Education  Nepal Project #20891

Ama Ghar Displaced Children Fund

by The Ama Foundation
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Ama Ghar Displaced Children Fund
Ama Ghar Displaced Children Fund
Ama Ghar Displaced Children Fund
Ama Ghar Displaced Children Fund
Ama Ghar Displaced Children Fund
Ama Ghar Displaced Children Fund
Ama Ghar Displaced Children Fund
Ama Ghar Displaced Children Fund
Ama Ghar Displaced Children Fund

Pratima was one of the 19 original children who came to Ama Ghar from a remote village. When she was young, she was a fantastic dancer and always stated, when asked what she wanted to be when she grew up, that she wanted to be a Bollywood dancer! As she grew older and matured, though, this voracious reader learned more about the world and decided her purpose was to help disadvantaged and marginalized people to live successful lives. 

As a teenager and college student, Pratima was a leader in several student organizations committed to the causes of women and girls. She was determined to take a bachelor's in psychology, which she completed in 2018. After leaving college, she married, and she and her new husband decided to go to Australia and make a new life for themselves. She now lives in Sydney, Australia and is completing her Bachelor's degree in Social Work.

Pratima's success is due primarily to her own hard work, but your financial support has made it possible for her to pursue her dream. Perhaps even more importantly, knowing that there are people all over the world who are her Ama Ghar family and who believe in her gives her the confidence and the drive to do her very best. Thanks for all you do.

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Rekha with her Perfect Report Card!
Rekha with her Perfect Report Card!

Today we're sharing a photo of our little Rekha with her perfect 4.0 report card! We are so proud of her - she is following in the footsteps of her Ama Ghar sisters like Manisha, who also received perfect grades in elementary school - and she is now working on a Bachelor’s degree in Australia.

Rekha will continue to do well as she is reading constantly and is always anxious to be the leader when playing new games. She is totally absorbed in Nancy Drew and the Box Car Children book series. The staff is spending a lot of time in bookstores trying to keep up with her new requests!

Rekha's success is an example of how sometimes the worst times lead to the biggest breakthroughs… going to school at home during lockdown seems to have been particularly good for Classes 2-5, who were taught at Ama Ghar by their older brothers and sisters. All kudos go to the older ones who kept the children engaged and exposed them to new subjects other than the school curriculum. Rekha was one of those children who became really excited about learning during that time.

We even received a note from the principal of the elementary school, who wrote to tell us “We are very happy with how the Ama Ghar children are performing now, not only in studies but also there has been a big change in their behaviour. They have become very disciplined.” Silver linings!

Unfortunately, since all this happy news, the schools in Nepal have gone back into lockdown due to the extreme second wave of COVID cases in our country. We hope, for the sake of our country and our people's health, that all the children will be back to school soon, but we are comforted by the fact that the Ama Ghar children can study and learn in a safe environment. We fervently wish for the same for all children everywhere.

Thank you for your support of our mission and we hope for better times to come.

 

 

 

 

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Jenuka, along with her older sister, Menuka, was one of the first children to come to Ama Ghar in 2001, our founding year. She was always an adorable and bright child, but as a young adult she has made us proud in ways that actually exceed our expectations.

After some tough teenage years, Jenuka really found her focus in writing and received a scholarship for a Bachelor's degree in Journalism. She excelled at all of her classes and her articles were published in local and regional media. Unfortunately, just as she was gaining momentum both in school and as a budding journalist, the pandemic hit. Her degree studies were put on hold by the school, and she came to Ama Ghar to live with her family of younger brothers and sisters.

To our delight, she has become indispensable as a teacher, tutor and documentarian during our Ama Ghar "lockdown school". As the younger children were attending classes via Zoom, they needed additional tutoring and extra projects to ensure that they continued to learn and understand their lessons. Jenuka and the other older children brought so much enthusiasm and so many great ideas to supplement their curriculum that many of the younger children became more engaged and actually did much better in their studies. Jenuka also became our official videographer and photographer. She documented daily activities, from school to sports, games and festivals; many of her images were used at our virtual fundraiser, which was held in October.

One of Jenuka's best ideas was a special project called the "Wax Museum". She asked each of the younger children to research someone in history that they admired and write an essay about that person. Then the really fun part was that each child dressed up in costume as the historical figure they admired, making great use of our costume closet. Then they posed as wax figures around the front patio and their audience of staff and older children were highly entertained.

None of this learning and creativity would have been possible without the support we receive from you and GlobalGiving. Enjoy the photos - the first shows Jenuka with her younger brother Jeevan and the others are figures from the Wax Museum.

Laxman chose to be Ghandi in the Wax Museum
Laxman chose to be Ghandi in the Wax Museum
Ramit as Tenzing Norgay Sherpa, first on Everest
Ramit as Tenzing Norgay Sherpa, first on Everest

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The greatest joy for those of us who work at Ama Ghar is to see our children bloom and grow and develop their talents. Sabin, who came to us after his home and family were lost in a terrible flood, is a great example of this.

Sabin has always been a resilient, good natured boy who is good at sports and pays attention in school, but we had no idea of his musical talent until he began to ask his older brothers to let him play "their" guitars. Actually, none of the boys actually own a guitar, but several guitars have been donated to Ama Ghar, and they are shared by boys and girls of all ages when it's time to play and sing.

There was so much interest among the boys in particular that we hired a guitar teacher to come to Ama Ghar once a week and give lessons, and we have even found an old couch to put on the balcony off the boys' sleeping porch - a kind of a "man cave" where they can play their guitars and sing, much to the enjoyment of all!

Even though many of the children are interested, Sabin stands out because he is so willing to practice and learn... and we always know where he is because he can be heard humming and singing around the house, even when he's doing his chores!

We believe that Sabin's musical development is evidence of the success of our mission, which is not only to rescue these children from difficult situations, but to nurture their growth academically and through music, art, sports and other interests so that they will grow up to achieve their dreams as self-supporting, well-rounded Nepali citizens.

Thank you to all our GlobalGiving donors for your generosity - without you, Sabin would not be singing!

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Sometimes the vegetables are bigger than she is!
Sometimes the vegetables are bigger than she is!

Meet the newest member of our Ama Ghar family – Ganga, who came to us from Sindupalchowk, one of the areas hardest hit by the 2015 earthquakes. Many people in that area have still not recovered from the loss of their homes and livelihoods, including Ganga’s parents, who abandoned her when she was about 10 months old. She was living with her disabled grandfather until she was brought to us after he died in January, when she was 2 years, 9 months old.

She is a very curious little girl and very, very talkative – her grandfather must have talked with her a lot, as she has great verbal skills. Her curiosity leads her to ask questions about everything, from the jewelry someone is wearing to playing with Legos.

As the newest child, Ganga is the center of attention at Ama Ghar and is very comfortable interacting with all of her new brothers and sisters, particularly Sushan, her six year old Ama Ghar brother who sat with her at dinner on her first night at Ama Ghar and was heard to say, “If you live at Ama Ghar, you must study hard!” 

She should have started nursery school at the end of April, but since Ama Ghar is in lockdown from the coronavirus pandemic, she spends her time trying to imitate her older brothers and sisters as they take Zoom classes or are tutored, and then  she enjoys outdoor playtime once they are free. She is everyone's favorite and the older girls love to dress her up and do her hair. She helps with all the chores, including picking vegetables from our gardens.

We want to thank GlobalGiving and our generous donors for the assistance we have received; without you, we would have a very hard time functioning through this pandemic, and little Ganga might not have such a happy home. We thank you, and she thanks you for the opportunity to grow up as a happy, healthy little girl with a bright future.

 

 

 

Ganga "studies" while her sister is tutored.
Ganga "studies" while her sister is tutored.
Ganga likes to help roll out dough for chapati.
Ganga likes to help roll out dough for chapati.
Ganga helps with potato harvest
Ganga helps with potato harvest
Ganga loves her big sister Meena
Ganga loves her big sister Meena
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Organization Information

The Ama Foundation

Location: Berkeley, CA - USA
Website:
Project Leader:
Bonnie Ellison
Berkeley, CA United States
$89,041 raised of $100,000 goal
 
916 donations
$10,959 to go
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