Zahra Bandukwala, a 17 year old student at the British School of Bahrain, and her teammates won First prize in the Race4Good Challenge to help uplift the Bung village in Nepal.
Race4Good is a global competition organized by the Federation of British International Schools (FOBISIA) in Asia that provides senior school students around the world with life-changing experiences while helping families living with limited access to resources.
The competition was split into different challenges aimed at helping the Nepalese community and improving the livelihoods of two selected families. The teams were challenged to come up with solutions that would best benefit the communities by doing extensive research into the village, culture and local lifestyles. Each challenge provided the teams with a different budget and goal.
Teams from around the world presented their ideas to the Race4Good organisers in significant detail, including submitting business plans and videos underlining the costs and benefits. They were then asked questions to confirm their final planning and clarify any missing information.
Incredibly, among all the entries, Zahra’s team was awarded first place in the overall competition. As the winners, her team’s plans were approved and implemented immediately by the Race4Good organisers.
The first challenge to help the Nepalese community tasked the entrants with improving the healthcare and education systems of Bung village in Nepal.
The competitors were given a list of common diseases, as well as access to a member of the village who could provide more details. Zahra’s team chose to divide their budget between buying stretchers, nebulisers, blood pressure monitors and first aid kits to help combat important health issues that were prevalent in this area. To support local schools, Zahra’s team proposed to buy education supplies such as skipping ropes, white boards, blocks and cards to help students learn in a fun environment. The teachers were also provided with lesson plans.
The second challenge was targeted at improving the livelihoods of local families.
Zahra’s team suggested ways to uplift the Nirkumar Rai family of five children who had lost their parents. They provided them with a cow to produce milk for making paneer cheese (cottage cheese) that can be sold throughout the village. The team also created a recipe guide on how to make the paneer and shared it with the family, as well as tools for gardening.
In addition, Zahra’s team proposed renting land and providing the family with cucumber seeds, sweet potato seeds and wheat to be used to make flatbreads, all of which can be sold throughout the village. The team also bought a wheelbarrow and bucket so that the family could easily transport water as the closest water supply was quite far. A mosquito net was provided that can double up as a way to collect water in the form of condensation.
Zahra commented, “We are so pleased that we have been able to make real improvements to the lives of people of the village of Bung in Nepal. Conducted during the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown, the Race4Good competition taught us how we could make a difference, even from our own homes. Everyone who took part has a greater appreciation of the struggles that many people face on a daily basis.”