About a year ago, Zach Kloos and friends began collecting empty aluminum beverage cans.
A few cans here or there, on or close to the Case Western Reserve University campus, eventually became thousands of cans delivered to a metals recycler.
About $500 was raised and that sum, when combined with other contributions, amounted to $5,000 that has helped to fund a new school for very young boys and girls in Nepal.
Kloos, entering his senior year on a dual-degree track of economics and biochemistry, worked closely with the Nepal-based nonprofit organization Good Neighbour Service Association, or GONESA, which supports 24 other kindergartens.
"They were hoping to open a 25th, and they had identified a community in need," Kloos said.
The Italy-based philanthropy group VISPE also stepped up to help fund the school's construction and operation.
Kloos was there in May for the opening of Namuna Tole ECD (Early Childhood Development) Center amid a joyful community celebration.
Now about two dozen children have a special place where they can get ready for first grade in a nearby public school.
The new kindergarten has a classroom and a small kitchen. But that's plenty big for Namuna Tole, near the larger town of Pokhara in central Nepal.
"It was a very warm welcome. I was very touched," said Kloos, who has developed strong affection for the people of Nepal since living there the summer of 2009 as a research assistant for Silvia Prina, assistant professor of economics at Case Western Reserve's Weatherhead School of Management.
Prina's research, also through GONESA, established secure savings accounts for women in villages who have not had access to such accounts, a financial service Americans tend to take for granted.
It was while helping with Prina's research that Kloos learned of GONESA's efforts to promote early childhood education. He immediately wanted to get involved.
"I mean, there's no reason why students at a university like Case, in a country like the U.S., can't come up with the money to put something like this together," he said. "So I thought that this is something that's do-able."