Nine-year-old Monika, in the green shirt, is now a student at the Bijeswori School in the second grade
• Each year, we offer 15 new girls the opportunity to go to school at our three affiliate schools in Kathmandu.
• Education won't solve Nepal's many problems, but providing one girl a chance to go to school is a great step in the right direction.
HERE'S HOW WE SELECT OUR
HIO GIRLS FOR SPONSORSHIP...
Girls are selected on the basis of economic need, and to a small degree, on academic promise. It would be great to think that all our HIO children will be wonderful students, but we've chosen not to select our girls by pre-testing for academic ability. It's a wonder that with illiterate mothers, some of our girls turn out to be brilliant students, with two now on full scholarship at Duke and Georgetown. But this is the exception. Most of the girls are average students. We encourage and help them to become better students and accept the notion that all have their gifts.
We offer 15 new girls the opportunity to go to school at our three affiliate schools in the Kathmandu valley each year. The Nepali school year begins at the end of April. Placements of the new children are organized in June, and new sponsors are contacted with images and a brief family story.
Often in their daily travels to children's homes, Ram or Palmo will peek into the doorway of a neighbor's rented room to find a very desperate situation. An illiterate, single mother whose alcoholic husband abandoned her, leaving her to support their five children ranging from fourteen to two months. Our Co-Directors ask many questions over several visits and decide that this family will greatly benefit if we sponsor one of their children. That's the way seven-year-old Monika was chosen.
Others are suggested for sponsorship by social workers, school principals and teachers we know and trust. And we often take on the younger sister of a girl we currently sponsor. We actively interview all prospective families over several home visits before making a careful choice. 90% of the single mothers we partner with have not gone to school, and some are skeptical that education will change the life of their children. Some, especially the fathers, believe that having educated daughters will greatly lessen the chances of finding a husband. Over time, we try to convince the parents that education can only improve the economic prospects of their daughters and is the pathway from a life of poverty.