Letter from Kushma Thapa, the second Burma Star scholar
Posted on 4th Jan 2021 by Sarah Gray
The Trustees of the Burma Star Memorial Fund are delighted to have received this heartfelt letter of thanks from Kushma Thapa, our second Burma Star scholar. We have her permission to share her kind words:
"I would like to take this opportunity to express my heartfelt gratitude for supporting me with the Burma Star Scholarship (Engineering). I am very grateful and would like to acknowledge the 14th Army for their remarkable contribution that has made this possible. I will always remember the day when I got a call informing me of my selection for the Scholarship. I had waited for more than a year and when it happened, I felt like I was dreaming. I was extremely thrilled and honoured to receive the news that I had been selected as the Burma Star Scholar.
I am an ambitious architect possessing a comprehensive knowledge of Urban Planning, designing and developing different projects. After the 2015 Nepal Earthquake, I worked with NGOs and the UNDP on reconstruction projects, aimed at helping vulnerable people in geographically-challenging rural contexts. It motivated me to gain international exposure, learn and train myself to be better-equipped for working in a sector which has a great impact on helping people in need.
The MSc Engineering for International Development course at UCL has been a very interesting learning experience for me. Despite the current restriction of face-to-face contact, two months in the course is still keeping me intensely captivated. I am learning about various issues around the world, using different perspectives to study them and learning innovative ways to tackle them. Since beginning the course, my whole understanding of international development has changed, I have been introduced to many challenging design projects all in a global context, and I am looking forward to embracing the experiences brought by them all. I hope that in the coming months, I will strengthen my knowledge and skill-set.
The Scholarship has been a life-changing experience for my family and me. To be selected from a choice of more than 20 countries has made me and my country Nepal proud and has given me faith that my dreams are valid. This was my second attempt at gaining this Scholarship, and it has proved to me that people can dream big and be ambitious. I was born in a very small village in Nepal and a degree from UCL would never have been possible without your generous support. It has given me both light and inspiration in my life, and my career. After graduating, I intend to work in low-middle income countries like Nepal, and explore creative solutions to challenges faced in the development sector.
Again, I am very thankful for this opportunity and I see it as one with much responsibility too. I was given the opportunity to learn and develop myself, and now I am responsible for giving what I learnt back to the world, and action pressing global issues. I believe in my ability and that my aspirations will make a large difference.