Sep 29, 2017

A World Has Opened Up for Alisha

Alisha loves to make faces!
Alisha loves to make faces!

Alisha and her little sister Nirjala came to us as a result of the 2015 earthquakes, when they were age 8 (Alisha) and 7 (Nirjala). As we got to know Alisha better, we were puzzled by the fact that this obviously intelligent little girl was not speaking well - even the other children couldn't really understand what she was saying - but her younger sister was speaking quite clearly.

All of our children have some degree of post traumatic stress disorder when they come to Ama Ghar because of the difficult circumstances of their early lives, so we make sure they get compassionate counseling and therapy soon after arrival. Because Alisha was having trouble with speech, we sent her to a speech therapist. She made it clear she really didn't enjoy that - and it wasn't successful. What to do? We were puzzled.

Then we sent her for her first medical checkup with our wonderful pediatrician, Dr. Neelam Adhikari, who is very well respected in Nepal. Dr. Neelam gives each of the children medical exams on a regular basis, and when she examined Alisha she realized that Alisha had a punctured eardrum! So that solved the mystery - she wasn't speaking well because she couldn't hear clearly.

Alisha was taken to a specialist, who was able to repair her eardrum, and her speech is continuously improving - almost on a daily basis. She's still an imaginative little girl who spends a lot of time in her own world - but with the help of Dr. Adhikari and your generosity, she will be able to function normally in school and participate in all the activities that her brothers and sisters enjoy. She has an amazing amount of energy - and now she's always smiling because she can make herself understood... although she still enjoys making funny faces, too.

One of the things that sets Ama Ghar apart from other homes is that we give our children this level of quality medical and mental health care - and we coudn't do it without you. Thanks, as always, for your generous heart.

Hearing well has opened up Alisha's world
Hearing well has opened up Alisha's world

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Jul 5, 2017

Pooja Comes Home to Ama Ghar

Pooja (left) and her new sister Alysha
Pooja (left) and her new sister Alysha

Since we brought 15 new children to Ama Ghar for sanctuary after the 2015 earthquake, we were only able to add one family member in 2016, our brilliant little nine-year-old Pooja. Pooja has been at Ama Ghar since November of 2016, and we can only say that we feel that she's really come home... she's added a whole new dimension to our family

Pooja was rescued from the streets of Kathmandu by the Sisters of Charity, who referred her to us. She is a very bright child who has adjusted well and is getting good marks at school, but most importantly, Pooja has become a leader of our little "gang" of 8-10 year old girls, making the group even more dynamic with her playfulness and goofy sense of humor.

In addition, she recently showed her leadership skills when the younger children decided to create a dance performance in honor of a visit to Ama Ghar by a group of college students from the US. Pooja quickly took over - helping to organize the other children and write the story behind the dance. She especially delighted in pulling the bag of donated dresses and costumes out of the closet and helping everyone to find the one that best suited the character they played in the performance!

Hundreds of children like Pooja, who have so much energy, sweetness and potential, are lost every day to trafficking, abuse and malnutrition on the streets or in the remote villages of Nepal. Thanks to you and your support, we are able to rescue as many of them as possible and give them a childhood, an education and hope for a productive and happy future.

For this, Pooja thanks you and we thank you - we couldn't do what we do without you.

Pooja (upper right) with friends and guest!
Pooja (upper right) with friends and guest!

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Apr 5, 2017

Ram is a survivor!

Ram, age 15, as well as his younger brother Laxman, joined us in May 2015 after losing their family in the earthquakes. At first it was difficult for Ram in particular to adjust to his new home at Ama Ghar because he was extremely traumatized by his experiences during the earthquake. Through the support of friends like you, we were able to fund regular counseling for Ram and he is beginning to understand that he is now in a safe place where he can socialize with and trust in those around him. With more time, special care and attention he will continue to improve.

His mental and physical condition took another blow last July when the wall of his schoolroom collapsed due to a landslide - two of his classmates were killed and he sustained some head injuries, which luckily were not life-threatening. At the hospital he was interviewed by several reporters and seemed to enjoy the attention - in fact, Bonnie Auntie had to watch him to make sure he didn't talk up his injuries a bit too much! Ironically, that attention was good for him as he became the spokesperson for his brothers and sisters.

Today, Ram loves to play any type of game at Ama Ghar and is doing well in school. He isn't too shy to try anything, and he entertains us with his love of dancing and his big smile. He also enjoys leading his younger brothers and sisters in doing chores, as you can see by the photo of the boys doing dishes. At Ama Ghar, everyone has to help with household chores - even the boys - which is somewhat unusual in Nepal, but Ram digs in and sets a good example for the younger children.

Without your support, we wouldn't be able to provide traumatized children like Ram with the love and care they need. Thank you for supporting this resilient survivor and giving him hope for a new life.

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