Monday, March 26, 2007

Bishal and Mamata

Bishal is five years old. His mother died in child birth and his father was unknown to the family. An elderly woman in Pokhara had been raising him but now her health is fragile and she is increasingly unable to take care of him.

Dinesh writes, "Bishal went to school for a year. So, he knows English and Nepali alphabets and numbers. As he was raised in [difficult conditions], his language and behavior [are] terrible. The house mother and the house sisters will have to struggle to bring him into the right track.

Mamata before and after Sam's House. Mamata comes from a village south of Pokhara. The pictures below document her living conditions and Dinesh's field visit.

He writes, "When Mamata was 3 years old, her father left them. Then, Mamata's mother brought her to her parents' house and left her there and she disappeared. They said they have no contact with her. Now, the grandparents are too old. Her grandfather is very sick so her grandmother has to look after him also. Mamata is now 6 years old, but she hasn't been to the school. So, we brought her with us. She seems very happy in Sam's House."

The road to Mamata's house, south of Pokhara. Trustee Bharat Malla again joined Dinesh on this field visit.

Taxi crossing the river. They also had to stop several times to keep the taxi from overheating.

Family and neighbors gather round as Dinesh collects information about Mamata.

Mamata's grandmother sitting on the porch.


Dinesh sent out requests to area schools asking them to submit proposals for Sam's House children. Because Nepal's public schools are so terribly underfunded, and thus terrible, there is a large private sector of schools. However, among these private schools, there is little regulation and it can be difficult to discern the quality institutions from the ones merely hanging out a shingle. There is also great competition for available students, which is why Dinesh requested the proposals. A smart idea!

After reading proposals and visiting a few schools, Dinesh and the board decided on Gurkha English Boarding School in Deep (Nepali word for "light"), an area north of Pokhara. It's too far away for the children to walk but Dinesh arranged for the children to be included on their bus route. He says it's a bit more expensive than he had anticipated, but we told him education was not an expense on which we (or our donors) minded a little cost overrun.

Dinesh was particularly impressed with the schools computer education. Also, looking to the future, the school is located in an area where we may purchase land. So when the day comes to move to another facility, the children will be able to attend the same school.

Cheers, Dineshji. Excellent work. Thank you!


John said...

These kids are beautiful. Sounds like Dinesh has things well in-hand. My recommendation if the crew at SH have any issues with Bishal's behavior: enroll him in the Cameron Lowe "Better Living Through Listening to Your Elders" Mentoring Program. Just a thought.


Cameron said...

oh snap!

Cam said...

or listing to marie Rohlke

-not cameron, Marierohlke