I’ve just returned from Nepal, where I gifted the I AM! Affirmation Book to children at Raksha Nepal.
I visited with Menukaa Thapa, director of Raksha Nepal, where I learned about her work providing skills training and advocacy to women and girls exploited in Nepal’s so-called ‘entertainment’ industry. There are an estimated 50,000 women and girls working in massage parlors, dance bars, and cabin restaurants in Nepal. Some have been trafficked into this industry, and virtually all are working due to a lack of any other option – the unemployment rate here is 38%, even higher for those with no education and a lack of marketable job skills.
I was amazed to learn that Raksha Nepal is also caring for 23 children, the children of the ‘entertainment’ workers. Some are orphans. Menukaa and her staff love these children like they were their own! I haven’t seen a happier bunch of kids at a children’s center in awhile! Menukaa even negotiated with a local private school to take in all the children and educate them for half the school fees.
These children were thrilled with their very own copies of the I AM! Affirmation Book. They are also very good at reading English, and not a bit shy about it. We read every page together, out loud, and loudly! We talked about what I AM! means: that they can be anything they want in their lives, pilots, doctors, maybe even the first woman prime minister of Nepal! There is nothing like being surrounded with the smiling faces of innocent, happy children and realize you are sitting among the future of Nepal. It is awe inspiring.
The I AM! Affirmation book I gave them was the English-Spanish version: now I’m committed to getting it translated into Nepali and distributing it throughout Nepal.
I’ve found a great printer who will have this book translated into Nepali and print copies to I AM Foundation standards of quality. All we need is the funding. I encourage the many supporters and family of the I AM Foundation to share my vision for Nepal’s children, and help me gift the inspiring I AM! Affirmation Book throughout the country. For further information, call Steve! With love,
I AM Leslie!