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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Just One Person….

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Well once again I noticed a roadside sign board, again in the USA. This one: “It takes just one person to change one life.”

Ah yes! Kyila, founder of Kiki’s Kids, shared with me she was taking the usual January-time holiday break….much needed time for herself, teachers and staff as they all have round-the-clock responsibilities with their 3- 5 year olds at the kindergarten. When Kyila returned from holiday, she shared with me that during some of her holiday time she had been in the very rural areas of Tibet visiting families. (Quite honestly, all of Tibet seems rural to me so I am almost wondering which direction very rural!) Once again, I know Kyila is dedicated to the cause and always seems to be focused on it…year-round.

Anyway, she visited a family with 2 blind children. Blindness is just the tip of the concern. Since they are not moving around they are becoming physically handicapped. They are the only 2 children in this family and so fortunate for Kyila’s help. She is working to get the 2 children to a doctor in Lhasa, and then if there is any hope for the children they will continue on to a hospital in China.

In this case, it is one person making a change in the life of TWO children…and their parents.

My hope is there to be less blind young children with the additional handicaps.

Thanks Kyila for your work!

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.

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.

What is this plant?

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I have my eyesight. I had the ability to travel in China and Tibet and see various sites. One plant I saw was the one pictured here. Can you imagine being blind and working to solve, what is this plant? You may touch it, if someone could acknowledge that it is safe to touch. You could smell it, if there was an aroma to smell. You could taste it, once again if that was safe to do. Check the bush or the tree it came from….and whatever else….to eventually determine….tea leaves!

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Last Week in July is Exam Week, then Holiday!

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Students study Braille, Tibetan, Chinese and English along with learning daily living skills and develop self-confidence. Wow! The 3 – 5 year olds are having great educational experiences. Similar to other instructional places there comes a time for exams….and at the end of the experience, someone or ones are “top of the class”. So it is too at Kiki’s Kids in Tibet. First place: Yishung, then Kalsang, Tashi Puntso, Karma Kundro, and last but not least, Tenzig. They each won a small prize for recognition of their good work.

The other good news is 4 students have graduated from Kiki’s Kids in Shigatse and will attend Braille Without Borders (BWB) School in Lhasa. These four young students will continue their education in an environment which Kyila is very well aware of since BWB was also a stepping stone in her successful life … and now she has graduates having the same opportunity. This is a full circle moment….wonderful! Kyila just has to be thrilled knowing this is happening. Kyila dreamt about the needed intervention in the early years for children aged 3 – 5 years old so they would be ready for BWB school in Lhasa. She graduated from there and received further education and entrepreneurial training to know how to begin the program, Kiki’s Kids, that she had dreamt of creating and now is having her graduates move onto BWB. To say I am proud of Kyila is an understatement. Her hard work is helping young people in a HUGE way.

Stay connected with Kyila via my blog at https://blindsightintibet.wordpress.com and when possible, please donate directly to Global Roots (write Kiki’s Kids on your check). Please mail the check payable to: Global Roots, at PO Box 28416, Portland, OR 97228

Many thanks. Namaste.

 

 

One Year of Success, And the Eyes Have It Too; Read All About It…..

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I am back with some good news!

Kyila, founder of Kiki’s Kids in Shigatse, Tibet, has had quite a year!

After much coordination with others helping her renovate an old barracks into educational and living space, and preparing learning material for her future blind, kindergarten-aged children, Kyila has completed a full year of instruction with 3 staff for 20 children. Also, she is caregiver to their special needs and that requires a lot of time and energy on her part! Kudos to her for the first year success!

And why did I mention eyes in my title today? At the end of June, Kyila took 3 children to Shanghai for eye surgery, sponsored by Shanghai I Buddhist Temple. You may recall, from one of my earlier blogs, a young girl who had an eyeball sticking out of her eye socket and it hurting tremendously. She was so uncomfortable, and it was with heartache we read about her health concern and wondered when care would be given to her. It has happened. She had her eye removed and next year she will receive an artificial eye. Wonderful! Another of the 3 children had an amazing thing happen too. This young child’s eye surgery was such a success he gained some sight. Next they will determine if he can see better with regular eyeglasses. And if so, he may be able to go to regular school. Wow, this will be life altering for this child!

So once again, you see all your help is greatly appreciated. Our support of Kyila’s work is providing her young students with opportunities they could have only dreamed about. Quite honestly, I am not even sure they dreamed this big, but we are helping to make many opportunities their reality. So, let’s continue. Stay posted here to learn more about Kyila’s work. I will try to keep everyone abreast of what is happening at Kiki’s Kids. Save this in your favorites: https://blindsightintibet.wordpress.com and stay connected.

Also, if you are able to donate some of your extra dollars to Kiki’s Kids continued growth and success, do know it is being used smartly by Kyila. Please donate directly to Global Roots (be sure to put Kiki’s Kids on your check). Global Roots is my financial sponsor so monies get to Kyila. Please mail the check payable to: Global Roots, at PO Box 28416, Portland, OR 97228

Your time and energy in learning all you can about blind children of Tibet is greatly appreciated, along with however you can help. Thank you.