My 2016 travels in Nepal were full of stories of amazing dedication, selflessness and love and they have touched me like never before. Read these stories of my travels and you will see why our hearts have to be opened and we are called upon, all of us to help the people of Nepal and our partners in these efforts who have showed through their love what change can do.
In Nepal like many nations in Asia and the Middle East, marriage is one of the supreme events in a woman’s life. The family prepares for the daughter by saving for years in order to have a dowry that will be sufficient to make the daughter a good match. Imagine your daughter comes to you and says that she wants that money you have saved in order to do the work she needs to do in order to help children with autism. I am sure it was a shock. Sabita had always shown a strong determination in her life, willing to take care of her brothers and sister in order to go to university in Kathmandu. There she found a job working in the government in education. What she found was a group of children that had been lost by the ignorance of their condition. Autism was this strange thing and the children were often locked up in their homes living like animals. Sabita immediately started becoming educated on this topic and found that treatment could be effective. She quickly became an expert and started gathering these lost children. Then she struggled to find money for a home to use for a school. Finally at her wits ends she went to her parents to ask for that dowry, realizing she was married to helping children.
What an amazing story of willingness to forgo her own happiness in order to make a difference. As of today she has over 40 students and is looking to build a permanent home, designed with all that she has learned to be more effective in treating this malady. She has had many success stories of reentering children in their homes to live with their families. And the country of Nepal has recognized her knowledge asking for her help in creating national guidelines on autism. Despite this national recognition she still struggles with day to day finances and dreams big in this impoverished country.