Thursday, May 27, 2010

Dipika and Cheeja--Welcome!

Sam's House recently admitted two new children, bringing the family to 34 members--that's 25 brothers and sisters, five mommies, Shiva (tutor), Umar (accountant), and, of course, Dinesh and Rekha.

Cheeja is 12 years old and had been working as a domestic servant in a village north of Pokhara. A few months ago she had been working in the field when she tripped and broke her arm. She did not receive any treatment for the break and the bones healed improperly while she continued to work.

A month later, one of Cheeja's friends came to Pokhara and reported her case to a center that provides classes to children who are employed as domestic workers. Another children's advocacy center was informed about Cheeja and they went to her village and arranged for a surgery at the Pokhara hospital to repair her arm.

The surgery was successful and when Cheeja came back for a check-up two weeks later, Dinesh was contacted to consider her case. Even though Sam's House typically admits younger children (between 2-5 yoa), Dinesh and his board were convinced this was a special circumstance and admitted Cheeja to the family.

Dinesh is planning to make a visit to her village to track down Cheeja's official documents at the district office.

Cheeja's arm after the surgery. She does physical therapy three times a day under Ramila's supervision.

Dipika is the younger sister of Dipa, who came to Sam's House late last year. Their mother is a farm laborer who could not afford to provide for many of their basic needs. Dipika and Dipa are also distantly related to Mina, Rina and Sharan, which Dinesh discovered when Dipa arrived last November.

From the beginning, Dinesh says, Dipika became attached to Mamata who was more than happy to carry her around all day long. Mamata enjoys playing "mother" to many of the younger children.

These admissions were possible for two reasons. 1) Sam's House signed a lease last year that expanded our space to the third floor of our building, making more beds available. And 2) because we continue to receive incredible support from people like you. We now have the flexibility and capacity to help more young children realize the opportunities every boy and girl deserves.

Thank you.

Scholarship Program

Dear Sam's House Supporters,

Dinesh has recently established a scholarship program, providing young children from poor families with the opportunity to continue their education without fear of cost interrupting their studies.

Thanks to your contributions, Sam's House underwrites all the fees, books and supplies for their education, which totals approximately $25 per month.

Bipul lives with his maternal grandmother in Pokhara. The family has been unable to locate his parents. His grandmother is able to work some, but just enough to earn for daily needs. He studies in grade 4 at Balmandir, a public school in Pokhara.

Sita is 16 years old and attends Balmandir. The headmaster of the school contacted Dinesh requesting a scholarship on her behalf because Sita is an outstanding student. Sita lives with her mother in Pokhara; her mother is a domestic worker. Dinesh says Sita and her mother are very thankful to Sam's House for the support.

Samiksha is from a village east of Pokhara. She is 7 years old with two sisters who work as domestic servants. Her parents are unable to work, so she frequently missed school to earn money for the family. Dinesh helped locate her uncle in Pokhara who agreed to take her in so she could attend Gorkha. In her village, Samiksha had been studying in grade 3, but at Gorkha she has in enrolled in grade 3. The report from her previous school says she is an excellent student, so Dinesh expects that she will be upgraded soon.

Sashi (top) and Saraswoti are sisters who live in a nearby neighborhood of Pokhara. Sashi is 10 and Saraswoti is 3 years old. Both their parents suffer from disabilities that prevent them from working and they live together on land owned by relatives who provide for their immediate needs.

Sashi will study in grade 1 at Gorkha, and Saraswati will be in nursery.

Thank you again for all your support. Dherai, dherai dhanyabaad!