Michelle Welsch, The Learning House: An Education Center in Nepal

Michelle Welsch, a 2014 Pollination Project Grantee, was first first awarded a grant to bring solar light to a school and monastic community in Nepal. The success of the completed project gave her confidence to tackle a much larger issue throughout the region — access to quality education.

Less than 43% of students pass national exams, which restricts their future earning potential and career options. What is more, families with financial means often send their children abroad, resulting in what economists call a “brain-drain.”

Michelle’s newest venture is the construction of a community space and learning center called Learning House in Pokhara, Nepal. The Leaning House will be open to the public and will house a coffee shop as well as a computer lounge for students and job seekers.

Michelle is working closely with a team of young Nepalese educators and social workers to offer tutoring sessions, internship and job placement services and career counseling for little or no cost to the community.

Michelle states her ultimate goal is to create a space that will “make learning fun and welcoming to all Nepalis, regardless of background or income level, while encouraging local entrepreneurship and development. By combining the comfort of coffee houses (found widely throughout Nepal), and offering services similar to those found in tuition-based

[tutoring] centers, the Learning House will promote education, leadership and community.”

Funds provided by the Pollination Project will be used to help purchase computers and printing supplies, as well as to fund student workshops and job placement training.

For more information on Michelle Welsch and her work in Nepal, please visit her FacebookIndiegogo page, or website.

GRANT AWARD DATE: February 17, 2015