As I prepare to return to Nepal at the end of the month I am amazed and grateful at how well we all came through the worst of the last 18 months. Our students dealt with difficulties of online schooling, yet two managed the highest results I have seen in 20 years. Some job losses of parents and some older students forced them to return to their villages indefinitely. Two were unexpectedly married in the village and will not return to their studies. Several old students also contracted the virus and one was hospitalized. All are fine now and many have been able to move on with their lives. A few were finally able to marry this year, and we have two new babies that I am excited to meet. Two businesses have expand, another opened and several have started college.
The biggest festivals Dashain and Tihar are just finishing up and schools will finally open back up to in person classes and hopefully a sense of normalcy for our younger students.
I would also like to thank all my friends and family who have kept us going over the last year plus. A lot to be grateful for.
I am happy to report on our many successes this past year. Sanjeev and Kundan opened “The School of Coffee Beans” a barista training center. Their target group is students going to study abroad. The aim is to provide students with a skill before they leave Nepal. They have also been very helpful in providing many of our students with free training. Ram Chandra took the training and is now working at Coffee Beans the coffee shop Bishal, Kundan and Sanjeev opened last year.
Kundan has also opened Projectile Creations with his art school friend Saurav. They do everything from logo design to photo-shoots. They are very active in branding Coffee Beans coffee shop and School of Coffee Beans.
Bishal and Safal have also opened a new business “Global Journey Education Services”. They advise and help with all paperwork and English language classes needed to apply and with visa paperwork once accepted. This is big business in Nepal as education and work opportunities are limited.
Three of of our girls are teaching Montessori. Gita has two children of her own so teachers hours are working out very good for her.
We also had two weddings this summer. Sisters Anju and Manju both got married in separate Buddhist ceremonies. We wish them all the best in their married life.
On a sadder note, we lost 3 parents over the past year. We have been able to give some extra support to these families and help cover some of the death rite cost. We lost one father to suicide. He felt so defeated because he could not provide for his family. He was rejected for a job outside Nepal and that was just too much for him.
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Beth Brewster is the Executive Director of Giving Asha.