X-Change the World has extended its network to five new locations in Nepal, in rural communities and in the urban centers of Kathmandu and Hatauda. Utilizing funds from last year’s CCARE Compassion and Technology grant, we were able to supply schools with the technological infrastructure necessary to become X-Change partners. Each of the five locations was provided with two laptops, an internet modem and full internet access.
These resources have granted the opportunity for students across Nepal to create meaningful, compassion-building relationships with students in the United States. To date, ten new exchanges – twenty new participants – have been established. This means that each week, Priyanshu Joshi, a fifteen year-old girl from the mountainous southern town of Hatauda, spends two hours discussing English grammar, Nepalese culture and American politics with a high school student in Los Angeles. It means that each Saturday night Alexandra Block, a sixteen year old student in Los Angeles, learns of a distant culture and develops a different understanding of our world and the human condition.
Sam Reiss and X-Change the World received first place and $10,000 at this years Compassion and Technology Conference at Stanford University. The event and contest were co-sponsored by Facebook, 1440 Foundation, HopeLab and The Dalai Lama Foundation. The prize of $10,000 will be used to expand X-Change the World to five cities throughout Nepal in partnership with General Welfare Pratisthan (GWP). The judges were Facebook Director of Engineering Arturo Bejar, Google’s Chade-Meng Tan, Juniper Network’s Former CEO Scott Kriens, CCARE head James Doty, Kiva’s President Premal Shah, Wisdom 2.0’s Soren Gordhamer and HopeLab’s Janxin Leu and Fred Dillon. Sam Reiss was the only high school student in the competition facing grad students, post grads and startups. From the CCARE site: “The Compassion and Technology Contest calls for innovators, engineers and designers to present a technology design or product that will help people learn, practice or improve qualities of compassion, empathy, social connectedness or altruism.”