Nov 30, 2015

Badiram Enjoys His New Family

Badi Ram always has a ready smile
Badi Ram always has a ready smile

Since the earthquakes that struck Nepal in April and May, there has been one bit of bad news after the other, from the loss of ancient temples to loss of lives, homes and families. The latest blow has been the humanitarian crisis caused by the border blockade that has kept Nepal from getting supplies of fuel for cooking, heating and transportation; and a food shortage caused by the inability to get food from the areas where it's grown or raised to where it's needed.Through it all, the Nepali people remain smiling and resilient.

One of our newest additions to the Ama Ghar family is Badiram, a four-year-old boy who has captured all of our hearts with his lovable personality. He's a real character and a constant reminder to us that life is good, even though he's been through many traumas in his young life.

He loves to give kisses and always has a smile - he seldom needs to walk anywhere as everyone wants to hold and carry him... he is definitely getting spoiled by his older sisters. When he isn't being held he's a very active little boy. And though he's the smallest and youngest in the house, he eats two big bowls of food and is always the last to finish eating.

During the recent Nepali holidays of Dashain and Tihar, Badiram kept us all entertained by imitating the older boys' dance moves. He especially loved the Tihar ceremony of Ma Pujha, the celebration of the self, and Bhai Tika, which honors brothers with a special ceremony.

Our goal with the Displaced Childrens' Fund is to provide children like Badiram a safe home, either by re-uniting them with their families or placing them in a reputable childrens' home. We are planning to take in more earthquake refugee children ourselves, with three more being sent to us by a government agency within the next few weeks.

Please help us to care for children like Badiram by donating to the Displaced Chidlrens' Fund this holiday season, and thanks for all the help you have given us during 2015.

Badi Ram enjoys his treats at Ma Pujha
Badi Ram enjoys his treats at Ma Pujha
Badi Ram with his big sister Srijana
Badi Ram with his big sister Srijana

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Aug 26, 2015

Helping Kids Overcome Earthquake Trauma

A girl at refugee camp shows her copy of the book
A girl at refugee camp shows her copy of the book

"There are some things that once you've lost, you never get back. Innocence is one. Love is another. I guess childhood is a third."
 
                                                                       
                                                                                      - John Marsden


Though the media has lost interest in the Nepal earthquakes, the effects linger on. Aftershocks still continue and the children of Nepal live in a world of lost innocence and lost childhood, where they never feel quite safe, despite the best efforts of those who love and care for them.

To help children deal with the afternath of these disasters, Ama Foundation has joined with Global Family Village, a U.S. based charity that supports community based alternative care of children, to print and distribute a childrens' coloring book called "Gita and Shyam: The Day The Earth Shook."

There are 66 resettlement camps throughout earthquake affected areas, and the storybook will be given to children, teachers, counselors and caregivers in each of these camps, thanks to all of you who donated to our Earthquake Relief and Displaced Children's Funds.

"Gita and Shyam" was first published in English in 2008 by the author, Chandra Ghosh, and funded by the National Child Traumatic Stress Network in the U.S. It has been readapted for other natural disasters and translated into Spanish, Japanese, and Hindi. Dr. Kishor Shrestha, Board member of Global Family Village-Nepal led the adaptation and translation of the story to fit the Nepali context. The storybook was reviewed by experts at the Ministry of Education, and revised with the full collaboration of the author, Mrs. Ghosh, and the illustrator, Erich Ippen.

As part of our mission to help children traumatized and displaced by the earthquake, Ama Foundation joined with Global Family Village to fund the first printing of the book and distribute it to the most severely affected districts. The are 66 resettlement camps throughout earthquake affected areas, and the storybook will be given to children, teachers, counselors, and caregivers in each of these camps.

It was your gift to the Ama Foundation Displaced Childrens' Fund that made this possible, and we thank you from the bottom of our hearts. Our next goal is to put this book in the hands of every elementary school child in Nepal - we'll keep you posted on our progress.

This young man has already started coloring!
This young man has already started coloring!

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Attachments:
Aug 3, 2015

Helping Kids Displaced by the Earthquakes

Ramit, Badi Ram and Jeevan on their way to school
Ramit, Badi Ram and Jeevan on their way to school

The earthquakes may be over, but along with the aftershocks, the effects of the earthquakes remain...

Imagine thousands of children between the ages of 4 and 17 who have lost their families, trying to find a safe place where they are not subject to the tempting offers of traffickers or the horrors of abuse. This is the situation in Nepal, and at Ama Ghar, we are working with anti-trafficking groups to help them find a safe haven - some of them in our home.

Thank you again for your generosity in supporting our earthquake relief fund. Your gifts helped us to provide shelter, solar power, medical supplies, hygiene supplies and child safe spaces to our neighbors and others in remote areas who had lost their homes in the earthquake. The next step for us is to help children displaced by the earthquake to find a loving home, nutrition, medical care and an education. If you'd like to help, please go to our new Displaced Children's Fund on Global Giving. Your kindness will give these children hope for a real future in the new Nepal that is rising from the rubble.

We have taken in eight new children at Ama Ghar since the earthquake; most of them were frightened and traumatized when they arrived, but our staff and children are doing everything they can to make them feel loved and welcome. Slowly, the tears are turning to smiles. Here are their stories:

Ram, age 12

Ama Ghar is the third home that he has been placed in since he has been on his own. He is suffering from trauma and getting regular therapy from a psychologist. In the meantime, he is having difficulty feeling comfortable in his new school, so our house mother, Uma, works with him at home. He will need time, but in the meantime we show him as much love as possible.

Laxman, age 9

Laxman, who is Ram’s younger brother, has started to show that he is getting settled in and engaging more with the other children. He seems to like school and is doing well, but what he really likes is playing caroms with his new Ama Ghar brothers and sisters.

Anjana, age 8

Anjana spent only two days at Ama Ghar before she began asking to go to school – she was ready right away, while others take more time to adjust. Anjana is quiet and doesn’t smile, as she lost her bottom front permanent teeth in an accident of some kind. She needs time to develop trust, but she is tentatively getting to know her new brothers and sisters.

Nirjala, age 6

Nirjala just arrived last week, and she hasn’t get go of the stuffed puppy she received on the first day. She is very, very thin and has a lot of infections on her skin. She has been seen by our wonderful Dr. Neelam Adhikari and she will heal quickly. She is very timid but is starting to explore.

Alisha, age 5

Alisha just arrived but is already sleeping well.  She got a pink stuffed bear when she arrived, but it hasn’t held her interest. Her continued request is for “chewing gum” and “cheese balls”, both taboo items at Ama Ghar, poor little thing.  She is quite talkative and likes to be with our house father, Bhesh.

Ramit, age 5

Another recent arrival, Ramit seems to be happy to get his uniform on and march off to school with the others. It did take him a few days to smile but he has been a busy boy with Lego and crayons. He seems to like vegetables which sets him apart from others!

Badi Ram, age 3

Badi Ram is a happy, smiling, very active little boy. He has become used to the older girls taking turns holding him, and he is quite the kisser – just show him your cheek and you get a kiss. He has started nursery school, and it will be a challenge for his teachers to manage his energy.

Jeevan, age 5

Jeevan is an active boy and loves the attention he gets from his new older sisters. On the surface he seems to be adjusting well. He still has trouble at night with bedwetting and being afraid of the dark. He is anxious to get ready for school and is a good eater.

Links:

 
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