Mitrata Nepal Music ProgramKathmandu, Nepal
Mitrata means friendship in Nepali. It’s a word that epitomizes the meaning of love, care and support. Their mission is to serve and uplift the less privileged. It has always been Nanda Kulu's dream to establish a home for underprivileged children, and happily with the help of Dr. Schutz in the USA, this dream became a reality.
Started in 2000 by Nanda this very special orphanage now provides shelter, medical care and educational opportunities for over 100 children. This is accomplished by fundraising activities, linking children in Nepal with sponsors overseas, and operationally supporting a group home. Nanda and her fine crew are dedicated to supporting these children into adulthood, assisting them in becoming healthy, economically independent, educated Nepali citizens who have the opportunity to pursue happiness in life.
Most children residing at Mitrata were either abandoned or rescued from troubled homes. The plight of children in Nepal is desperate. Many are without food, on the streets and unable to attend school because they are too poor. Due to the devastating effects of the recent political conflict and civil war, there are more children without parents to care for them. Fifty percent of the children are malnourished and only a quarter of them live with adequate sanitation. There are 2.6 million child laborers in Nepal.
The Mitrata children are some of the most well behaved kids you will ever meet. On our first visit we were absolutely charmed by each and every one. Sarangi master Kiran Nepali, of the popular Nepali music group Kutumba, teaches a music program at Mitrata. The first thing that stood out was just how much the kids love to learn music. Rarely have we seen such desire to play an instrument. Kiran expressed how the need was great for new instruments for the aspiring students. So with the help of PFCF, flutes, harmoniums, drums and Sarangis have now been procured and happily received.
There are four dynamic music classes taught every Saturday morning. The children are very fortunate as the teaching staff is first rate. Kiran Nepali teaches Sarangi, Roop Chettri teaches harmonium and singing, Raman Maharjan teaches flute and brother Rameshowr Maharjan teaches the traditional Madal drum. It’s deeply inspiring to watch these dedicated musicians work with theses precious kids. We are grateful to have partnered with Nanda and her fine organization.
You can truly make a difference! Donate today, or find out more at mitrata.org
OTHER WAYS TO GIVE
Provides a flute for a child in Nepal
Provides a madal drum, benefiting a child and local craftsman
Sarangi student Sushmita is progressing quite well according to teacher Kiran Nepali. The country’s most beloved instrument is quite difficult to master. It takes an extraordinary effort on the part of the student to maintain their discipline. Sushmita is deeply dedicated to keeping the exotic sound of the Sarangi alive.
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Our gear is packed and heading outside the courtyard we see there is not a taxi in sight. Shyam thankfully has a bike so I can hop on the back of his Indian hog and haul the equipment. Sujan and Ishor will have to walk and seemed to be ok about that. They didn’t complain in front of me at least. Later we all gather again at the guesthouse for some food and relaxed conversation. That’s when Shyam’s face turns white as he receives a text from a friend who is in the Nepalese Army. He immediately writes Shyam that they have been put on high alert and tells him to be very careful today. The country may be heading towards a declared state of emergency. There is even talk of sending all foreigners home. Frankly this is just too much for me to accept at the time. We have purchased all this gear for Devi group and construction of our school desks for the village is underway. There is a lot riding on our efforts and we will not be dissuaded easily.
LIFE IN THE COMMUNITY
The recently observed Dashain festival is the most important festival of the Nepalese. All the kids at Mitrata are in an enthusiastic holiday mood at the time of the festival. Dashain is the longest and the most auspicious festival in the Nepalese annual calendar, celebrated by Nepalese of all caste and creed throughout the country. The market is filled with shoppers seeking new clothing, gifts, and enormous supplies of temple offering for the gods, as well as foodstuffs for the family feasting.
Fifteen festive days of celebration ended on the day of the full moon. Thorough out the kingdom of Nepal the goddess Durga in all her manifestations are worshiped with innumerable Pujas and abundant offerings. After receiving her blessing, people are ready to work and acquire virtue, power and wealth. Dashain is not only Nepal’s longest festival but also the most anticipated one among all festivals.