Help give the gift of education this Christmas

Mingyur Paldon
Mingyur Paldon

Local charity Pestalozzi is appealing for help to raise thousands of pounds to enable it to continue it’s work by taking part in the Big Give Christmas Challenge 2017.

Pestalozzi International Village Trust, based at Sedlescombe, offers life-changing opportunities to young people from disadvantaged communities around the world. It hopes to raise £12,000 to continue supporting it’s students during the Big Give Christmas Challenge, which runs from November 28-December 5. During this week all donations on the charity’s Big Give web page will be doubled.

The Trust awards scholarships to exceptional 16-19 year olds who are academically gifted but have limited educational prospects in their home countries. These young people have all demonstrated their enthusiasm for helping to make a difference in their communities.

One such student, is Mingyur Paldon, but her journey to Pestalozzi was not straightforward.

Mingyur left her home country of Tibet as a political refugee aged just tree years old. She faced a perilous journey trekking over the Himalaya’s into India, held in her mother’s arms. The family was spotted and rescued by helicopter, allowing them to make their way to one of the Tibetan communities in exile, in Northern India.

Mingyur grew up in a small, cramped Tibetan holy cave, with no running water or electricity, but Mingyur and her mother made it comfortable. Mingyur’s mum enrolled her in the Tibetan Children’s Village school and though she loves being there, realised that in order to gain opportunities for further education she would have to leave her mother and those surroundings.

Mingyur arrived at Pestalozzi in September this year, and Pestalozzi CEO, Susan Walton says Mingyur has strong academic abilities. “The schools available to her in India were not able to provide the challenge she needed,” she said.

“The Pestalozzi scholarship will enable Mingyur to study A-levels in philosophy, sociology and history at Claremont Senior School. She has joined the drama club and she will be performing in the schools production of Fiddler on the Roof.

“Mingyur has worked hard for the chance to improve her life and increase her knowledge of the world, and is grateful for the opportunity that Pestalozzi has provided.

“All the funding to pay for these scholarships is raised by public donations, and the support of charitable trusts and foundations. The charity receives no government funding.”

Mingyur says her desire for the future is to focus on looking after underprivileged people in society, particularly children, in her own community and in other parts of the world. She hopes to help them overcome poverty, homelessness and exclusion, and to give them the chance to improve their lives.

Mingyur says daily life at Pestalozzi is exhausting, but enjoyable. “It can be peaceful and full of adventures at the same time,” she said. “I like everything about Pestalozzi, I like the love, the hospitality, the staff, the nature, the beautiful moments with the other students, but above all I love the opportunity I have been given.”

To donate to Pestalozzi’s Big Give Christmas Challenge campaign visit: http://bit.ly/2017ChristmasChallenge