News & Events
One day, Jigyasha Singh, an international student from Nepal, was watching CNN. What she saw amazed her: onscreen was Pushpa Basnet, founder of the Early Childhood Development Center (ECDC), which takes care of the children of incarcerated parents of Nepal. She’s been named one of the network's “heroes” for 2012.
Ms. Singh was shocked to learn from the story that if woman goes to prison in her country, and does not have relatives to take care of her child, the child also goes to prison. Inside, children do not have access to health care, vaccinations, education or nutritious food. Additionally, the mother does not get additional food, so she must share with her child. The ECDC works with jail administrators to rescue these children from prison, and provides programs for children under five.
After hearing the news, the community health major enlisted the help of her fellow students, Lisa deSousa, Angela Salvucci, Sheila Leahy and Carrie Robitaille, for a project. They raised money on campus and sent it to Nepal, where Ms. Singh’s sister, Dilasha, purchased backpacks for all 40 children currently living in ECDC housing.
“Being students of BSU, we strongly feel that raising awareness about this issue helps us to realize the motto of the university: ‘Not to be ministered unto, but to minister,’ Ms. Singh said.
The project was done as the service-learning component of Professor James Leone’s School and Community Health course. The students’ efforts had a wider effect then they’d anticipated. “Our small contribution was very much appreciated by the children and the staff of ECDC,” said Ms. Signh. “By doing this fundraising, we not only served the need of the children, but we helped to raise awareness of this issue around campus too.”
A full interview with Jigyasha Singh will appear in the next issue of Bridgewater magazine.