Dear HCC Family,
“Why Nepal?” It’s a question I get asked often. Susan and I have dedicated the past 17 years of our life to transforming the lives of at-risk children in Nepal, yet there are many places in the world experiencing hardship. It is very difficult to accurately describe to western donors the level of poverty that exists in Nepal, which is one of the poorest countries in the world.
In 1999, while hiking in Nepal, I met a small, 7-year-old girl, orphaned and working sweeping floors in a tea house, lacking in basic education, and vulnerable to trafficking. I was motivated to make a difference in the lives of kids like her. We were called to action to provide a safe haven for vulnerable children and began with the belief that if we could change the life of one child for the better, our work would be a success, and we wanted to provide a solution to poverty that would last a lifetime, rather than a day. We were called to develop a methodology that would not only provide orphaned and abandoned children with an education to support themselves but also with a civic purpose that would create a generation of leaders uniquely equipped to break the cycle of poverty.
In 2016, we experienced first-hand how an HCC education can create a generation of leaders dedicated to giving back. Our first class of graduated students makes us proud every day, not only with their self-sufficiency but with their persistent energy in working to transform their own communities and in their enthusiasm to give back to the younger students in HCC. For us, this is a time of celebration! Not only are we celebrating the achievements of 2016, but we look forward, with hope and vigor, to a prosperous 2017 and an expanded future.
I am excited to announce that we have applied for 3 grants from UNESCO in Florence, Italy, receiving positive feedback on the quality and substance of our grant requests. The awarding of even one of those requests would be a massive boon to the implementation of our mission to transform the lives of 5,000+ children by 2020. This includes our hope for 2017 to reach more of the earthquake orphans in the other 13 districts of Nepal. Using the model we have developed with our Dhading Children’s Initiative, we could have a great effect on the lives of earthquake orphaned and abandoned children living in the most remote and rural areas of Nepal. I believe with $150,000 in additional funding, we can reach these children to not only provide the academic support to keep them in school but to provide the social and emotional support to help them process their emotional trauma. As our success in Dhading, this past year has proved, there is no child too out of reach to be helped.
Along with our work in Nepal, we have rededicated our effort to get the word out here in the United States. In addition to community events like our upcoming Winter Blues Fundraiser event in New York City, we are looking into every opportunity for speaking engagements here in the United States to help further the mission of HCC. Both myself, and our Director of Nepal Program Development, Sadie Green, will be scheduling events to address the vital and necessary work of HCC through a talk called “Transformation in Nepal.” Specifically, we are hoping to participate in a TEDx talk, and we are open to any suggestions about potential speaking engagements from any of our supporters.
Finally, I am so grateful for the support we have been getting from you, our donors, over the last 17 years. I am continually blown away by the love and support from our HCC community for children that have experienced such hardships. The tireless work of our supporters on behalf of at-risk children continually leaves me with great hope for this world and for our future. Thank you for your continued support, engagement, and open heart. You lead by example in demonstrating the difference a dedicated group of individuals can make.