Apr 5, 2017

Ram is a survivor!

Ram, age 15, as well as his younger brother Laxman, joined us in May 2015 after losing their family in the earthquakes. At first it was difficult for Ram in particular to adjust to his new home at Ama Ghar because he was extremely traumatized by his experiences during the earthquake. Through the support of friends like you, we were able to fund regular counseling for Ram and he is beginning to understand that he is now in a safe place where he can socialize with and trust in those around him. With more time, special care and attention he will continue to improve.

His mental and physical condition took another blow last July when the wall of his schoolroom collapsed due to a landslide - two of his classmates were killed and he sustained some head injuries, which luckily were not life-threatening. At the hospital he was interviewed by several reporters and seemed to enjoy the attention - in fact, Bonnie Auntie had to watch him to make sure he didn't talk up his injuries a bit too much! Ironically, that attention was good for him as he became the spokesperson for his brothers and sisters.

Today, Ram loves to play any type of game at Ama Ghar and is doing well in school. He isn't too shy to try anything, and he entertains us with his love of dancing and his big smile. He also enjoys leading his younger brothers and sisters in doing chores, as you can see by the photo of the boys doing dishes. At Ama Ghar, everyone has to help with household chores - even the boys - which is somewhat unusual in Nepal, but Ram digs in and sets a good example for the younger children.

Without your support, we wouldn't be able to provide traumatized children like Ram with the love and care they need. Thank you for supporting this resilient survivor and giving him hope for a new life.

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Jan 9, 2017

Leela Inspires Us

Leela (right) and Nirjala show off their creations
Leela (right) and Nirjala show off their creations

Leela, who is now four years old, came to us almost exactly a year ago, at the end of 2015. She lost her family in the devastating earthquakes of that year and arrived at Ama Ghar as a frightened and lonely little girl. Gradually, through the mentoring of the older children, nutritious food, nurturing care from medical professionals and mostly the love and hugs from her extended family here, she became the little Leela that we know today... an affectionate, sweet-natured and fun-loving girl.

Now Leela wants to participate in everything we do at Ama Ghar - from helping her aunties and uncles on the staff with chores while the older children are off at school to playing games and sports to dancing, singing and making art. One of her special joys, though, is creating special clothes and toys out of the donations we receive for the children. Other than their school uniforms, the Ama Ghar children only have a few clothes, all of which are donated by our friends around the world. In the spring, the donations are washed and set out so that the children can choose two play outfits and one dress outfit that will fit them for the spring/summer season; in the fall, these are turned in and the children do the same for winter.

But that wasn't enough for Leela, our budding artist and fashion designer - she and her best friend at Ama Ghar, Nirjala, used the belts from their spring dresses to make headbands, bracelets and belts. They also make toys out of rubber bands, string and cardboard that we keep in our craft closet.

Leela particularly enjoys spending time with the visitors who join us at Ama Ghar from around the world - she shows them how to do chores like rice planting and gardening, teaches them games and serves as a tiny tour guide who walks them around our beautiful valley. One of the many benefits to Leela is that she is learning English and other languages from our visitors, which will help her when she starts school next year. And we think there's a benefit to visitors as well - Leela is an inspiration to them, as she gets such joy from small things... a lesson for us all.

Your donations make it possible for Leela to have a happy, healthy childhood - thanks for your generosity and compassion. You inspire us, too!

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Oct 14, 2016

Sunita Shows Her Strength

Sunita (L) learns to knit from Uma Auntie
Sunita (L) learns to knit from Uma Auntie

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. 

Sunita even smiled when she was in the hospital!
Sunita even smiled when she was in the hospital!

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