Aishworya is a small, family-run children’s home in Kathmandu that I visited in July 2009. I was stunned by their eagerness the 39 children showed towards education and their studies after school. Once their chores were complete they would ask her to help them with math and English until it was time for bed. This was their ‘fun time.’ Aishworya’s educational values are inline with Project Left Behind’s goals to help create a solid foundation of education to produce a chance for a future. I was also struck by how happy the kids were with so little because the home created a family environment where each person played a part to help keep the family working in unity.
Aishworya aims to provide the following things for the orphaned and abandoned Nepalese children in our care:
- A safe, loving home environment.
- A good education.
- Regular balanced meals, clothing, shelter, and a sense of community.
- A safe play area and the opportunity to develop skills of social interaction with the other children.
- Teaching the children basic life skills such as cooking, washing clothes, personal hygiene, and cleaning to help them later in life.
- Providing opportunities for future development through encouraging interests and skills and providing vocational training where possible.
How Aishworya came to be our home
In 2003, Nirmala Ghimire found two boys on the streets in Balaju. Their names were Jeetu (10) and Arun (8) and they were dirty, hungry, homeless, and crying. Arun was very sick, so Nirmala took them first to the hospital and then to her home.
After the local authorities placed the boys in an orphanage, Nirmala continued to visit them. A month later, she found two more brothers in Chamati, Jack (9) and Andy (3). Nirmala took them to the same orphanage and continued to visit them and bring food and comfort.
A year later, the owner of the orphanage had a heart attack and the children were all moved to different orphanages. The new orphanage the boys were moved to was completely different; the children there were badly neglected plus the house aamaa (live-in mother) beat them regularly and they weren’t properly fed or cared for.
When Nirmala was at the hospital one day, she met Biru (6) and Sani (4), looking lost and frightened. Their uncle had been bitten by a snake and was severely ill, but there was no one else to care for them. Nirmala offered to look after them for a while until their uncle was better. At this point she realized she would prefer to look after the other four boys herself rather than leave them in such a bad orphanage, so she took them in and decided to set up her own children’s home.
Nirmala quit her job as a driving instructor and sold her land in to pay the rent on a new property and provide for the children. Now, Nirmala’s daughter, Primila, runs the orphanage.
Aishworya has housed up to 45 children at one time. Many who have come to stay have subsequently been reunited with their families. For however long the children are in the care of Aishworya, we aim to provide them with a caring environment and as much love and support as we have to give.
Wider Social Impact
Aishworya’s primary concern is always the welfare of the children who live with us, but we are also interested in the wider social impact of the work we do, which is why we don’t just take over the care of individual children. Where possible, we also work with struggling parents and families to provide the support they need to look after the children themselves.
We want our kids to understand the importance of contributing to social causes, so we organize public awareness events and blood donation programs where everyone at Aishworya can participate and learn more about the world around them.