The earthquakes may be over, but along with the aftershocks, the effects of the earthquakes remain...
Imagine thousands of children between the ages of 4 and 17 who have lost their families, trying to find a safe place where they are not subject to the tempting offers of traffickers or the horrors of abuse. This is the situation in Nepal, and at Ama Ghar, we are working with anti-trafficking groups to help them find a safe haven - some of them in our home.
Thank you again for your generosity in supporting our earthquake relief fund. Your gifts helped us to provide shelter, solar power, medical supplies, hygiene supplies and child safe spaces to our neighbors and others in remote areas who had lost their homes in the earthquake. The next step for us is to help children displaced by the earthquake to find a loving home, nutrition, medical care and an education. If you'd like to help, please go to our new Displaced Children's Fund on Global Giving. Your kindness will give these children hope for a real future in the new Nepal that is rising from the rubble.
We have taken in eight new children at Ama Ghar since the earthquake; most of them were frightened and traumatized when they arrived, but our staff and children are doing everything they can to make them feel loved and welcome. Slowly, the tears are turning to smiles. Here are their stories:
Ram, age 12
Laxman, age 9
Laxman, who is Ram’s younger brother, has started to show that he is getting settled in and engaging more with the other children. He seems to like school and is doing well, but what he really likes is playing caroms with his new Ama Ghar brothers and sisters.
Anjana, age 8
Anjana spent only two days at Ama Ghar before she began asking to go to school – she was ready right away, while others take more time to adjust. Anjana is quiet and doesn’t smile, as she lost her bottom front permanent teeth in an accident of some kind. She needs time to develop trust, but she is tentatively getting to know her new brothers and sisters.
Nirjala, age 6
Nirjala just arrived last week, and she hasn’t get go of the stuffed puppy she received on the first day. She is very, very thin and has a lot of infections on her skin. She has been seen by our wonderful Dr. Neelam Adhikari and she will heal quickly. She is very timid but is starting to explore.
Alisha, age 5
Alisha just arrived but is already sleeping well. She got a pink stuffed bear when she arrived, but it hasn’t held her interest. Her continued request is for “chewing gum” and “cheese balls”, both taboo items at Ama Ghar, poor little thing. She is quite talkative and likes to be with our house father, Bhesh.
Ramit, age 5
Another recent arrival, Ramit seems to be happy to get his uniform on and march off to school with the others. It did take him a few days to smile but he has been a busy boy with Lego and crayons. He seems to like vegetables which sets him apart from others!
Badi Ram, age 3
Badi Ram is a happy, smiling, very active little boy. He has become used to the older girls taking turns holding him, and he is quite the kisser – just show him your cheek and you get a kiss. He has started nursery school, and it will be a challenge for his teachers to manage his energy.
Jeevan, age 5
Jeevan is an active boy and loves the attention he gets from his new older sisters. On the surface he seems to be adjusting well. He still has trouble at night with bedwetting and being afraid of the dark. He is anxious to get ready for school and is a good eater.
Your generous gifts did indeed give hope and an education to seven of our Ama Ghar children! And because all are now either in their final year of school or out in the working world, we are able to close their educational fundraising project. Any recurring donations to this project will be rolled over into our Displaced Children's Fund, which will help us to make room for younger children who lost their families in the earthquakes.
Here's the wrapup on each of your scholars:
Kalpana T. completed her airline training with distinction and is now working as an Air Hostess at Buddha Air, Nepal's best domestic airline.
Kalpana P. has received her two year certificate as a Health Assistant.
Ganga is living on her own in Kathmandu and is looking for a job in her field of Management.
Sajan is completing his Bachelor's Degree in I.T. He is living in Kathmandu.
Pabitra is finishing her certification as a Pharmacist and living in Kathmandu.
Ashok is completing his Bachelor's Degree in I.T. and finishing an internship.
Laxmi is graduating from a university in Pokhara with a degree in Public Health.
All of these young people are bright, hard-working and talented, but without your support, we might not have been able to cover their tuition costs. At Ama Ghar, we believe that education is the key, not only to a good life for these seven kids, but for all children. Even in post-earthquake Nepal, where jobs are scarce, these seven have a chance at a successful future because they have received a great education. It is our mission at Ama Ghar to ensure that when our children leave Ama Ghar they are able to support themselves and become good productive citizens of Nepal and the world.
We coudn't do it without you - thank you so much.
Aftershocks are finally dying down - nothing over 4.0 these days, and they're fewer and farther between. But life will never be the same for those of us who lived through the experiences of the weeks since the earthquake.
At Ama Ghar, we are continuing our work to provide relief to those hardest hit in our area. Little by little, thanks to generous donors like you, we have been able to supply tarps, zinc panels and other building materials to our area so that families with children can build temporary homes to shelter them during the monsoon. It will be months and probably years before the lives of those who lost their homes have any semblance of normality, but Nepalis are strong, resilient and positivie people and are, as always, finding joy in the most difficult of circumstances.
The bright spots for us are many...
- We have seen firsthand how resourceful and compassionate our young people can be. At Ama Ghar, our alumni (ages 19-24) have come back to work with the older children still in the house to provide safe places for displaced children, improvise motorcycle delivery for building materials, photograph medicine labels with their phones so we would replace with the proper prescription, cut tarps and form assessment teams to ensure that materials got to those who needed them most. To date they have served over 800 families.
- Our pride in Ama Ghar youth extends to the youth of Nepal in general. Many youth groups didn't wait for international or government aid, but went right to work in their neighborhoods to help in any way they could. They continue to help in outlying areas that are at risk from landslides. We have faith in Nepal's future, thanks to our talented and committed youth.
- We have welcomed three new brothers to our family! Ram, age 12; his brother Laxman, age 9; and our youngest boy Jeevan, age 4. We are so thrilled to have these bright, sweet boys in our home and are spending lots of time helping them to become party of the Ama Ghar family.
This will be the last project report from the Community Earthquake Fund Project, as we are fully funded for relief. But we are opening a new project, the Ama Ghar Displaced Children Fund, which will help us to support the arrival of many new children who have been displaced by the earthquake - we didn't budget for the arrival of these additional children, so new funding is needed. If you are making a recurring donation, your gifts will be rolled over from the Community Earthquake Fund into the Displaced Children Fund.
We can only thank you again and again for your help during this terrible time. Thanks to you, our children have hope that they - and their country - will see a bright future.