Below are just a few of the many students enrolled in our school. Each individual’s desire for literacy is what inspires us daily. Women walk for miles each day, to join in our classes, so that they may take the teachings home and help their families and communities. It is this dedication to learning that drives the Bridges Between mission.
Pemba Sherpa is 46 years old and never married. At age 10 Pemba’s father died and she dedicated her life to caring for her mother and her 8 siblings. The family was in a great deal of debt after her father died. The level of poverty was such that the family had no shoes, no blankets, no pots and pans. “Poverty created anger and disagreement among the family members. There was no phone or electricity and the family was isolated,” says Pemba of her childhood. It was Pemba’s older brother Phurwa that left home to find work as a Sherpa guide and ultimately repaid the family’s debt. The biggest fear and greatest shame for a Sherpa family is to be homeless without a sustainable farm. Pemba is a devoted Bridges Between student and eagerly attends class after her day’s work. She says that technology and the internet are necessary so that she does not have to live a narrow life.
Yandi Sherpa is 20 years old and the mother of a 6-month old son named Nima. Yandi left school at the age of 7 because of her family’s desperate economic situation. Yandi spent her childhood farming and grazing cows instead of going to school. She married at age 18 and was sad to leave her family and her village, but following Sherpa tradition, Yandi moved into her husband’s home to be of help and service to her mother-in law. Yandi’s goal is to do everything possible to see that her children get an education.
Yandi Sherpa is 43 years old. Her job is to do housework, cooking, farming and caring for her family’s yak and cows. Yandi has never been married, has no children and has spent the last several years tending to her elderly and ill mother. Yandi has never left Cchulemu but is one of the students selected to travel with the Bridges Between team to Annapurna this fall! Yandi was selected for this experiential educational school trip because she is an incredibly motivated and dedicated BB student and placed #1 in the examinations held @ the end of last term. When I asked Yandi to tell me her life story, she replied that she had no story to tell.