By Dhruba Prasad Ghimire, July 2013
President & General Secretary of RUWON & President of RUWON Star Children’s Home
This joint initiative is called RUWON Star Children’s Home to reflect the partnership between the two organisations.
We opened this home because we were working in 16 different government schools here in Kathmandu and we knew the poor situation of the girls in the schools, so we decided to open this home.
After a visit to Nepal by key members of Stella Star, it was obvious to them that there was much work to be done for girls who, facing grim circumstances, have nowhere to turn and would be vulnerable to traffickers and other forms of abuse.
RUWON Star Children’s Home was registered and became open to accepting children in May 2013.
Education and protection of children's rights, together with proper supervision and care, are the priorities for Stella Star Home.
The home is a place for girls struggling to maintain their rights to a childhood.
Girls not living in the home, but struggling with studies, are also invited for morning extra tuition classes in English, and are also provided with school uniform and stationary.
“I am very happy here everything is good. I get to read a lot, which I like.
This is how want to live, with a lot of other children. I feel we are one big family.”
Mandira Gautam, age 17.
The home currently houses 21 girls. All are orphans and range from primary to secondary school age.
All of them are given the equal importance and care, in a homely and friendly environment.
They are given the love, affection, attention and guidance that they would have received from their own fathers and mothers.
“I like living here and all the love I get.”
Sandip Budha, age 5.
Yoga and Meditation
The Star RUWON Home organises a healthy schedule for the girls.
The morning times are utilized by doing some effective work like doing yoga, meditation, and by studying, as well.
The main objective of the morning yoga and meditations is to make the girls feel refreshed, active. and peaceful. The meditation helps the girls to be patient, confident, and capable in their work.
It helps to energize their extra power.
“I receive a lot of love and everything is nice here. I enjoy studying and here I can do it as much studying as I like."
Aruna Banjara, age 12.
The initial idea of the RUWON Star Children’s Home was to send all the girls to boarding school. But with later consideration, the idea was revised for children at the higher levels, who now go to day school.
Those who were already at boarding school are continuing with their education there. The younger children are also sent to the boarding school.
But in the case of children at the higher levels, they are sent to the same day schools that they have already been attending, for continuity. The children do not want to lose their friends and teachers.
So, the daytime is being utilized by going to the schools, doing some assignments and having fun.
“I really enjoy living here. We got everything we need.
I like studying and I feel I have great opportunity for doing that here.
It is fun living with children of so many different ages because you learn the habits of everyone.
There is nothing I would want to change about the home.”
Balkumari Magar, age 15.
In the evening, children do more studying. They are then are given creative activities which help them to develop their talents, such as writing articles, or they have the choice of simply relaxing and watching television.
On Saturdays and on other holidays the children are given the chance to show their extra talents. They are given dance classes as singing, art, and counseling classes.
The home also has counselors who help by giving advice to the children and helping them work through their problems and challenges.
The counselors help in studying the psychology of the children and help in the better development of the children.
Teachers and Overseas Volunteers
The children's home has teachers to assist the children. We have hired teachers from outside for two hours to oversee the facilitation of the children in reading, writing and solving the problems that they get during the course of study.
There are also many volunteers from overseas, coming from various countries. The overseas volunteers bring fresh ideas to the children and this helps them to learn about other cultures, encourages them in their work and builds their confidence as well.
The children are also given extra tuition classes for English and computers, as the children are very poor in English language and computer knowledge.
The children are also taken to some religious and historical places, from time to time, to expand their knowledge. They are given the chance to know about the various mysterious works and achievements of the world.
The home organises various programs, both entertaining and educating programs for the children, so that they do not have a chance to feel lonely in the house.
“I am a member of Stella Star, the Swedish organization that is sponsoringthe RUWON Star Children's home.
I am here visiting the home for four weeks. What I see and what I experience is amazing. The running of this home is built on so much love and respect.
It feels like the donations we give come to so good use, and we are very, very happy about that.”
Malin Axelsson, age 23, from Sweden
The girls are also given child development training, leadership training, and so on, which helps them in preparing for a bright career in the future.
Being a Father to 21 Children
I am feeling my role and responsibilities as a father to these girls: I am trying to show equal behavior, love, and care towards all of them.
These girls do call me “Father”. They do love and have respect for me.
My wife and I live at the home and so this is a full-time role for us. We act as parents for the entire population of these less fortunate children at the home.
Currently, we do not have sufficient resources for food and education to expand further; when we get more funding, certainly we will welcome more girls here. We want to support more girls.
We are not expecting to be able support boys in the near future yet, though currently there are also three boys who also reside here: two orphan boys (brothers of the girls), and my son.
RUWON Nepal gives proper care and guidelines to these children to ascertain their better future.
We aim to complete the children's education of intermediate level and help them to find a career so they will be empowered to go on their way in life.
“Everything is very good here. I get a lot of love and it is great fun having so many sisters and brothers too.”
Sajina Tamang, age 9.