Photo: Girls at the orphan home are happy to have successfully completed another school year.
We are happy to report that 17 of the children (ages 9-18) who live at our orphan home took their end-of-school-year exams in March, and they all received excellent scores, advancing them to their respective next grade levels. To prepare for these exams, our children put in extra hours of study of their school subjects: their native Nepali language, math, science, social studies, history, geography, computer skills, and English. We are very proud of our children’s hard work and diligence to excel in their education.
In other good news, the 10 girls and women (ages 16-31) currently living at our ‘She Has Hope’ rehabilitation home harvested 10 KGs of onions and 5 KGs of garlic from their garden last month, which gave us $11 in savings realized from not having to purchase onions and garlic at the local market. This may not seem like much, but in the local economy this represents about 9 day's wages. The girls’ gardening project not only provides them with delicious, organic ingredients for their meals, but it also gives them the knowledge of advanced gardening techniques. Thus, they leave the home empowered, with the ability to start their own gardens to provide for their nutritional needs.
The girls and women are learning how to make popular Nepalese and Indian dresses, and how to knit various styles of woolen sweaters. Through their craft-making skill development coursework, the girls and women are also learning how to make stuffed animals and beautiful jewelry, such as necklaces, bracelets, and earrings. Learning to create all of these items gives them confidence and a great sense of accomplishment and purpose that they did not have before coming to live with us. Many of the girls’ crafts are sold online at SheHasHope.org, and all net proceeds support their rehabilitation. Our field director reports: “The girls at the rehabilitation home used to be very scared as it was a new place for them. They would not talk or open up, but now they are very happy and they enjoy being in the home. We get to see them having fun and enjoying each other's company. As they get to share each other’s stories, they feel relieved and they are very happy.”
Today we want to share the redemptive story of one of our rescues living at the Nepal rehabilitation home, 17-year-old Namita*:
Before coming to live with us, Namita lived with her mother, 3 younger sisters, and her younger brother. Namita traveled to India with a man who promised to marry her. However, this man deserted her in a hotel and after 2 months, he still had not returned. The owner of the hotel and other staff members forced Namita into horrible trafficking situations as well as forced labor in the hotel. Eventually, she was able to escape and return to Nepal and live at our rehabilitation home. She is very happy to live with us because she feels completely safe and secure. Namita is thankful for her friends in the home with whom she is learning valuable craft-making and cooking skills, and also having fun talking and laughing while they learn. Namita has never lived in such a wonderful environment, and it has transformed her life in ways that she never dreamed were possible. After hearing the other girls’ stories, Namita has learned not to trust other men so easily. Namita is planning to start her own tailoring shop after she graduates from our rehabilitation home.
In other news, we are seeking to sell our farmland due to the fact that our water well was destroyed after the 2015 earthquake and ever since, it has been very difficult to grow a diversity of crops on our land. Our field director is talking with locals and trying to find a buyer for our land. Once he has secured a sale, he will launch a search in order to purchase better land with a working water well.
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* Story names are changed to protect our program participants.