Timothy Shu, a QLC student presenter from Taipei American School, took the conference’s message to heart, and has set in motion a project in Nepal that aims to touch the lives of young Nepalese students. Timothy explains…
I went to QLC this October as a student speaker for the O-MUN/ Taipei American School team. The QLC itself was great, making speeches about O-MUN ICJ was also great, but what I took away most from the QLC was none of the above. It was rather, a deep seated feeling of inspiration and passion — a passion that I have never encountered before.
After hearing Mr. Keesey and Ms. Leahy’s presentation on their work in creating the Kony 2012 campaign and resisting the Lord’s Resistance Army in Uganda, I was deeply moved by the sheer variety of ways in which we could help make the world a better place. Even as teenagers there are so many different ways we could help change other people’s lives for the better. This presentation, rather in fact, just the general atmosphere of the QLC got me fired up and ready to do something — anything to change the world for the better. But then, I met a man. This man will later change my view of the world and become my mentor/role model for years to come.
His name is Peter Dalglish. Upon first sight, he seems like an ordinary Caucasian middle aged man with sun-tanned skin and a slight disregard for physical appearance. But when he speaks, he becomes a sort of angel-incarnate who talks genially and practically about improving the world, step-by-step, and inspiring young people to stand up for their own passion. No matter how old you are, where you are, and what you are, everyone can make a change for the better in their own ways. So after his speech, I eagerly went to talk to him about a project that I have in mind. This meeting, surprisingly, considering the sheer amount of people waiting in line to talk to him, lasted for an entire hour. My idea was simple. By combining my passion — tennis, and my drive to change lives for the better, I proposed to bring a group of students to teach rural Nepali kids how to play tennis.
After QLC, I remained in contact with Peter. Approximately one month later, in November, I packed my bags, bought a plane ticket and went to Nepal. This reconnaissance trip, suggested by Peter and eagerly followed up by me, opened me up to a brand new set of cultural background and urgency for change. I visited several public schools in Pokhara and rural Bandipur to get a sense of what education is like there. But as one of Peter’s friends in Nepal said, the school’s infrastructures are extremely dilapidated and the educational curriculum is based solely on rote memorization, something which had remained the same since the 1960s. So based on my first hand observation of Nepali kid’s situation and their predicament, I went back to Taiwan and started to devise a plan that would directly tackle the deficiencies of Nepal’s education system.
My basic plan is to build a public multi-functional playground for the kids in rural Banipur that would provide kids with a suitable facility to play sports (tennis, volleyball, soccer cricket). This allows the kids to learn actively and develop self-confidence. On the other hand, I would also like to use the time while we are there, to introduce more advanced technologies such as PC and tablets to the kids, so that after we are gone, they would be able to learn by themselves more sustainably, and with minimal maintenance.
Although everything is still in the planning stages , I nevertheless would just like to say that none of this could have happened without the QLC. The QLC is truly an inspirational conference that I believe will continue to inspire young people to do great things. Hopefully this short blog had provided you with a sense of what you, or anyone, could do in the world to make it a better place.
In the words of Mark Twain (later quoted by Peter): “Never let you school get in the way of your education”. Stand up, discover the world and be a change.