The Canwes Story

troyIn 2005 after a decade of teaching, Troy Harris, CanWES Founder, was ready for a new challenge in his life. Troy knew that he wanted to help people in some way, but he had no clear concept of where his efforts were needed most. In order to better understand how to help, Troy felt that he needed to see, first hand, the difficulties people faced. After taking a leave of absence from his full-time teaching position and traveling around the globe, it was in the mountains of Nepal that Troy realized what he wanted to do. During a 3 week trek in the Himalayas with his guide, Mahindra Dahal, Troy learned a great deal about Nepalese schools. He found out that many students travel 1-2 hours a day to get to school, and as a result, parents encouraged 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 Troy listened to his stories, he was saddened by the fact that so many children in Nepal were being deprived of the knowledge and passion teachers like Mahindra could offer. Troy felt that if schools were readily accessible, and qualified teachers were placed in the classrooms, it would greatly benefit both individuals and their communities. Troy has made it his mission to help institute this change.