Project #8253

Give Hope and an Education to 7 Kids in Nepal

by The Ama Foundation
Kalpana Thapa
Kalpana Thapa

Kalpana is a beautiful girl who has always dreamed of flying... and luckily, she is very adept at learning languages as well. Now, thanks to friends like you, she may be able to realize that dream!

Kalpana came to Ama Ghar at the age of 8, as her family was unable to buy enough food to support their children. She was a timid child when she came to us, who was afraid to even go outside the gates of our Ama Ghar home. But she was always a wonderful dancer, and her shyness fell away when she had the opportunity to perform traditional Nepali dances at our holiday celebrations and festivals.

In 2009, Kalpana had an amazing surprise when she received a call from her younger sister, whom she hadn't seen since they were very small. Kalpana's sister had been adopted by a Spanish family, but she still missed Kalpana so much that her adoptive family helped her to trace Kalpana to Ama Ghar. The two girls had a very funny telephone conversation, as Kalpana spoke no Spanish and her sister didn't really remember how to speak Nepali!

Ama Foundation's Country Director in Nepal helped Kalpana to get a passport and accompanied her to Spain, where she was reunited with her sister for the first time since they were small. Kalpana stayed with her sister during her summer school holiday, and she not only learned to speak Spanish but she also was a bit shocked by European culture - she ate sausage and seafood for the first time, and wore a swimsuit, which was difficult for this still-shy young lady. Most importantly, she was able to experience airplane travel for the first time... it was a dream come true.

Kalpana returned from that trip with a dream of becoming an airline hostess. She realized that with her facility for languages - she now speaks, Nepali, English and Spanish - she might be a good candidate for an international airline that operates out of Nepal. She studied business in school and worked very hard to improve her grades; she became even more proficient in English and Spanish - now she is undergoing air hostess training.

If she does well, she will soon be flying through the clouds, with dreams of seeing her sister more than just once a year. Thank you to all our Global Giving donors for helping her to complete the education required to gain her wings. Our goal at Ama Ghar is for our children to become self-supporting and good international citizens - we couldn't do it without help from friends like you!

Laxmi in the mountains of Pokhara
Laxmi in the mountains of Pokhara

In January, our wonderful Laxmi left her Ama Ghar home to live in Pokhara to pursue a Bachelor's Degree in Public Health. We will miss her, but we are thrilled that she'll have the opportunity not only to pursue her dream career but also to live in a beautiful place like Pokhara. Anyone who has visited Nepal will remember Pokhara as the place where the mountains appear to grow right out of the luminous waters of Lake Fewa. It's the beginning of the Annapurna Circuit, and a popular place for tourists from around the world.

Laxmi has wanted to be either a doctor or a dentist since the day she came to Ama Ghar. As a small child, before she came to Ama Ghar, she was forced to work long, grueling hours in the fields near her home village, with no time for school or play. But as soon as she entered school, she caught up fast, and has always been a hard working and determined young lady.

Once she has achieved her Bachelor's Degree, she hopes to work in a village like the one she came from, where she can teach local people how to care for their own health and wellness. Thank you to our GlobalGiving supporters for helping us to send Laxmi to school - you have helped to transform her life from that of a child laborer to a healthcare professional.

Laxmi, second from left, at Tihar festival
Laxmi, second from left, at Tihar festival

First of all, many thanks and happy holidays to our Global Giving donors - we have some good news to share in this update.

Last time we told you about the girls who are seeking health care careers, and today we can tell you some wonderful, though bittersweet, news. It's bittersweet because it means that these young women have to leave their brothers and sisters and aunties and uncles at Ama Ghar and go out into the world, which is sometimes a tough adjustment, but the good news is that they have found placement in degree programs in public health.

Laxmi (shown in the photo above with her brothers and sisters) is now studying at Pokhara University for her Bachelors in Public Health, Kalpana and Pabitra have left for hostels in Kathmandu where they are taking a three year Health Assistant course and a Pharmacy course, respectively. This is very exciting for these girls, who came to us from a remote village and now will have a chance to live on their own as young adults and study hard so that they can support themselves.

Our mission at Ama Ghar is to provide a loving, supportive home for these children when they are young, and then to support them in accomplishing the highest degree of education that their talents will allow, so that they can become self-supporting adults and good Nepali citizens. Thank you for helping us to accomplish that mission - we couldn't do it without you.

Pabitra, Krishana and Kalpana - our future nurses.
Pabitra, Krishana and Kalpana - our future nurses.

Exciting news! Three of our Ama Ghar girls are enrolled in courses destined to give them careers in the health care field. Kalpana, Pabitra and Krishana have always wanted to give back and help others as they have been helped in their lives, and they have decided that working in the health care field will give them the opportunity to carry out that dream.

The girls arise early every day and take a bus into Kathmandu to attend their classes. Kalpana and Pabitra (both 19) came to Ama Ghar from the remote village of Pyuthan when they were only 9 years old because they had no family to support them. Instead of becoming household slaves or field workers, they have been part of a large and loving family, attended English-speaking schools, where they excelled, and now, thanks to the generosity of our donors, they are embarked on a course that will end with a nursing degree and a fulfilling career. Krishana, who is the same age and came to us at the same time, is a talented dancer and once dreamed of a dancing career. Although she'll never abandon her dancing, she has realized that she has to pay her own way, so she's studying to be a health care assistant as well. She has always been a particularly loving person who has cared for her brothers and sisters, so she is extremely well-suited to this career.

All three girls expressed their appreciation to our donors for giving them this opportunity - thank you!


Kalpana Pun
Kalpana Pun

Thanks to great supporters like our friends at GlobalGiving, our students are doing well and are being supported in some unpaid - but very valuable - internships. The job market in Kathmandu is extremely tough, so it's wonderful progress for the kids to be able to get the kind of internships that will help them to have a "step up" on the competition for jobs. Here's a progress report on the students you are supporting:

Manisha continues to do very well in her Bachelor's Degree program in hospitality, and Sajan has taken  on a three month internship at the Summit Hotel before he starts at the government Hotel Management School Bachelor's program.

Kalpana Thapa is taking Spanish classes and has an internship at the Patan Museum Cafe - she will apply for Flight Attendant training at the end of the summer. Kalpana Pun and Pabitra are interning at the local Health Post in Kitini and will be taking teh health Assistant exam in July.

Ashok continues to excelt in IT and will enroll in a Bachelor's program, and Laxmi and Ganga are applying for internships in secretarial work and accounting.

These are tremendous change in the dynamics of our family, but we are recognizing our dream - and our mission - of educating and guiding each individual Ama Ghar child to a successful future. With your help, we can make dreams come true!



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Organization Information

The Ama Foundation

Location: Berkeley, CA - USA
Project Leader:
Cathy Clifton
Communication Director
Kathmandu, Nepal

Funded Project!

Combined with other sources of funding, this project raised enough money to fund the outlined activities and is no longer accepting donations.

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