On the morning of April 25, 2015, a few hours before our scheduled flight home, my daughter Zaneta and I reflected on our experience during this trip to Nepal. We agreed, we have witnessed a lot this time around. In a way, we felt fortunate to see firsthand the hurdles that people overcome every day:
A single mother’s struggle to decide which of her two crippled children she will feed: her 2 year old son or her 13 year old son? She makes $30 a month and her 10 year old daughter, who has never been to school, helps her at work, earning an additional $5 per month.
A beautiful 11 year old girl who lives with her father in a 7 ft. x 7 ft. pitch dark room and sleeps with him in the same bed. She doesn’t go to school either, she cooks and cleans instead.
Malnourished village kids whose diet consists of a bowl of rice. They have never seen electricity or running water, and they have never been to school.
But the day was not over yet and we didn’t realize that our trip was far from being over either. In an instant the ground started shaking and everything changed right there and then. We saw buildings collapsing in front of us like they were built from straw, people on the ground, motorcyclists falling down from their bikes. The sounds of people screaming permeated the streets, devastation everywhere, children being removed from collapsed buildings, chaos, panic, and fear. We were at the epicenter of the now historic 7.8 earthquake!
It was then we realized that now, more than ever, the children of Nepal need our help. Their powerful eyes were telling us not to leave them alone.
This experience cemented our purpose and mission to help. Our desire to give back has inspired the creation of the Shaping Young Minds Foundation, a non-profit organization. We opened our hearts to the children we met and we hope you are inspired to help change their lives too!
Shaping Young Minds Foundation and our donors carry on a very important mission: to lift children out of poverty, to give them strength and confidence, and to prepare them to become a vibrant part of their society. Our programs are based on the three core principles: transparency, long-term commitment and personal involvement. By providing scholarships and supporting community development, we focus on increasing literacy rates and protect children from exploitive labor and human trafficking.
Hundreds of children, each with their own story, are being served by our program so that their lives can be transformed, smiles seen on their faces, and their powerful eyes will no longer ask for help.
To remain steadfast to our core principles, Shaping Young Minds Foundation:
• Offers full cost transparency so that you know where each dollar of your money is going
• Monitors children’s progress by visiting the schools and their families
• Communicates with the children on a regular basis
• Encourages donor involvement and visitation