Soka University of America has collaborated for well over a year with my work in Nepal by offering an intern, Shivangi Chaundhry , to assist.
Last year Shivangi worked closely with me by researching grants, writing her very first grant, doing a presentation, writing programs for the school in Nepal which will have a daily PEACE teaching, and more things. Shivi gained actual knowledge of how to run a foundation.
Shivi has returned for another year, but will do less based on her schedule with a job now in place as well as studies. Soka is providing 3 more interns, also most excellent A students, who will work with different aspects of running the 501 © 3. The first group meeting was this past Thursday with the Sophomores 2 and one Junior. They are energetic and eager as they got a handle of the needs in the foundation, asking questions to better understand the work of placing the goats in the hands of the women in the Kavre District of Nepal, the hardest hit district with uproar within the upheaval of Nepal that has pretty much been in war for the past 5 years causing further poverty and hardship for the villagers.
To refresh those who may have followed my grass roots work, I took it on because of a chance meeting in 1988 with my son Rabin who adopted me, returned to Nepal in 2003-4 and began to make a difference in the world. Since that first trip I have not only distributed 2 pregnant goats to each woman in a group of 25 which are mixed castes--creating an absolute social change since castes do not mix in any aspects of life even when living next door to one another; collaborated with a Rotary Club in England for a 7.5 mile piping to pure water… (Rotary’s goal is to have fresh water available to the entire world); the water in most villages is unhealthy to the point the villagers boil it for themselves and their animals; built a school for 400 children… but has not yet furnished it with the 2 student desks to date ( 200 desks needed. Around $15,000 needed to complete the classrooms); set up 20 different groups of women for literacy classes with another collaboration with South Paton, Kathmandu Rotary club, for teachers to teach the education seeking women. Currently here are over 10,000 goats credited to the R Star Foundation in the country by the program I started with the help of Rabin. I am amazed how people here have helped so many in Nepal. I am also able to deal with Nepal’s level of federal departments to get assistance and sanction to do the work, let alone get to the high altitude villages… around 12,000’ to 8000’.
My home burned December 27th, 2008. Dealing with the maize of hoops to hop with insurance matters let alone learning how to rebuild a home is daunting. I have formulated a team with Robert McGraw, architect and long time resident of Laguna Beach, Bob Lawson as structural engineer also of Laguna, and young contractor who grew up in Laguna and has his business here, Ron May. I am in their professional hands for a wonderful home, perhaps more suited to my life than my former home of the past 30 years. Living in Nepal with but a change of cargo pants has helped me put things in perspective with the complete loss of my life collections.
I plan to return to Nepal mid-November. Raising funds for the school desks is my focus (only $70 for 2 children); along with securing more goats to increase the outreach to cover all of Kavre district, which is about 2 hours on the motorcycle, and only 35 minutes to hike in after reaching the outskirts, one of the easier villages to reach.
Laguna has been hefty in generosity, even in these tough economic times. Should you have interest and ability to assist, I can be contacted at RStar@pacbell.net; by phone at 949/497-4911 or look at the website which is always a project in the making: www.RStarMinistries.org for added information; PO Box 4183, Laguna Beach, CA 92652.
Will you join me with this ongoing work?