Surya Karki

Surya Karki

Name: Surya Karki
Organization: Maya Universe Academy, Diyalo Foundation, Laurette Global Fellows, Dayitwa Fellowship, UNILEVER Sustainable Living Young Entrepreneurs, UNESCO and College of the Atlantic
Website:
Title: Founder
Bio:
Surya Karki, 23, knows firsthand just how valuable access to education can be. As a child in rural Nepal, Surya was offered the opportunity to leave his village to attend a school in the country’s capital. Although it meant not seeing his mother for nine years, he took the chance to invest in his education. Surya later won a scholarship from the Bank of Nepal, financing his place on a two-year agriculture course at a United World College in Venezuela. After learning Spanish in just one month, he went on to graduate with one of the college’s highest-ever scores. Giving something back to Nepal But Surya always wanted to give something back to his home country. In 2011, he returned to Nepal and helped found Maya Universe Academy (MUA) – a free community-run educational institute that has since set up three schools with a combined total of 142 pupils and three farms. It also provides employment to 17 young professionals. More than half of Nepalese children quit school before reaching the lower secondary level, and many young people leave Nepal for foreign employment in the Gulf, Malaysia and the Middle East. Because of this migration, the country’s fertile land is unrealised and Nepal is said to face a dire educational situation. Economies based on sustainability MUA teams work closely with local communities to help them address the needs facing their village, and provide employment, micro loans and training for parents. Parents can volunteer to teach in the schools, or work for the Maya Farms, in return for their children’s education – encouraging a local economy based on sustainable food production. On becoming a finalist in the Unilever Sustainable Living Young Entrepreneur Awards, Surya says: “I can’t believe it personally. It is certainly time for my team to prove to the judges that they took the right decision.” Surya is currently a Davis United World College Scholar at the College of the Atlantic in the US.

Challenge Entries

Maya Universe Academy is the first completely free education institution in Nepal. It currently operates in three different rural districts of Nepal. Our model is unique amongst schools in Nepal: parents volunteer two days per month on the school’s farm in exchange for their children’s education.

Maya Universe Academy is the first completely free education institution in Nepal. It currently operates in three different rural districts of Nepal. Our model is unique amongst schools in Nepal: parents volunteer two days per month on the school’s farm in exchange for their children’s education.

Maya Universe Academy is the first completely free education institution in Nepal. It currently operates in three different rural districts of Nepal. Our model is unique amongst schools in Nepal: parents volunteer two days per month on the school’s farm in exchange for their children’s education.

We are fed-up of our people living in poverty. Another armed revolution or an 'Occupy Movement' will not change our future. We opened a school of love. Free education in exchange for two days of volunteering work.

Maya Universe Academy (MUA) provides quality, community run private school education to children in rural Nepal through a system based on the sharing of knowledge rather than money.