About the Project
Learn about Muskaan Sewa Nepal?
Muskaan Sewa Nepal is a registered not for profit organization in Nepal. It was established in 2010. A children’s home that is operated with zero $ss spend in managing the place (Muskaan does hire salaried help to provide our children with extra tutoring needs).
Initially, the founder Mrs. Bhawanee (Bhuwan) adopted 2 children with hopes to provide them with an environment where they can reach their full potential.
The same year she adopted her first two children, the desire to do more made Bhuwan move out of her tiny apartment to a rental home to accommodate more children.
Now, Muskaan Sewa Nepal Children’s Home is home to 14 beautiful children. The children’s home was initially opened to house fewer children and hence it was strictly financed by Bhuwan and her 3 children. Bhuwan’s intention was to finance the home ‘only’ by the family.
But this changed quickly as the number of children grew from 2 to 5, 5 to 9 and now to 14. Over the years, families, extended families, friends and friends of friends have reached out to Muskaan and made contribution to the children’s home. Sometimes, sponsoring a zoo visit, sometimes bringing in a month worth of food, sometimes paying for a year’s fees, and most recently even paying the rent (For the past 2 years, Mr. Simon has paid the rent for the children’s home).
What kinds of kid live at Muskaan Sewa Nepal?
Currently Muskan Sewa Nepal is a home for 14 children ranging from 1.5 to 16 years old. Each child has their own heart touching stories to share. One was abandoned by her parents who left her with her grandmother who was 80 years old and a Tuberculosis patient. At the age of 5 she had to look after her grandmother as well as struggle for the survival. On the other hand she also belonged to an underprevileged ‘Dalit’ family background because of which she had to struggle with the untouchability taboos in the society. Another child moved in with her mother and step-father after her biological father who was an alcoholic left for another woman. She was not sent to school nor she was given proper care, but everyday she was physically abused. To run away from these daily abuses, she moved in with her maternal uncle and his family. Even there she did not get proper care.
When these children came to Muskan Sewa Nepal, because of their traumatized past and poor academic support, they had a hard time socializing with people and their academic performance was very poor. But now, these children are going to a better private school (80% scholarship have been managed with the contribution of supporters), enjoying extra-curricular activities such as singing and taekwando, and have access to internet facilities for their school related activities. Under the proper care of qualified mentors and teachers at Muskan Sewa Nepal, within five years these children are doing exceptionally well in their academic work, ranking best among their classmates. These kids have turned into dreamers who aspire to be medical doctors, social workers, and contributors to society.
These 14 children come from rural areas in different districts in Nepal such as Baglung, Bhojpur, Dhangadi, Sankhuwasabha, making then a very diverse crowd. Under Muskan Sewa Nepal’s care, these children are doing exceptionally well in every aspect of their life. These children attend music classes, are involved in various physical and mental fitness activities as well as various social activities. Muskan Sewa Nepal is striving to provide not only a supportive home environment to these children but to provide them means and support so they can dream big and can turn their dream into reality.
Why Build vs Rent?
Having to shift rental locations has created financial management problems along with many problems for students related to schooling and social environment. With changes in residenial locations the schools and social environment changes every time. This requires a new arrangement of academic institutions, tutors and physical infrastructures.
Building a new home can provide these kids stability in all the terms mentioned above. They can pursue their education continuously as they grow up and will not have to change their school every few months. Similarly management of other physical facilities, tutors and trainers will become easier and more effective. This can play a vital role in enhancing the children’s academic and social skills too.
In the long run a stable home will provide opportunity to more other orphans who are truly in need. It also gives them a feeling of belonging to a home and a family which doesn’t allow them to go into the street in any moments of life. It will help the organization become well settled in terms of infrastructure and provide predictable financial needs so that the same structure can be used to sustain Muskaan Sewa Nepal financially in the long run.
Meet Mrs. Bhawanee Gurung Rai, also known as Bhuwan.
Born and raised in Nepal, Mrs. Bhawanee Gurung Rai, also known as Bhuwan is a retiree in her early 60s. A warm and an outgoing personality, she is driven, independent and a hard worker.
Due to financial hardship and the responsibility to raise her children, Bhuwan moved to the UK in the early 90s. She stayed there for almost a decade. During her stay in the UK, she worked random jobs and long hours to ensure a stable life for her 3 biological children. Once her children got older and off to colleges, she finally returned home. Her 3 biological children now live in the USA and the UK.
Once back in Nepal she adopted two beautiful children (Milan & Seema) after hearing their tragic story. Soon she felt the need to do more for more children. In 2010, after consulting with her 3 biological children, she opened the door to her home for more needy children.
Now a mother to 17 (including her 3 biological children), she is more energized than ever. Besides providing care for her children, she is currently working hard to build a home for her children.
She says, “What will happen to them if something happens to me? Where will they go?” She also wants to do more, and with the current housing situation, it is impossible to provide a quality life to any child if she welcomes more children. Therefor she is determined that she will build a sanctuary not only for the children who currently live with her, but for many more needy children, for many more years to come.
As she reaches out to her families and friends to build this home, she is hard at work with the right agencies to welcome more children who are in dire need of a family and a home due to the recent tragic earthquake in Nepal.
Her message, “For years, I have witnessed folks, not all, but many conduct business in the name of helping children. I have also witnessed folks lose faith towards social work/service as a result. I was one of the individuals who felt that way.
Finally I decided that I did not want to be a mere spectator, who felt bad about the situation of these beautiful children but was also skeptical about doing anything. So here I am today, after 6 years I am proud of how we manage the finances in our children’s home, how being transparent is one of our guiding principle, and most of all the quality of life I am able to provide to my children.
My message to anyone who comes across this post is;
1st, if you don’t like something, do something about it.
2nd, please reach out to folks who are in need. The act of giving allows you to experience joy like no other.”