How it all began
Everybody, no matter what you do: we all have a deep need inside us to know we can help somebody. And at the same time compassion is easier than doing.
Working for lasting change is however possibly even though, it is the most challenging work in the world.
The seeds of the ending of my story were sown 1999 here in Nepal.
It all began on this other side of the world, with childhood dreams of miracles and wonders. In the end 90-ies my career, which I called "normal", ended and another part of destiny started.
I embarked on a pursuit of happiness with the deep search of my true self together with a friend.
The mysticism, the holy men, monks and breathtaking spiritual rituals, and awesome Buddha feeling – all was in front of my eyes. I was constantly looking for something. What was I actually looking for?
And then...I got a whole lot more than I bargained for, in every way imaginable.
You see, the thing is: children’s dreams here are quite different to the ones I had.
Here they dream of a handful of plain white rice to put in their mouth and try to imagine how wonderful it would smell and taste.
Nepal was as enchanting and very much more. But amidst all the vibrant colors, sounds and smells in this beautiful but poor country, there’s also an undercurrent of desperate misery and poverty.
You simply can’t overlook it and remain true to yourself at the same time.
Like most tourists here, I tried to ignore it, to look away and mind my own business, but there comes a time when the pain and suffering that can be seen so clearly in people’s faces just overwhelms your soul, and just cannot be overlooked anymore.
Then out of the blue, it becomes a personal matter. Even more: all the Misere suddenly even gets a name. For me, it got three: Ashik 7 years old, Ashok 5 years old, and Abinash 1 year old. The names of three little boys.
Near the slums in Kathmandu I found these 3 little kids, who touched my heart to the core. Hundreds of people were passing by. Nobody even cared to look at them.
They were clearly outcasts. Not for me!
The boys were lying on the street in the blazing heat.
Their big sad eyes in their stony faces were begging for a drop of water and some rice.
These kids caught my attention even though they were just three out of many begging children on the street.
Everywhere I went, small children with even smaller ones on their backs were begging for handouts.
But these three little boys did nothing at all. They were lying listlessly on the ground, almost naked, each one only covered by a small vest.
They were completely undernourished and extremely arrested in their development.
They could hardly move and it was impossible to guess their actual age.
Maybe other people could justify their misery and despair simply with the word ‘Karma’, but I couldn’t.
There is a point where you know that you must do something! I knew when that point came to me.
But I still hesitated, because I didn’t know exactly WHAT to do.
Then suddenly something gives way, and your soul knows that something must be done and the question of WHAT just gives way to massive ACTION whatever it is, as long as it begins.
I brought them water and food that day - and left to my nice hotel later on. What else could I have done?
But I couldn’t forget them.
I saw their suffering and the fear in their little faces. So strongly that I was suffering for them. Somehow I felt a bond between us. Somehow they weren’t just any three little boys in despair in this big Kathmandu City.
I felt connected to these particular children somehow magically.
And then the next day, the moment of moments - returning to that same spot, I saw the youngest one, still a baby, lying on the street - not moving at all. My heart skipped a beat.
Was he dead? Did his short life come to an end only because I didn't do more than just feed them?
Because I didn’t do actually anything? Because I only felt pitty for them?
And then: my soul gave me no other choice. There was no more hesitation. I wanted to give these children a chance!
“Somebody, who doesn't believe in miracles, is not a realist.”
I believed in miracles that very moment. And this moved mountains.
The reality today is: 2 children’s homes with around 200 children and many hundreds more getting support outside the homes.
I had lost my heart to this country and its children. I love it despite the poverty and the despair. I love these children, because no one else did.
As a backpacker searching for my own happiness and purpose in life, I was not planning on starting any social project to care for children at all.
My entire life changed fundamentally in a blink of an eye, though.
People often ask “Why are you doing this? This is not normal!
To give up everything you’ve ever worked for, planned for, dreamed of and to just live for these children? Dedicate your whole life to others? Don’t you have sleepless nights because of all that responsibility?”
And the answer is that of course this isn’t the “normal” thing to do and yes, I have many sleepless nights worrying about the future of the children. But I have to do what I have to do! It was the only right thing to do.
It’s very simple – It just makes me happy to see these children happy!
A dream came true. For me - to reach out to them. For them - to no longer be forgotten by the world.
They don't live on the street anymore and they have learned to smile.
It took some of them years.
Now they have a future.
This was a "Mere drop in the ocean" which flows into the ocean with a multitude of drops.
The urge to help is the single drop. And from there, the ripples of change began.
Out of a regular vacation trip, a passionate life mission was born.
Let’s change the world together child by child!