Apr 12, 2019

Binu's got plans!

Binu is eager to learn.
Binu is eager to learn.

When Binu was very young, her mother committed suicide, unable to bear her alcoholic husband's abuse any longer. Losing their mother was a tragedy and led to a cascade of troubles for Binu, her two elder sisters, and younger brother.

Binu’s sisters had to drop out of school. Their father would roam around the village all day drinking, and he died just two years later.  After their father's death, her brother was sent to a monastery and her sisters went to Kathmandu to find work. Binu was abandoned, left with a neighbor.

Every morning, Binu wakes up at 5 am to take care of the household chores for the neighbor's family before going to school, and there is always more work for her to do in the house after classes finish.

Fortunately, when Binu was 10, a teacher recommended that she be enrolled in STOP Girl Trafficking. Six years later, Binu is in ninth grade and wants to become a social worker when she finishes her studies. She is the only person in her family to reach ninth grade.

Binu misses her siblings terribly and only gets to see them during the holidays. But she told us that, without STOP Girl Trafficking, she would have had to drop out just like them, and she is grateful to be able to pursue a different kind of future.

This year, STOP Girl Trafficking has 12,000 girls with dreams as big as Binu's enrolled in school, where they are safe and studying hard. Thanks to your kindness, they are able to not only dream of a better life, but make it happen. We, and they, are deeply grateful. Thank you again.

Links:

Feb 25, 2019

Making friends at HRDC: Kapila's story

Kapila is all smiles.
Kapila is all smiles.

The doctor’s diagnosis was grim for six-year-old Kapila: her mother, Shanta, was told that she suffered from a hereditary condition and would probably not live past age 20. Broken-hearted, her family stopped seeking further diagnosis for Kapila, and the young girl stopped going to school. By age 12, she had lost the ability to walk entirely, leaving her to use her hands to slide on the floor to get around. However, Kapila was not the only one with a physical disability in her village. A glimmer of hope arrived when a woman whose child was treated by HRDC for clubfoot told Shanta about the hospital. Soon Shanta and Kapila were on a two-day journey to Banepa, just on the outskirts of Kathmandu, where HRDC is located.

“The original diagnosis was that she probably had muscular dystrophy, but I doubted that,” her doctor explained. “MD is unusual in girls, only about one in 50 million, and there were no symptoms in her upper body. Her mother told us she was sick with fever before the onset of her muscle problems, so we are thinking they were caused by polio.”

In the four months she has been at HRDC, Kapila has undergone two major operations to release the contractures in her hamstrings, then spent two months in skeletal traction before being treated with a month-long series of casts to stretch out her knees. After that, they can start work on her feet. Based on similar cases at HRDC, her doctor expects her to be able to walk with some support in about three more months, once her treatment is completed.

Despite a very difficult life, Kapila is always in high spirits. “She is always smiling and talks to everyone here,” the mother of another patient in a nearby bed said. “Everyone is her friend!”

“The doctors and nurses here are very loving,” Kapila says. “I have made so many new friends here too!”

It is thanks to your support and commitment that Kapila can receive treatment from HRDC, the premier pediatric orthopedic hospital in Nepal. Led by Dr. Ashok Banskota and his son, Dr. Bibek Banskota, they have given more than 80,000 children futures full of hope and possibility. Thank you for making this happen.

The skeletal traction that realigned her legs.
The skeletal traction that realigned her legs.
One of the casts she was in for a month.
One of the casts she was in for a month.

Links:

Jan 15, 2019

Success! Thank you for making it happen.

The school headmistress with the new generator.
The school headmistress with the new generator.

Dear friends,

We are so grateful for your generosity helping the Tibetan refugee community in Tezu, India get their noodle making business up and running and providing a new generator to the local school.

We're thrilled to report that, thanks to your help, both projects have been fully funded and the machinery has been delivered and is in operation. The noodle machine, run by two employees from the settlement, has already produced 2,000 noodle packets and counting! Great news for the more than 700 shareholders invested in the cooperative and their families. Along with the co-op, there is a shop where local residents can purchase the noodles. They hope to partner with restaurants and shops in neighboring districts in the near future.

The backup generator has also been installed and is ready for students when school opens after the Tibetan New Year (Losar) on February 5th. They will now have consistent, full days of learning, un-interrupted by power outages. Electricity provides light and keeps the ceiling fans running, crucial to surviving the hot summer days and helping students stay focused on their studies. The power will also keep the water running during frequent power cuts, enabling the school to stay open. In the words of the Headmistress: "The generations of scholars of this school will remember AHF for making their life at school a lot easier."

Please enjoy the photos below of the community enjoying their new noodle business and generator.

Students at Tezu are eager to learn!
Students at Tezu are eager to learn!
Noodles hanging to dry
Noodles hanging to dry
The machine is operated by two employees.
The machine is operated by two employees.
Inaugurated and blessed by Ganor Rinpoche
Inaugurated and blessed by Ganor Rinpoche
And, the final product! Beautiful.
And, the final product! Beautiful.

Links:

 
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