In this remote village, rowing to school is the only way girls can finish their education.
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Assembly

1 November 2018 | Volume 1, Issue 9
  A note from our editor:
One of my favourite parts of Assembly is our “Around the World” section. We ask readers from different countries the same question — and I love seeing their responses. In previous issues, we’ve heard from girls about the books they’re reading, the problems facing their communities and the things they’re good at. Maria in Romania told us that she is currently reading John Steinbeck, Aline in Uruguay is concerned about gender inequality in her community and Tosin in Nigeria said that she excels at writing creative stories. Today, Assembly readers from Cambodia, Chile, France and Liberia share with us what they learned in school.

Also in this issue, we publish a photo essay about Aashma, a 16-year-old Nepali student who rows across a lake every day to get to school. Student cartoonist Sasha Matthews tells us how she is using her art to start conversations on causes she cares about. And we celebrate the life of Dr. Janaki Ammal, a botanist from India who helped change the way her country produces sugar.

Happy Thursday!
Tess
 
 
Behind the Lens 
 
 
Nepal Boats
 
  By Bhumika Regmi
Every morning 16-year-old Aashma puts on her uniform, ties her neatly braided pigtails with red ribbons and gets ready to row her school boat. Aashma lives in Anadu, a remote lakeside village in Nepal. Anadu doesn’t have a secondary school, so Aashma and her friends must paddle every day to the city of Pokhara to go to school.

“None of us know how to swim, but we aren’t scared,” Aashma says of her daily journey on Fewa Lake — one of Nepal’s most recognised tourist attractions. The girls travel with a teacher and row the boat together, taking turns to paddle during the 30-minute journey.

In remote Nepali communities like Anadu, these school boats are a necessity for students who want to receive quality primary education or complete their secondary education. According to Aashma, the primary school in Anadu is poorly maintained and staffed with teachers who don't have any prior training. Students go to school in Pokhara by boat since the journey by road would take them hours.

Aashma and her friends are happy to go to school in the city — no matter the route they take to get there. But harsh weather conditions often force them to stay home and these absences put the girls at risk of falling behind in their classes. Sometimes they are stuck in school for hours as they wait for the weather to settle down so they can take their boat out. On nights when they’re delayed, Aashma and her classmates row back to Anadu using only a flashlight to guide them.

See more photos.
 
 
Around the World
 
  What did you learn in school today?

“In physical science, I learned about significant digits and how to record measurements and data. In language arts, I learned about adverbials, objective complement and sentence patterns.”
— Jennifer, 14, Chile
“Computers, photography and English. My favorite class is digital media because it allows me to express myself and be creative.”
— Moeun Channa, 14, Cambodia
Moeun
Amelia “How to argue and debate on a subject. I really like to do this because it is very helpful in everyday life, especially if I want to become a politician.”
— AmeĢlie, 12, France
“I learned about plants and how they need the sun to grow!”
— Lucia, 10, Liberia
Lucia
 
 
Girl Profile
 
 
 
Student by day, cartoonist crusader by last period bell
Edna
  By McKinley Tretler
Sasha Matthews has a superpower. Armed with her Copic markers, the 14-year-old can draw cartoons that inspire, inform and provoke. Just ask former First Lady Michelle Obama and U.S. Senator Kamala Harris — both women are fans of Sasha’s work.

In fifth grade, Sasha’s talent revealed itself when she had to draw three comic books for class. Looking at her creations, “Sitting Bull,” “Plant Girl” and “Pompeii,” it was hard to deny she had a gift. Sasha continued sketching for fun, but after she heard President Donald Trump’s comments disparaging women and attacking minority communities, she decided to use her art to make a public statement.

Sasha launched a fundraiser called “Everyday Superheroes.” Anyone who made a donation could commission her to illustrate their friends and family as superheroes. Through her drawings, Sasha transformed teachers, trumpeters and microbiologists into caped, spandex-clad crusaders.

Read more.
 
 
This Moment in History
 
 
Celebrating Dr. Janaki Ammal, a pioneer in the field of botany
 
Janaki
November 4, 1897 – February 7, 1984

Dr. Janaki Ammal was born in Kerala, India, where she developed an early love for nature. She is known for creating sugarcane hybrids that yield sweeter crop, which helped to transform the sugar industry in India. Her crossbred sugarcanes are still used today.
 
 
Get published in Assembly!
 
  Assembly publishes original work by girls, for girls. And we would love to include your voice! Send us your ideas and you could be featured in the next issue.
 
 
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