05 April, 2010

Meeting up with a DC friend!

Finally met up with Ashley from DC who is here in Nepal doing teacher training. She has a small flat in Kathmandu which is just super cute! We met up and A whipped up a great meal (Broccoli pasta, which I believe is her ‘signature dish’) and a fresh salad. We ate on her balcony with the sun slowly setting.

A “works” for an organization called the Little Sisters Fund (LSF), http://www.littlesistersfund.org/ whose MISSION is to provide hardworking, intelligent, and financially disadvantaged South Asian girls the opportunity to remain in school in the face of adverse conditions such as extreme poverty, deprivation or social prejudices. Their VISION: The Little Sisters Fund will foster a sustainable educational environment for Nepalese females by addressing the root causes of low female literacy in Nepal and will positively affect in-country perception of females and their role in society.

Through A, I met with Usha, who runs the organization in Nepal. LSF has targeted some girls in the Dang region, where I will be living, and their goal is to identify 45 little girls (6 years or so) who, without an education, will likely end up nowhere (sex-slave trade; abused as housemaids, married off at 14 yrs. etc). Usha would like me to coordinate between the LSF which is based in Kathmandu (10 hours from Dang) and the local NGO called NWCSC –Nepal Women Community Service Center. NWCSC will be responsible for finding the neediest girls and making sure that their families are supportive of the girl going to school (which in not usually the case). Once a girl has been chosen, the LSF will provide the financial support they need until they graduate from Class 10 at 16 (our equivalent to senior year of high school). I will be the go-between from the NWCSC and LSF as Usha believes that it would be good to have another contact in Dang that she can contact to get information. The LSF wants a full history report on each girl along with a photo. I guess I will just be kind of “watching over” the NWCSC and seeing if there are any loose ends that need to be addressed.

In the 5 days I’ve been here I have made about 5 contacts and now a project to follow up with. I am glad I didn’t have any major goals here and decided to go with my intuition and “see what happens”.

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