Our Story

Mikey Medium English School, the beneficiary of GEN’s Vision, Mission, and Values

MMES Group Photo

Mikey Medium English School was originally the revolutionary vision of Ujjwal and Balraj Bhat, residents of the small village of Bauniya, Far Western Nepal. They believe passionately that education can help lift all children out of poverty – boys, girls, those with means and those without. They believe that education gives people hope for the future and is the way to a better world.

The school got its name in a serendipitous way. The Bhats shared their vision with Mike Church, who was on a world-wide bicycle trek when he, by chance, met the Bhat family. Mike was moved to help, and he and his fiancée asked that wedding gifts be given as contributions to the Bhats’ school. Mikey Medium English School (MMES) was founded in 2008.

MMES Building

When Mike shared the story with his parents, they were touched by the idea. Barbara Church had been a teacher for more than 30 years, and her husband, John, had worked for the State Department. They were inspired to help the school succeed, and founded Grassroots Education Nepal to provide student scholarships, professional development for teachers, and the framework for self-sustainability.

Group of MMES students with puppets

Since its founding, GEN has helped the school expand from 48 students to 300. Of these, 50% are girls. In addition, 50% are desperately poor with no education alternatives available to them. Prior to COVID-19, GEN has helped put the school on a self-sustaining path to ensure that this vital link to a better quality of life will continue into the future.