As part of A Leg To Stand On’s 2014 site evaluations, our Director of Programs is visiting our program partner in Nepal. The Hope Disability Centre (or Asha Apanga Kendra in Nepali) has been partnered with ALTSO since 2009, and together we have treated nearly 300 children in the rural areas of Nepal. This is a beautiful skyline photo of one of those rural areas in the mountains of Nepal.
The centre is run by Ganga Rayamajhi who lost both of her legs in a fire as a child. After being fitted for her first prosthetic limbs when she was 17 she was inspired to open Asha Apanga Kendra to help children like herself receive the care they desperately needed.
The staff and board of the Hope Disability Centre welcomed me with open arms. As a sign of welcoming and respect they gave me these white ribbons, khata, and orange flowers, malla, as they traditionally do in their culture. The red powder on my forehead, tika, is part of a Hindu blessing – as over 80% of the population practices Hinduism.
Over 25 of ALTSO’s patients and their families attended the ceremony which was the first time for most of the patients. They were so excited to be part of the ceremony and continued the thank us for giving them a new life.
One patient that I met was 10 year old Vishnu. Two years ago she received the life changing clubfoot correction surgery that she needed to gain back her mobility. She has continued to receive follow up care since her surgery and is now independently mobile giving her the opportunity to go to school. Her dream is to one day become a reading and language arts teacher.
Vishnu’s parents used to live in India, where her two older siblings were born in Indian hospitals. At the time her father owned a bakery to care for their growing family. However, after having to leave the bakery the family moved to Nepal. When in Nepal Vishnu’s mother, Laksmi, began to work long hours as a farmer to help bring in a small amount of money. During this time Laksmi became pregnant with Vishnu, but continued her labor intensive job. Vishnu was born at their home, not a hospital like her siblings, with no medical staff or midwife.
Like many children in Nepal, these circumstances likely caused her Clubfoot which was too expensive for the family to treat. Thanks to ALTSO’s generous donors we are able to continue providing treatment to these children who would otherwise go unnoticed and untreated. It is because of the treatment provided to Vishnu that she is able to walk on her own to school and has the opportunity to go on to fulfill her dream of becoming a teacher. Below is a photo of Vishnu and her mother, Laksmi, at the welcoming ceremony.