Number 2, December 2014
Dear friends and sponsors,
It is now just over 1 year since The Garden was created and I am happy and grateful to let you know that much has been achieved in this short time.
Firstly and most importantly, the children are all well, happy and studying hard (almost too hard), as they are so happy to have a room to study and time to devote to their school work, no longer being required to spend their “free” time cooking, farming, taking tourists out on horse back, and so on. It is a luxury that they have not yet got used to! They still help our housemother with cleaning and cooking and wash their own clothes, but this is minor compared with what they had to do before.
We had a health issue in September with Binod, who got an infected arm and needed hospitalisation and surgery, but he is now fully recovered thanks to the kind donations of friends around the world who responded to our plea for financial help with his medical costs.
Manju and Prakash are both enjoying their college courses, and still find time to assist Leela with the running of the house and looking after the younger kids.
Leela runs the house kindly and competently, getting things done in his diplomatic, firm yet gentle way. The children are in very good hands.
I was at the house for most of the months of October and November, and was able to finish furnishing the rest of the rooms and make improvements to the garden and grounds, thanks to the donation of 5,500 USD which was raised by Rem Bruin’s Full Circle online fundraiser. We are extremely grateful to him and his former teacher Bea Toews who inspired him to support us, and of course all those who donated, for this incredibly helpful contribution. We have only used half of the monies so far, and plan to improve and extend our wifi access throughout the house, improve the wiring, and purchase a TV to enable us to show educational videos to the children with the remainder.
Unfortunately the summer school we had planned for October did not materialise as Annette was not able to join us this time, but it will certainly be scheduled for next year.
We were lucky enough to have a volunteer from Wales, Sheldon, who stayed with us for over 5 weeks and built us a deluxe hen house as well as contributing in many other ways. He became a member of The Garden family, and we look forward to him coming back next year.
We also had a short visit from my daughter, Charlotte, and her 6 year old son, Leo, in October. Leo loved The Garden, and was seen sweeping floors with the kids, painting walls and eating dal bhat with his fingers! He announced that this was the “good life” – no TV, no computers, a huge garden and lots of playmates! His mum got a well earned rest…
Jordan, a friend of ours from Germany, is making a video of life at The Garden, which we will share on our website when it’s completed.
February will be a busy month; we are looking forward to a visit from Chonette, a multi talented lady originally from Mexico, who has offered to teach us organic gardening, baking, yoghurt, cheese and jam making. We also welcome back Mike from the UK, a semi-retired electrician and his builder friend Mickey, whose skills I’m sure can be put to very good use! It will be Mike’s third visit to The Garden. A keen rock climber, he plans to introduce our children to his passion at the new rock climbing wall in Lakeside.
In March, we have another 10 day tour being planned for International school teachers from Kuala Lumpur: the fourth group.
In April, we look forward to the visit of Sitha, Richard and Debby, co-founders of the KL-based My Shining Star Foundation, whose stated aim is to empower 1 million children worldwide in the next 5 years! They are seeking to change the “poverty mentality” of orphans and disadvantaged children, by nurturing their dreams, exposing them to new experiences, travel, and online learning. The Garden may well become a base for the work of the foundation in Nepal.
We are still looking for care sponsors for 2 of our children, but are very grateful that we have been able to find sponsors for both education and care for the others so far.
Our 3 guest rooms are bright and comfortable and we invite you to come and share your time and skills with our children or in local schools and institutions.
The Garden is growing! We sincerely thank all of you who have made this possible, either though sponsorship, donations, visits or buying Karuna products. It is a team effort and it would not be possible without your support. Special thank you’s go to Soma Mahesan for keeping our books in good order and us on track, and to Dave Taylor for setting up and regularly updating our new website.
We have a fund raiser coming up after Christmas on Wednesday 28th January at The Backyard pub, Sri Hartmas, Kuala Lumpur. Jerry, the owner, has kindly agreed to sell beers and ladies’ drinks at happy hour prices from 5pm to 9pm, and to donate half the proceeds to Sansar Nepal. During “Nepal Night”, we will be serving specialities from Nepal, showing a video and holding a raffle. If you are based in KL, please mark your calendars and tell your friends.
We wish you all a Very Happy Christmas and the very best for the New Year.
Michelle, Leela and The Garden team.
PS. Don’t forget to keep in touch, and keep up-to-date between newsletters by liking our Facebook page