Sunita is one of the displaced children who came to us last December. She lost her home and her family in the earthquakes of April 2015, after which she went to live in a refugee camp. Both of these situations are tragic, but through it all, she kept up her good spirits - and she was one of the lucky ones, because anti-trafficking groups (with help from child advocacy organizations like Ama Ghar) created Child Safe Places in the refugee camps to protect children from potential predators and traffickers.
At last she received her papers from the government's Social Welfare Council and Sunita was allowed to come to live with us and join the Ama Ghar family. She is such a sweet-natured girl that she fit in immediately, and she was given a few months of adjustment time before she was enrolled in school, which included learning knitting skills from our house mother Uma Auntie and forging bonds with the other Ama Ghar children.
Once she went to school she persevered and was making great progress scholastically in addition to making lots of new friends. And then, at the end of June, another disaster struck - Sunita was in her classroom at Pashpanjuli School at the end of June, during a huge monsoon, when suddenly the mountain above the school gave way and the resulting mud and rock slide, carrying boulders, cement and debris, slammed into the classroom. Sunita's Ama Ghar sister Anjana was killed and Sunita was among the 24 children severely injured.
She gave us quite a scare, as she suffered head and chest injuries. Sunita was in intensive care for three days and made what our Ama Ghar pediatrician agreed was a miraculous recovery. She was moved back into the regular ward for a few days where doctors could monitor her lungs, and now she and her 4 injured brothers and sisters are all at home.
Your generosity has provided us with funds so that we can continue her care. Sunita still has a few memory issues because of the head injuries she suffered, but she is back in school, enjoying her knitting once again, and playing holiday games with her brothers and sisters right now during the Dashain holiday. We are convinced that not only the monetary generosity but the good wishes that friends like you sent her way during the accident are proof that love heals.
The Anjana Fund on Global Giving has closed, as the project is completely funded thanks to your generosity and compassion. With your help, we have paid for Anjana's funeral expenses, for hospital care and rehabilitation for the injured children and counseling for all.
Anjana was cremated at Pashupatinath, the Kathmandu temple that is the holiest Hindu site in Nepal. It was a beautiful ceremony, with her Ama Ghar family, friends and relatives celebrating her sweetness by giving her offerings of flowers and prayers. Although this was a very difficult moment for these children who have already had so many difficult moments in their lives, it did help us all to accept Anjana's death and become even closer to each other. The photo in this report shows Anjana in happier days (center of photo in white), jumping rope with her brother and sisters and Ama Ghar visitors.
The injured children received excellent care at the hospital, and all came home much more quickly than any of the doctors had anticipated. All are receiving rehabilitative care now, and in particular Bina will need extensive dental work and Sunita is receiving treatment for dizzy spells, but in general they are recovering better than expected.
The landslide and its aftermath have been so traumatic for the children that they are all receiving counseling. In addition, our staff, who have been working at an exhausting pace nonstop since last year's earthquakes and border blockade, are receiving counseling as well. We have also sent them all to Sotai, a Japanese bodywork facility in Kathmandu, for relaxation massage and care for their aches and pains.
We couldn't have done any of this without you. You are truly our family, and we are truly grateful.
Thanks to your generosity and the tremendous work of our staff, counselors and older children, the 15 new children that have come to Ama Ghar since last year's earthquake are adjusting well, each at his or her own pace. The children have received counseling, meditation and yoga training, a supportive school environment, great medical care and of course, a lot of love from their new Ama Ghar family... and that goes a long way.
One child who adjusted particularly well was our sweet 10-year-old Anjana, who came to us from the remote village of Pyutan. She was quiet but had a kind of glow about her and she seemed to bond with everyone, not only those in her age group, but even the teenagers. Anjana was very focused in school and her teachers commented on the fact that she seemed very hungry to learn.
On July 1, as Anjana and her classmates studied in their classroom at Pashpanjuli School, the monsoon rains loosened the earth on the mountain above the school and their classroom was destroyed by an enormous mudslide that carried boulders, pieces of retaining wall and tons of earth and mud crashing into their space, killing Anjana and another girl from the village instantly and injuring 24 children, including five of Anjana's Ama Ghar brothers and sisters.
The effect of this tragedy was instantaneous and devastating. All of the Ama Ghar children have had a great deal of trauma in their lives, and losing a beloved sister was an enormous blow to them. The older children who are working and studying in Kathmandu came home to comfort the younger ones and help the staff keep 24-hour watch over the injured children in the hospital. The love and prayers of our friends around the world poured in and the children in the hospital, all of whom were in Intensive Care, made miraculous recoveries. Although their injuries are still severe, all of them are now home at Ama Ghar receiving different levels of follow-up care, rehabilitation and counseling. Our pediatrician, Dr. Neelam, commented that she had never dreamed the children would bounce back so quickly.
Everyone has pulled together through this tragedy, and our family is closer than ever before. And although Anjana was with us for a very brief time, she made an indelible impression and we will always hold her in our hearts.