Although the government of Nepal is undergoing more tumultuous changes, including a new Prime Minister, NYOF’s programs in Nepal are continuing to transform the lives of impoverished children, and provide them with unimagined opportunities. I’d like to share with you a couple stories of children who received scholarships from NYOF. One is now improving the lives of thousands of people in Nepal; the other will soon be making a similar impact.
About 15 years ago, we learned about a gifted medical student who had a scholarship to the best medical school in Nepal, but whose parents could not afford to pay his living and ancillary expenses. We chipped in for the last year or two of medical school, and when he was offered a surgical residency in Pakistan, we paid his airfare and living costs. Fast forward to 2009: Dr. Harish is now head of a large hospital in Nepal and a passionate advocate of medical care for the poor. Twenty percent of all patients at his hospital receive free medical care, and he is brimming with ideas about expanding medical assistance to those who cannot afford it. We are discussing the possibility of establishing a Nutritional Rehabilitation Home at his hospital to alleviate the problem of the many malnourished children in the area, as well as other ways of helping his mission. A pretty good outcome for an investment of a couple of thousand dollars several years ago.
Then there’s Santosh. We met Santosh when he was a little boy in about the third or fourth grade at a school that many of our scholarship students attended. The headmaster approached us and said that Santosh’s foreign sponsor had terminated his support, and that the school would have to expel him if he was unable to find someone else to sponsor his education. He mentioned also that Santosh was super-smart, especially in math and science. We asked to meet the boy. It was clear from his appearance and demeanor that he was a severely neglected child, painfully shy, and that no one had taken the trouble to teach him even the most rudimentary social skills.
We agreed to sponsor Santosh, and as expected, he excelled in his studies at every level. We educated him at probably the best private college in the country. With success has come self-confidence, and he has evolved into a charming, very kind, brilliant young man. He has been admitted on scholarship to a first-class American university for graduate study. Santosh is determined to return to Nepal and use the skills he acquires to improve the economic situation of his country.
Now here’s the zinger - Santosh grew up with virtually no parental guidance. He has had to care for his mother and sister all his life. When his mother was pregnant with him, his father, a brilliant doctor, went abroad for education and never returned. His mother became desperately ill and unable to care for herself or her children. Ever since he can remember, Santosh has been the responsible head of his family.
Thank you for supporting some of the most disadvantaged children in Nepal.
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