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PM's praise for Brunel pair's foreign aid work


Brunel Psychology lecturer Dr Pauldy Otermans and former student Dev Aditya earned Boris Johnson’s respect for teaching under-priviliged children in Nepal, India and Bangladesh.

The Uxbridge duo’s Otermans Institute has given more than 25,000 children and young people job and transferrable skills training.

They were recognised with one of the PM’s weekly Points of Light awards for outstanding volunteers.

“I am surprised, humbled and grateful,” said Pauldy, Brunel’s ex Student Union President. “Our work is important because there is no comprehensive system for such training across nations in South and West Asia, where there are some of the highest graduate unemployment rates globally.”


After the pandemic broke out, Otermans Institute launched a series of free online learning activities, Lessons for Humanity, which is based on the curriculum in Nepal, India and Bangladesh, and is designed to support mental health and self-development. They later branched out, offering digital lessons to school students in Lebanon and Iraq who are still forced out of school by the pandemic. The Indian and Afghan Governments have even started using the Institute’s lesson plans.

In 2020, Pauldy and Dev released a book, ‘Together: An anthology from the COVID-19 pandemic', telling people’s experiences of it while raising profits for NHS charities and frontline services.

In a personal letter to Pauldy and Dev, Prime Minister Boris Johnson wrote:

“Congratulations on the success of your book ‘Together: An anthology from the COVID-19 pandemic’. When we look back on the pandemic in years to come, we will remember the incredible human stories and acts of kindness we have seen.

“Through art and poetry, your book has captured hundreds of personal reflections and wonderful examples of humanity. You have also raised a fantastic sum for healthcare charities at a time when our healthcare workers need our support more than ever.”

Dev, Otermans Institute managing director, said: “It is very humbling to be recognised by the Prime Minister and I see this recognition not only for me but to all the people who have supported us to give back to society, be it in the book project or our education work through Otermans Institute and community projects, in the past year.”

Find out more about Otermans Institute.