Celebrating Saraswoti Puja at the Contact Center

Like each year we celebrated Saraswoti Puja (aka Basanta Panchami) at the Contact Center on Sunday (10th Feb., 2019). Basanta Panchami also marks the beginning of the spring season in Nepal. Basanta actually means spring in Sanskrit and Nepali. This day is specially dedicated to the Hindu goddess Saraswoti who is the goddess of knowledge, learning and enlightenment. The kids were told about the importance of the day and they also listened to poetry on Basanta Panchami and received blessings and sweets from their teachers at the Center and enjoyed a special meal of puri & tarkari (curry) and rice pudding (kheer).

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Alexis Mead
Thoughts from Sudan, Mitrata's Medical School Student

One of most important thing we can do in this earth is to let people feel they are not alone.

I want to write as simple as possible because our emotions and attachment are so powerful and crucial that strongest words appear useless. I want everybody either in junior schools or university level to go through this. I want every sponsor (I prefer to say Guardian) to go through this. Let me take you 15 yrs back…

I was an 8 year old boy of grade 5 in government school but struggling to learn alphabets. One day, I was told to send passport size photo to Kathmandu for a “purpose,” which I wasn't familiar at all. The next day, I walked 13 hours to reach the district headquarters. This was my first visit outside my home without knowing the purpose of visit! 

In May 2004, I was taken to a house where I saw friends of my age! All I had taken from my home was a shirt and a half-pant. Immediately then, Pawan, Rukesh, and Ajay came near me and took me to change clothes. I ate and then slept!

Days passed! Night passed! Month passed! Years passed! Decade passed!

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Alexis Mead Comments
Our Partner BSF is a Trauma-Informed Organization

Our partner BSF is a Trauma-informed organization. 

The best thing about a new year is that it allows us to refresh and recalibrate both our thinking and spirit, and consequently, our actions. The January monthly staff meeting at BSF always takes on a special importance and this time we had an informal but intense and engaging workshop that spanned one whole day.

Last year in January’s staff meeting, we as a team and as individuals tried grasping the concept of “Growth-mindset” and committed ourselves to that thinking as we had started to sense the imminent growth and expansion in the scope of our work as well as increasing challenges, opportunities, and even complexities coming our way. As a result, we individually and collectively learned numerous new ideas and practices, and tried out a couple of them, shared them in peer groups and across the organization and all that turned out to be very helpful and markedly improved our personal productivity and overall organizational overall effectiveness.

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Alexis Mead
2019 Trip to Nepal - Join Me

Please join me in our child sponsor/donor trip to Nepal November 2019! Each year I travel to Nepal to visit our children, our NGO partner and to provide oversight to our programs for underprivileged children in Nepal. I invite you to see firsthand the difference you have made to the lives of our children. Come and experience Nepal, a culturally rich country with diverse religious traditions, amazing natural beauty, art and architecture and of course, the Himalayas.

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Alexis MeadComment
Climb for Himalaya Children - Join Us & Choose Your Mountain!

Join us this July to climb either Mt. Rainier or Mt. Baker, both in Washington State, to support the work of the Mitrata-Nepal Foundation For Children to educate disadvantaged children in Nepal.
Choose Your Mountain!
Due to National Park Regulations restricting us to one route on Mt. Rainier this year, we've decided to add a climb of Mt. Baker as a slightly less serious option - both in terms of difficulty, and time commitment. 
No prior mountaineering experience is required for either mountain. You will be trained on how to use technical mountaineering gear like ropes, harnesses, ice axes and crampons during the ascent.

Climbing these mountains are physically challenging endeavors, but if you get in serious shape, most people can be successful -- depending on weather and route conditions. 

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Good Tidings We Bring to You from Nepal!

The word Christmas has something magical about it and its universality is like no other. It invokes a certain feeling of joy, readily conjures up the season’s imagery, and it softens and lightens hundreds of millions of hearts and minds across the globe; across cultures and age groups, and as history stands witness, even across frontlines and trenches. That’s Christmas.

Contact Center has always been big on Christmas celebrations. And it’s not difficult to guess why. Children love gifts and they like to have fun. Christmas brings happiness in the form of sharing and celebration, togetherness and attention, renewal and respite, and partaking of good food.

This year, like every year the kids at the Contact Center received warm jackets for their Christmas gifts. They danced and joyfully caroled Christmas songs and later proudly paraded from room to room donning their new jackets and woolen caps cheered on by the onlookers in the teachers and staffs, and volunteers.

The Center wore warm and welcoming Christmassy feel right from the morning with piles of gifts neatly stacked under the brightly decorated Christmas tree. With every head sporting a Santa hat the whole place looked like Santa country.

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Alexis Mead
Happy New Year to All -With Gratitude and Joy!

As I reflect on 2018, on this last day of the year, I am filled with gratitude. Our sponsors and donors continue to support our children in Nepal and our organization here in USA. We successfully graduated more children from our program to become independent adults and continue to add new and wonderful board members and child sponsors. Our partner organization in Nepal, BSF, has made tremendous strides as an organization with dedicated staff and hard work all year to lovingly provide care, counseling and guidance to our kids in Nepal. Thank you to all the BSF staff!

We hosted three successful events this year, Trivia Night, the Climb for Himalaya Children and the Holiday Bazaar. Thanks to our many volunteers we had great fundraisers with lots of fun.

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Christine Schutz
Remembering the Late Mrs. Satyal, Founder of our Contact Center

The children and staff at the Contact Center paid tribute to the late Mrs. Bhuvaneshwori Satyal who founded the Contact Center almost 20 years ago. Having grown up and educated in Gandhian values and educational system in India, she devoted her entire life working selflessly for and helping underprivileged children and women in Nepal.

It's the sixth year since her passing. The staff and children remembered her this past week talking about the values that shaped her life and work.

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Alexis Mead
Keep Warm, Sleep Well!

This week, our Nepali partner BSF distributed a set of fleece blanket, bed sheet and pillow cover to each of our students at the Contact Center amidst the clouds that were forming in the Kathmandu sky because of a tropical cyclone Phethai that had originated over the Bay of Bengal which quickly rendered Kathmandu and many eastern parts of Nepal frigid. For our Contact Center children and their families who mostly live in small rented tin shacks or single room apartments, which are ill-equipped to keep themselves warm, winters are always a harsh and biting reality.

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Alexis Mead