I am inspired by Pushpa Basnet.
Ms Basnet is the 2012 CNN Hero of the year. This 28 year old woman rescues children from behind Nepal's prison walls.
According to the CNN Heroes page written by Kathleen Toner; Nepal is one of the poorest countries in the world -- according to UNICEF, 55% of the population lives below the international poverty line -- so it lacks the social safety net that exists in most Western nations. Space is extremely limited in the few children's homes affiliated with the government.
So when no local guardian is available, an arrested parent often must choose between bringing their children to jail with them or letting them live on the streets. Nepal's Department of Prison Management estimates 80 children live in the nation's prisons.
At the ripe age of 21, while studying social work in college Basent discovered her calling. As part of her studies, she visited a women’s prison and was disturbed by the dire condition and shocked that children were living behind bars. Instead of simply completing her course and walking away unaffected Basent made a life altering decision. She decided to start a day care to get incarcerated children out from behind the prison walls. She started with five children, picking them up every weekday morning, brought them to her center (which she built from donations from family and friends in Kathmandu); and returned them in the afternoon. According to the report nothing like this had ever been done in Kathmandu and many of the children in her care had NEVER been outside of the prison.
Two years after she got started Basnet established the Butterfly Home, a children’s home where she herself currently resides and has for the past five years. She is teaching the children cooking, washing, shopping and educational lessons. The atmosphere feels like an extremely large family, a feeling that's fostered by Basnet, who smothers the children with love. The children reciprocate by calling her "Mamu," which means "Mommy."
I am posting this as an Adoption Wednesday post because Basnet has gone above and beyond her call as a humanitarian.
What are you doing to help the children in your community that are less fortunate? This Holiday Season we are fulfilling Winter Wishes through NY Cares. They still need volunteers so please visit their site and agree to take some of their letters. Many of the letters are from children who suffered loss during Super Storm Sandy.
Until next time...