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West Liberty University students help others learn

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Through a community service project, West Liberty University students give back to those around the world.

Education Capacity Building in Rural Nepal provides educational tools in regions of the world where young students must learn with limited resources. The project is linked to a bigger project begun by Education Capacity Building (EduCaB).

"Our students became aware of the need for educational books in Nepal and are happy to collect books and ship them to the students and classrooms overseas. We will collect the books throughout April and then ship them in May," said Jasmin Ilovar, coordinator of International Student Activities.

Four students from Nepal are currently studying at WLU: Dipti Guragain, Rozen Neupane, Ojaswi Ghimire and Shreni Rajbhandari.

"I am overwhelmed by the efforts of everyone involved in this book drive to help students in my country. I know how much it will mean to them and that they will be grateful all their lives. Thank you for the initiative and the generosity," said Guragain who will graduate in May with a bachelor's degree in medical laboratory science.

"In rural Nepal, where students do not have access to many books, this will be valuable. This is also a great way for all of us to engage in mutual goodwill as global citizens. Kudos to the international club for their laudable efforts!" said Neupane, who will also graduate in May and is entering a doctoral program at University of Texas.

Items needed include atlases, dictionaries, literature and science books, while educational materials like posters and board games are also being collected. All of the educational material can be in English.

"There are many different types of educational material that would be useful in rural Nepal," Ilovar said.

Three travelers from Holland, Romania and Nepal began the non-profit initiative in January 2014. 

"I know Mihaita Lupu, one of the three who began EduCaB, and am happy to partner with them in sharing books and educational materials in this way. We hope to gather boxes and boxes of books to mail to our friends in Nepal," said Mia Szabo, WLU's director of international enrollment services who is originally from Romania.

"To make a long story short, what happened is that while visiting in January a village in central Nepal, I realized that there is no library and instantly thought that is an urgency," explained Lupu in an email communication to Szabo seeking her participation. Lupu also is from Romania.

"While I was trying to imagine how I will return to Romania and ask my friends to donate books for starting the library in this school, I realized that we can do a bigger project, in which we can help more schools in the area to have a library, with books, maybe a PC center and access to various journals. Then, I thought this is a great project to do together with more friends and that's when I contacted my good friend Mia and some friends that are running an international school in Oman," Lupu wrote.

"If there is anything that can lift these amazing children from the grasp of poverty, it is education. The better the education, the better the chances. Who doesn't like children?" added Ghimire, who will graduate from WLU in May 2015 with a degree in computer information systems. 

Drop off points for the books are: WLU's International Student Office (second floor of College Union), Elbin Library front desk, Student Learning and Development Center (Main Hall, East Wing First Floor) and College of Education (Main Hall, West Wing Room 308).