“For it is in giving that we receive …”, St. Francis of Assisi’s prayer goes, and it has never been more true than when I became a sponsor at Umbrella Nepal after reading Conor Grennan’s book ‘Little Princes’ . It has been gratifying to sponsor my ‘little brother’ of Kanchanjunga’s House, receiving regular letters, news, photographs and drawings that help me get to know him better. He puts great care into including me in his life and I am proud to see his progress both with English and at school. My contribution still seems so little compared with the work Umbrella’s staff and volunteers are doing.
I recently got the opportunity to visit him and his Umbrella brothers and sisters, as well as to experience firsthand the reality of other vulnerable children in Nepal. The warm welcome I got from everyone was moving, as I participated in sharing dal bhat, football games, a disco night ( they’re all amazing dancers!), and walking with them to and from school. I was impressed at how well-behaved and joyful the children are, as well as the human values that emanate from them. The children are living in a structured environment, sharing games, food, study time twice a day (morning and evening), and going to a reputed government school. I could see how well organised and serious Umbrella is about their work. They are doing a remarkable work in protecting the children and giving them all they need to become self-sustainable responsible adults.
Whilst there, 3 young adults graduated with distinctions in their School Leaving Certificate exams. A teenage boy was also about to be reunited with his family for first time after years of investigation to identify his village, a testimony to Umbrella’s hard work and a reward for their team. On my last day, I had the best birthday ever, sharing a big cake with the children and staff and being covered with good luck tikka powder by all of them. I am thankful to be a part of The Umbrella Foundation’s life: in a nutshell, I receive more than I gave and learned a lot in the process.
Anne Cousin, Hong Kong.