These kids are orphans, but have found family with each other. One girl said: "I don't have a sister, so I asked one of the girls if she wanted to be my sister, and she said yes. Now I have two sisters!"
Wise words coming from a youngster. Don't we make our family from the ones who are truly dear to us? These days we have a "modern family" comprising of not just our blood lines, but also from people who are devoted to being present in your life. I think that's why I am so fond of the show "Friends" too: the group of six are each other's family.
The kids are lovely, but also unruly and undisciplined. I expected to be sad when I came to the orphanage, but was pleasantly surprised to find the children genuinely happy. They don't have much (literally, as many of them are wearing rags with holes that run up their entire pant leg), but they also don't know any better.
I felt deeply affected the other day when one of the orphans, Utam, walked me back to my host family's mansion and he insisted he carry my guitar.
While he politely waited at the gate, he squealed in delight because he found an old kite in the garbage beside the house (my Nepali sister had made the kite, got bored with it and consequently threw it out). He grinned widely and immediately started to play with the kite. It was his lucky day, but I only felt bittersweet sadness for him because he had no idea just how poor he is. At the same time though, perhaps he was happier than most: he was content with what he had. Utam taught me a very important lesson that day.
Many of the kids are like Utam, so our music therapy sessions focus on providing structure for the kids, as there are around 20 of them and there is only one house mother. They have a lot of free time and need help learning how to focus, follow rules, and respect each other. Our music interventions focus on listening and turn-taking skills. Over the past few months I have seen progress and there are children who really enjoy the music and always return for more.
I always believe in the power of education in order to change the world and break cycles of poverty. That is why I have decided to contribute monthly payments to Sunrise earmarked for their education, including musical studies. If you would like to help, whether a one time or regular donation, let me know and I can arrange it. Dhanyabaad (Nepali word for thank you).