Friday, November 25, 2016

A beautiful charming and bubbly girl, Astha's story touched my heart and brought tears in my eyes when she shared the picture outside her school life.

Aastha Tamang

I am Aastha Tamang, thirteen years old, living in a small shack in Tinkune, Kathmandu. I study in class six in Koseli School.

When I was 11 years old, my mother expired of heart attack due to excessive drinking of alcohol. After mother died, i had to quit school at middle of grade four and help my father with the tea stall, the only source of income for the family. It was difficult for him to educate and feed 6 people with his low income. We are five sisters and one brother in my family. Two sisters are already married but one sister’s husband left her. One of my sister got married at the age of 14 and had a child before she turned 15.
My father got remarried, and my step mother was cruel to us. Luckily, she did not stay for  too long. The best thing she did to my life was that she brought me to Koseli School and that has changed my life forever and I will always be grateful for it. Koseli was and is the only thing in my life which brings happiness and smiles.
We all are living in a single room and my small brother and sister disturb me all the time. I cook food, feed them, wash clothes and take care of them most of the time. In my free time, I like to read and revise what I have learnt in School. I stand 1st in my class. This is all possible due to the happy and peaceful environment provided by the Koseli Foundation.
 I love my school very much as i can get stomach full of food and snacks and get education. I like all the teachers of Koseli School. My small sister also studies here in LKG. She loves coming school with me. My best subject is science and my dream is to become a doctor and serve needy people in future. 

#Faces of KOSELI

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Contact #  +988 9851023188

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Santosh Pariyar; From a Rag picker to a trained professional….

I started my journey at Koseli 6 years ago in 2011 when I was 11 years old. I was covered with filth and stank of urine like all my friends. Afterall I was a professional rag-picker. Somehow, Renu Mam was able to convince me to come to Koseli with her. Upon arrival, I followed the Koseli ritual for new kids which consisted of a bath, a hair cut, treatment of my wounds, a set of clothes and food. It was only after all this did I see what a classroom looked like from inside.
 Even though I was old enough to be in grade 4 or 5, I was actually sent to grade 2. I hated it on top of that I totally disliked studying as I had never been to a school before. I was clear in my mind that I hadn't come to Koseli to study but only for the food and care. I recall well that I was very naughty and distracted the whole class. Many times, I disrespected my teachers but, they never gave up on me. I could not cope with the studies.
And then one day something magical happened. Koseli was planning to come up with a production called Jaamun ko Rukh and we were asked to come to the office to audition. To my own surprise, I got a role partially because there weren’t many children and partially because Renu Mam thought theatre would help us unleash our energies. Thinking back, I feel it was most the difficult thing that Koseli along with Gurukul was attempting and also the three weeks of training in acting was a life changing experience for me. Soon after that I started taking more interest in studies. But of course having missed the most crucial years of my childhood, I could not catch up as well as the kids my age. Last year I passed out of grade 6. My coordinator at Koseli gave me an opportunity to attend vocational training with the help of another organization. At Shagrila Homes, I lived in the boarding facility provided by them.  It was my first time living out of the slums, an experience I really cherish.They sponsored my training at an organization called UCEP, where I attended a course to become a plumber.  The trained for 10 months out of which, I did 4 months of field work.My trainers appreciated my work and dedication.
Now at 17 years am working under a Contractor full time. I earn ₨ 20,000 and save ₨12000 every month while some of my friends are still rag-pickers. This is not the end of my story but a wonderful beginning of a new journey.
Thanks to Koseli School for believing in me and giving me a new life. I will always remember Koseli being a stepping stone to life I have now and the future I dream of.