Nepalese students pool lunch money to help classmates

Using ingenuity, lunch money, and herb seeds, members of the Interact Club of Kathmandu Mid-Town in Nepal organized a community project to provide hygiene products to underprivileged students at their school.

The 35-member club cultivated a garden of mustard, cilantro, and other herbs. The Interactors then sold their produce to teachers, parents, and neighbors, earning $60, enough to purchase hygiene kits for 50 classmates. Each kit included a toothbrush, toothpaste, soap, shampoo, and hand wipes.

Maintaining proper hygiene is often a challenge for underprivileged children in Nepal, according to Rotary member Chandra Lekha Tuladhar, the Interact club’s adviser.

“[The Interactors] wanted to build a sustainable project through which they could pool into community development by initiating consciousness of better health,” says Tuladhar. “With the recent success, the Interactors have been further motivated and are planning to look for other social issues where they can contribute to make some difference.” To augment their efforts, club members also conducted a class to teach the recipients how to properly use the products and tips on how to wash their hands.

The project teaches the Interactors about entrepreneurship, teamwork, environmental conservation, and community networking, adds Tuladhar.

The club also used proceeds from the herb garden to buy more seeds in hopes of expanding the project to neighboring schools.

Club produces winning video

The Kathmandu Mid-Town Interactors documented their project in the award-winning video Seeds of Change. This year’s Interact video contest asked clubs to create a short video showing how their actions have led to a positive change in their community.

“The best part of making this video was we learned that happiness truly comes from being able to help others through one’s own effort,” says Aditi Dhakal, president of the Kathmandu Mid-Town Interact Club. “It was a once-in-a-lifetime chance to present our project to the international community.”

The video, narrated by several Interactors, shows footage of club members working in the herb garden, distributing the kits, and teaching the hygiene class.

Seeds of Change won for its creativity, style, and effective messaging. The video beat 50 other entries to win the $500 prize. The Interactors directed, produced, and edited the video themselves.

In addition to the grand-prize winner, three entries were selected as finalists: Beyond Our Actions by the Interact Club of CSI-San Salvador Noroeste in El Savador, Ripple Effect by the Interact Club of Cempaka Damansara in Malaysia, and Hugh Boyd Interact Superpowers by the Interact Club of Hugh Boyd Secondary in Richmond, British Columbia, Canada.

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