For our second introduction, we would like to introduce Marsali Vanderhoeden as a Board Member of Nana’s House. Her knowledge and past success of fundraising, 5 months spent volunteering in Nepal, artistic + creative talent, and immense understanding of the culture, are all reasons why she is and will be an important piece to our puzzle.
Marsaili was raised on Cape Breton island in Canada and is currently living in Halifax, Nova Scotia. She worked for many years in the Canadian Oilsands before realizing it just wasn’t for her, nor was it where her passions lie. Taking a chance, she signed up to volunteer for 5 months in Nepal.
Her first three months were spent with 13 amazing children followed by volunteering with Nestling home for the remainder of her time in Nepal. Many things inspired Marsaili to want to help this country including: extreme poverty, seeing begging and death on the streets, copy and paste education, unsafe drinking water, abuse, and a cow named Bo who gave her hope.
Marsaili is now enrolled in university pursuing a Bachelor of Arts degree in International Development Studies. She is looking forward to helping Nana’s House in any way she can.
We are very excited to introduce one of Nana’s House Board Members, Judy Schumann. Having previously volunteered in Nepal, her numerous years studying Finance and her clear and unwavering compassion for those less fortunate and at risk, make her a huge asset to Nana’s House. We will also be fortunate enough to have her accompany us as we go back to Nepal on March 15th to start laying the groundwork for our Children’s Home and networking with local NGO’s(Non-Government Organizations).
We are very lucky to have you on the team Judy!
A little about Judy:
Judy was born in Japan, has lived throughout the United States and currently resides in Stoughton, Wisconsin, U.S.A. *She received her Bachelor of Science degree in medical technology and is American Society of Clinical Pathology registered. She worked as an instructor and in patient care with a hematology specialty for 25 years, then worked on her master’s degree in finance and took a financial analyst position in the clinical laboratory of a medical center.
Judy has always had a love of world travel, so in the spring of 2013 she volunteered in the Nepal orphanage program through International Volunteer Headquarters. She was placed at the Nestling Home in Pokhara were she helped care for 8 beautiful little souls and was able to organize the cleaning and painting of the facility. Witnessing the extreme poverty and need which affects the people of Nepal and the severe lack of facilities, government assistance or ability of individuals to care for orphaned, abandoned and abused children, she returned home feeling her work there was not finished.
Corresponding with Josh Bingham,director of Nana’s House, whom she had met while at the Nestling Home, Judy became interested in his vision to open a new facility for the street children of Nepal. Remembering the filthy child who approached her and begged for a drink of water and the many other children she saw in similar conditions while in Nepal, she has accepted a position on the Board of Directors of Nana’s House. Her hope is to help provide a safe, clean, loving home where these children can grow and thrive to become happy, healthy, educated and productive adults.
Jackie Junko, a fantastic photographer and avid world traveler, has set up a website selling her wonderful photography from all around the world including Japan,Hawaii and Mexico. Jackie, previously having visited Nepal in 1997 and aware of the conditions that most street children face, has contacted Nana’s House and has decided that all proceeds made from her website, will go to Nana’s House and our efforts to create services like housing, food, education and means to re-connect with any possible family.
For only $20, you can purchase one of her fantastic photos, and the best part is, it all goes to a great cause!
Check her website out:
Joshua Bingham here, I have submitted a photo of me and one of the children at the Pokhara Nestling during my 5 month volunteer program in Nepal to the International Volunteer Headquarters photo contest. The picture with the most “Likes” by January 31rst, receives $100 and a spotlight segment with which we could use to promote Nana’s House and our current project of create a Children’s Home in Nepal in an attempt to aid the thousands of homeless children in Nepal.
You are allowed to vote every 7 days, and we can certainly use each and every one of your votes!
Click HERE to vote
One of my favorite things to do in Pokhara,Nepal was to walk around the lake. This stretch of road is the tourist mecca of Pokhara. You have your silk shops, internet cafe’s and porters for hiking. If you go far enough along this stretch of winding road, you will come across a giant open field, complete with benches perfect for sitting and admiring the lake, swings and slides, and fishermen trying to catch their profits for the day. In this park you will also find Arjun and Prakash. Two brothers I came in contact with several times during my walks to the park.
I first saw them late November of 2012. Skin charred and blackened by the sun, hair stuck and matted together, clothes in tatters, shoeless, eyes glossy and yellowed from poor hygiene and nutrition. They were wrestling with one another, each one taking turns to see if they could get the other to the ground. Prakash, at 12 years old, and much bigger and 5 years older than Arjun kept winning, but Arjun was quick to find his way onto his feet after being knocked to the ground, determined to come away the victor at least once. I stayed for several hours at the park, wondering where they called home, concerned with the obvious lack of hygiene and malnutrition that displayed itself on the children’s faces and worn down bodies. I decided to ask them. I had several safe and caring contacts that could provide a hot meal and a bed should they need it. To no avail, they didn’t speak English and only looked at me with blank and confused faces. I decided that I was going to bring my good friend, Madhav, capable of translating English to Nepali, to the park the next day, and should they be there, help me to communicate with them.
The next day, around 10am, I made the 30 minute walk to the park with Madhav. Part of me hoped that they weren’t there, that the two brothers had gone back home and were safe. Much to my dismay, there they were again. Hair still matted, clothes still torn, and still shoeless. With Madhav’s help, I was able to learn more about their situation. At a young age, their parents were in a devastating motorbike accident that left them both paraplegics. Already strapped for money, both parents were unable to provide for their children. Without any other family to call upon, they were forced to fend for themselves on the street, begging for any food and money they could get.
As Prakash finished, he pulled out a piece of paper that contained what looked like a government seal, and a picture of two people. I told Madhav to have Prakash tell me what this piece of paper meant. Prakash began to describe it. The picture was of his mother and father, the writing declared that the children’s parents were both paraplegic and that a shopkeeper or a Nepali local seeing this piece of paper, should donate some of his or her money due to the current situation of the children. Two boys, at 12 and 7, left to fend for themselves with nothing but a piece of paper and the kindness of locals to survive.
The day ended with the children being taken to the barber, new shoes for both boys, and ramen noodle snacks that would last them the next two days, along with the phone numbers and names of people that could give them a place to sleep and something to eat should they need it that night.
That is all I could give, because, unfortunately it was the only resources and means I had for them.
I left Nepal swearing to myself that I would be back, with more resources, with means to help children like Prakash and Arjun. A Children’s Home that would provide a hot meal, care and love, a bed to sleep, education should they need it, and ways for their parents, should that be applicable, to still be a part of their lives.
All your support is very much appreciated!
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