Music brings joy and it promotes motor skills, language development, and literacy skills too! It's an important part of Sunsar Maya's SuMa After-school program and one of the things our students have added to their wish list this holiday season.
We launched our second SuMa ASP location late last year with 65 children in the community of Lalitpur.
The kids were ready to learn and our teachers were ready teach–but our new Sunsar Maya Center was, until recently, under construction.
Today, we're proud to share this video tour of our new Sunsar Maya Center. There's still some unpacking to be done, but we're in our new home!
Enjoy this tour given by a few of our newest SuMa ASP students.
Every day we celebrate the students of Sunsar Maya. But today we're celebrating the accomplishments of the year, thanks to our friends and supporters around the world.
Late September or early October marks the beginning of Dashain, the longest and most auspicious festival in Nepal. This fifteen day festival begins on the bright lunar fortnight and ends on the full moon. The celebration represents the triumph of good over evil. During these festivities, all government offices and educational institutions are closed.
It is Dashain tradition to give and receive 'tika', 'jamara' and blessings. 'Tika' is the mixture of red vermillion powder and curd that is put on the forehead as a sign of victory and good luck.
"Jamara" are maize or barley shoots that are germinated especially for the Dashain festival. Below is an example of Jamara grown by the kids, and above is the 'Tika' blessing.
Giving Tuesday is dedicated to global giving, where people around the world celebrate generosity and give back. This year, the board, staff, and the kids of Sunsar Maya are celebrating you. Thank you for all you do to support the work we do.
We'd like to introduce you to the newest member of the Sunsar Maya family and our new SuMa After-School Supervisor, Lily McGowan. Lily's job is to make the after-school program (ASP) the best it can be. She's creating fun, interactive, and educational lessons, providing weekly trainings for our teachers to give them a more solid foundation in child development, and she's working to launch our second after-school program early next year.
Lily's background in psychology and her experience teaching at-risk youth, both in the United States and in Vietnam, make her a perfect fit for our ASP. She spent August and September training with our partners at the Golestan Colab and Center for Language Immersion and Cultural Education, the same educators that traveled to Nepal to help launch our ASP last year.
Another major earthquake hit Nepal today. 7.3 magnitude with an epicenter in Namche Bazaar, Everest region, 50 miles outside Kathmandu.
We heard from our team a while ago. They were at the after-school building preparing for our medical clinic with the earthquake hit. Miraculously, our team and our children are safe.
You can see from the image, large aftershocks keep coming. Most of Nepal will be sleeping outside again tonight.
Unicef is estimating one million children will not be able to return to school unless urgent action is taken. This is devastating news and exactly why we have already reopened our after-school program to full-session days and are looking into options to get more kids into a caring and structured educational environment.
Read more here.
Nepal suffered a 6.8 aftershock just a few hours ago that brought more destruction, and the death toll is at 2,500 and rising. Our kids, like most of the country, will be sleeping outside again tonight, and have no electricity or water, but they are safe.
If you would like to help, please consider giving to our Earthquake Emergency Relief Fund. 100% of donations will be used by our team on the ground to provide immediate relief of food, water, and shelter, and long-term reconstruction in our local community.