Our last project report cited our Ama Ghar daughter Manisha as a perfect example of our mission to rescue children from poverty, malnutrition, trafficking and abuse and give them the loving home and education they need to become successful adults.
Since that report, Manisha has taken her first airplane flight to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia to work at the Holiday Inn as the final milestone in gaining her Bachelor's degree in Hotel Management. She lives in an apartment with other Nepali girls who are college students, and the hotel's van picks her up, takes her to work and brings her home, so she is safe but a bit sheltered... which is probably a good thing for a girl who has gone from a small village to the safe atmosphere of the Ama Ghar home.
But slowly Manisha and her friends are learning to use the transit system so that they can see more of this enormous, rapidly modernizing city. They recently traveled from their apartment to an inexpensive shopping mall in Chinatown so that Manisha could buy makeup; she has never worn makeup before, but the hotel management asked her to do so - what an introduction to the modern world! In addition, they went to see the new Hobbit movie and nearly froze to death in the air conditioning - and then the girls saw people dressed in costume as part of a comic book convention.
There is a bit of prejudice against Nepali workers in Malaysia, but when Manisha explains that she is interning as part of her Bachelor's degree and not taking a full time job that could have gone to a Malaysian person, then people have been very kind to her. Her only complaint is that the food is a bit too sweet for her taste, but she and her friends have found Nepali restaurants where they can get their beloved dal bhat!
Very exciting and a little confusing for Manisha, but this is all part of learning about the world outside of her comfort zone. To westerners, this new job and adventure that she has taken on to finish her Bachelor's may seem like normal, everyday life, but for Manisha it is a big stretch and an amazing opportunity for her to broaden her horizons. When she was a small abandoned girl in a remote village, she never imagined that she would be able to live with friends in a big city and be paid for doing a management job.
It's literally a dream come true, and she couldn't have done it without your generosity. At Ama Ghar we promise our children that we will support them in their education as far as their own skills will take them - and thanks to you, we've been able to keep that promise for Manisha. She has become a productive global citizen and living proof that if we work together we can save the world, one child at a time.
The mission of Ama Ghar, our home for rescued children in the beautiful Godavari valley, near Kathmandu, is to provide a home and education for the most disadvantaged children of Nepal and provide them with the opportunity to become productive Nepali citizens. With the help of donors like you, we fund education for the children as far as their talents will take them. For some, this means university and beyond - for others, this means vocational school. But so far, all of our Ama Ghar "alumni" have succeeded in becoming happy, healthy, self-supporting adults.
One great example of the success of our mission is our Ama Ghar daughter Manisha. She came to us as a small child from a remote village, and from the beginning she's been very serious and studious, always working hard and excelling in school. Sometimes her aunties and uncles even had to force her to get up from her desk and go outside to play with her brothers and sisters - she's a wonderful athlete, but her studies always came first!
Manisha's positive, hard-working attitude has really paid off for her. She is studying for her Bachelor's in Hotel Management, and in addition to her college curriculum, she has completed an internship at the prestigious Summit Hotel in Kathmandu, where she worked in every department, from the kitchen to the front desk, as well as an eco-tourism project in the countryside near Pokhara. Her next exciting adventure before she completes her degree will be to intern with an American hotel chain in Malaysia - this will be a big step away from her Ama Ghar family, and her first airplane trip, but it's sure to help her to get a great job when she graduates.
These success stories, moving children from poverty and malnutrition to healthy, productive lives, would not have a happy ending without you. Please donate TODAY, on Global Giving's 30% Matching Day, and help us to raise 30% more funding for tuition, books, uniforms and more. Thank you for believing that we can save the world, one child at a time.
The transition from growing up in a group home, surrounded by 50-something brothers and sisters, to living on your own in a new city or university, is very, very difficult. Our seven older kids are learning this in a big way - but all the lessons in self-sufficiency they learned at Ama Ghar are helping them out tremendously.
For example - Laxmi, who is in her first year at Pokhara University studying Public Health, came home for a visit during school break. She really enjoyed the reunion with her brothers and sisters, and shared her experiences of managing on her own. One of her dilemmas was that she needed a dress for an upcoming honors event at Pokhara University. Of course, the Ama Ghar kids have never gone shopping for clothes - all of the clothes our children wear have been donated by our wonderful friends around the world, so she wasn't sure what to do.
Laxmi knew exactly what she wanted from looking at a photograph in a magazine, so she designed and sewed the dress herself while she was home during her break. We are so proud of her - this is the kind of resourcefulness that will help her to become a successful adult and a productive Nepali citizen. Thank you for helping her with her tuition through your donations to Global Giving!
Kalpana is a beautiful girl who has always dreamed of flying... and luckily, she is very adept at learning languages as well. Now, thanks to friends like you, she may be able to realize that dream!
Kalpana came to Ama Ghar at the age of 8, as her family was unable to buy enough food to support their children. She was a timid child when she came to us, who was afraid to even go outside the gates of our Ama Ghar home. But she was always a wonderful dancer, and her shyness fell away when she had the opportunity to perform traditional Nepali dances at our holiday celebrations and festivals.
In 2009, Kalpana had an amazing surprise when she received a call from her younger sister, whom she hadn't seen since they were very small. Kalpana's sister had been adopted by a Spanish family, but she still missed Kalpana so much that her adoptive family helped her to trace Kalpana to Ama Ghar. The two girls had a very funny telephone conversation, as Kalpana spoke no Spanish and her sister didn't really remember how to speak Nepali!
Ama Foundation's Country Director in Nepal helped Kalpana to get a passport and accompanied her to Spain, where she was reunited with her sister for the first time since they were small. Kalpana stayed with her sister during her summer school holiday, and she not only learned to speak Spanish but she also was a bit shocked by European culture - she ate sausage and seafood for the first time, and wore a swimsuit, which was difficult for this still-shy young lady. Most importantly, she was able to experience airplane travel for the first time... it was a dream come true.
Kalpana returned from that trip with a dream of becoming an airline hostess. She realized that with her facility for languages - she now speaks, Nepali, English and Spanish - she might be a good candidate for an international airline that operates out of Nepal. She studied business in school and worked very hard to improve her grades; she became even more proficient in English and Spanish - now she is undergoing air hostess training.
If she does well, she will soon be flying through the clouds, with dreams of seeing her sister more than just once a year. Thank you to all our Global Giving donors for helping her to complete the education required to gain her wings. Our goal at Ama Ghar is for our children to become self-supporting and good international citizens - we couldn't do it without help from friends like you!
In January, our wonderful Laxmi left her Ama Ghar home to live in Pokhara to pursue a Bachelor's Degree in Public Health. We will miss her, but we are thrilled that she'll have the opportunity not only to pursue her dream career but also to live in a beautiful place like Pokhara. Anyone who has visited Nepal will remember Pokhara as the place where the mountains appear to grow right out of the luminous waters of Lake Fewa. It's the beginning of the Annapurna Circuit, and a popular place for tourists from around the world.
Laxmi has wanted to be either a doctor or a dentist since the day she came to Ama Ghar. As a small child, before she came to Ama Ghar, she was forced to work long, grueling hours in the fields near her home village, with no time for school or play. But as soon as she entered school, she caught up fast, and has always been a hard working and determined young lady.
Once she has achieved her Bachelor's Degree, she hopes to work in a village like the one she came from, where she can teach local people how to care for their own health and wellness. Thank you to our GlobalGiving supporters for helping us to send Laxmi to school - you have helped to transform her life from that of a child laborer to a healthcare professional.
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