Monday, January 12, 2009

YOU can help overcome the Nepal caste system

Or ... "How would you like to support the future Martin Luther King, Jr. of Nepal?"

My family has been sponsoring the education of a young boy named Alish, who lives in Nepal, and is lower-caste. He's the same age as The Boy and kind of sounds like his twin. Top of his class, very clever ... they even kind of look alike.

As the Worship Chair at my church, I've gotten to know the leader of ANSWER (American-Nepali Students' and Women's Educational Relief), Earle Canfield, and he has spoken at our church a couple of times, on his trips through town. His goal is pretty straightforward -- to overcome the caste system of Nepal.

He visits UU churches and finds people who want to pay about $250 - 280 a year to sponsor a child's education. That money puts a poor, low caste child into a private school, paying for their uniforms and tuition.

They are beginning to see the fruits of their labors ... lower caste children are completing college, and moving into professional positions -- business, nursing, teaching.

But that ain't all.

As I mentioned, it's not just about "helping the one starfish." It's about making a profound difference in a whole society. Every Saturday, they lead Social Welfare clubs for the students, teaching them about making a difference in the world, about how we each have a responsibility to each other.

Talking to Earle is very inspiring -- he is very passionate about what he does. His voice will crack and he'll tear up occasionally. You will, too.

Because of the huge problem with child-trafficking, they don't open up the gates wide over the internet. But I know y'all. If you're interested in sponsoring a child, email me at lizardeater at gmail dot com. I'll put you in touch with Earle. You can specify girl or boy, pick an age, etc. Twice a year, you and your student will exchange letters and pictures. Mine sends us his report card, too, to let us know how he's doing.

You know, he might be the future Barack Obama of Nepal.

1 comment:

The Blogmaster said...

Well done Liz on your sponsoring a child in Nepal. The caste system is "evil" and the more we can do to educate the children who wouldn't normally have a chance, the better.
In our own case, my wife and I fund the running of 5 schools in Kathmandu with 700 low caste 5-11 year olds. We pay for all the exercise books, textbooks, school bags and fund the salaries of three teachers. Our first US citizen donor/visitor is going out there in February.