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Friday the 8th

group standing togetherOur second day with Nirmala began with visiting two children’s center in Kathmandu, Disabled Rehabilitation Center (DRC) and Disabled New-life Center (DNC.) Both centers provide services to children with disabilities and those without any other means of support (“street children”in Nepali terms.) The centers provide housing, education, basic necessities, and life skills training. They are both nonprofits funded through sponsorship, scholarship, and founder organizations.

We enjoyed spending time with the children who were very welcoming and excited to show us around. The children were on holiday for International Women’s Day much to our delight. They enjoy football, badminton, and watching Bollywood movies! We were even able to get our hair braided by one of the teenage students who’s dream job is to become a bridal hair dresser and seamstress. Most notable was how affection the children were towards each other and how they helped one another.

Our next stop was Boddhisattvas In Action (BIA), a vocational training center in Kathmandu. We toured the facility including the painting, sewing, weaving, and incense workshops. One of the more unique workshops was the mallet making. The group combined soap and felt to create a rounded, red ball used for drum music.

Our day ended with a visit to Boudhanath, a Tibetan Stupa. We were able to visit a thonka art school. Thangka is a traditional Buddhist painting practice that displays a variety of Buddha images as well as the circle of life. They can also be worshiped as a manifestation of spirits themselves. Authentic Thangka paintings use natural colors and do not contain chemical processing. They include 24 carat gold and can take weeks to months to complete.

More information, including how to sponsor a student at one of the centers, can be found at:

DRC – Disabled Rehabilitation Center
http://www.drcnepal.org.np

DNC – Disabled New-life Center
http://dncnepal.org

BIA – Boddhisattvas In Action
http://bia-foundation.org

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