Once again, many thanks to our Global Giving donors for helping our childrens' dreams come true. One of the seven older Ama Ghar children benefiting from Global Giving education donations is Ashok, who is pursuing his dreams of becoming a programmer by getting his Bachelor's in Computer Science - he only has one more year to go!
Ashok has always been a bright and talented young man - he is one of the best English speakers at Ama Ghar. When we first received some donated computers for the kids to learn on, Ashok was only ten years old. He taught himself word processing and spreadsheet programs, and like all the children, he was particularly interested in learning to work on photographs in PhotoShop! By the time he was old enough to take Computer Lab in school, he was already a whiz.
In addition to his schoolwork, Ashok is one of the Ama Ghar children who benefits from a Saturday morning computer class, taught pro bono by an I.T. company in Kathmandu. He is definitely one of their best students, so we hope that there may be a job awaiting him at this company - but if not, he will surely qualify for something else in Kathmandu's burgeoning I.T. community.
This is an unbelievable opportunity for a boy who was born to a family in a remote village who couldn't support him - if he had not come to Ama Ghar, he would probably be working as a menial worker or a field hand... but thanks to your support and our Ama Ghar mission of supporting these children until they can support themselves, he will soon achieve his dream of becoming a computer programmer - what you do makes such a difference. Thank you!
In our last report, we told you about our wonderful Manisha, the hard-working honor student and hotel intern whose dream is to go to Hotel Management School. The good news? Since our last report, we have raised over $1,500 for Manisha's tuition at Hotel Management School, she was admitted to Silver Hill (one of the best schools in Nepal for hospitality and tourism) and she received a partial scholarship from the school as well.
She started school on December 3, and she reports that though it is challenging, she loves her courses. She will learn every aspect of Hotel Management, from hands-on cooking and serving to accounting and personnel management. At the end of four years, she will have a Bachelor's Degree. This, plus her experience as an intern, should put her in line for a very good job in Nepal's primary industry of tourism.
We are experiencing a real financial crisis at Ama Ghar because we have 17 more children who are teenagers hoping to go into higher education. Our budget for next year is doubling, so our fundraising efforts will need to be even more successful. If you can, please remember us in your end of year donations... a recent United Nations report claimed that if every child received an education, 170 million people would be lifted out of poverty. This is a startling but inspiring number, and we hope you will help us to ensure that all of our Ama Ghar children receive a good education so that they can be self-supporting, productive citizens of the world.
Our thanks to you for giving Manisha this opportunity and our best wishes for a joyful holiday season and prosperous new year from all the children of Ama Ghar!
One of the seven students featured in this project is our wonderful Manisha, who's 19 years old. She is a beautiful, bright, energetic and incredibly hard-working girl who has been at Ama Ghar since she was 7. Because her family could not support her, she was working in the fields, doing back-breaking work for a child of 7. Since she came to Ama Ghar, she has always been at the top of her class in school, she speaks English well, she's an excellent athlete, and she even wrote a Nepali translation of the book "Sold", which tells the story of two girls who were trafficked from Nepal to India. She and her friends not only did the translation, but they created a drama that was performed around the remote villages of Nepal to educate villagers who can't read about the dangers of child trafficking.
This wonderful young woman is currently studying Hospitality in grade 12 (equivalent of a Senior in High School in the US) and has received an internship to work at the Summit Hotel. They like her so much at the Summit that they want her to come back! But in order to be anything other than a greeter or a front desk worker - to accomplish her dream of joining a hotel's management team - she must get her college degree. She has been accepted at Silver Hill, the most prestigious Hotel School in Nepal, but she does not have the $1,800 in required tuition.
Your donations toward Manisha's tuition are so welcome - no donation is too large or too small to help her achieve her dreams. Thank you!
Shari Davis & Ellen Currin are InTheField Travelers with GlobalGiving who are visiting our partners’ projects throughout Nepal. Their “Postcard” from their most recent visit in Nepal:
Ama Ghar is a lovely place to grow up: the garden is overflowing with flowers, there is a spacious house with plentiful art and musical instruments, and the mountain air is fresh. Although all of the younger children were at school during our visit, it was easy to imagine the 48 students of Ama Ghar playing and filling the space with laughter. The outside of the house is styled like a beautiful Nepali building, but the inside is open, modern and full of light. It is equipped with green waste management, water-conserving plumbing, and practical/multi-purposeful designs. Throughout the home, bulletin boards are filled with photos of the children’s drama performances, their art projects, or newspaper articles. I was most impressed by the shelves and shelves of books that filled Ama Ghar’s library! We met one older girl who had been at Ama Ghar for 11 years. When we asked her whether she liked Ama Ghar, her face lit up with a smile instantly and she answered “Yes!”
During our visit, The Ama Foundation’s Country Director, Bonnie Ellison, served us tea and spoke with us about the children’s schooling. For the past 10 years, Ama Ghar has been her home and the children have been her children! She pushes the children to work hard and achieve high marks in school, explaining that “passing grades” in school are not high enough to be “passing grades” in Ama Ghar. She also shared the future goals of the older students: they range from hotel management to engineering to electrical training. The hope is for every student who passes through Ama Ghar to come out with a marketable skill.
Our afternoon in Godawari passed quickly as we toured the grounds and spoke with staff and students. I was so impressed by the facilities and care that the children receive at Ama Ghar. The fresh air, the beautiful landscape, and the welcoming house made leaving very difficult!
Sajan Shakya, 19 years old, was one of the original children to come to Ama Ghar in 2001. His family is from the wood carving village of Bungamati, where some of Nepal’s most beautiful wood work, in the style of the Newari people of the Kathmandu Valley, is done. His family could no longer care for him, and he came to Ama Ghar at the age of 9.
Sajan has always been incredibly strong and athletic – he’s a very good cricket and soccer player and excels when he is able to go on an outing to the Kathmandu Climbing Wall – his exceptional strength takes him to the top! Although he is a big, strong boy, he is very gentle and is a wonderful big brother and mentor to the younger boys at Ama Ghar.
He has worked hard at his studies, too. In fact, his hard work has taken him to the top of his class – he had some of the highest scores on the national SLC examination, which determines whether or not young Nepalis can go on to higher education. He passed his SLC exam with Distinction. Now that he’s entering his second year at Little Angels College, he is showing that he still has the same focus and perseverance – he passed his final exams after his first year with high marks.
He is studying Business, but has always wanted to be in the Nepali Army, as he has a strong desire to help his country. We are sure that his dedication, fitness, intelligence and compassion will help him to become an officer and the type of leader that is sorely needed in Nepal and the world. Your generosity helps Sajan to realize his dreams - thank you.
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