We were so lucky to miss Typhoon Mangkhut! We made it to Hong Kong on time and are on our way to Kathmandu.
We had a great day at the Big Buddha and Po Lin Monastery. Facts learned- Fact One: 5 people do not fit in a Hong Kong Taxi. Fact two- Hong Kong cleans up quickly after a typhoon that did a lot of damage to trees.
Last weekend we completed our 5 year strategic planning process with our Mitrata Nepal Foundation for Children board and staff members and Leena and Yogesh Satyal from BSF, our partner in Nepal. It was a long day starting at 8:30 am and followed by a great dinner and celebration hosted by long time sponsors, Arlene Miller and Hewie Powell.
We focused on a specific plan for growth by adding 25 more children and another Contact Center, making some improvements in our current programs and relocating our current Contact Center to a larger space. It was a day of high energy, good discussion and brainstorming.
Documentary filmmaker, Amy Benson of Nonfiction Media, came to Saint Louis and showed her newest film “The Eldest Son” focusing on the Darnal family in Nepal struggling to lift themselves from poverty. This showing was attended by 60 sponsors and donors of the Mitrata-Nepal Foundation for Children and was a big success. Leena and Yogesh Satyal of BSF, our partner organization in Nepal, were also there to answer the many good questions about life in Nepal.
The audience asked a lot of good questions and everyone was able to see first hand what it is like to grow up in a village in Nepal and try to get an education to improve family life. The oldest son went abroad to make money to support the family and get them out of debt. He returned downtrodden and in even more debt than before he left.
Leena Satyal, Executive Director and Yogesh Satyal, Board President of BSF, our partner in Nepal are in Saint Louis, Missouri for 2 weeks of meetings with sponsors, our annual strategic planning, and some fun times with donors, board members and staff of Mitrata Nepal Foundation for Children.
Leena has a lot to communicate about the updates on our 124 children in Kathmandu, our sponsorship programs and the Contact Center. A special thanks goes to the hosts of our many local Sponsor Coffee meetings this week, Sandeep Nema, Pam Hughes, Rick Hendin. All sponsors who attended received an update on their sponsored children. Leena and Yogesh also had time for tea at Margaret Gaal's house.
The children of the Mitrata Nepal Foundation for Children are truly inspired by the famous words of Winston Churchill, "Success is going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm". We are so proud of our graduates from 10th grade this year! They passed the Secondary Education Exam (SEE) which allows them to go on to 11th grade. All 10 of our children passed! To honor their accomplishments, BSF staff took them to a movie and then celebrated with the 5 children who graduated from the Contact Center, our school readiness program, to go on to 2nd or 3rd grade in a private school. So it was a double celebration and a great meal, cake and fun for everyone!
Leena Satyal, Executive Director and Yogesh Satyal, Board President of our partner NGO, BSF, will be visiting from Nepal between August 27 - September 9, 2018 to spend time with our dedicated child sponsors, staff and board members. We can't wait to see them.
Please join us for one of our get-togethers to be held at fellow child sponsor and board member homes. It's a wonderful opportunity to meet them (or see them again), talk to them about your sponsored child, and listen to updates about Nepal in a small group session. Please select one get-together that matches the grade age of your sponsored child(ren) and RSVP on the corresponding link.
We hope you will join us for a a private screening of the documentary film the Eldest Son on Friday, September 7, 2018 at 6:30 p.m. at the Arden Mead Center, 17 Selma Ave., Webster Groves, MO 63119. The film itself is 30 minutes, but we encourage you to stay after for an informative Q&A with filmmaker Amy Benson and Mitrata Executive Director and Founder Dr. Christine Schutz.
Reserve your complimentary ticket here. We are limited to 100 seats; please reserve now.
Our 16 climbers and six rope leaders raised $34,000 at the conclusion of our annual Climb for Himalaya Children of Mt. Rainier, Wa. We're so thankful to everyone who volunteered their time to make this happen and to the climbers and their friends and families who supported them on this physically and mentally challenging 3-day ascent. Also a shout out to the many "pack-mules" who hauled tents and ropes and stoves up to and down from the high camps to make it easier for the climbers and rope leaders!
16 climbers, 10 sherpas and six rope leaders set out on Thursday morning to kick off our three-day Climb for Himalaya Children of Mt. Rainier, Wa. Led by board members Ambrose Bittner and Len Kannapell and sponsored by Red Lantern Journeys and Ripcord Rescue Travel Insurance. Three days roundtrip to the 14,411 ft. summit of the highest mountain of the Cascade range in the Pacific Northwest and the highest mountain in Washington State.
On Saturday I went along with Yogesh and his children for a day of hiking at Shivapuri Nagarjun National Park. I was very excited to join them on this hike in hopes of seeing some animals unique to Nepal. The Shivapuri Nagarjun National Park offers a somewhat challenging trail due to the changing altitude throughout the hike. I was relieved to reach the top of the trail because I was excited to look over the entire Kathmandu Valley. Looking over the valley was very peaceful, despite the hectic buzz of the city down below. On our hike back down was nothing out of the ordinary until we ran into a tribe of Asamese Monkeys.