crossings I’ve done (6, but this is another story altogether). However the most important figure, being able to quantify the number of lives impacted by the work of Pestalozzi…this one is immeasurable.

Pestalozzi’s mission is to nurture students committed to contributing to the world in a positive way and all of this starts with access to education.

So, from Kentucky to Canada here are some of the lessons I learnt along the way:
  • 1.

    The power of education can be transformational. I have heard this sentence before, but this trip allowed me to truly understand it’s meaning. I have seen education used as a way to combat inequality and inspire more peaceful communities. If you’d have asked me what I thought education was when I was studying at school in England, my answer would be something based around books, lessons and homework. Whilst these are all important resources, especially if you’ve never had access to them before, it’s what you go on to use them for next that really matters.
  • 2.

    Two themes continuously arose in each conversation. The first was that every alumni showed a genuine desire to create real positive change within their communities and on a global scale and the second was that each person recognised that their time at Pestalozzi was far greater than just an academic education.
  • 3.

    The more alumni I met with, the more I felt both astounded but also unsurprised by their generosity of spirit, resilience and all they have achieved so far. The sense of desire to help others is usually naturally within all of our students when they are selected but it is often nurtured and flourishes within our community.
  • 4.

    Being exposed to diversity only enhances your life. Whenever I ask alumni about what they feel really benefitted their lives at Pestalozzi, so often the multi-cultural environment comes up as one of the most important factors. In today’s ever growing globalised societies, the ability to be a citizen of the world and be open minded towards the beliefs and values of others is more crucial than ever and it is such a key element of what makes Pestalozzi what it is. Whilst on our site in Sedlescombe, Pestalozzi students lived with students from nine other countries. Now through our partnership and new programme with UWC, our scholars will study alongside students from 90 other countries. I can only see the benefits of exposure to such diversity.
When I asked the question why is education important my favourite response was this:
‘Education has the power to pull people out of poverty’.

This statement is the artery that has run through the stories of everyone I’ve met on this journey.

There are many charities established now, doing incredible work for noble causes. But the impact I have seen by the work of Pestalozzi stretches far beyond the individual. Our organisation is a home and an experience like no other. It provides a space for some of the brightest minds in the world to come together. It is a family and a support network, a way to learn the importance of service for others and a commitment to learning and curiosity, not only through academia, but through the world and the people around us.

We no longer have our site in Sedlescombe, but the charity and the opportunities available to young people still live on. The community will outlast the buildings that we once all called home. The values can be carried in our hearts and shown in our everyday interactions.

And as for the legacies of our alumni? Really, those are only just beginning.

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My time at Pestalozzi – Fabien

My time at Pestalozzi – Fabien

Hi, I’m Fabien. I’m from a small town called Limoges in the middle of France. I have a degree in Communication and Graphic Design and since completing my degree I’ve worked in the charity sector. After six years, I felt that it was time for me to change my path and try something new.

I started to look into what I was going to do next and that’s when I discovered the Erasmus+ program. I’d always wanted to speak English fluently, so after some interviews and a lot of paper work, I was lucky enough to receive a place on the programme. The one thing that I was sure of was that I wanted to stay in the charity sector, to improve my skills in fundraising and marketing, but I was not sure where.

I found out about Pestalozzi thanks to an organisation in Eastbourne (Breakaway), who find internships for students. At the beginning I thought it was a Pizzeria with that kind of name. In fact in France we don’t have a charity like that and maybe that’s why I was so curious about it and after my research online, I was convinced it was the right place for me. After three months here, I can confirm it was!

The first thing that impressed me was the big hill. When you walk up the drive and arrive in front of the building, you see all the fields, the little red brick houses and it is absolutely breath-taking! In that first moment I already felt all the smiles and the joy in the atmosphere.

Sadly, when I arrived it was already the end of the academic year for the Pestalozzi students, so I only had the chance to get to know them for a few weeks, but it wasn’t just the students I got to know, it was learning about each country, hearing a new language, and discovering different cultures. I felt like I had travelled around the world in these four weeks, with some absolutely amazing young people. At just 17-18 years old, they are ready to explore the world and are already involved in charity and development projects in their home countries. Like the Pestalozzi strapline says, they are ready “to make a difference in the world”.

I completely understand why after just one day I felt so at home and why many of my colleagues have worked here for such a long time. It is a joy to sit at your desk and hear the students singing together after school and to enjoy all the cake and the food from around the world. It is the most rewarding feeling to work for these students and then at the end, to see them accomplish so much.

I need to mention of course all the work I did during these three months, all the events I attended, places I visited, the fun I had designing a new visual brand, the new skills I learnt with the Fundraising and Marketing department and all the laughs we had. My English has improved dramatically.

Before I arrived, I thought it was those kind of things I would enjoy the most and remember for the rest of my life but I didn’t anticipate one thing… that I would meet so many amazing people and be a part of this beautiful big family. They gave me the biggest lesson of my life:

You can have everything you want in your life but if you’re not with the right people in the right place, you will never find real happiness.

It’s the positive philosophy, the love and the people that I will remember all my life – not the work.

Pestalozzi is different from other charities and that’s why I hope it will continue for many years to come, to inspire and give the right tools to more people finding their special path and happiness in life.

I can’t thank the Pestalozzi Family enough for this amazing experience, it’s heart breaking to leave, I just hope to meet everyone again somewhere, sometime to remember this time.

Fabien Peixoto

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Fundraising Regulator
T: 01424 870444     office@pestalozzi.org.uk
Pestalozzi International Foundation, Philips House, Drury Lane, St Leonards on Sea, East Sussex  TN38 9BA
Registered Charity 1‌098422. A company limited by Guarantee 0‌4797376. Incorporated in England and Wales.
Fundraising Regulator
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