This is a true story. I am sharing this story to give you a better understanding of how things work in Nepal and why it's so critical that we provide a safe place for young and vunerable girls. The events in this story don't involve girls as vunerable as the ones we provide a safe place for. Our girls are from extremely poor families and live in slum conditions at home. Their mothers, and fathers, are gone 12 hours or more a day working as day-laborers and earning barely enough to survive. Their daughters are home alone most of the time and that's where the high risk orginates. In our story, the girl involved is from a well-to-do family and lives in a nice part of town, works, or rather did work in a nice office for a big company. While working, a boy at the office took a shine to her and started to sieze every opportunity to be in her company; at lunch, going to or from work and so forth. Rumors began that perhaps a romance was in the air, but both denied these rumors and were firm that they were only friends.
One day, our young suitor invited the girl to a fancy hotel. She assumed there was a meeting, or some other event taking place there and went to the hotel. The young man had other ideas and told her that unless she'd engage in an affair with him, that day, in that hotel, he'd tell everyone that they were having an affair. If she would agree, he offered, he'd keep it quiet. The girl refused and filed a police case against him for harrassment. So far, you may be thinking, that's great, in our culture, that's exactly how it should be and the police action was warranted and that will put an end to this. No, it's not like that in Nepal. The police case only began the problems. Once others became aware that she'd filed a case, the rumors started flying that she must have been romantically involved. Her family disowned her, she was too ashamed to return to work, all her friends left her and everyone assumes, she was indeed having an affair with this boy. To day, 11 boys have refused to marry her older sister over the shame our herione brought upon her family by her affair, and affair recall, that never happend. When we spoke to her a few days ago, she was on the verge of and threatening suicide. Really.
This is what it's like in Nepal. This is the kind of life our girls would find themselves in if we didn't protect them from predators and the results, the shame, the societal pressure would be on them the same as our herione. That's why we have this project.
Our heroine is not going to take her own life. I can't leave you hanging with that thought. She's going to work for us in our volunteer program and will live in our volunteer house, since she's much, much older than the girls in our shelter. Sitll, she's scarred perhaps for life by an event that never even took place. The hint of it is enough to ruin a girl in Nepal.
A few weeks ago the girls from hostel came to The Mountain Fund house in Kathmandu and entertained our volunteers with a dance show.
The next day we had the chance to see the performance they were rehearsing for in person when we attended the family day festival at Orchid Garden.
Enjoy the photos from both the practice dance at our house and the on-stage performance the following day. It's really amazing how these children, all from Kathmandu's poorest families can put on such a great dance show.
We have had some setbacks the past few months, I am sorry to report. The landlord from the first flat we rented to house the girls asked us to leave, claiming that 9 girls make too much noise. The current landlord is threatening to toss us out as well. In Nepal, people do not want to rent for children's homes and finding a cooperative landlord is an ongoing challenge. Perhaps one day we can purchase a home and be free of this constant threat that hangs over the girls.
Dear Global Giving Donor
I was fortunate enough to be in Nepal this fall and had the opportunity to get over to the hostel with my camera and grab some photos of the place, since many of you have asked to see what it is like. The hostel is located about 100 yards away from Orchid Garden Nepal which makes it really easy for the girls who live there to attend Orchid Garden school classes and for the OGN staff to take care of the hostel.
I am also uploading a few new photos of Orchid Garden itself, founder Bina Basnet, a new classroom photo and one that shows one of the computers we now have so the older children can learn how to use a computer.
Thank you for your continued support of this project on behalf of the 8 girls who now live safely at the hostel.
Last month Bina (Orchid Garden Nepal Founder) brought the hostel girls to The Mountain Fund/The Mountain Volunteer house in Kathmandu for a day of fun and ice cream. I am attaching photos of the girls having fun at our house before heading back to the hostel, which is located next door to Orchid Garden. All are doing extremely well. There are a couple of photos in particular you may recognize as appearing in the video for this project as well as earlier still photos associated with the project. I think you'll enjoy seeing the change in their lives.
This past month we were fortunate enough to have a group of 12 doctors from Rocky Vista Medical College in Colorado visit us in Nepal. During their stay they visited Orchid Garden, the organization that operates the hostel. We have ten girls living there full-time now and the house looks great. I'll be back in Nepal soon and I'll be sure to get some photos of the hostel itself which is a rented flat next to Orchid Garden. The girls from the hostel were all giving full physicals by our volunteer team of doctors and I'm happy to report, all are in good health. The exam also gives us a health record for each girl, something they did not have before, so that future volunteer medical teams will be able to compare their health at this time with the results of a future exam. While this kind of health record is typical for us in the west, it's unheard of in Nepal.
I am attaching a photo of one of the girls you've seen in the video posted for this project. This current photo was taken during the health camp.
Project Reports on GlobalGiving are posted directly to globalgiving.org by Project Leaders as they are completed, generally every 3-4 months. To protect the integrity of these documents, GlobalGiving does not alter them; therefore you may find some language or formatting issues.
If you donate to this project or have donated to this project, you will get an e-mail when this project posts a report. You can also subscribe for reports via e-mail without donating or by subscribing to this project's RSS feed.
This project is no longer accepting donations.
Still want to help?
Support another project run by The Mountain Fund that needs your help, such as: