musings of a Nepali girl

By Pratiksha

Her smile vs this bloom

A little girl - perhaps seven or eight years old - started following us on our way to church this morning. She looked scruffy, had an official looking document and was mumbling to me, and even though I couldn't understand a word she uttered I knew exactly what she was after!

As I don’t think giving money to street children is wise I told her to walk with me to a little store across the street. She followed me. Phil (my husband) followed her. When I had walked a hundred meters I turned back. She had gone. I saw her following a white lady who was also heading to church.
I then turned back and Phil and I started walking to church.

The little girl was a few steps ahead of us still walking behind that lady. A few minutes later she turned back and looked at me, I smiled - she smiled back! She had the most beautiful smile – a dimple on her right cheek, her charming dark face and her bright white innocent eyes! I am smiling remembering her broad smile now.

When at church I mostly thought about the little girl and her beautiful smile. I had many questions. I wondered who she was, where she was from, who her parents were and if she had a family where were they…

This is not the first time I have been followed by kids or women for money. You can find many women with little children begging in the streets of Kathmandu. There are more than a thousand street children in Kathmandu alone.

Among many questions, one was answered on our way back from church. I saw her again! She was with her mother and a little brother. But then, was she really her mother? They were in front of a nice restaurant spying the happenings inside. She smiled at me again.

When I was thinking about the little girl at church I doubted if she ever had the opportunity of education. Will she ever? I believe education, awareness and empowerment are essential prerequisites for poverty eradication. In Nepal 25.2% of people live below the national poverty line.
I read a Facebook post last month about a little school with 200 students in a Dalit community in Terai (the plains). The post had a picture of students sitting on thin plastic (rice sack) they had to bring from their home.

I have been thinking about raising funds to support the school. A set of desk and bench costs approximately 40 USD and would sit 5 children. If you want to help, please send me a message! We believe this little help will contribute to the future of these Dalit kids in the plains.a

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