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!

It Is NOT About Blueberries!

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I was washing my latest batch of blueberries from Chile for my future breakfasts. And then I noticed, “Grown with care” was the phrase on the container’s label! Why so much “care” for a blueberry? It is not feeling the “care”, yet we appreciate that the lowly blueberry was “grown with care”.

So….I thought. Why not create a t-shirt for the children in the kindergarten that states on the front of the t-shirt “Grown With Care”. Yeah, why not? It would be perfect! Kyila, founder of Kiki’s Kids, and her staff spend a tremendous amount of time and energy caring for the young children in the program…yes, great idea!

If you do not know about Kyila’s program for her blind 3 – 5 year olds who receive an education and learn daily living skills to be ready to work on their academic education, then you need to get with the program! It is an unique program addressing the needs of this age group, 3 – 5 year olds, and on top of that, they are predominantly blind children with some sighted children also enrolled in the program.

The goal is to educate these children, yet to also educate the world about the abilities these blind children have to succeed to their future goals. Their perceived disability will not hold these children back thanks to the support received from the program they are in: Kiki’s Kids.

Get involved! Support Kiki’s Kids and with the help of Global Roots your donation can get to Kiki’s Kids too. Click here to know more about each program, and when clicking on Global Roots with a donation, please specify your dollars to go to Kiki’s Kids in Tibet.

Thank you!

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.

 

Pumchung and the Team

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Projects are successful only because the leader has the vision and determination to create and produce an idea that may also resonate with other individuals who become part of a then successful team. This is the case with Kyila and her 4 teachers and 4 house staff. They are committed to the goal where Kyila believes that “all children have the right to feel safe, cared for and treated as individuals whether they are blind or sighted, rich or poor…”.

Kyila had recognized Pumchung specifically in her latest newsletter. Pumchung was the first staff member at Kiki’s Kids. Since her start she has been learning computer skills, English, does plenty of management and runs the project with the other team members.

Kudos to the teachers and house staff! You are each very special people because I hope you realize, everyone cannot do the work you are doing each day with these young people! Thank you!

“Warm Greetings From Chilly Tibet!”…details about the children…

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The title of today’s post is a quote from Kyila, founder/director of Kiki’s Kids. She has sent her year-end, holiday newsletter which has plenty of information that I will share with you all in the next few blog posts. Tibet right now is with very sunny skies, a low of 15 degrees and a high of 54 degrees….per my weather app! So, I guess she is correct, Tibet is chilly right now!

During this past year, news from Kyila about the students:

Three Kiki’s Kids students have graduated to an advanced class. Two attend Braille Without Borders prep school in Lhasa. The third student is a 6 year old sighted boy who lost both of his parents during the earthquake in Yishu. He moved into grade 2 at the regular school next door, and he enjoys cooking so when he comes home he helps the cooks in Kiki’s Kids kitchen. (Just as an aside, I first met Kyila in Lhasa at the Center fro the Blind and was there a few days after the earthquake hit Yishu many hundreds of miles from Lhasa. While my friend and I traveled by train from Beijing to Lhasa, no railroad tracks were affected, but many people lost their lives in Yishu.)

New students: One boy is 6 years old, an only child, and had parents who did not know how to care for him. Since his parents rarely cooked for him he was afraid of hot food and drinks, so he is now slowly getting used to this new food experience. Another boy is 5 years old and became blind at age 2. He loves to play with others and is no longer bored as he was when home alone. Another boy: an exception was made to include him although he was not an orphan; he is sighted and 4 years old. His mother was overwhelmed in caring for him and his 7 year old sister who has cerebral palsy. He is reading and writing in three languages. One new girl joined Kiki’s Kids at age 2. She spends most of her time listening to music, and while she does not talk much, she does sing…and loves biscuits.

Please be reminded Kiki’s Kids is an inclusive Kindergarten for both blind and sighted children. The educational program provides the students with skills they probably never would have received and it helps bridge the gap between sighted and blind people in their world and ultimately in their future. Want to know more about Kiki’s Kids, continue to follow this blog. Also, check out Kiki’s Kids website. Want to donate to help Kyila with her children, the future productive young people they will become? Donate at Global Roots website and specify your donation to Kiki’s Kids.

“Wishing you a wonderful Christmas with your family and friends”…another quote from Kyila’s newsletter.

Namaste.

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