We are privileged to have a diverse Board that is dedicated to our mission.
SANDEEP KEMBHAVI, Co-Founder & Executive director
After graduating from the University of Toronto in June 2006, Sandeep travelled to Nepal and India with Luke Yorkden-Chamberlain, where he had a very different kind of educational experience. While volunteering at the Srijanatmak Kala Guthi in Lalitpur, Kathmandu, a school that seeks out bright and talented children who would not have otherwise had access to education, Sandeep gained a fuller appreciation for what a difference a good education makes in the lives of Nepali children.
As he met more and more Nepali families living in poverty, however, he also gained a fuller appreciation for the number of barriers that deny such an opportunity to so many children across the country. When the chance arose to join Raju Tuladhar, a teacher at the Kala Guthi, and Luke to form NCEP, Sandeep saw the opportunity to turn the despondency evoked by having witnessed so much poverty into empowerment.
Luke and Sandeep often asked the families they met across Nepal to tell them one thing that they wished they could change in their lives; a good education for their children was almost invariably the answer. Through NCEP, Sandeep is committed to making that happen.
In addition to his time as a volunteer teacher in Nepal and later in India, Sandeep has participated in social work and charitable projects in Canada and the UK. These projects include: providing tutoring for students with learning disabilities; coordinating and participating in United Way Toronto events; and developing promotional material for Cancer Research UK’s Relay for Life in Jersey, Channel Islands. While at university, Sandeep was a Dean’s List student and received numerous scholarships and awards as a captain of the multi-championship Varsity fencing team.
Sandeep currently works in Toronto, Canada. NCEP represents a very personal cause for him, and he dedicates his creativity, leadership and communication skills to help realize its vision.
LUKE YORKDEN-CHAMBERLAIN, CO-FOUNDER & Board Member
In November of 2006, Luke Yorkden-Chamberlain travelled to Nepal. The experience impacted him deeply and set the course for the formation of the Nepali Children’s Education Project (NCEP).
Along with his close friend Sandeep Kembhavi, Luke spent over a month in Nepal. In living and teaching at the Srijanatmak Kala Guthi School in Lalitpur, Kathmandu, exploring the winding city streets, hiking across the rural midlands, and interacting with local residents, Luke saw time and again the barriers to education facing countless children and families. Teaming with Sandeep and Raju Tuladhar – a teacher at the Kala Guthi – Luke co-founded the Nepali Children’s Education Project (NCEP) as a way to provide underprivileged Nepali children with the financial means to access and complete secondary education.
As a student, Luke has first-hand knowledge of how important and influential scholarships can be. In 2002 he received a four-year, full-tuition academic scholarship to study at Trent University. Valuing this support highly, Luke quickly became an active member of the student body, being elected onto four different governing bodies, in addition to rowing competitively. In recognition for his achievements, he was awarded the Academic All-Canadian Award. Later transferring to the University of Toronto, Luke continued to remain highly involved, joining the Varsity Cross-Country Running team and, as Assistant Captain, leading his college hockey team to repeat championships. A Dean’s List student every year, Luke completed his Honours Bachelor of Arts with High Distinction and graduate of Teacher’s College.
Prior to his involvement with NCEP, Luke had substantial experience working with children and in child education. For four years, he counselled at various day and summer camps, working with special-needs, at-risk, and impoverished children ranging from 5-16 years of age. Luke was also involved in a 6-month cooperative placement, where he taught physical education to children at King Edward Public School. As an employee of the City of Toronto, he was an instructor for several learn-to-skate programs for children and at-risk youth in a Leadership Development program. Luke also taught English at the Srijanatmak Kala Guthi School in Lalitpur, Kathmandu. In addition, since 2005, Luke has spent his summers battling wildfires as an Ontario Fire Ranger with the Ministry of Natural Resources (OMNR). As a seasoned Crewboss, Luke continues to demonstrate his passion for education, happily mentoring and training new crew members.
As Vice-Chair of NCEP’s Canadian Board of Directors, Luke delivers leadership, experience, networking abilities, and long-term vision to further a cause that is very dear to him.
MIRIAM DIGIUSEPPE, Chair
As a child, Miriam spent three years in a refugee camp with her family. Her first-hand experience as an immigrant to Canada and in the Canadian school system has translated into a lifelong interest and passion in issues affecting children and their families in the education system and the community.
As an educator with the Toronto Board of Education and the Toronto District School Board, Miriam has worked at the elementary, secondary and adult levels as a Teacher, Curriculum Consultant, board-wide Coordinator of English as a Second Language (ESL), board-wide Supervising Principal of International Languages, and Principal of three inner-city, multicultural and multiracial schools.
Collaborating with teachers, parents and community organizations, Miriam has worked on programs that address educational, social and equity issues and focus on positive change. She has provided leadership for the development of numerous programs and curriculum documents for the Toronto Board of Education, and has also worked on programs and documents published by the Ontario Ministry of Education, the International Children’s Institute, the World Health Organization and Social Planning Toronto.
Miriam has been involved in organizing local, provincial, national and international educational conferences and teacher training opportunities, including co-chairing a Canadian National Conference on International Languages. She has served as Principal and Director of ESL and ESL Specialist Additional Qualification Courses at York University and as President of the Ontario ESL Teachers’ Association, and has made educational presentations in Canada and abroad.
Internationally, Miriam worked as a senior program advisor for the International Children’s Institute. She coordinated the Institute’s Building Bridges Program (a psychosocial program for children affected by war) in 70 schools in Sarajevo and other parts of Bosnia and Herzegovina. The program was implemented in partnership with the Bosnia and Herzegovina Ministry of Education and the Sarajevo Pedagogical Academy and was sponsored by the Canadian Government through the Canadian International Development Agency. Miriam also coordinated the development of the Institute’s refugee camp program.
Miriam has served on the Board of Directors of a number of organizations: member from its inception and Chair of Nepali Children’s Education Project (NCEP), member and Chair of Social Planning Toronto, member of Chinese Lingual-Cultural Centre of Canada, member and Vice-Chair of Family Service Toronto and member of a number of school-based Daycare Centres.
Having worked as an education provider at virtually every level and in many different contexts, Miriam brings a wealth of experience and knowledge of the challenges and opportunities that accompany education programs of NCEP, and the potential of such programs to effect positive change at the broader, community level.
Anshula Ohri, Board Member
Anshula Ohri holds a C.P.A. (C.G.A.) designation and an M.B.A. from Athabasca University. Her professional career was in the energy sector in Ontario. She retired in 2016 from the Ontario Energy Board. She has served in an executive capacity on the boards of various non-profit social service organizations such as Jane-Finch Community Center, South Asian Women’s Centre, Social Planning Toronto, and as an adjudicator on the Health Professions Appeal and Review Board of Ontario in 2017-2019. She is a loving and involved grandmother and an active member of the Soka Gakkai Buddhist community in Toronto.
Chris de Eyre, Board Member
Chris de Eyre first travelled to Nepal in 2000, when he spent 3 months volunteering as a teacher in the rural community of Basantapur. Upon returning home to Canada, Chris enrolled in an International Studies program at York University and organized a small group of students to launch The Mighty Pen, a registered charity focusing on education programs for underprivileged youth in Nepal.
Chris served as Executive Director from 2003 to 2008 and Chair of the Board from 2003 to 2014, when the Mighty Pen transferred its resources to NCEP and Chris joined the NCEP Board of Directors. Under Chris’ leadership, The Mighty Pen ran local language writing programs for over 20,000 students, published 9 books written by and for Nepali youth, and awarded over 100 scholarships to deserving young scholars.
Chris has held diverse roles across Canada in the travel and tourism industry for companies such as GO International, Beach Travellers, and Merit Travel Group. Chris also serves the Minister of Tourism, Arts, and Culture as an advisor on the Minister’s Tourism Engagement Council. He holds a Master of Business Administration from the University of British Columbia, an International and Global Studies degree from York University, and is a Certified Revenue Management Executive with the Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International.
Mark Huvenaars, Board Member
Mark connects people with products and ideas to inspire them, move them to action, and make an impact. He is a marketer, an entrepreneur, a teacher, an adventurer, a rule-breaker. The world is a better place when the collective “we” is empowered to discover and act on what makes us create, think differently, and find our own happiness.
For more than a decade, Mark has been in the business of making connections and building relationships. From organic social media to multimillion dollar advertising campaigns, digital marketing has proven a scalable approach to reach many people. To this end, Mark runs a digital advertising agency, Railtown Media, to empower people to live better lives.
ALL FOR THE CHILDREN
We pride ourselves on being a lean organization with almost no Canadian overhead, so over 97% of your money goes directly to our programs. We conduct weekly calls with our team in Nepal to ensure progress towards our goals, respond to challenges and opportunities, and thoroughly review the financial records to make sure every dollar goes where it should.