In 2011, on a trekking trip in the Khumbu area near Everest, we developed a strong friendship with our guide Kamal. At the end of our 20-day trek, he invited us to visit his wife Nanu’s village where we were introduced to the entire extended family.
We also met charming 5-year-old Resmi, who is Nanu’s brother’s granddaughter (got that?!). Kamal asked us, on behalf of the family, to consider sponsoring Resmi so she could go to school.
This was a challenging moral dilemma for us as it would mean that Resmi would have to leave her village to attend a school near Kathmandu. But it would also mean that she would be the first in her family to obtain a good education, perhaps enabling her to assist her family in the future.
For perspective, the average income in Nepal is just over $100 per month and about 60% of girls never finish school. In most places in the middle hills of Nepal, and this is the case for Resmi’s family, people “grow their own living” via subsistence agriculture, but there is no paid work. A good education will provide Resmi with the opportunity to make a significant difference for her entire family.
With the encouragement and support of her family, and especially her grandfather, we made the commitment to sponsor her. It is a big commitment for us as it means ensuring her education – tuition, room and board, uniform and books – are covered for the next 12-14 years. But we feel now that it is one of the best things we have ever done.