Jotsna Tamang

I have always wanted to learn more, explore more and I had the vivid sketch of how my life should be. I was born in a remote village of Nepal to a poor farmer. My mother decided to leave my father since he was an alcoholic and abusive. My mother and grandmother, one night left the village with me and my three other siblings to the main capital city of Nepal-Kathmandu. After coming to Kathmandu, we had a very tough time. We barely had basic needs such as food, cloth and shelter. I am the second oldest among my four sibling. While my grandmother and mother work as a maid, I took care of my younger siblings. When I used to see my friends go to school in their neat school uniform, I used to wonder if I would ever be fortunate enough to wear that uniform and go to one of the school. As they say, “god works in mysterious ways”- the friend of my grandmother came and told us that there was an orphanage providing free school to poor and orphan kids. My grandmother knew how education was important for us, so she did not miss a moment to take this opportunity for us. Next thing I know I was in beautiful place called NAG-Home of New Hopes. NAG provides free everything to homeless, orphans and children in extreme poverty. Three of us was admitted in NAG. This would be my home for next 11 years. NAG provided us everything we need-food, cloth, shelter and most importantly education.

While I was at NAG I made friends to last a lifetime. I learned family is not always blood. It is the people who accepts you as who you are and encourages you to be the best of you can be. My sponsors were old couple from France. They would donate some money to NAG for me. I exchange letter with them from time to time. I have never got chance to meet them in person but in my heart they are my family. I was a bring student— I participated in all kinds of sports and extracurricular activities. While three of the children gone to live in a boarding school my mother and grandmother’s life became easier. Eleven years seems like 11 days filled with infinite good memories of friendship, laughter and love when I recall my home NAG.

After leaving NAG, I decided to apply for Universities in Unites States. I wanted to see and learn more- I have never ending curiosity to explore this planet. I got accepted in Southwest Minnesota State University. As I did better I got different scholarships in college. I graduated with a degree in Sociology and Women’s Studies with an honor.

Maya Education Initiatives

Everyday I feel fortunate and blessed be able to read and write, not everyone has can do it because of many reason-the main is poverty. Maya means Love in Nepalese language. It is the single and most powerful word that conquers the heart of almost everyone. The though of helping kids like me came when I was a teenager learning to find the purpose of my life in this planet. I am the first generation of graduates in my family. My parents never went to school. My mom got cheated on business many times just because she was not educated. I am simply replicating the opportunity I got to the future generation. I hope to give infinite children opportunity to education.Its very simple and beautiful process to give children a happy and healthy start for their future. The right kind of education is very important in the person’s life without which we might feel crippled in some way. In 2011, MEI was established to give children a free education. Maya Education Initiatives not only gives education, opportunity to children but it creates a lifelong friendship between a child and the adult.