Om Handicraft & Patan Fair Trade Center are located at Mangalbazar, Patan.
KG Team members met Rachana Vaidya in February 2013. Om Handicraft & Patan Fair Trade Center provide a certain % of their sales to social causes through KG. They also place a Khuttruke at the store to promote KG stories.
""With our interactions with KG, we have come to see it as a good charity. Customers of our store appreciate that a portion of their payment goes to help the children in need. We have joined KG because community members should try to solve their own problems.""
"I am very taken with the way KG motivates young people to work as staff or volunteers and gain valuable experience in social work. I appreciate the fact that this has double bonus: youngsters, who find it difficult to get a job, are gainfully employed; and the exposure KG gives them to the management and logistics of a non-profit organisation means that the sector, with a severe skills shortage, is likely to gain able workers in the future."
Prem Kumar Subba is a semi-retired development specialist with more than 30 years experience in the children’s welfare and education sectors all over the world. The spirited 64-year-old from Kathmandu has been funding the KG gift-pool for the last two years and wholeheartedly supports KG’s mission to bring about change through self-responsibility. Mr Subba's interests lie in literature, film, travel and interacting with the youth.
Mr. Sudarshan Pandey is an IT professional based in the US. He has always been into community service. He was looking for ways to give back to the Nepali community as he has seen many people struggling with education and basic needs for living. For various reasons, what he wanted to start did not actually transpire hence he was keen in finding someone/something that was at least close to what he believes in. While he was researching, he came to know about KG through his wife, Mahima. He has supported multiple gifts and encouraged his friend V. Singh to support. Mr. Singh is also a KG Angel but wishes to remain anonymous.
""I wanted to do something in the education sector as well as other areas and KG gave him the perfect opportunity to help. During the getting to know phase, I realized that KG and its team take their job seriously and sincerely and that they can be fully trusted because they share the ONE and ONLY passion and that is to help others. The satisfaction that I get by this is no match to any monetary value and for this I am grateful to KG people. I wish KG all the best and do honestly feel that this organization is the future to representing the Nepali community.""
"KG provides a platform to share knowledge and experiences, to create social ventures towards inclusive society. With KG, I am carrying out a simulation-model for a public hospital." Bibhu Shah is a mechanical engineer who graduated from Rochester Institute of Technology. He is currently working for the Nepal Investment Board.
'I am living my dream', says one of our change agents Ms, Rukmini Humagain. Rukmini Humagain is a teacher at Adarsha School who thinks that teaching profession means more than source of income. Teaching has become an important part in her life. She has always dreamt of providing service to her society and country and teaching has made it easier to live her dream. She has been teaching for over 15 years in the school.
Her school is in Naxal, Kathmandu, but she lives in Kaushaltar, Bhaktapur, about 1 hour bus journey. In addition to her teaching job and her dedication to it, she is also a mother of 2 children, is currently doing M.Phil from Tribhuvan University and teaching at a campus in the morning hours. Yet, she regularly nominates her students for KG's gifts and awards program, attends various meetings to help her students and makes sure that her students are receiving stationary and gifts through KG. She is active and hardworking teacher who is concerned about her students and is eager to help them.
Out of the 200 students studying in the school, about 75 percent are domestic child workers and 25 percent from a very low economic background. 35 years old teacher Rukmini is dedicated to continue her service and profession for more years to come to build a better society by educating the underprivileged children. She finds her work very satisfying that gives her inner peace and happiness because she has been able to provide education to the children who cannot afford it.
'A mother’s power in shaping the fate of her children' says Ms. Keshari Ghale Gurung. Keshari Ghale Gurung is a great example of compassion. Before her retirement, she taught at the Balbikash School for more than 30 years. Then, with her heart still set on educating underprivileged children, she started EDUC – Nepal (Education and Development for the Underprivileged Children of Nepal). Currently, EDUC provides education, stationary, text books, meals and uniforms for 45 underprivileged children.
Keshari is 57 years old but her drive to affect change remains youthful. While she was teaching at the Balbikash School, she would regularly perform the janitorial duties (cleaning class rooms, corridors and the kitchen) whenever the helper was on leave and was frequently mistaken for her. She was never fazed by this though, as she believes in no hierarchy with regards to work.
As a child growing up in Singapore, Hong Kong and India, Keshari used to make-believe she was a teacher. When she was 21 years old, after her family returned to Nepal, she finally got her first teaching opportunity at government school called the Balbikash School. Here, many of her students were from poor families and a number of them from the Dalit community. Some even lacked clothes and would attend school barely dressed. The need combined with the despair she saw in these underprivileged students’ eyes touched her and moved her to make a pledge to help them forever.
EDUC is the fruit of this pledge. Keshari wanted to see her students study in better conditions and her students wanted this as well. Yes! They wanted to study in a better school where the infrastructure was intact and they could wear ties, belts and colorful uniforms! The dream of EDUC was their answer and first became reality through the encouragement and financial support of Keshari’s elder brother. Since its opening, EDUC has been finding more and more ways of attracting funds. At present, EDUC has 2 quotas of teachers paid by the government. All the other expenses are covered by Keshari's loved ones (her daughter, nieces and nephews abroad who raise money overseas for EDUC) and by KG’s gift angels and sponsors who contribute towards students' uniforms and stationary.
Though EDUC is now a reality, Keshari has not finished dreaming. She longs to touch the lives of even more children. Increased funding would enable her to enroll more students, but more importantly would also allow her to open EDUC to illiterate mothers. As a mother herself and the founding mother of EDUC, Keshari knows the power a mother has in shaping the fate of her children.
"I married the teaching profession"
Kanya Mandir School is a government school exclusively for girls in Neukha near Kshetrapati, Kathmandu. Among its teachers, Sarala Pant stands out for her commitment to help students in need. There are many other examples of her benevolence; she has bought food and clothing for her students with money from her own pocket on numerous occasions. Her philosophies are: “it’s the duty of each human being to have kindness and humility” and that “it pays to respect and be kind to others”.
Born in Ragnathpur (Dhanusha), she lives with her parents and siblings in Dhobichaur (Kathmandu). She has been a teacher for 20 years – married to her profession! She spent her first 10 years teaching at a private school and the next 10 years teaching at this government school, which she finds even more rewarding. Most of her students belong to lower class families, who earn their livings on the basis of daily wages. Some of her students are even domestic child workers. Sarala recalls a particular incident when a student fainted from lack of food while she was teaching. The child’s parents had nothing to eat because they had not earned anything the day before. Sarala also routinely sees her students not doing their homework due to lack of stationery and books, and shivering due to cold in the winter. Yet, her students are hungry to learn and enthusiastic to attend school.
It pains her to see little pairs of eyes searching for food, to see tiny pairs of hands shivering with cold, to see homework undone due to lack of books and stationery. And so Sarala made a commitment to affect change.
"Motivation I get from the happy faces" - Prerna Bhatta.
Prerna Bhatta is one of the co-founders of Kehi Garoun. In 2006, her sister-in-law asked her if she was interested in social work. She instantly said yes and the journey of KG began for her. In the process of registering KG, Prerna along with her friends, went to District Administration Office, Kathmandu and consulted many other organizations to learn about the functioning of an organization. After the completion of registration process, they started fund raising. With the raised fund, they started mid-day meal program for children of Pragati Siksha Sadan, Lalitpur.
""During the initial days of mid-day meal program, I used to go to the school and seeing happy faces of the young children, I got enormous satisfaction. That satisfaction always keeps me motivated.I found many ways to contribute to the wider community. I feel everyone – housewives, professionals, retired professionals, students can find ways to be the change with KG.""
'A face that glows with satisfaction'. Teacher Nima Rajbhandari’s face always glows with satisfaction who has been teaching passionately at Shanti Siksha Sadan since the last 12 years. She studied in a government school herself. After SLC, she had to work to support her family and that obligation introduced her to teaching. In the beginning, it was solely to earn money but slowly teaching gripped her and made her addicted to it. She graduated in economics and teaches the same in the school.
When she enters the classroom with a smile on her face and a hello in the form of 'good morning everybody', the students cheer up. It makes her day. 42 years old teacher has been living this treasure of a life every single day.
""My students are from the families who are from a very low income bracket or are almost at a point of destitution. Their parents are street vendors, rickshaw drivers, maids and daily wage labors. It makes it worse when they cannot even afford a square meal despite working day and night. For them, meal is the first priority and it should be! Children's education comes later. But even in this scenario, they have been sending their children to the school and I really appreciate that instead of using children for income-activities, the parents are sending them to school.
I had been helping the students without stationary by providing it myself, but I could not help all those in need. When I found KG, I have been relieved. I found with KG I could help a lot more children than the ones in my classroom. I am always encouraging other teachers to participate with KG.""
Kripa Khanal is a full time volunteer from Vibor Bank. She helps in various works of organization. She helps the team with the works like making profiles, scanning, etc.
Prerana Manandhar has just completed her BBS and is waiting for her results. She lives in Kamal Pokhari. She became a part of Kehi Garoun through the Happy Tummy program. She is very glad to get a chance to perform in a skit, and that too one that leads to awareness and improved health for poor government-school students. She shares that she didn’t get any chance to perform in front of an audience when she was in school/college. What she likes about Kehi Garoun is that there is no hierarchy, and that everybody is equally valuable when making decisions, planning and executing programs. With unbounded enthusiasm, she has coordinated Happy Tummy events in 3 government schools. She is very happy that she has been using her free time in helping poor students.
Vaskar Pahari completed his high school from the United World College of South East Asia, Singapore and is now a sophomore at Yale University. During his time in Singapore, he was involved in numerous service projects, some of which were involved with supporting grassroots projects in Nepal. He was the co-chair of Himalayan Global Concerns for two years, a student led group in Singapore that aimed to raise awareness and funds for students studying at a local school in Pangboche, which lies in the Everest region in Nepal. He was also a member of the Initiative for Peace 2009 team, a student led group that organized a week-long peace conference for forty youths from Timor Leste. At Yale, Vaskar is a trained Emergency Medical Technician, and is part of the Yale Emergency Medical Service Club. He plans to major in Mathematcis and Economics. Vaskar enjoys playing the guitar, and traveling.
"I visited Shree Shanti Vidya Mandir on June 27, 2011 to talk to a few students in order to build their profile for the Kehi Garaun website. I was incredibly humbled by that experience and it reminded me of how important it is for us as a social organization to be connected to the personal lives of the children we are helping. Although all the students we talked to were quite young, they were incredibly mature for their age. Most, if not all, the students helped their parents in household chores like cooking, sweeping the floors, and washing dishes. They were also responsible to take care of their younger siblings.
The process also gave me an idea of how involved the teachers were in the lives of their students. The teachers were familiar with the family background of their students. In many cases, the students were often shy and embarrassed to reveal sensitive stories about their lives, and we only found out about these stories after speaking to the teachers.
The most fun part of the process was to talk the students about their favorite subjects and their plans for the future. A lot of the younger ones wanted to become policemen because they were fascinated by the idea of fighting crime and saving the day. Some even wanted to become traffic policemen because they thought it’ll be fun to blow whistles and control vehicles at their command. Some of the older ones wanted to become doctors, nurses, and engineers, and we tried our best to encourage them to study hard and follow their dreams.
Although these children have suffered many hardships in life, in many ways they are just as normal as any other children that have had a relatively easy upbringing. They all had a smile on their face when we spoke to them; they all enjoy playing with their friends and watching TV; and most importantly, they all have dreams and aspirations for their future."
In our blog, you can read updates of activities conducted by our enabling team.