“Meaning is not something you stumble across, like an answer to a riddle or the prize in a treasure hunt. Meaning is something you build into your life.”
These children are artists, singers, dancers, football lovers, Nepalis, and students. They also happen to be orphans, though that is the last way I would think to describe them since they are so much more than that. There are sixteen children between the ages of seven and seventeen currently living in Hopeful Home, an orphanage in Kathmandu supported by two teachers (and their organization called Ten Friends) from my home town in Oregon. It is not an orphanage in the traditional sense (or at least not how I think of one) as many of these children still have mothers. Thought I don’t know all of their stories, many of the children have told me about their situations and there seems to be a bit of everything: some fathers left, others were murdered, and one committed suicide. Unfortunately it is still hard for women to work and support a family here, especially if they come from small villages (as most of these children do), so the children were sent here when they were young (normally between the ages of three and five) in order to be fed and given the opportunity to have an education. The ones with families see them once or twice a year during festivals, though they all seem to consider Hopeful Home and the community who lives here their real family.