Enlightening Young Souls (EYS) was started by young high school graduates with an aim to educate and inspire children of various public schools about the true meaning and use of education in the real world.
What started with two teenagers Saharsha Raj Khatri and Ishan Mainali being driven by the concept of making productive use of their vacation by helping those in need has now evolved to include many volunteers and a huge number of beneficiaries in the rural areas of Nepal.
“Initially, we only wanted to share what we had learnt till date with deprived children in villages. So we prepared an improvised curriculum of one week that comprised of activities that not only support the formal course but also promote overall growth of children. But as we continued with the classes, we realized that these kinds of courses were not just another basic skill building process but really a need for sowing rational thoughts in children out there,” says Khatri further explaining that this was the main reason why they decided to continue with their movement.
The team of EYS has already visited more than eight different schools in the last year and half. Every time they visit a new place a new experience is added to their understanding of the mindsets of children. Khatri shares how a boy didn’t want to go to school because he believed that making quick money by working in the fields was worth more than attending hours of boring lectures in class. Here he quickly adds that they aim to change these kinds of perspectives.
For the various workshops and training sessions that it conducts, EYS does not hire any professional trainers. It’s the team members who take over here. “We don’t want a spoon fed trainer who will be speaking about something that he/she has never applied in his/her own life. Rather, we encourage our own volunteers to take the lead and truthfully speak up for what is right,” says Khatri. And, to successfully run these projects, they also organize various fundraising programs time and again. “We don’t sustain on donations but find our own ways to finance the activities,” says Khatri.
Regardless of the fact that these young kids seem to be doing a lot to bring about change in the society, they still have to face many challenges due to people’s narrow mindedness. People often question their intentions and Bijeta Lamichhane, program coordinate at EYS, mentions that people are also skeptical about their capabilities because they are after all young students themselves. But these harrowing experiences only strengthen their resolve to do more for a cause they believe in. “We believe we can change people’s mindset by our efforts,” says Lamichhane.
They believe children are malleable and that you can shape them and their futures if they are educated right early on. That is the primary reason why EYS has always prioritized children. By initiating change today, EYS dreams to enlighten the future. And for that they definitely have some very good plans in place. For starters, they intend to collaborate with as many schools and NGOs as possible and take their projects to each and every place that’s in desperate need of some assistance.