Thursday, June 1, 2023

We Cannot Rescue The Whole Of Humanity - But We Can - One Human at a Time

As a Member of Bhutan Stroke Foundation, I was made aware of the distressing condition of a STROKE survivor. Her details are as follows:

Dependents : 3 daughters aged 11, 14, and 16 years of age
Village         : Lhaushing
Gewog         : Tongzhang
Dzongkhag : Trashi Yangtse, Eastern Bhutan

Aged 48 years, she is a single mother. She is without parents or siblings. Housed in a ramshackle hut close to Changbangdu public vehicle parking area in Thimphu, she supported herself and her three young daughters - weaving Kiras and Ghos.

Make your heart the starting point of your journey - you will do well.

During the middle of the first COVID-19 lockdown in the year 2020, she suffered a stroke - resulting in her total physical incapacitation. Consequently she was deprived of the one skill that provided her and her children a livelihood - weaving. She had no choice but to relocate herself back to her ancestral home in Trashiyangtse - a desperate, last ditch move that was the only option that was open to her.

That was a wise move - the community in her village rallied around her and rendered her support. Some helped her grow vegetables in her kitchen garden, some tiled her fallow land on her behalf, and yet others provided all essentials to keep her home hearth burning. Life for her has been hard - but she has been living a life, nonetheless - proof that community vitality is still alive in rural Bhutan.

During April of this year I stepped in and, through a kind friend in the USA, he managed to get an American Foundation to come to her aid. Henceforth this Foundation will fund the cost of educating the three daughters - they will be provided with everything they need - school uniform, casual clothing, shoes, socks, lunch boxes, umbrellas, panties, and sanitary pads, pencils, books, crayons, facial creams etc. etc., including pocket money of Nu.500.00 per month.

But what about the mother? The American Foundation helps with educating underprivileged children - they do not support struggling mothers. This is where organizations such as the Bhutan Cancer Society and Bhutan Stroke Foundation, lent a helping hand. Through their help, a bakery is being set up in the proximity of her village. The income from this venture will, it is hoped, help the mother be less dependent on the village community. Market for the modest production from this bakery stands assured.

While the bakery equipment is already in place, I now need to train workers on the use of the machine and in the skills of baking. I need to provide funds for the initial raw materials needed during the training, and funds for training in skills of baking and the seed money to kick-start the enterprise and to keep it going during its seminal period. And it is at this stage that I approach the three of you - my siblings - and appeal to your sense of charity. Please help me overcome the final hurdle - to make available the funding to kick-start the enterprise of charity and compassion. I need you to help me put together the funding as follows:

1. Cost of training for four people, for 2-3 days
      including cost of travel to the training venue        Nu. 14,000.00
2. Trainers Fees                                                                 4,000.00
3. Accommodation for the trainees                                 2,500.00
4. Training material during the training period                 5,500.00
5. Seed money to keep the enterprise going               20,000.00
     Total Fund Requirement:                                Nu. 46,000.00

For this small fund requirement, I am limiting my appeal to only three of you: Yangchen, Leki and Lhakpa. I will chip in as well. Please contribute, as you are able. Your contribution may be transferred to my Bank Account, as follows:

Bank of Bhutan
Bhutan National Bank

During mid this month I visited Trashiyangtse with the express purpose of meeting the mother and the three daughters. I met with the schoolteachers of the two schools in which the three girls study. I am assured that the girls are very well behaved and disciplined and courteous - traits that go to make useful citizens of the future.

Currently, the youngest girl aged 11 years of age is the mother’s sole in-house support system - she changes her pads for her and helps her manage her nature’s call. She baths her and cooks and feeds her on a daily basis. Two elder daughters are away in the school hostels to be of any help. The following are the three girls:

We cannot hope to rescue the whole of humanity - but certainly it is within us all to try and rescue one of them - one at a time.

Please help!

( Acho Yeshey Dorji )

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