Thank YOU! Trivia Night Exceeded Critical Goal
Happy New Year's Eve from Nepal
Our sincere thanks to all those who attended our April 6 Trivia Night. With a critical goal of $28,000, we raised more than $30,000 to support our underfunded children, necessary clean water for our Contact Center, catering and party supplies for a graduation ceremony, and alumni program snacks and supplies! We also welcomed new child sponsors who will be supporting five of our Contact Center graduates as they begin elementary school. It was an incredible evening for our children.
Very special thank you to Loryn Feliciano-Nalic and her husband, Edo Nalic, owners of Balkan Treat Box for providing yummy spreads and the Alderie family, owners of Cham Bakery for all the pita we could ever want.
Christine, Rick & Isaac Arrived in Nepal
Today (Saturday), Christine, Isaac, and I spent the day in the Sukedhara office and met with more than 20 of our “At Home” children (those living at home and going to school, grades three to ten), taking photos and videos, and getting updates on the past school year. In addition, we joined the BSF staff and the children in celebrating the Nepali New Year, which begins tomorrow, with pizza and momos. The Nepali New Year is an official public holiday in Nepal, which is celebrated with parades, feasts, and family reunions. According to the Nepali calendar, tomorrow begins the year 2076. Since Nepali New Year is seen as a deeply religious holiday, various religious rites and a hope for blessings in the year ahead are a big part of the holiday’s meaning.
A response to NYTimes.com: "I Am Not Untouchable. I Just Have My Period."
Founder and Executive Director Dr. Christine Schutz, board member Rick Hendin and volunteer photographer Isaac Schmitt have arrived in Nepal! In the coming days, Christine, Rick and Isaac will be sharing a daily blog post about their feelings, trip goals and activities, updates on our children and many photos.
Isaac shared his feelings on his first day in Kathmandu: Oversaturation is that best way I could describe arriving and spending my first day in Nepal’s capital.
Deadline to Register for 2019 Trip to Nepal
Long-time sponsor Pam Hughes responds to the New York Times article about menstrual shaming in Nepal. The Mitrata program gives our girls the opportunity to go to school and grow up feeling supported, loved, and free to express themselves.
So Long, Laura!
We are really excited to be able to offer two options this year for our side trip outside of the Kathmandu Valley to Pokhara. We will all fly roundtrip from Kathmandu to Pokhara together and do some sightseeing in Kathmandu. There are plenty of opportunities for shopping, hiking, and sightseeing. All information and a deposit is due by the end of March!
Celebrating Saraswoti Puja at the Contact Center
Laura Richardson from England spent 3 weeks volunteering at the Contact Center. She taught math and other courses to the kids apart from teaching English. She also loved reading books to the children which the children enjoyed very much. And the kids even had an outing with Laura along with the Contact Center staff and they had a few days of outdoor activities and games - perfect way to beat the cold during the winter.
Most notably, Laura engaged and involved the kids she taught in preparing a big wall art on the famous story ‘Bambi.’ The kids learnt just so many things through this young deer’s story of life journey and in the process they also learned many new words in English.
Yesterday was Laura’s last day at the Contact Center and the teachers and staff and other student volunteers at the Contact Center bade farewell to Laura.
Thoughts from Sudan, Mitrata's Medical School Student
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).
Our Partner BSF is a Trauma-Informed Organization
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!
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.