I’m an Early Years educator from Australia and have spent 35 years of my working life in Early Learning Centres and Kindergartens in Australia, United Kingdom, Nepal, Hong Kong and China.
Over the years working in Australia and around the world one aspect has always excited and surprised me, and that the willingness and need for engagement with each other no matter the age, language barriers or socio-economic situation we all seek to engage and have fun.
A large portion of my working life I have spent with the 0-3 age and thoroughly enjoyed the verbal and quite often non verbal communication with these lovely little humans, they have taught me so much about myself, so much so I realised that it’s not only what you do or say to another person but how you make them feel that is most important especially from young children where communication can be limited.
I have always enjoyed reading engaging and fun books with the children, and on many occasions created variations on the stories they enjoyed engaging them and getting them creating more.
That lead me to writing my first three books, my books are designed for 0-3-year old’s and/or children where English is not their main language. I’m a strong believer in the fact that children learn and retain information when it’s fun, active and engaging, so my books use fun and repetitive actions in a rhythmical pattern, that last long after the book is finished.
My Nepal Project
Grab a tissue, this is the story:
Whilst we were visiting Nepal in February this year (2017), we had the privilege of meeting some truly wonderful and inspirational local Nepalis making huge life changes to less fortunate families of Nepal.
This is Laxmi, from Padampur village, who does her best to care for between 20 and 43 under 5-year-olds each day.
Raj and Keshab Khanal are two locals in Chitwan, south Nepal and they have taken on the care and development of four villages that didn’t even have water or a school. They have sunk wells for water and have built a Kindy and that’s where the kids of the village and one of the parents, (acting as the teacher), gather daily.
Enter Duane and I, we are Early Years Educators so we can create a curriculum and teach the parents to teach. And that’s how we plan to change their future, the kids will learn and have opportunities to attend a government school and opportunities to support their family and community.
The project involves 4 small villages in the Chitwan area of southwest Nepal. The villages of Padampur, Manahari, Jinglau and Sapreni.
Through local efforts and international help from a German aid fund, Raj and Keshab have been able to organise for stand-alone single room kindergartens to be built in each village, so each of the villages now has a dedicated hut for a kindergarten.
We’re passionate about Education, it’s been our whole lives. These children in Nepal don’t have education at the moment so we want to change their lives, with your help.
Each centre averages around 40 kids per day. They have a parent as a volunteer teacher, a few over loved toys and no educational materials. All these guys are under 5 years old with no educational prospects in sight.
Duane and I have over 50 years experience between us in Early Years Education, so visiting one of the centres and seeing just what we could do with our experience and some funding gave us the strongest sense of purpose and usefulness for our skills and knowledge.
After spending some time with the children, we knew that an educational program and structure that supports and nurtures their strengths will make a huge difference not only to their own future opportunities but to the prospects for their families and their community. So we raised the funds to buy toys and educational materials for the little guys and off we went. We delivered the toys, implemented an educational program at each village and we are looking forward to our next visit.