|項目名稱||7 Days, 6 Marathons in Desert – Gobi March|
PS. A letter that we really want to share with you. Michael (Papa), founder of NOH wrote us this letter that, gave us the reason to do this again. Be touched.
Dear Benny, Louis, Jay, Leo and Carol
I hope that during your brief stay you have found that Nepal Orphans Home is a family with a rare and incredible amount of love that the children have for each other and for the volunteers who have spent time with them; typically folks who have done just that have left here with their hearts full and feeling like they are family. Being present when 124 of our children were not has surely mitigated the impact, but hopefully you carried a little of us home with you. The children I have found possess some therapeutic energy which is often illustrated in their compassion for others.
This morning we took in a new little girl, she is 9 and her name is Nomaya. She had been in another orphanage for 4 years and the husband and wife running it decided to close their doors, their reasons not particularly heroic but it is what it is. They had found homes for all the other children, only 14 as it was, but none for Nomaya. She does have a father who is deaf and dumb and a wanderer in a village very far away. 4 years earlier he abandoned her. She was not eager to be separated from the man who brought her; in fact she was pretty inconsolable when he left. My staff is all away this week, the last week of the holiday. I watched her out in our large grounds wishing I think that she could fly over our gate, for where I have no idea. Occasionally one or more of our children would approach her only to have their kindness rebuffed. They would come to me and ask what they could do and I suggested nothing more than they were as I felt she needed to be left alone until on her own she could come to terms with her new situation. About an hour later she wandered over to where some kids were sitting and talking and after a few minutes they were all off together. When next I found her she was in the room of a wonderful grandmother from Finland (you remember Sirkka) who comes this time each year and teaches the children knitting and quilt making in an exceptional environment of inspiration, humor, sharing and delightful photo ops. Nomaya stood in a sun spot in this cool room with two knitting needles focused upon a row of stitches she or someone had created and was immersed entirely in it. In the sun spot with her were the tiny angel dust like particles floating about and the other children present were sitting around knitting and Sirkka the woman in her large armchair knitting and smiling serenely upon it all. Gone were the tears, and when Nomaya looked up at me she smiled.
I have found over the past almost 10 years more joy in being with these remarkable children than I could have ever dreamed of. I have also learned so much from them when it comes to knowing what is important in life and in how to properly enjoy it. We will have 4 more new children joining us after next week ends and that will bring us to the maximum we will be able to keep for the foreseeable future.
The commitment by Nepal Orphans Home is to house, educate, clothe, feed, and restore to the children their dignity and help them to have a new faith in the family of man. There are no statistics here, just individual humans much like you and I when we were children; but as it was written, these children have suffered the loss of parents and had to deal with unconscionable inhumanity. If more people could sit with one of these children for an hour; share their laughter, thoughts, interest; and feel their kindness and complete lack of anger or hatred; listen to the beauty of their observations and be drawn into their eyes and soul by precious smiles and utter gentleness; then together we would find the way to make enough homes so that all trafficked girls could know what it is like to have the love, care, and support of a real family.
Most of our children come to us with little or no formal education, some quite young 4-5 years of age and others in the early to mid teens. It is undeniable that only through education, both academic, vocational and life skills will these children be able to make up for the huge debit their years as indentured servants has extracted. One of the hallmarks of our children, especially the Kamlari is when they come to us they are totally committed to learning. I have never seen children pre-teen and teenagers alike so devoted and hard working. In Nepal we suffer from power shortages which last most of the year except during monsoon season. The winter is the worst with up to 18 hours per day without electric and the 6 that is given is likely to occur after midnight; add to this cold deep enough to see ones breath indoors and then imagine children sitting on the floor at low tables in their bedrooms with a single rechargeable small lantern in the tables middle and studying from after eating their evening rice at 6 until I insist they go to bed, usually at 10pm for the older children. In the mornings I rise at 4:30 and I will find by 5am many of the children again at their tables.
The children attend an English medium school which makes for most the third language they need to learn. They come to us speaking only their native mother tongue and then learn Nepalese; but they start immediately at the school where except for Nepalese class they are restricted to speaking English only. These children learn quickly and enthusiastically.
We have been gifted some used laptops which has accelerated not only their English skills, but also opened their worlds like nothing imaginable could also do. The children have assigned times each day to use computers, we haven’t many but in each house there is approximately one for every 8 children. They have a typing program on each and after they have done their lesson on that they write letters to me or each other, and finally under supervision they search the internet to learn about the world. Consider that these girls went from being indentured, living in mud huts and never attending school to doing computer searches to learn about the universe. I have given some thought to the purchase of a few more laptops with some of the very generous donation you brought with you. Another possibility is the addition of a few more solar panels which will provide better light to the kitchens and dining/study rooms in each house. We had purchased one for each house already but found the lighting fine for working but not conducive to reading. It would not be hard to find many ways to spend so much money; each is needed and has been wanting for some time. If you all and your friends who helped have a particular idea of how you would like to see the money used please let me know.
We are working on a new edition of our newsletter and with your permission I would like to submit a photo of you all with a brief description of what you did for us. The newsletter is sent electronically of course and if you would be interested we would happily add your address to the list receiving it.
If ever there is anything at all I might be capable of doing for any of you please do not hesitate to let me know.
Thank you once again for everything and please share this letter with your friends so that they may feel my appreciation as well.
Papa (Michael Hess)
Founder and Director
Nepal Orphans Home and Volunteer Nepal