Report from the Field: Mukli School Project with Volunteers

by Sally Wier

Namaste and autumn greetings from Salleri, Nepal! I am currently doing a 2.5 week trip in the Solukhumbu to visit current and future project sites for The Small World USA and our partnership with Nepal NGO, The Small World. I am writing from Salleri, the district capitol of Solukhumbu at the Girls’ Higher Education hostel. Internet was set up here for the first time about 3 months ago, so I am able to send this from the villages. The girls are doing well and are a pleasure to be with. They are practicing English with me, and I practice my Nepali with them. Many thanks to our supporters for keeping this wonderful program afloat!

Over the past week I had the pleasure to travel along with 12 volunteers from Sweden and Norway to one of our project sites in the Solukhumbu. We trekked to the remote, rural village of Mukli and helped with labor to construct a new earth-quake resistant school building with three classrooms. We worked for four days and spent the nights with two different local host families in order to allow the volunteers to experience the true Nepal. We were joined all along the way by several staff from The Small World including Chhyamba Sherpa, Sonam Sherpa, Dawa Sherpa and Ram Gurung. It was a meaningful trip that allowed this school to receive badly needed support and the volunteers found that what they gave came back to them in far greater quantity. The end of the 4 days of work culminated with a farewell program with the school principal, Dil Kumar Rai, other teachers and students in attendance. Volunteers were thanked with speeches and blessed with the gift of golden khatas (scarves), marigold flower leis and tikka (red paint on the forehead). Local students perform traditional dances for the volunteers and everyone joined in dancing together at the end of the program.

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Volunteers from Sweden and Norway in Mukli in front of the new school building currently under construction. 

The next morning we traveled back to the town of Phaplu by jeep. The volunteers are now enjoying a Himalayan trek for several days while I visit a number of project sites and make plans for future work on the ground.

Being here in person is a powerful and very tangible reminder of the room for aid in this beautiful country. The souls and hearts of the people are so incredibly big, despite them having few material resources. But as I told all the girls at the hostel today, and the children in Mukli, if you study hard and make education a priority, you can have dreams as big as you wish. With hard study and a positive attitude you can be anything you want. I know these children can dream big. And we can help support them as we dream.

Namaste!

 

 

 

 

 

New Address for TSW USA

Namaste!

Happy autumn. In this time of seasonal change, we have a change as an organization as well. We’ve moved and have a new address. Please note this change for your records or if you intend to donate by sending us a check in the mail. We are now at:

The Small World USA

2600 S County Road 5 E

Monte Vista, CO 81144

USA

Blessings!

In Their Own Voices: The Writers of the Himalayan Hope Home – Volume 8

Please enjoy October’s essay by “Hope girl” Krishma about a trip for the Himalayan Hope Home girls to another part of Nepal!

Review of My First Trip

by Krishma

I will always remember the wonderful day when we went on our first long trip out of Kathmandu valley for two days, to the Sindupalchok district.

After a five hour drive we arrived at a home like our home. We were very happy to meet with new people. We were welcomed by tea, biscuits and lots of other local fruits. The place was almost the same as our Solukhumbu home, but we have been in the city area for six years, so we were very excited to enjoy the fresh air and the beautiful environment.

Students of that home became our friends very quickly. Their lifestyle was totally different from ours. They grow vegetables, and raise buffalo and goats. Their vegetables were very fresh and organic. We all were very interested to see their local life.

We spent our first day at their home, talking with new friends and enjoying time with them. On the second day, they took us for a hike and we climbed a hill. It was a very happy moment. We climbed up for two hours to reach the top. The fresh air, beautiful views and the big rivers were very interesting. We enjoyed it very much.

We ate local food there, enjoyed their company, and promised to meet them again. While we were getting ready to return home, we all were very sad because we were leaving our new friends. We promised to call them often and hugged everyone, and took the bus back to Kathmandu.

This is the first time I went out for so long with my sisters to a new place, and it was very wonderful. I will remember those days forever.

 

In Their Own Voices: The Writers of the Himalayan Hope Home – Volume 7

Please enjoy August’s essay by “Hope girl” Pasang about her goal to become a doctor. Thank you for sharing your hope to help those in your village and all of Nepal through medicine, Pasang, as well as sharing your experiences of the challenges the people of Nepal face due to impacts from the recent earthquakes. We support your dreams!

MY GOAL IN LIFE

By Pasang

I am in 7th grade, and it’s time to think about my goal. I have heard that people without goals are like monkeys without a tail. So, I have a goal in my life, and my goal is to be a doctor.  When I was in grade 5, I didn’t think much about my goal, I just used to enjoy myself and read my book. I didn’t worry about the future, only the present.  My teacher used to ask me, “what is your goal?”   I used to reply, “I want to be a pilot. I used to think about flying high in the sky in an airplane. But I was wrong, because it wasn’t my goal, just something I’d heard about from others.

I know that being a pilot is not a greater or lesser goal than being a doctor. They are equal, but I just want to do something that will be beneficial for my village and my villagers.  I think I can better serve my village by being a doctor.  They don’t know that they need an airplane for transportation. If they need to leave their villages, they go by walking, whether it is a journey of one minute or two hours. But I have seen many people die due to lack of a good doctor. So, I plan to become a doctor and go to my villages and help my people. Not only my village, but the whole nation. I want to be a good doctor and I’m working hard to achieve my goal.

I knew I want to be a doctor when the earthquake occurred in 2016 and many people died due to the lack of doctors. Thousands of peoples’ lives were ruined due to lack of medical treatment. At that time, we were not able to do anything to help. We just watched the news and prayed for them. Everyone was saying they wished they could do something to save them. We saw that it took the armies a week to rescue people in very remote areas.  Many people died of their injuries.

At that time, I was thinking that if I was a doctor, I would be able to save many people who were dying due to lack of simple treatment of their wounds. People were crying and searching for food, clothes and shelter. Many people were donating needed items, but they were not able to minimize their pain of losing relatives. From the day I saw the dire situation I was inspired to be doctor, and one day I will be doctor. So, I am focusing a lot on science and math in school.

I am grateful to everyone who is supporting me to achieve my goal.

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Learn more about Pasang’s support systems at the Himalayan Hope Home.

You can help her and other girls we work with by donating today!

Join us to work on improving medical facilities in the rural village of Phuleli in November! Learn more…

In Their Own Voices: The Writers of the Himalayan Hope Home – Volume 6

Please enjoy July’s essay by “Hope girl” Phurba. Thank you for sharing your hope to give back to your own people through being a nurse, Phurba!

My Aim in Life

Phurba

Class: 6

Different people have different aims in life. In the same way, I have also an aim. I have wanted to be a nurse since I was very young. In our country there are so many people who are not getting proper health treatment, and they die in their early age. My mom passed away because of not getting good health care in our village when I was just seven.

I faced so many problems in my life after my mom left us. My father remarried. Life was not easy, but fortunately I got a chance to stay in Himalayan Hope Home and the opportunity for a good education.

I don’t want to see any people die in their early age and their family suffer through big grief. I want to help people in those remote areas and save them. I know I have to work very hard to make my dream come true.

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You can learn more about the opportunities provided to Phurba and her “sisters” at the Himalayan Hope Home here.

You too can help contribute to the betterment of medical services in rural areas like where Phurba is from by traveling with us in November to the village of Phuleli! We will be working together with community members to construct a new health post and community center. Learn more. 

In Their Own Voices: The Writers of the Himalayan Hope Home – Volume 5

Please enjoy June’s essay by “Hope girl” Samjana. Thank you for sharing your experience of sisterhood at Himalayan Hope Home, Samjana!

My Life in Himalayan Hope Home

Samjana

It’s me, Samjana. I am 14 years old now; I was nine when I came to Himalayan Hope Home. I am very happy here because I got a chance to go to school. I enjoy my friends here. We call each other sister here, which makes us feel as if we are sisters from same mother.

We share our things, knowledge, and food, too. We care for each other. I feel like heaven here because we got lots of great chances like: visiting new places, going out for dinner, celebrating all the festivals, reading new books, watching movies, going on picnics, getting gifts on different occasions, and the most wonderful is getting love from everyone.

In school we Hope girls get appreciation from every one. I heard them talking about our sisterhood. Most of our needs are fulfilled here. I know that there are so many people like us who are not getting an opportunity for study, good food, and good health. And they are also not getting love. I pray for all those people to get love, education and food.

 

In Their Own Voices: The Writers of the Himalayan Hope Home – Volume 4

Please enjoy this essay about the life of Paratina, one of our resident girls at the Himalayan Hope Home.  Thank you, Paratina, for sharing your life story with us in your own words!

My Self

By: Paratina, Grade 6

My name is Paratina and I live in Kapan, Kathmandu. I am 13 years old and I am from Solukhumbu. I study in grade 6 at Silver Shrine School in Kapan. My younger sister Sabina is also living with me at Hope Home. I love her very much. She is 8 years old and in grade 4. My favorite book is Harry Potter and the A to Z Mysteries, which I began reading after coming here to Hope Home. My favorite movie is Barbie. My hobbies are to read books, watch movies, and go for long trips. My goal is to be an airhostess.

When I was in my village, I was unable to go to school, and at that time I didn’t have any goals. My dad left us when I was just four and my sister was two. My mom struggled to raise us. We used to live with mess and dirty clothes. We were unable to get new clothes. My mom had to work very hard to feed us, and my granny was very old. I had to work very hard, I used to go to find the grazing cattle, and bring water from the tap, which is a one-hour walk from my home. We had a small house and four of us lived there. Now I am at Hope Home and I don’t have any problems. I miss my mom and granny sometimes, but we often call them so there are no worries. I feel very lucky to be in my new home and meet such wonderful people who love me a lot. I would like to thank Uncle Karma, Aunt Sonam, and all the supportive people for giving me this happiness.

 

In Their Own Voices: The Writers of the Himalayan Hope Home – Volume 3

Please enjoy this month’s window into the life of Pasang, one of our resident girls at the Himalayan Hope Home.  Thank you, Pasang, for sharing your life story and your experiences with all of us!

Me and My Life Story

Pasang, Class 7

I was just 10 years old when my father and mother passed away. I was very young so I did not know what was right and what was wrong. I was too young to do anything. I didn’t even know what our problems were and how we could solve them. I faced lots of sadness after my parents left this world. People said bad things about us and treated us badly. They believed we were orphans because of our sin; that we were responsible for the accident. My elder brother had just finished his Class Ten, and I remember now how he was hardly able to feed us. I used to cry a lot after I realized our parents had left us and would not be back.

After few years, one of our uncles came to our village from Kathmandu and talked about taking my brother and me to Kathmandu for study. He arranged school for my younger brother at Salleri, which is the school for our district, although it is two days away. So only my uncle and I came to Kathmandu. I felt very very bad when I left my younger brother alone there.

In Kathmandu my uncle took me to Kapan HIMALAYAN HOPE HOME where I am living now. I was nervous because the place and people were very new to me. I was seeing so many new things, and I was still sad. After few days with my new family, I learned that all the friends living in Hope Home had almost the same story as mine. I became happy again with the company of friends and the love of the new parents here. I am getting a very great opportunity to build my future and to do something better for my society.

I used to miss my village and my old home, but now I am very happy here in Hope Home. I promised myself I will go back to my village only after I become an independent person.

In Their Own Voices: The Writers of the Himalayan Hope Home – Volume 2

The Himalayan Hope Home in Kathmandu was founded as a place of refuge and support for at-risk girls from underprivileged communities in remote Nepal. Some of the girls at HHH are exploring the written word, in English, as a form of expression. These essays are windows into their lives.

Last month we shared the first of several essays by resident girls at HHH. We’ll be sharing many more essays in the months to come. This April, enjoy the words of Krishma Sundas below – in her own words.

I Am Happy Now

By Krishma, Grade 7

My name is Krishma. When I was very young, I could pronounce nothing more than Krish, so I became known to my relatives by the name Krish. I grew up with my father in a small remote village called Taksindu. I used to work in the field which was very difficult for me. I also had to wash all my clothes. I worked very hard there.

My mother left me with my father when I was just seven years old and went for her own happiness. I do not want to remember her; I never miss her because she left me, and I didn’t get any love from her. Thinking about this used to make me feel very bad, but now I am not that way. I am okay without mom. I found another family with so many sisters who love me very much. I feel very lucky to have this family.

When I was 10 years old, an organization offered me a chance to come Kathmandu for my studies. I was very excited, but when I reached Kathmandu I felt nervous because all the new people were there. I saw many people my age. They seemed happy, but I was sad. When I went to school the first day a teacher came and spoke to me. English language was very new for me, and again I had no idea what to do. A friend from Hope Home told the teacher all about me. Later, all the children became friendly to me, and I also became happy.

Hope Home is not only a home like other people see from outside. For me, it is another world where I found my happiness. I have the life I used to wish for. I do not have to work here, and I am going school, playing games at home, practicing dance, watching TV with friends, visiting new places, and going shopping. This makes me very happy.

Here we understand each other very well. If someone gets sad we will all be there to make her happy. We share everything, even sadness. We celebrate all the festivals together, and I feel like all my friends are my own family. People from outside sometimes ask us if we are from the same family. We reply, yes, we are from different mothers but same family. The thing I like very much here is taking care of each other.

This home is a very precious gift for us. Now I am 14 and I understand so many things about life: why we are here, what we have to do, and what is the importance of our family life. I am very happy here, dreaming to fulfill my goals every day, and I see the other sisters are also very happy here. I love my Hope Home and my sisters.

I want to be a good actress in my future.

 

In Their Own Voices: The Writers of the Himalayan Hope Home – Volume 1

The Himalayan Hope Home in Kathmandu was founded as a place of refuge and support for at-risk girls from underprivileged communities in remote Nepal. Girls who are vulnerable to trafficking and abuse are provided a safe home, parental care, and every opportunity for their holistic development. Thirty orphaned or abandoned girls now enjoy being part of a family, and receive education, proper nutrition, clothing, and health care. At Hope Home, their lives are precious, and so is their childhood. They don’t just dream; they learn how to achieve their dreams.

The Himalayan Hope Home believes that every girl is entitled to an education and a voice in the world. And now, through a mentoring project, some of the girls at Hope Home have taken expression a step further, developing their written voice—in English. Their essays about life at Hope Home have been included in The Color of Hope: Abstract Paintings in Acrylic and Collage, a collection partly inspired by artist Margo Miller’s recent experience in Nepal and time spent at Himalayan Hope Home.

Over the next few months we’ll be sharing the lives and experiences of some of the resident girls of the Himalayan Hope Home, in their own words.

Enjoy the words of Pasang Sherpa below. You can also watch artist Margo Miller read Pasang’s essay at the opening reception of The Color of Hope: Abstract Paintings in Acrylic and Collage in Dallas,Texas in January 2018.

Margo Miller reads Pasang Sherpa’s Hope Home essay 1.25.18 from Sally Wier on Vimeo.

 

My Life Before and After Hope Home

by Pasang, Grade 7

We girls are very happy in Hope Home. This is our new home where we are getting more love, opportunities, happiness, care, and facilities than in our old homes.

I used to get up early in the morning, drink tea, and run to collect grass for the cattle or collect wood for the fire. Now I get up early in the morning, have tea and study. I used to go school sometimes wearing with dirty clothes, here I have clean clothes and regular school. I didn’t know anything about the value of education, now I know very well how important education is for us, and why we have to work hard.

I did not have any purpose when I was in my village. I used to live with my grandfather and grandmother. I used to think that I would grow up to have the same life as my grandparents. I even didn’t know that there was another village behind our village. I used to think that our village was the only world. I came to Hope Home and got so much new knowledge.

My English was very poor in the beginning, but now people understand what I am saying. I was very shy and nervous before, but my confidence developed after I came to Himalayan Hope Home. I now understand my duties for my society and for this world.

I am very thankful to all the people who help make us happy.