Thrive Projects Evolving in 2017

By Amanda Chou

नमस्ते (namastē) Thrive Nation!

I am back, checking in with you all on some incredible updates from the first two months of the New Year!

After our three co-founders graduated in December 2016, Brian Kam and Ryan Brinkerhoff flew back to Nepal and began their second deployment after a long six months away. As soon as they landed, they felt like they were home. With their stomachs full of curry and momos, they picked up right where we left off.

Having overseen the incorporation of Thrive Projects in the US, Ryan guided our friend, Karma Wangyal Lama, in the incorporation of Thrive Nepal, solidifying months of work by our ground team and handing leadership over to Karma.

”Wangyal himself is a success story of Thrive’s training model,” says Brinkerhoff. “He has been with us since the beginning – learning the system, meeting our partners and leading in our absence. There is no one better fit to oversee the growth of Thrive Nepal.” The team of employees he leads at Thrive Nepal, largely comprised of former students, share his passion, and are dedicated and eager to expand to more schools and communities.


President Karma Wangyal Lama(left) and Instructor Raskin Marhajan (right)

In late February, Ryan returned to the U.S. and traveled with co-founder Joshua Moon and the rest of the executive team to Boston for the annual Hult Prize Competition. The Hult Prize’s mission is to bring bright young minds together to solve the world’s most pressing problems. This year, the challenge was to reawaken the human potential of refugees and displaced persons around the world.


(From left to right:) Khalid Khan, Amanda Chou, Ryan Brinkerhoff, Joshua Moon at the Hult International School of Business on March 4th

On the weekend of the Hult Prize, we were very proud to present in front of a panel of judges and fellow competitors. Unfortunately, Thrive was not selected to move forward to the global rounds; however, our team was honored to have represented Syracuse University and pitched our company’s vision for the future.

While the Hult Prize was happening on the east coast, Brian and the Thrive Nepal team worked closely with All Hands Volunteers and Lincoln School in the district of Sindhupalchowk. On March 6th, we took Shree Kalika Primary School entirely off the national grid and began powering the building through a large-scale variation of the SPARK System. With an increased voltage of 3kW, the new solar system now provides the school with power to turn on lights and various learning technologies, which includes five computers, in the classrooms.


During this time, Thrive Nepal ran SPARK System training with 20 high school aged students from the Lincoln School and 20 middle school aged students from Shree Kalika. The students from Shree Kalika were able to assemble the system independently in 15 minutes and 30 seconds, setting yet another new record since we began our “race days” last summer!


All in all, Thrive has been off to an exciting start to a new year, on two continents. We’re so happy you continue to follow and support this journey. Together, we continue to live, learn, Thrive.

Please stay in touch through our Facebook pages Thrive Projects and the newly debuted Thrive Nepal to keep an eye out for more immediate updates! As always, we’d love to hear from you so leave a comment below or message us directly through Facebook!

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