Larissa Arrives in Nepal

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Larissa Arrives in Nepal

Hello! My name is Larissa and I just finished my senior year at Kirkwood High School and plan to study psychology and education at Canisius College next year.  I have volunteered for Mitrata for many years at trivia nights and mouse races.  I had my first opportunity to travel to Nepal in 2015 on the sponsor trip, and absolutely loved my experience.  After returning home I knew I wanted to go back, so in the summer of 2016, I traveled back to Nepal to volunteer in the Contact Center.  I decided to travel back to Nepal this year to volunteer in the Contact Center because I enjoy working and spending time with the kids.  It amazes me how strong all of the kids are despite the challenges they have to face on a daily basis.  In my time here I'm excited to make new friends and learn even more about the Nepali culture. 

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Healthy Bodies, Healthy Minds

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Healthy Bodies, Healthy Minds

This morning I arrived at the Contact Center to find it was the one day each month when the students have their BMI measured. What luck! Every month, each student is carefully measured and weighed, and then their BMI is calculated and recorded. If a student falls below the minimum BMI expected for their age, their diet at the Contact Center is adjusted to help bring them up to a normal weight for their age and height. Malnutrition is an issue for many of the students at the Contact Center, but the Contact Center staff has several approaches to help. Breakfast and lunch are prepared each school day by a wonderful staff cook.

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A Day at the Contact Center

A Day at the Contact Center

Today I visited the Contact Center to see what a typical day is like for the students there. Our day began as children filtered in and ate breakfast, and then we started the morning routine by singing and dancing together, in both Nepali and English. After a brief mediation session to focus our minds, we were ready to learn! The younger kids practiced writing numbers in Nepali, while older kids worked on English words for colors and multiplication tables. We also had breaks for play time, of course -- puzzles proved especially popular with all ages.

Hello from Kathmandu!

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Hello from Kathmandu!

Namaste! My name is Sara, and I'm an American nurse living in Seattle. I first learned about the Mitrata-Nepal Foundation for Children when I helped with the Climb for Himalaya Children nearly five years ago on Mt. Rainier. Since then, each July I have either carried gear to camp to lighten the load for the climbers, or I've led a rope team of climbers all the way to the summit! Every year I am so impressed by the dedication of the climbers, both in their efforts to reach the summit and their efforts to raise funds to support Mitrata. The Climb for Himalaya Children is one of the highlights of my summer every year.

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Join Us at Cherokee Street’s Cinco De Mayo Festival

Join Us at Cherokee Street’s Cinco De Mayo Festival

The 2018 Cinco De Mayo festival will take place on Saturday, May 5th from 11:00am-10:00pm on Cherokee Street, between Nebraska and Jefferson, in St. Louis, MO. The festival will pack Cherokee Street with people enjoying authentic food, drinks, music, entertainment. Stop by Mitrata’s booth in the first block of Cherokee near Jefferson, numbered 8-9. We will be sharing information about our children in need and offering henna for $10 donation. Join us in a celebration of community and one of the largest and most diverse festivals in the St. Louis area.

Trivia Night: Sincere Thanks

Trivia Night: Sincere Thanks

Our sincere thanks to all those who attended our April 21 Trivia Night. We raised more than $22,000 for our underfunded children, necessary clean water for our Contact Center, one year of salaries for Mitrata university student Sangeeta to work as a tutor and a second part-time teacher, after school snacks and supplies and a few treats, ice cream and pizza! It was an incredible evening for our children.

Homeward Bound!

Homeward Bound!

On Friday, our last day in Kathmandu, Rick and I typed up the updated bio's of the children, packed our suitcases and said our goodbye's.  Looking back on our two weeks in Nepal, we felt good about all that we have accomplished:  taking videos and photos of the children, updating their bio's, delivering sponsor letters, visiting the Contact Center, shopping for the upcoming bazaar at Trivia Night, providing trainings for the students and meeting with the BSF staff to discuss policies, current challenges, and future plans.  Phew!  We were busy!  But it was wonderful to see the children and to work collaboratively with the BSF staff who showed us such kindness and hospitality.

You Gotta Love These Faces!

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You Gotta Love These Faces!

Today Rick and I continued doing interviews with the kids who attend Vibhuti Vidya Mandir School or who live at home and are able to walk to a good private school nearby.  I am impressed at how the BSF staff here in Nepal are able to individually plan for each student and choose the living situation and school which best suits the child's needs.  Such individualization, however, creates a tremendous challenge for the staff who must either travel distances to visit the children or arrange transportation to bring the children to the BSF office.

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Reliance Residential and Trinity School Updates

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Reliance Residential and Trinity School Updates

Today, we were in the BSF office in Sukedhara meeting with our students who attend the Reliance Residential or Trinity Co-Ed school.  Their ages ranged from seven to 14 and the grades they just completed ranged from 1st grade to 8th.  In addition to taking pictures and videos, and updating biographies, we captured some family photos as a few of their mothers accompanied them. 

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