BVU alum's non-profit project establishing schools in Nepal wins $100,000 grant

Wednesday, September 26, 2012
Ravi Kumar, a Nepalese native and BVU graduate, recently won a $100,000 grant for Grassroots Movement in Nepal, a New York City-based non-profit he co-founded in 2009. GMIN exists to build schools in rural Nepal, provide scholarships to female students, hire teachers and distribute free clothing and school supplies to students. /Photo by Bruce Ellingson

Since his time in Storm Lake, one Buena Vista University graduate has been making a difference in the lives of students in southern Asia.

Others have noticed, too - with 19,999 votes from Facebook users, Grassroots Movement in Nepal (GMIN) received a $100,000 Chase Community Giving Grant on Sept. 19.

GMIN was co-founded by Nepalese-born Ravi Kumar in New York City in 2009, and has since blossomed into chapters in Nepal, the U.K., Finland and Hong Kong, working towards building a sustainable infrastructure for education in Nepal.

Since its inception, GMIN has built or renovated 16 schools and 52 classrooms in Dang, Taplejung and Sindhupalchowk Districts in Nepal, while sponsoring students' education, hiring/training teachers and donating clothing and stationery.

Children who have attended GMIN-sponsored primary schools are more likely to continue education at middle schools, Kumar said.

GMIN's $100,000 grant will be put to use renovating additional remotely-located schools, providing maximum impact for rural villagers and children, and put towards a women's empowerment program, which will allow mothers to become financially capable and secure a better future for their children.

Big plans are in the works for upcoming years.

"We want to help more than 20,000 villages in Nepal within the next 10 years," Kumar told the Pilot-Tribune. "We are growing rapidly and will re-evaluate our plans regularly to meet the needs on the ground and reflect the hopes of our supporters worldwide."

As an all-volunteer organization, students can gain experience through internships or short-term trips.

Storm Lake residents are welcome to share ideas at, or via email to Donations are accepted at

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