Maya Universe Academy

LOCATION: Nepal

SUMMARY: Maya Universe Academy is the first and only range of free private schools in Nepal that provides quality education to marginalized and cash poor communities, works to transform the local landscape into a classroom and alleviates poverty in the area by working at the intersection of education, entrepreneurship and environment.

PROBLEM SPACE: Nepal is a developing country, one that is struggling to reconcile it's agricultural legacy with it's current urban expansion. As rapid development takes place around centralized towns and capitals, Nepal's poorest families, those residing in rural areas still subsisting on farming are left behind as education and employment draw people to overcrowded cities. These families have little faith in government institutions that provide sub-par education and cannot afford to send their children to expensive private schools. More and more families send their capable young adults to toil in Middle Eastern countries in hard labour, only to save little when they return thus starting a cycle of debt and deprivation. As more people migrate for educational and employment opportunities, we see them empty villages and abandon farms cutting away at the very social fabric of our nation.

SOLUTION: Maya Universe Academy proposes a solution that integrates quality education and economic empowerment to empower the rural youth and families of Nepal. Maya runs a range of free private schools where parents pay with time instead of money. Their labour is used for the construction of our classrooms, on our agricultural farms and in daily activities but also in our income generating small businesses that help run our school. The current businesses include a handicrafts business and Maya's Country Chicken which raises free range chickens to be marketed in high-end restaurants in Kathmandu. We hope to expand our businesses to partner with our student's families as entrepreneurs by creating a more direct supply of their agricultural products to markets thus adding value to their products. By engaging them in entrepreneurial ventures, such as chicken raising and organic herb gardening, we hope to create an entrepreneurial community that thrives on agriculture. Maya's curriculum also directly involves it's students in local landscapes and economies to engage them in the economic development of their communities.

CONTACT: [email protected]

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