Many years ago, we were introduced to a Nepali woman who grew frustrated at the number of children begging in the streets and around temples in Kathmandu. She wanted to find out why they were not in school, and what she could do to help these “street kids” get an education. Nepal’s pubic school system is difficult for outsiders to understand. The lack of government support means “public schools” or as they are called, government schools, are usually overrun with many problems, such as lack of teachers, too many students in one classroom, facilities in disrepair, no electricity, and for some of the lower castes, an unwelcome atmosphere. For beggar children, who cannot afford uniforms, and whose parents are also beggars, school is elusive. Enter Mala and her idea-renting a house where she could run her own academy and offer a quality education for street children with opportunities to have a meal, get off the streets, and learn. The Bal Sarathi school was born out of her dream to raise up the prospect for a better future by helping these children become literate, and have a safe haven. HANDS in Nepal began visiting and giving donations, books and solar lights to the school 4 years ago. We also used bright paint and elbow grease to freshen up the walls of the classrooms, with volunteers painting inspiring scenes and even the children’s hand prints on the door. Today Mala’s school has about 75 children attending, from preschool age to upper classes. In addition to learning the basics of reading and writing, Mala provides sex trafficking education to this most vulnerable part of the population in Kathmandu-the children on the streets. This past visit in 2018, we were able to take Mala a donation of $1,200, and show the school to two of our most loyal donors, Gayle and Dean Dworak.
Can you help?
We are currently partnering with Mala and Bhupendra Adhikari to set up volunteer positions at the school, helping to teach, repair or bring what talents you have to help Mala and her students. Donations are always welcome and needed to help Mala pay for the monthly rent, food, school clothes for the children, books, school supplies, and to pay salaries for the teachers. You can designate your donation for Bal Sarathi school by noting that you would like your money to help these worthy children. And, if you want to go to Bal Sarathi yourself, we are very happy to help you make those arrangements! Namaste for helping our Bal Sarathi children!!