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About Us

Founder - Troy Harris

In 2005, after a decade of teaching I was ready for a new challenge in my life. I knew that I wanted to help people in some way, yet I had no clear concept of where my efforts were needed most. In order to better understand how to help, I felt that I needed to see, first hand, the difficulties people faced. As a result, I took a leave of absence and traveled through 11 countries on a journey around the globe. Although I saw significant need for help in many places, it was in the mountains of Nepal that I realized what I wanted to do. During my 3 week trek in the Himalayas my companion and guide, Mahindra Dahal, taught me a great deal about Nepalese culture. He explained that many students travel 1-2 hours a day to get to school, and as a result, parents encourage them to stay home and help with working the fields. As a child, Mahindra and his family were forced to leave their community as a result of these conditions. In the end, Mahindra became a fully trained teacher but couldn’t find employment because the Nepalese government gives teaching positions to unqualified people for both personal and political gain. As I listened to his stories, I was saddened by the fact that so many children in Nepal were being deprived of the knowledge and passion teachers like Mahindra could offer. He and I agreed that if schools were readily accessible, and qualified teachers were placed in the classrooms, it would greatly benefit both individuals and their communities. As my travels continued it became apparent that it was necessary to make education available not just in Nepal, but in many developing nations. CanWES (www.canwes.org) is now a registered non-profit society in British Columbia with a board of directors that are committed to improving access to education in developing regions; we will assist in overcoming existing barriers to education. Our goal is to provide communities with the opportunities to build and operate schools. CanWES strives to improve the future for all youth regardless of ability, gender, or socio-economic status. It is our vision, through education, to enable students to make viable, sustainable, and ethical choices regarding their future.