RMF’s long-term development programs in Nepal will touch upon many sectors:
- Healthcare- support of the Kanti Children’s Hospital, possible collaboration with Lumbini Social Services Foundation to develop a nursing and midwifery program with health center in Lumbini.
- Education- support for the Peace Grove Nunnery and Karuna Women’s College - 2 places that promote leadership and empowerment among girls rather than child marriage and perpetuate the cycle of poverty, and a school for the deaf in Dahding.
- Human Rights- Through the support of Bal Madir Orphanage, Dahding Women’s Shelter, support of the Bodhi Center for Peace.
- Reduction of Poverty- through our holistic approach to creating global villages via an “adopt a village” model.
Here are some highlights from a trip to Lumbini that the RMF team took to learn about how we will best collaboarate on such important and amazing local partnerships.
The young monks at the Bodhi Insitutute where they all learn and live together, regardless of caste or class.
We were met with gifts of flowers and adoration.
The original tree that the Metta schools began under. Less than 10 years ago, there was no school for the children of Lumbini. Metteyya saw the need and began a school under this tree. Since then, it has grown to include hundreds of children with plans to expand to a secondary school, community gardens, and many other village projects. Here are some of the students’ mothers who are on the board of the school. The community has ownership and guidance of the programs for their children.
Spending time with the giggly sweet nuns in the early hours after chanting and meditation was one of the absolute highlights of staying at the Peace Grove Nunnery. Some of these girls were child brides and negotiations with the families allow them to complete their education. Most family members visit the girls daily and there is a long waiting list for girls to get into this program. It also dissolves all remnants of caste or class or ethnicity and they live and study together as equals.
The library at the Karuna Women’s College brings much joy and amazing opportunity. I was amazed that all the girls, even the youngest spoke English really well. RMF is supporting the new computer lab and music program.