Meet Ashmita and Ashika, House with a Heart’s newest family members. They are 3 1/2 and 2 years old and come to us from a distant village and as is the case with all of our children, they come to us with a heart-wrenching story.
Last month, their mother, Sita–a destitute mother of three–came to our home and begged me to take these two into my care. She told me she was too poor to feed them and that she would never be able to educate them. Her husband, who was severely burned eight years ago, is unable to work and the family barely survives, living in a converted cow shed.
There is an older sister, aged six, who will stay with her parents but these two little ones will live with us at House with a Heart. With us, they will receive the education their mother so desperately wants for them. And with education, they will have the opportunity to grow up to become self-sufficient women who can then help take care of their less fortunate family members.
Most of the children in my care are abandoned–a few are complete orphans. I have never been given children like this before, from a mother who so clearly loves her kids and will make the ultimate sacrifice to do what is best for them. When I agreed to take them, I saw no joy on her face and I felt no joy in my heart. I wish there was an alternative but she was adamant about giving them to me so they would have a chance. I could not deny her.
On their first day here, Ashmita and Ashika were happy enough and distracted by their new surroundings and their new brothers and sisters. But then came the night and as we put them to sleep, they cried for their mother. I must admit, hearing their cries was heartbreaking. Let’s hope for their sake they settle in soon.
We welcome both girls into our happy home, bringing the total number of children under our roof to 21.
Just before I left Nepal to return to the States for a period of fundraising, this baby, who we are calling Kanchi (meaning littlest girl), was brought to me. A man had found her on the street 11 months ago and had taken her in.
Unfortunately, she did not thrive and he could no longer care for her. As you can see, at 11 months, she is no larger than a three month old. She came to us weighing just 5 kg.
We immediately took her to the hospital and were told that she is suffering from second stage malnutrition and has a hole in her heart which requires surgery. The doctor said she would be lucky to survive another year but we will do our best to help her. Kanchhi needs our help and we will pay for her to get the heart operation that will hopefully save her life. If you would like to donate and help us help her please visit our website at www.housewithaheart.org
Michael Moore and his son Mick, owners of Vanderbilt Beach Resort in Naples, Florida, donated badly-needed laptop computers to the House. Here, the children are happy to be able to stay in contact with me by Skpe while I am in New York. Thank you!