Mission behind our establishment: From Baby Life Home to Saphalta Shikshya Sadan (first Nepali school for HIV-infected children)
Innocent HIV infected children were deprived of their basic rights to a formal education. Nepal’s first school for openly identified HIV-positive children, Saphalta HIV Sikshya Sadan, was established in order to guarantee the rights of proper education for HIV-infected youth.
From our first step to Saphalta Shiksya Sadan.
In 2009, Rajkumar Pun saw an article from a hospital about a young girl with HIV who had been cast out by her family and society and was suffering from malnutrition and illness. This moved his heart tremendously and he decided to take matters into his own hands and bring this girl back to health and into a loving environment. With the help of his dear and compassionate friend, Uma Gurung, they nursed this young girl back to health and gave her the truest form of loving-care she had experienced since her mother passed (or perhaps ever). Inspired by their initial and transformational success with this courageous and beautiful young being, Rajkumar and Uma became highly motivated to heal and bring true love to more children suffering with the physical, emotional and societal trauma incurred by their HIV-infected condition. It should be noted that presently, their first child is a vital teenager who is healthy, full of life, is the head-student at Saphalta HIV Shikskya Sadan, guides the other children at Baby Life Home and is happy and capable to take various responsibilities. She is very focused on becoming a "good social worker" like her "daddy", Rajkumar Pun. Please note, she makes a point to say "good social worker" and not just a "social worker" as she has a lot experience with social workers.
In Rajkumar own word he describes - "you see, these children are not like regular children, their conditions, plights, challenges, sufferings, andoinherent reflections upon their own mortality from the very most tender ages their consciousness to a place of great wisdom and maturity. The first young student discussed above is very a responsible adult at the age of only 14 (and when she was younger). To see the children playing and living as any child does, but with the severity of their situation and naturally elevated consciousness is not an easy thing to describe and must be experienced or reflected upon by a person, themselves, to gain understanding and the feelings which come with such a profoundly bitter-sweet and unique reality. They have no time or consciousness for unkindness, name-calling, selfishness, exclusionary acts,, self-cherishing competition, etc. When one child accomplishes something, they all celebrate as one. When playing a game like cricket, if someone get a good hit, everybody, even the "opposing" team celebrate and jump for joy and hug each other. It is like not anything you may ever see in this world. Quite simply, if holiness and perfect examples for others exists in this world, it is evidenced at here - Baby Life Home.
Back to the story of how Baby Life Home was created. As Raj and Uma started finding more children suffering from this tragic state, they realized that they needed a place to house these kids. So, Rajkumar decided to sell his 2 storey family home and begin an orphanage for HIV-infected children. After doing so, he immediately rented a much larger, beautiful, 3 storey building which could suitably accommodate many children and a staff. Thus, Baby Life Home Orphanage for HIV-positive children was created. Rajkumar had immediate funds for renting the property, hiring the staff and providing essentials. Through his determination and inspiring the inherentcompassion in others, he was able to procure the essential medicines and some other basics through charitable offerings and other compassionate institutions. After (HOW LONG) more funds were needed to keep running Baby Life Home and Rajkumar's dear and empathtic friend, Uma Gurung, sold her cosmetics business to contribute more necessary funds and keep the Baby Life Home ship afloat on these uncharted seas a while longer with thier courageouse , vision, faith, and selfless efforts toward building a sustainable organization which was built to last.
After providing shelter Raj Kumar pun's next challenge was to provide HIV-infected children age-appropriate, culturally relevant, scientifically accurate and non-judgmental information and education. Education is the fundamental rights of every child. But in the case of HIV-infected children this basic right was denied by all of the public and private school. Not having any alternative led him to open School for those children ; "Saphalta Shikshya Sadan" (meaning: Progressive HIV Education Home). Saphalta Shikshya Sadan is dedicated to ensuring the HIV-infected children right to get a quality education.