|Dear supporters and donors,|
We hope you and your family are keeping well. Our home continues to operate with effectiveness and efficiency. Love, belonging and education are the main players in how our home is run.
Recently Nepal celebrated one of it’s most anticipated annual festivals – Raksha Bandha. On this day, brothers and sisters renew their loyalty and affection for each other by sisters tying a string bracelet around the wrists of their brothers. Nowadays, they may also give cards, new clothing and other gifts of appreciation. Brothers promise to protect their sisters and a feast is often a special part of the day.
At Firefly, our house parents provided a feast of fruit (a novelty) and fried sweet bread. See photos below. The children enjoyed showing their love to each other as brothers and sisters who have spent and will spend most of their childhood together. Even when our Fireflies move out of home at 18 years of age, they keep in close connection celebrating each others wins and being there for one another in times of hardship. It is so encouraging to witness the love and loyalty they have as a family.
Some sponsors have contacted me regarding the vaccination of our Firefly children. Nepal is in the process of vaccinating against Covid-19. After months of delay, the government has immunized 1.5 million of the elderly population. Front-line workers, such as our Firefly staff, have also been vaccinated. Currently 10% of the nation is fully vaccinated. There are 5 approved vaccinations that Nepal uses and several countries have come to their aid including Bhutan, who donated 230,000 of surplus doses. Japan also donated 1.6 million doses through the COVAX scheme. The rest is being bought from China by the Nepalese government. The Nepal Ministry of Health has confirmed this third wave to be the most aggressive with confirmation that the new mutant of the Delta variant (Kappa variant) present in Nepal.
Children will be the last to be vaccinated in a government scheme that predicts will take 1-2 years to achieve. Their focus is on those most vulnerable first and there are many challenges to acquiring, administering and storing the vaccines. To date, those children in our home who have been infected with Covid-19 have become well again after a few days. The national current death rate sits at 1.5%.
Amidst these difficult times, our young supporter Antonio continues to raise money for our Fireflies by swimming lengths and being sponsored by friends and family to do so. A competitive swimmer, Antonio raised $900 over the last few months to support the medical needs of our children. We thank him for his hard work and generous spirit, all the while doing his university entrance exams. We wish you good luck for your exams Antonio!
Finally, thank you to our regular sponsors. We are forever grateful for your support enabling us to provide a firm foundation of love and education for our children.
Look after yourselves,
Amanda and the team.