This year marks ten years of Beyond the Orphanage! In celebration of our 10 year anniversary, our CEO filmed a video to explain a little more about our programs and what they’re about. Here’s a recap of the video, taken live from one of our programs based in Pokhara in Nepal.
“We arrived in Kathmandu on Sunday night, and flew from Kathmandu to Pokhara on Monday morning”, says Kate. “It was a really great flight – there’s still snow on the mountains, so it was beautiful.”
“We’re here to see the children”, says Geoff in response to a question about what they do when they visit programs. “It’s really how we quantify how well a program is going. We want to spend time with the children and see how they’re going. We want to look at the program itself as well, and with its administrative staff understand where we can add more value.”
What Geoff and Kate don’t mention during their video is that through their regular visits to programs, they have come to know each and every child by name.
“There’s one little boy here whose not as lively as he was last time we were here. That was only six months ago’, says Kate. ‘He arrived in the program ten years ago in 2007 and was 3 years old. He only weighed 3 kilos. It took him a year to recover. He came into the program with his mother, but she has since passed away.”
It’s easy to tell that Kate and Geoff are parents themselves based on the love and care that they express towards the children supported by BTO.
“He’s just gone through a period of intense treatment for an illness”, says Kate, “so that’s why he’s not as lively as he was six months ago… He’s quite quiet”.
Geoff agrees, “He was just sitting on the swing yesterday, while the other children were playing”.
“The really great thing is that he’s got a place where he’s safe”, says Kate, “and he can actually feel secure. He also treats this place as his family.
We recently read a story from him that he wrote himself – he wasn’t asked to do it, one of the program directors just walked past and he was writing his life story that he wanted to share. It went through how sad he was when he joined, and how much he feels loved now and how safe he feels here.
“We recently read a story from him that he wrote himself – he wasn’t asked to do it, one of the program directors just walked past and he was writing his life story that he wanted to share. It went through how sad he was when he joined, and how much he feels loved now and how safe he feels here.
“That story has really touched us today.”
One question that was asked during the live session from an attendee was about specific things that are needed at the moment. “Obviously, always funding”, replies Kate. “No one asks for anything here. But even $5 can make a difference.”
As many of you know, our story is a deeply personal one. It started with one man and a life-changing trip he took twelve years ago. During that first fateful trip, Geoff became increasingly saddened and horrified at the plight of orphans in the developing world. Many were homeless, sick, and experiencing institutional challenges.
As an international pilot who had travelled the world, and a father to a teenage son, Geoff struggled to comprehend the extreme hardships facing these children. In 2007, Beyond the Orphanage was born.
We’ve been lucky enough to watch many of the children in our program grow into young adults now enjoying university, vocational training or employment. These are remarkable transformations, given that less than a decade ago these children were without a home and education.
Child trafficking stories can break your heart. But they can also give you an insight into a terrible and enormous issue in Nepal. Today, we'd like to give you an insight into the story of one young man who was trafficked as a child. His name is Sahas.
Sahas lives in Nepal and is supported by Beyond the...