The students at Khushi Ghar recently hosted a open house as a fundraiser for their summer Sewa (service) Project. The funds they raised were matched by a generous sponsor so their efforts could go even further! Barsha tells us the full story:
On June 14th, 2019 we held an open house fundraising event at Khushi Ghar. The objective was to encourage the students of Himalayan Children’s Charities (HCC) to showcase their talent and take advantage of their leisure period between exams. It was also an opportunity for students to acquire new skills such as event management, fundraising and marketing, and showcase their artistic abilities such as painting and handicraft production. The event was also intended as a way for Kathmandu-based HCC family and friends to come out to support the students and staff. The event was successful in many ways, including in raising our confidence in seeing such a big project to completion, and also in raising funds for our upcoming HCC student Sewa Project.
The preparation for this event started 3 weeks beforehand. The event was organized by the youth of HCC, with the guidance of our Student Coordinator, Hira Sapkota.
There were a total of 4 types of items that we made and sold at the event: jewelry (earrings, necklaces, and keyrings), foods such as pickles (radish, chili, mango, and Sichuan pepper) as well as rice-flour doughnuts with flax seeds, hand-stitched goods, such as cushions, bags, and mufflers, acrylic and watercolor paintings, and pencil drawings.
The jewelry was made by the students with materials and tools that were donated by supporters in the USA.
The pickle ingredients were bought from the local vegetable shop, then washed, cut and dried in the sun and mixed with the spices and made into pickles.
The cushions were made with recycled saris and other cloth. All of the sewing, stitching, knitting, and other handiwork was done by us, with the support of our sewing teacher, Manju Gautam.
The paintings and drawings were done by the students who were interested in visual art, with mentorship and the supervision of renowned Nepali artist Kiran Manandhar.
We worked hard to complete all of the items in the short time we had, but it was fun and refreshing. We also sharpened our skills in the various crafts, learned about time management, and realized that together we can accomplish great things in a short time.
Everybody was very nervous and excited on the day of the event. We started decorating for the occasion early in the morning. We placed the lights, set up the tents, and organized the tables and various stalls. We hung the paintings as well as photos collages of the students. Every one of us were given responsibilities to take care of in the lead up to the event. Chadani, (grade 12), and Ram (2nd year bachelors) were the emcees.
There was an opening dance by Sunita (grade 12), followed by short speeches by the chief guests. Then the guests visited the stalls and bought some handicrafts, paintings and food items to support our cause.
A number of items were sold, and the best-selling items of all were the pickles. The students had fun practicing their marketing and sales skills by convincing guests to buy the items at their stalls. It was a bit difficult, but also a new and fun experience for all.
The most exciting part of the evening followed, with the live paintings done by Kiran Manandhar, along with Ram Tamang and Rukmani Dhital (graduate student who is now an art teacher). And tea, coffee and cookies were offered to the guests.
More than 75 guests attended the fundraising event, which was more people than we expected. Attendees included the principals and teachers of the boarding schools where younger HCC students go, Reliance Residential School and Kavya school. Board members of HCC USA, HCC Nepal, and Creating Possibilities Nepal were also present.
Other notable guest included his Excellency the Ambassador of Israel, HCC co-founder Bruce Kennan, renowned artist and Creating Possibilities Nepal’s President Kiran Mandandhar, and 2018 Miss Nepal Universe Manita Devkota. Graduated students also came for the event. Various businesses and organizations sponsored the event and were recognized with a banner that was hung up for all to see, including the Karuna Foundation, Nagarik Awaj, and Aarati Steel.
In the end, we raised approximately 149,350 [$1650 USD]. We were proud to be able to put on such an event and be able to give back to more motivated and needy students.
“I was chosen to perform the welcome dance at the fundraising event. I was very nervous and excited at the same time. My performance was admired by everyone present on that day. This event was successful with the equal help and support of the HCC family. The funds raised at the program was satisfying, and everyone was happy in the end.” – Sunita (Grade 12)
“It was a great honor and challenging work at the same time to be the emcee of the huge program. It not only helped me to overcome my fear of public speaking but also how to conduct the big events.”- Chadani (Grade 12)
“It was my absolute pleasure to have renowned artist Kiran Manandhar as my art teacher. It was a dream come true to have an opportunity to work and learn from him. I enjoyed painting with all those beautiful colors. I was at top of the mountain when
everyone praised my work and bought some of my paintings. It gave me hope for the days to come, and at the same time I feel encouraged to do more to bring the best out of me.”- Kaman (Bachelor 1st Year)