Papa’s House family outside of Harmony House
In 2021, Nepal Orphans Home (NOH) began its seventeenth year of operations, providing for forty-three children in Papa’s House, as well as supporting twenty-four adolescents from Papa’s House attending college preparatory classes and funding the higher education of twenty other young adults from Papa’s House enrolled in college and university.
Here are some of the ways you might support NOH’s mission.
Support for a Child:
When children arrive at Papa’s House, NOH commits to providing for their shelter, nutrition, education, and health care until they reach adulthood and are ready to live independently in Nepali society.
Of paramount importance is providing our children with good education. Through grade ten, Papa’s House children attend the Skylark English School, a local private school with over six hundred students. Upon completing grade 10, students take a Secondary Education Examination (SEE), and after passing it, they may enroll in Plus 2 (grades 11 and 12). After successfully finishing Plus 2, students may advance to undergraduate programs at the university level.
Usually, Papa’s House children are very busy during the school year, six days a week attending Skylark School from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. and then the Chelsea Center in the afternoons for academic enrichment sessions. Some of the children practice basketball every day from 6:00–7:15 a.m. at Skylark School. Others take Taekwondo classes in the early mornings. All the children enjoy their Saturdays off from school, breaks in the school year, and holidays, when they can relax and partake in fun activities at the Chelsea Center, such as book clubs and art classes.
A Second Covid Year:
With the Covid-19 restrictions and precautions, the usual routine and education of our children have changed. The younger children in Papa’s House still get up early, at 6:00 a.m. for morning tea and breakfast. Then they study and attend online classes from Skylark for several hours a day. There are college-age young adults living in the houses who serve as mentors to the children and help with homework and the online instruction. Older Papa’s House children in grades 9-10 attend their online classes from Skylark for two hours early each school day, followed by additional online classes with our Chelsea Center teachers.
Additional laptop computers in Papa’s House would be helpful for the online instruction and access to the internet’s resources. The cost of each laptop computer is approximately $500.
The Papa’s House young women living independently in our college transition house also take their online courses with local colleges, using the laptop computers in the house and their smart phones.
In November Skylark reopened for onsite classes and Nepal Orphans Home hopes to return to our normal once the pandemic passes.
Support for Education:
For the 2021 academic year, thirty-seven Papa’s House children are enrolled at Skylark English School. Including tuition, uniforms, books, and other necessary educational supplies, the approximate annual school cost per child at Skylark is $350.
In addition, NOH Outreach provides scholarships for three dozen local children from poor families, most to attend Skylark and other primary schools in the Kathmandu Valley.
There are forty-four young adults from Papa’s House enrolled in higher education. Twenty-four are in college level study, two-year programs for grades 11 and 12. Depending upon the students' area of interest (generally Business, Science, Social Work, or Tourism Management), tuition and fees range between $400 and $700 per year.
Papa’s House children on the morning walk to Skylark School
The other twenty young adults from Papa’s House are enrolled in university study (four years of study following graduation from Class 12). Study at the university level becomes even more specialized and current university fees per student average $1,500 per year.
"Bridge" courses help students solidify writing and study skills and extend background knowledge required for specific areas of study. Successful completion of these useful courses may also help students become eligible for scholarships. Students applying to science programs and those planning to study outside of Nepal are required to take these. The average cost of a bridge course is $200.
Intensive language courses are a visa requirement for students wishing to attend college in another country. The average cost of a language course is $200.
The Chelsea Education and Community Center:
In 2021 the Chelsea Education and Community Center (CECC) opened its ninth year of academic enrichment and life skills training for the Papa’s House children and its seventh year of free literacy classes to local women in the community of Dhapasi.
Usually, in the afternoons after Skylark school, Papa’s House children go to the Chelsea Center for classes in math, science, and computer, as well as study halls and tutoring. For the older children, there are also career workshops and vocational training. In addition, more than two hundred local women take English and Nepali literacy and basic math classes and participate in life skills workshops at the Center. In 2021, the expected cost of operating the Chelsea Center, mainly for teacher salaries, is over $44,000 or approximately $120 a day.
Math class at the Chelsea Center before Covid
Workshop with L.P. Bhanu Sharma,
meditation teacher and life development expert
We are beginning again to schedule workshops on Friday afternoons, where our students hear from professionals about different careers, practice public speaking, and learn about health care, personal empowerment, and other life skills. A donation of $40 would cover two workshops per month.
The Chelsea Education and Community Center has opened its doors to select other local school students, where our reputation for excellence in teaching math is well known. These earnest students attend two-hour sessions six days a week. Individual CECC scholarships for deserving students cost $40 per month.
In addition to the free adult education classes and workshops for local women, the Chelsea Center builds social capital in the community through special events and celebrations.
With the Covid lockdowns in 2021, the Chelsea Center, like schools and colleges throughout Nepal, had to close for onsite classes. Online instruction, however, has been available for the community women and roughly a third of the women have been able to continue their studies.
Community women in exams in March 2020
A Diversity Day Celebration at the Chelsea Center
Support for Outreach Programs:
In addition to the care of Papa’s House children and adolescents, Nepal Orphans Home supports many other projects. To the extent possible, this charity has continued throughout the pandemic. A few of these projects are described briefly below.
Kanti Children’s Hospital:
With generous donations from the Healing Buddha Foundation, NOH supports terminally ill children in the cancer ward. Fresh fruit and food treats are supplied twice a week and birthdays of the children are celebrated, complete with birthday cake, candles, presents, balloons and sweets. Support, generally for pain medications, is provided for poor families who cannot afford the medical costs. Also, NOH has created a “Make A Wish”-type program for these well-deserving children. The cost of fulfilling a wish often exceeds $100.
Bal Mandir Baby Orphanage: Over the years NOH has also supported the baby orphanage at Bal Mandir, providing the children with food, health check-ups and other supplies. Prior to the pandemic, one of the older Papa’s House children, Anisha, volunteered regularly to help with the infants. Throughout the pandemic, NOH has also been supplying infant formula and baby food and subsidizing the staff salaries. Our monthly support for the baby orphanage averages over $400.
Young patients at Kanti
Anisha of Papa’s House helping at Bal Mandir
Goldhunga Blind Children’s Home: NOH’s support of the children of Goldhunga continues. A Papa’s House young adult from NOH Outreach visits the home every Tuesday and Friday to help the children with homework. Our monthly support, which includes staff salaries, clothing, supplies, braille textbooks, food, and mentoring, averages $600.
Goldhunga Blind Children’s Home
When No One Else Will Help:
Local families in need are frequently brought to our attention. While we try to provide temporary support to see a family through a crisis, we selectively offer support over a longer term. For example, NOH Outreach has provided one family with enough funds to cover the costs of education for two of the children and life-sustaining medicine for the father’s illness. Another family of a crippled mother and three young children receives money to pay for food and other household needs. We have covered the cost for medical emergencies and even a kidney transplant for a local young man. In addition, we have provided the boarding fees of a young blind student at college. Due to Covid, additional support has been provided to local families in need. Donations of any amount will help provide essentials to local families in need.
Bipin’s Village School
This winter, Nepal Orphans Home is initiating support for an elementary school in a remote poor village, high in the mountains of Nepal. Bipin Singh, the elder brother of one of our Papa’s House girls, reports there are fifty children in this school, ranging from fifteen in kindergarten to six in class five. The children have no socks or shoes, only their sandals. They lack winter jackets, gloves, and stocking caps. There is a shortage of pencils, pens, paper, and erasers.
Outside the mountain village school
NOH Outreach is funding the purchase of fifty jackets ($20 each), fifty pairs of shoes and socks ($12 each) and school supplies for fifty children ($250 total). It is likely that additional support will be needed as we continue to learn more about this new location.
Thank You from Nepal Orphans Home