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 Children  Nepal Project #20891

Ama Ghar Displaced Children Fund

by The Ama Foundation
Ama Ghar Displaced Children Fund
Ama Ghar Displaced Children Fund
Ama Ghar Displaced Children Fund
Ama Ghar Displaced Children Fund
Ama Ghar Displaced Children Fund
Ama Ghar Displaced Children Fund
Ama Ghar Displaced Children Fund
Ama Ghar Displaced Children Fund
Ama Ghar Displaced Children Fund

Buddha, who is now eleven years old, came to us in 2015, along with his sister Rosina, after they lost their home and family in the earthquakes that year. Of the fifteen new children who came to Ama Ghar at that time, he was probably the most quiet and shy. When surrounded by a group of his boisterous Ama Ghar brothers, he tended to  stay back, observe and live in the happy little world of his own imagination.

He does enjoy sports, though, so it was no surprise when he expressed an interest in participating in our morning Tae Kwon Do sessions - which the kids call TKD. Tae Kwon Do has brought an exciting new kind of exercise and sport to our children's world - both boys and girls have really enjoyed it as a new way to express their physical selves - and maybe imitate some of the martial arts super heros that they admire.

Buddha has absolutely excelled at TKD - the instructor comes once a week and noticed right away that Buddha was particularly attentive to using the proper technique instead of just leaping around like some of the boys... and the staff noticed that it gave Buddha newfound confidence to be the best at something. 

He began to go with the other boys to upper level training and even participated in municipality-wide competitions. We were all so delighted and thrilled for him when he recently won the municipal championship at his level! This photo shows the quiet pride that this slight but strong young man felt when he showed off his championship medal and certificate.

It is our mission to not only give our children a loving home and education, but to help them to believe in themselves, to believe that what they do has value. We never know what is going to appeal to a particular child, but Buddha has certainly made a big jump in his confidence and self-belief. We can only afford to offer these types of activities to the children because we have the support of good friends like you. We thank you - and Buddha thanks you, too.

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Jenuka was about three in this early photo.
Jenuka was about three in this early photo.

Jenuka and her sister Menuka were two of our very first Ama Ghar children. They lost their family as the result of an accident and came to Ama Ghar with the first group of children in 2001, when Jenuka was only two years old. She was a beautiful, lively little girl who was carefully watched over by her older sister and grew up with lots of hugs and attention from her older Ama Ghar siblings.

Since she was a tiny girl, Jenuka has loved to dance, and her bubbly personality made her popular with her peers as well as her brothers and sisters. She also enjoyed expressing herself through writing, but she was never very serious about school. In fact, we worried that she would not show sufficient academic achievement to move on to higher education.

Jenuka's teenage years were exactly as you might expect for a beautiful, bubbly, dancing, non-academic teenage girl, testing her boundaries at every turn. But after she turned 18, she appeared to have an epiphany - she loved to write and she began using her writing skills more and more. In fact, she even wrote a blog that appeared on the Ama Ghar website when we had an internal "blog competition." Ultimately, she found her calling and decided that she wanted to become a writer.

We are very proud to announce that Jenuka not only passed all her exams to enter higher education, but she has received a scholarship from the Bo M. Karlsson Foundation to study journalism. At 20, she is currently in her second year of a Bachelor's in Journalism and has been writing articles for both digital and print publications in addition to her college assignments. And she stil loves to dance!

Just like the family of any teenage girl, our staff has breathed a sigh of relief - once again, our mission of providing these children with family love, education, support and mentorship has paid off, and we see a bright future ahead. That future would not be possible without help from you, our Ama Ghar family - thank you.

Now she
Now she's 20 years old and mentoring others.

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Saraswoti smiling with visitors
Saraswoti smiling with visitors

When our little Saraswoti came to Ama Ghar as a result of the 2015 earthquakes, we were concerned about her. She seemed to have not only the PTSD symptoms that many of our children have when they arrive, but also some possible learning disabilities.

She was a bit shy and seemed comfortable mostly when she was around our Ama Ghar dogs, Tika, Siddhi, Jordi and JuJu. Interestingly, Siddhi, who has only three legs, is an earthquake survivor, too - so perhaps they have a special bond. Saraswoti spent so much time with them, we began to call them the Ama Ghar "Dog Whisperer".

Whether it was the support of her Ama Ghar family, her rapport with the dogs, the counseling she has received or all of those things - Saraswoti's progress in the last year has been amazing. Here's a quote from one of our Ama Ghar visitors about her:

"Cautious and hesitant a year ago, this year, she has truly grown and blossomed into a outgoing, smiley girl who even led all the children in dance routines. She has a wonderful affinity with dogs and Tikka, Jordi, Siddhi and Juju all adore her. We were thrilled to hear that Saraswoti did particularly well in her exams and is making excellent progress."

We are thrilled about this, too - Saraswoti, who is named for the goddess of knowledge and learning - is taking charge of her own education as well. As with all of our children, our goal is for her to grow up to be a happy, healthy, self-supporting adult. Thank you for supporting us in that mission.

 

Saraswoti
Saraswoti

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Bishal loves his new glasses!
Bishal loves his new glasses!

The world has opened up for Bishal, who came to Ama Ghar after the earthquake.

He suffers from glaucoma and was having difficulty seeing when he arrived. He was quiet and somewhat withdrawn, which wasn't surprising - he was surrounded by his rambunctious Ama Ghar brothers, who love to play sports and Legos, but he couldn't participate. Even though all the other Ama Ghar children and staff were supportive and loving, he had only a fuzzy, out of focus version of his new place in the world.

Since his arrival, Bishal has had two operations and now has a new pair of glasses. He gets special help with his homework so that he can keep up with the rest of his class. He's still a bit quiet compared to his brothers, but we have discovered that he has an impish grin and a great sense of humor. He's starting to take an interest in playing the guitar and happily joins in with our daily Taekwondo classes.

Bishal is a great example of the success of our Ama Ghar mission: to give these displaced children a childhood and a future. We couldn't do it without you - thanks for helping Bishal and his brothers and sisters to see a whole new world.

 

 

 

 

Just a few weeks ago, we welcomed two new Ama Ghar brothers into our family. Kushal, age six, and Sushan, age four, lost their house and most of their family in the 2015 earthquakes.

Since then, they have been shuttled around to members of their extended family, none of whom are able to care for them. This happens often in Nepal, one of the world's poorest countries, because no matter how well-intentioned and loving their extended families might be, there's not always enough food to feed two hungry little boys.

We are so pleased to have these boys - they have had their initial medical checkups and are quite healthy - they just need nutritious food, an education... and most of all, love. They arrived a bit nervous about what their future might bring in this strange new place, as all the children do. But now, two weeks later, they are walking off to school with the rest of their Ama Ghar brothers and sisters, secure in the fact that they have a safe place and a family to come home to.

Generous donors like you are what makes this possible - without you, there would be no warm and loving housemother to make them feel at home, no doctor to care for them and no comfortable bed for them at night. And especially important is the fact that without you, these boys might have been separated and sent to different homes instead of holding hands and walking to school together.

Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for your support of our mission.

 

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Organization Information

The Ama Foundation

Location: Berkeley, CA - USA
Website:
Project Leader:
Bonnie Ellison
Berkeley, CA United States
$62,113 raised of $75,000 goal
 
568 donations
$12,887 to go
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