2017 End of Year Report
December 11, 2017
This year, Mother Foundation-US’s efforts were focused on two interests. Earlier in the year, the focus was on children, victims of the Nepali earthquake of April 2015 which killed near 10,000 people and injured over twenty thousand. Aka as the Gorkha earthquake as its epicenter was east of Gorkha district, the earthquake’s magnitude of 7.8M was followed by several serious aftershocks incurring additional loss of life and injury. Ensuing avalanches and landslides buried whole villages. From epic disasters such as these, arise, orphaned children or children no longer able to be taken care of by their stricken families.
I. In Pharping, 12 miles south of Kathmandu, a kindly elderly man converted his home into an Orphanage. Later he formed a charity which he named the Bodhichitta Development Society, a “social benefit organization” which is entitled to all the benefits of a nonprofit in Nepal.
Through this nonprofit he can raise funds to support the children in the Orphanage that he founded. Mother Foundation-US chose to help this nonprofit because a volunteer who works at the BDS is well known to us. Today, the BDS is run by the elderly founder, and two women, one of whom is a Buddhist nun. These three adults take care of nine children. Please see photo attached. The children attend school, and enjoy all the advantages of living in a safe and loving home. Not all of them are orphans. Some of them come from families who simply cannot afford to support them. In Nepal, all government schools are not free. Tuition which may seem minuscule to us is sometimes beyond the reach of many families there. It is not uncommon for Nepali families to send a child to a monastery or nunnery in order that they may obtain free education which is by most standards, an excellent one. These children board there until the age of sixteen or eighteen during which time they can decide whether or not to embrace monastic life. There is no obligation to take up monastic lives because they have been supported for many years by monastic institutions. For many of them, from the age of six.
II. During the latter part of the year, Mother Foundation-US was introduced to Seva Child. www.sevachild.org
It is said there are no coincidences. For those who believe that we are all connected, a coincidence is frequently a happenstance or serendipity at its cosmic best. I had been diagnosed with narrow angle glaucoma some years ago which was thought to have been corrected with laser iridotomy. Perhaps the narrow angle was corrected by lasering a hole in each of my iris’s. Unfortunately, it did not prevent “other types” of glaucoma. Last year, I was diagnosed with open angle glaucoma which requires daily eye drops to prevent further damage to the optic nerve. Glaucoma, I was told, is the leading cause of blindness in the country and in the world. In other words, “Don’t mess around with the eye drops. Use them, and don’t forget to apply daily.” The internet, opportunely, provides access to medical libraries in our homes! As I browsed the internet in search for answers to my glaucoma situation, blindness being the motivator, I received an email from a friend in San Diego, CA. He shared with me, simply put, some mind-boggling information about millions of children at risk of going blind in India simply because their diet lacked Vitamin A. Vitamin A Deficiency Disorder (VADD) is a devastating disease that affects the lives of millions of Indian children each year. The ravages of this disease can leave a child blind and even take a child’s life. To be honest, I had never even heard of a disorder called VADD. Let alone that it affected millions of children in India. But that it could be prevented at so very little cost, at a cost of about $1 per child per year, was the mind– blowing part for me.
In 2011, an American, Rick Carlton founded SevaChild “with the purpose of providing life-sustaining micronutrients to malnourished children in India. Since 2011, SevaChild’s network of volunteers and community organizations have reached over 1.3 million Indian children with micronutrients that protect children under the age of five from vitamin A deficiency, a debilitating disease that can lead to blindness, stunted growth, a depressed immune system, and even death.”
An estimated 30,000,000 Indian children are at risk.
For Mother Foundation-US, it was a no-brainer. If $1 could save the life or eyesight of a child, or both, it was a cause truly worth looking into.
My web browsing switched from glaucoma to this other website www.sevachild.org as I wanted to learn as much about this nonprofit as I could. The information is plentiful, the mid-year and year-end newsletters keep you up to date with current projects, and the SevaChild Education program will connect sponsors with children living below the poverty line in rural villages in Southeast India. (India is home to the world’s largest population of poverty stricken children.) The program will provide a unique communication experience for sponsors via a shared personal page on a dedicated site; photos and updated reports are available 24/7 by simply logging into the sponsored child’s web page.
All of the above is to say that Mother Foundation-US is so happy to work with Rick Carlton, the founder of SevaChild, and Jeff Bibler, Board Advisor, in any capacity to assist, including fund-raising, in saving lives and the eyesight of these little ones. Please see photos on this page. It will also support its Education Program for education has always been Mother Foundation-US’s main objective, purpose and aspiration. It’s simple motto: Don’t just give rice; teach them how to plant it.
III. We are proud to inform that our three Sri Lanka“2004 tsunami” education recipients have graduated from universities, the first in their village, and have found careers they never would have attained had they not been given education opportunities. One of them is teaching at a university whilst pursuing a graduate degree. Other students and families have gone on with their own lives after having been given an education, and the tools and means to take care of themselves and others.
Mother Foundation-US’s main thrust for 2018 will be to focus on marginalized children in India, especially under the age of five, to see how best to serve their most basic needs by way of providing micronutrients to preserve life and eyesight. It will continue to work with SevaChild, a most remarkable nonprofit devoted to saving the lives of Indian children. Please go over their marvelous website: www.sevachild.org
To conclude, may we at Mother Foundation-US, take this opportunity to say thank you so much for all your kindnesses through the years, and wish all sponsors, friends and family, a most blessed and joyful holiday season! Peace-Love-Joy.
I would not
leave this earth
that my hands could always
touch the face of anyone
St. Francis of Assisi (1182-1226)
Children in India receiving Vitamin A drops