Sedona Film Festival Presents: Waiting For Mamu!

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I attend the Sedona Film Festival each year to learn more about our world, our environment, etc. So many very good films to open my mind, make me more aware and to to make me think about how I can help humankind.

This year, I had the good fortune to spend a couple of minutes talking with the woman who the movie “Waiting for Mamu” is all about! Pushpa Basnet was the 2012 CNN Hero of the Year. I remember watching the TV program when we all heard the stories of the top 10 winners from 45,000 nominations, and Pushpa won the GRAND prize! I know she will put the monies to excellent use so more children can be part of her program and not imprisoned with his or her parents as they are in prison. (Crazy to think that a child is imprisoned with the parent if the family has no place to send the child…anyway, just saying.) All children need an education, a healthy and safe place to live, and a chance at to create the future of their doing and choice.

Pushpa was very pleasant, very kind with her time spent with me, and I can certainly see how her children simply love her! I did let Pushpa and the other woman with her know that I will be on my way to Tibet later this year. I hope to connect with them again before the year is out.

It is amazing that through film we can become so easily involved in projects around the world. I watched a film: “Blindsight” about blind children in Tibet years ago at the Sedona Film Festival. That led me to my Tibetan visit in 2010 and meeting Kyila, now director and founder of Kiki’s Kids! Want to know more about her? Please read my blog from the very beginning…and learn how you can help Kiki’s Kids with me!

A blind woman director helping with the first Tibetan kindergarten. A Nepali woman helping the children who have imprisoned parents. There is a big world out there needing our help. Can you help? Appreciate you doing so….stay connected with my blog.

And, by the way, watch the film!

 

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Update: Holiday Time For Kyila, Yet Working!

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I recently heard from Kyila and was glad to hear she took some holiday time. As everyone knows when working with young people it is a full-time task, and especially so since she has residential responsibilities.

I was expecting to hear that she truly had a holiday time of relaxation; however, Kyila was also traveling the rural areas of Tibet and had discovered twins with major physical disabilities. Yes they were blind, and also unable to move around; therefore, the family had kept them often in one place. When that happens leg bones do not grow as they should, especially in the growing years of ones young life. Everyone needs movement! Leg bones and muscles to grow and take shape….from birth to old age, so do not forget this information!

Kyila made connections for the family to have the young children see a doctor in Lhasa, and if there was hope then they would travel to a Shanghai hospital. BUT, the children are with bodies so deformed there seems to be no hope to help them with their physical disability. When I receive an additional update, I will keep you posted.

Namaste!

Childhood, Oh So Precious!

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It was simply stated on a roadside sign board in the USA, “Their future is determined by their first 5 years.” As I read the statement my mind snapped to the children I had seen in Tibet in 2010, and what had also become the start of my journey to help a young woman realize her dream. She too knew the importance of the early formative years of every child needing a safe environment, good health, safe food and water, and a supportive loving family.

This young lady is blind and knew how fortunate she was to develop skills early on in life thanks to The Center for The Blind where she attended school…and it allowed her to learn at other institutions too. But most importantly she knew that some children are literally tied to a location in their home so they do not get hurt, yet with no social interactions and no movement, they also have not much of a life. Family members go on with their responsibilities but they have no way to care for the blind baby. Even if they knew how important the first 5 years of life are for a child, they have to eke out their own living to be able to provide their child with something!

Fortunately, Kyila, founder of Kiki’s Kids, is most interested in helping the 3 – 5 year olds who are not getting all the necessary support they should receive from their own family. We who are interested in helping Kyila’s children and who ¬†know every childhood is precious, try in our own way to support her efforts. Through donations to Global Roots, earmarked for Kiki’s Kids, much success has been happening to have these children have safe, healthy, and happy childhood! Please donate what and when you can to support Kyila’s efforts. All is greatly appreciated. If you can too, follow this blog to learn more about what is happening at Kiki’s Kids.

Kiki’s Kids to Move in 2014

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Currently, Kiki’s Kids is located in Shigatse, at a beautiful location on the Braille Without Borders farm … but, quite a few hours drive from Lhasa … I know this first-hand because I had spent some time in Shigatse before Kiki’s Kids had been located there. It is a drive….and worse yet when one needs to get to a hospital in the middle of the night with any number of sick children!

The children in Kiki’s Kids range from 2 – 7 years of age and often are ill; therefore, being closer to the hospital in Lhasa, which is a better one than the Shigatse hospital, is what has prompted the move to Lhasa. With the help of some individuals and the Tibet Disabled Person’s Federation, a new location has been determined. This may also help those of us who are interested in visiting an easier opportunity to do so.

Will keep you posted as more information becomes available about the move. Twenty-three students and 8 adults will be transitioning to a new location with Kyila sometime in 2014. I know they will be successful there too. Thank you for your support of Kyila’s work with her team and children!

Namaste.

 

Ill Child, No Problem … Kyila Does It All!

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As every classroom teacher knows, he or she is responsible for the children in his or her charge. Teaching, guiding student thinking, evaluating their work, creating scenarios for the children to interact with each other, conflict resolution, a safe comfortable classroom. I loved all of the work, except when a child was ill. I recall telling my students if they needed to vomit, there was a garbage pail in the room for their use and he or she could take the rear classroom door as the fastest route to the nurse’s office. (I did admit to them their vomit would only bring on the same reflexive action from me and it would not be a good scene!) And then my students, went home at the end of their school day.

Kyila has 3 – 5 year old children that stay all day and night. Few live close enough to go home at the end of their day at Kiki’s Kids. As a result, Kyila is responsible for all beyond the educational classroom environment. Clothe, feed, sleep… many more hours with continued responsibility of her children. The closest I ever got to this type of responsibility was with a Cadette Girl Scout troop on our monthly year-round overnight camping trips. I understood the huge responsibility I had while with them and the sense of joy when all the young girls returned home at the end of the weekend!

Kyila does not have that opportunity. Kiki’s Kids provides safe surroundings for the children, good food and a positive learning environment, 24 hours, 7 days a week. You have read through the years about Kyila following up on children needing eye surgery, etc. She is on-call all the time and this includes the midnight runs to a local hospital. Imagine needing to address the concern of a young child who cannot articulate exactly his or her problem. Imagine Kyila needing a driver, and she and the driver taking the child to medical care more than an hour away. It is all very scary especially when needing to calm a frightened child. It all needs to be done to be sure the child is okay. While everyone may return at three in the morning, the concern for the child remains with Kyila….because she is responsible for the child. Follow-up care needs to happen at a larger hospital four hours away; another day later in the week and that will be accomplished. The child will be taken care of and life at Kiki’s Kids will return to normal, until the next emergency. Educators, care-takers, parents, guardians all know the huge responsibility that can sap energy from you with no moment’s notice….you just do what needs to be done for the sake of the child. Call it caring; call it love; call it concern; call it what you wish. It must be done!

Kyila does it all; please consider supporting her efforts by donating to Kiki’s Kids. You can donate through Global Roots and specify it is for Kiki’s Kids. Kyila has poured a tremendous amount of energy into maintaining this first kindergarten in Tibet, please donate and support her efforts. Thank you!

Namaste.