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Friday, May 9, 2014

STRENGTHENING COMMUNITIES: Helping Children on the Rise by Kaz Tomozawa and Alana Higgins

This summer, juniors Alana Higgins (‘15) and Kaz Tomozawa (‘15) will be working in a Nepalese orphanage located four kilometers outside of Kathmandu called Rising Lotus Children's Village
The orphanage was started by an American woman named Tracy Brandt after her first trip to Nepal, where she was exposed to the poverty that so many young Nepalese children live in.  It is currently run by a Nepalese man named Hari Pokharel. They had heard about the orphanage through a friend of Mrs. Brandt and through an email to Hari asking whether or not Rising Lotus accepted volunteers, Kaz and Alana began their journey to Nepal.  

Rising Lotus Children’s Village is not like many other orphanages. In America, we think of orphans as children without parents, but in Nepal, this is not exactly the case. While some of the children currently living at Rising Lotus are indeed orphaned in the way we define the word orphan, many of the children do have parents, but they live in such abject poverty that their parents cannot afford to take care of them. Another aspect that distinguishes Rising Lotus from other orphanages is their commitment to creating success stories, not sob stories. Rising Lotus firmly believes that every child is a “lotus on the rise” and to ensure their success they provide their children with a private school education, a privilege mainly reserved for upper class children in Nepal.

Other than providing a great education for their children, Rising Lotus also strives to provide a positive environment for the children to thrive.  As orphaned or impoverished children, the kids at Rising Lotus fall into one of the lowest social classes of Nepalese society and it is very difficult for them to escape the cycle of poverty and the social stigma against them.  By providing them with a good living environment, Rising Lotus believes that they can begin to crack the stigma against them so that they can simply live as children.

It is amazing what one small organization can do.  Out of the thirty children at Rising Lotus, most are in the top of their respective classes and earn straight A’s.  The children live in better conditions and have greater access to all the tools necessary for a better life.  But all of this comes at a cost and for a small organization like Rising Lotus, it is always difficult for them to find the funds necessary to pay for the high tuition costs, food, clothing and maintenance.

When all of their costs are added together, it only takes $75 a month per child to run the facilities, pay for tuition costs, and cover food expenses for the children.  That’s roughly $2.50 per child per day.  Because of the amazing work that this organization does for their children, we would love to ask for your help in supporting their efforts.  

Here are some of the ways you can help:

(1) Buy Dal Bhat Lunch:  Next week on Friday, May 16th, we will be selling dal bhat, the traditional dish of Nepal, in the Center Courtyard.  Upper School students and faculty are invited to enjoy a taste of Nepal for a small donation.  All proceeds will go to Rising Lotus Children’s Village. The Dal Bhat will be made by Kaz, Alana and members of Team Service!

(2) Donate Your Gently Used Children’s Books:  You are invited to peruse your bookshelves at home and donate any gently used children’s books in English (ages 4 and up) that you no longer use.  Books in English are difficult to come by in Nepal.  Upper School students are invited to donate their books in the collection bin that will be at our lunch table in the Center Courtyard next Friday.  Lower School students are invited to donate their books in the bins located in their classrooms during the following dates:
Grades 3-4: May 7 - May 14
Grades K-2: May 14 - 21
Grades 5 - 6: May 21 - 28

(3) Like Rising Lotus on Facebook:  We would also invite you to like their facebook page at

We thank you in advance for your support and your charitable donations!

'Iolani School third and fourth grade students bless Kaz and Alana
as ambassadors of Aloha and an extension of the 'Iolani Ohana. 

SPARKING CREATIVITY: Lower School Trash Creations!!

SPARKING CREATIVITY: Lower School Trash Creations!! 

Friday, April 25, 2014

CELEBRATING ACCOMPLISHMENTS: The EIL Friday Blast for this 25th of April (Fair Day!)

Hi Faculty and Staff!

If you are engaging your students in the "digital domain" please email me directly! I would love to come learn from what you are doing, take some photos, make a film and offer help! If you have photos to share from your classroom, please send them to me with a short paragraph explaining what's going on!

Thursday, April 24, 2014

CHALLENGING MINDS: The 'Iolani Big Island Adventure


CHALLENGING MINDS: The 'Iolani Big Island Adventure (By Dr. Tim Cottrell)

Monday, April 21, 2014

STRENGTHENING COMMUNITIES: Economics and Entrepreneurship study of The Ronald McDonald House


Economics and Entrepreneurship study of The Ronald McDonald House

INSPIRING LEADERSHIP: 4th Annual Sustainable Transportation Expo


4th Annual Sustainable Transportation Expo

SPARKING CREATIVITY: Jazz Murals and Autolines


Contemporary Jazz Gets Creative with Design Thinking

BUILDING COMMUNITIES: 8th Grade Quarter Transition Day


Transition Day




Thursday, March 6, 2014

NURTURING GROWTH: 9th Graders Help 1st Graders Learn about Health

9th Graders Help 1st Graders Learning About Health 

CHALLENGING MINDS: One Mile of Empathy

In this course, students will designate the one mile radius around 'Iolani School as our purview. Students will discover, assess and solve problems dealing with older adults within a one-mile radius of 'Iolani. (By Kirk Uejo and Allison Blankenship)