On a piece of flat, open gound on the edge of Boudha, are a group of tents housing families from Bolansa village in Khomdrol, Tatopani VDC, Sindhupalchok district – an earthquake epicenter. This is Lama Phurpa Dorje’s home village, so he visits whenever he can. Last week he found one family in particular in need of our help.
Karma is seventeen years old, and until recently, he was a monk. He has disrobed in order to support his family. The earthquake took the life of his older sister, who had cared for her younger brother and sister since their mother died. Karma’s father has mental health problems and is often ill.
Karma is looking for a job to feed his family and provide education for his siblings now he is the only breadwinner. Karma has little formal education himself, and he knows from experience that education is the key to success. While staying in the village he worked in the fields for a tiny salary; now he’s searching for a job in Kathmandu, very difficult to find these days.
“My brother Norbu is 14 years old, and studying in 6thgrade. My younger sister Sang Dolma is 10 years old. Norbu and Sang Dolma both attend Samata school in Kathmandu. We got some money from the government because we were victims of the earthquakes, and I was able to pay some part of their education expenses from the money we received. But we are still facing problems with the rest of the education fee. And of course there is still food to buy……”
” It is very difficult to find a job in Kathmandu these days, especially without a good education background. I can do any physical work, or be a waiter or dishwasher – I am strong and I want to work hard. Life has become very difficult, since my main concern is that I can’t do much to support the family without a job”.
Karma, Norbu and Sang Dolma didn’t mention the tent, or the crowded field, or the loss of their home and family. They are looking to the future, trying to make something out of what they have left, keeping hope alive.
Karma says the family needs an income of 5000-8000 NRs ($55-85 USD) each month to get by. That doesnt seem much to invest in three young lives, to help them make a simple dream of going to school and finding a job come true.