By Olivia Bryanne Zank - Volunteer at the Mountain Fund
First of all a huge thank you to donors, who have supported Punarbal Plus so far. We thank you for enabling us to help children in need.
While the children attend school and are busy preparing for their exams, life at Punarbal Plus ashram becomes more and more settled. The Nepali academic year runs from April to March and the children are busy revising for their exams in end of March, all of them feeling the benefit of proper nutrition and housing. One of the girls in particular has felt the benefits of getting proper nutrition and not having to help out at a farm anymore:
Ramita Devkota was born in 2002 Nov, at Motipur VDC in Kailali District. She is the eldest among her three brothers and a sister. Though she has 4 siblings none of them are alive; all have died due to AIDS. It was only after the death of the third child that her mother found our that she too is infected with HIV. The grief made her father unable to work or care for the family, since he correctly realized that it was his unsafe sexual life that had led to the family’s tragedy.
The family hoped that Ramita did not have HIV. However, one day, when a spout of chicken pox became complicated, they went to the hospital where they not only discovered that she was indeed infected but also that her CD4 count was at a life-threatening 128 and she was prescribed ARV immediately. She was then taken to Kathmandu for further treatment and asked to stay at Punarbal Plus ashram since she badly wanted to study, and the local school in Kailali had thrown her out when her status became known. After three months at Punarbal Plus her CD4 count has increased to 374 and she has gained three kg. She wishes to become a doctor and is studying hard to achieve this. Punarbal Plus wants to help her and we hope that you also do.
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