My name is Sina Tanner, I am Swiss and I am living and working in Switzerland…
Between 1998 and 2000 I have had the opportunity to work in a home for street children (NAG)in Kathmandu, Nepal. I have been teaching there and had the chance to get to know the children in this home very well….they where all very interested and nice kids and I spent wonderful months with them..teaching ,but also playing, singing, laughing and sharing the difficult moments.
Four of this students got together in 2011 to found their own education program for poor kids and asked me to join in. At the end of 2014 I spent a month in Nepal again,visited Thori Parsa and had long chats and discussions with the nowadays young adults of MEI. I was impressed by there ability to see what is needed and how a good and sustainable project should work.I am proud and happy to be part of MEI and I know that we can move something to make this world a better place….these four young nepalese adults are the best example, that education is giving the opportunity for a better and brighter future.
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.
Hira Lal Tamang(Hira Lama) is one of the founding member of Maya Education Initiatives(MEI). Currently working as acting director and administrative head in MEI.
Hira Lama was born in the remote village of eastern part of Nepal, Bhojpur District in 1988. In 1993 Hira’s family was moved in the capital city of Nepal. In the early first years, his families suffered a lot from the poverty and just to get education. Hira’s grandmother sent him at landlord house as housemaid but could not get proper education so after a year he was brought back to home. In the same year his grandmother came to know about NAG known as home for street children. From NAG only Hira got his education upto high school. Personally, Hira said “I like to thank my grandmother who always showed me the way to get education and at NAG I’m always thankful to Dr. Frederice Perrier, Nicole Which ( Thakuri) and my sponsor from France Mr. Raphael Thomas also thanks for believing and supporting our dream of mission as free education to all – to our Miss Sina Tanner of Switzerland who was also met in NAG in our childhood”.
While leaving NAG Hira had determined himself one day and sometime I will also run school like NAG so that our gift of free education will be transfer to next generation and needy ones.
After high school Hira got admitted in government college for Bachelor degree, from T. U. Hira got Bachelor degree in social science and in that time period only he was closely attached with the politics and social activities but later Hira was more attracted by social work.
From 2010 Hira started to get involve in social sectors and had got chance to work as general secretary from Youth Unity Society. In the same year YUS was able to help Rs. 3 Lakhs to Mr. Sujan Upretty, 7 years kid who was suffering from Bone Marrow diseases. In 2011 Hira and Manjita established Nava Natya Academy, from NNA Hira and his team organized many social events as blood donation, awareness in women empowerment and also able to help Mrs. Belly Maya Tamang Rs. 2 Lakhs who was the patience of both the kidney failure. NNA hand over the donation amount to Mrs. Belly Maya Tamang in behalf of Late His Ownerable Culture and Tourism Minister Mr. Posta Bhadur Bokatee.
Hira Lal has been working very actively as a founding member of MEI since 2011. “I, Myself and MEI Team is always grateful and heartily thankful to our supporters, sponsors, initiatives for giving the GIFT OF FREE EDUCATION to MEI kids.”
I am Govinda Bista. I am local of Thori Parsa Nepal. I am the first generation in my family to go to school. I have three sisters and three brothers, I am the youngest among my brother. Being born in a poor family it was really hard for my parents to send me to school. Due to the poor condition of my family, one night my brother decided to leave my parents home. We did not know where he was for next ten years. After 10 years we found out that he was at Nawa Asha Griha (NAG). My brother brought me to NAG in 1994. I was in Nag for 10 years where I got my higher education. Then after I went to Middle East country to work. I was there for 6 years. It was in this time period I realize I have to do something for my country especially my hometown Thori, Parsa. My family lost everything during the devastating flood in 1990. I was fortunate to get education for NAG but still there are many families suffering from the flood. MEI team has been able to help most of the children of those families with free education.
After returning from Middle East, along with MEI team my vision came true. In July 2014, we started a project to help the children in Thori Parsa. I work as a President of MEI team. I reside in the community visiting the children, analyzing them and community with the help of MEI. I have seen the first hand progress in Thori, Parsa just in a year. Family are much more stable after getting support from MEI. Thori community have come together as a community to work as a whole to improve their daily living in a sustainable manner.
It is pure joy and blessing for me to get a chance to work in my own community. I thank all the donors and my team for their support to make my dream come true.
Maya Education Initiatives