Students, Teachers & Staff are Back from Holiday!

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Just wanted you to know the January holiday time is over and everyone is back to Kiki’s Kids kindergarten. It will be an exciting spring as they eventually move from Shigatse to Lhasa…. to the BIG city! Well it is not really that big; however, it is closer to any medical need …that is so very important at times for the children. Nothing worse than an ill child and a long distance to travel to visit a doctor.

So, remain connected via the blog and you will know what is happening!

Have any extra spare change after your holiday shopping? Do not forget to throw it all in a savings jar. I may be asking for your help with an upcoming project. Till then happy times are ahead!

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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.

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.

Let’s Care For Our Children

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I write this post on the one year anniversary of the deadly shooting in Newtown; a day anyone who loves children, educators, parents and life will never forget. Sadly, we have also lost more than a hundred other children during this past year too… shootings that take young lives… causing me angst of who is left behind.

Grieving souls who may or may not channel their energy into positive actions. Angry souls who may or may not channel their energy into negative actions. Confused souls who wonder why young lives are taken from us before they each had an opportunity to live life!?!

Let’s care for our children. Let’s make that a priority.

I believe it begins with heart-felt conversation on a daily basis. For each other to truly know the other individual….listening, empathizing, supporting the current new thought or direction, caring for the whole person… being present in that conversation. Then we would truly know what each needs from one another, and I believe we would capture the essence of what is happening to the person in our midst, possibly needing support.

Let’s care for our children. Let’s make that a priority.

Warning flags are sometimes obvious: no daily conversation with a child, no daily meal shared with a child, a family struggling to pay for food and shelter, little joy and love in ones daily life. This environment can be burdensome for all involved; some champion above it, yet not all. We as a community need to notice and help where we can. We will continue to be shocked by tragedies and we will wonder how the heck we missed many of the warning flags, but we must care for one another and especially our children. Let each of them have opportunities as we have in our own life!

Thank you to all the families, caring people and humanitarian organizations helping make the home, community and world a better place.

 

My Heart Touched By a Donor…and Offers a Challenge…

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My intention has been to raise dollars for a greenhouse. It would be constructed and maintained in Tibet for Kyila’s 3 – 5 years olds to enjoy smelling flowers and eating fruits and vegetables. I continue to have this goal so they can have fresh and varied meals each day and enjoy touching different flowery textures.

Today, is Thanksgiving Day, in the USA. And today my heart has been touched by an individual who has offered to match the dollars I raise, up to two thousand dollars ($2000), with her donation. This is a wonderful challenge and a most gracious gift from a person who is doing so in remembrance of a dear partner in life. I knew the individual, but I have learned more: this individual loved an herb garden and would have appreciated the gardening benefits of a greenhouse, and thus this challenge in my fundraising.

I am thankful for so much and moments like this warms my heart more than anyone can ever know. When I first met Kyila in Tibet, Kiki’s Kids was a simple dream/goal for her. A person of my word, I promised her I did not know how I would help, but I would do so….and here we are now raising money for a greenhouse! Kiki’s Kids is a successful place for children who needs warm and big hearts. 

If you are able to donate any amount in this month of November, as you know from previous blogs that is the timeline, Kiki’s Kids will appreciate it. If you know me, please let me know you’re dropping off a check payable to Global Roots and I will send it on with other checks next week. Or you can go to the Global Roots website, www.globalroots.org and use PayPal to send in a donation. Either way, please designate the donation for the greenhouse in Tibet. Thank you!

Namaste.

 

 

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