Keene State College offers many opportunities for cultural engagement ‒ whether it is through clubs or study abroad program ‒ but one opportunity that really shines bright is the partnership KSC has with the Little Sisters Fund.
The Little Sisters Fund’s mission is to “[help] economically disadvantaged Nepalese girls to become empowered leaders through education, mentoring and community support,” according to their website.
Aside from simply just paying for a Nepalese girl’s education, their goal is also to “contribute to the development of a more equitable, just, and prosperous world.”
Currently there are 2,113 Little Sisters studying far away from their Nepal homes, and KSC is blessed to have two of these intelligent girls as our peers. KSC working with the Little Sisters Fund is extremely beneficial on both ends. It serves as a learning opportunity where we get to see what other cultures are like. We get to break down cultural stereotypes and build friendships.
Engaging with different cultures humbles you. It makes you realize what you do have and what you do not have. In The United States, many of us are very privileged and have no real concept of what it is like to live in a third world country. Girls over here never have to worry about being sold into sex slavery because their family needs money. Over here, we are given the opportunity to get a full education from elementary school through middle school through high school and even through college if we so desire. It is less common for someone not to get an education in the U.S., but in Nepal, many of the girls do not make it past elementary school education. And it is not just Nepal where this happens ‒ it happens in many other third world countries.
The problem is, not many people open their eyes to what it is like to live in a third world country. We would rather not think about it.
It is important to be culturally engaged because it reminds us that things like that do happen in these countries and that we are lucky for the opportunities that we are given over here.
By having the Little Sisters Fund work with KSC, students get to learn more about the Nepalese Culture and it allows the Nepalese girls to learn more about our culture. It allows us to make connections and since many of us have never been to Nepal or may not go there, we have a lot to learn. Global outreach is so important because it creates opportunities for our students here and those who come visit us.
We are happy that KSC really steps out of their bounds and follows their motto as they “go forth to serve.”
This program provides more of an openness on campus. These learning experiences allow you to become more comfortable with other cultures rather than being ignorant (whether it’s intentional or not).
This program along with all the other programs and resources on campus such as the Diversity and Multiculturalism Office, the Office of Multicultural Support, Alternative Break and Study Abroad give KSC students wonderful learning experiences that they can gain now and take into the future with them.
The Little Sisters Fund is just another step in the right direction with making our campus a little more educated.