Having spent time travelling outside Kathmandu, Uma and I met up with Nabina's family yesterday. They live outside Patan,about an hour's drive away, in a rural village. Nabina is Nitisha's mum, the youngest child at the orphanage. And Nabina is the helper at the orphanage.
Nabina is in a family of 6 girls and a boy. One of her sisters is married , but now separated from her abusive husband through violence and drinks. A very common tale, I am afraid. It would seem that she rejected her 4 year old daughter following the split from her husband. The little girl now lives in the brother's house, cared for by the very lovely sister-in -law who treats her as one of her own. They have 2 boys themselves, but accept that they are doing ok, and will not be sponsored.The little girl is one of the new children we will be sponsoring.
On arrival, we were met with smiles all round . We were shown to the family lounge which doubles up as a bedroom . We met Nabina's mum and 3 of her sisters. The 4 year old , Laxmita is tiny for her age. She looks like a 2 year old, but mentally very sharp. She attends a nursey class in the local area. We are hoping that by paying for all her fees, the family may be in a position to bring in a teacher to teach her a little more, especially in basic English as well as contributing towards any other extra facilities which will help to prepare her for future studies.
During our visit, we saw a 17 year old boy . He is the brother of the lovely sister-in-law. He has been taken under her wing as well because his father died a few years ago. His mother has not been able to provide the most basic amenities to enable him to go to school. Therefore he is living with his sister in this big sprawling family . We witnessed a lot of love and affection amongst them. Such a lovely set up , albeit that they are quite stretched financially.
The long and short of this is that we are both drawn to wanting to help him to enable him to do the 6th form-grade 11 and 12 from April 2011. I have asked him to gather as much information as he can about the type of course, the length and cost of going to college/ uni etc for when we next meet. He will be coming to the lunch which Uma will host next Saturday
Later on in the afternoon, Omm, the chair of the orphanage contacted Uma about 2 different children whom he knows to be in dire need of help. I said to Uma that unless we can drop some of the children we have planned to sponsor, it is not possible for me to agree to the requests. I am very aware that there are overwhelming needs here. However, it is not possible for me , with the best intention in the world , to promise to help everyone. As it is , we will be sponsoring 7 children, possibly 8 with only 6 definite sponsors so far. Yes, it can be done short term, but long term planning is whats required in order that the sponsorship scheme achieves its goal of giving the children a better life chances, and secure a brighter future.
I am in a dilemma.I am not thinking straight at the moment. The needs are so overwhelming here that one can get swamped by it. And I think I am in that situation now.
Thoghts and ideas please, sponsors and donors