Papa’s House News and Updates

November 9th, 2020

We have had some good news lately from some of our older children. Khem wrote to tell me that he had just gotten a job in a hydropower project as an accountant in the district called Shankuwashabha (a neighbor district of Mount Everest).

Khem went on to share how nice the village folks are and how beautiful it is there. He explained that everything is going well and his boss has now become very friendly with him. Khem is twenty-four years old. Like most, he entered college unsure of what he was interested in, but he studied business and did okay. After college he started his own trekking business. His ideas and ambitions were good, and he threw himself completely into wanting to become his own boss quickly, but the competition is great in the business of trekking and his lack of experience proved to be his undoing. We suggested that he join a top outfit as a guide and work his way up the experience ladder and then try again. And then the bottom pretty much fell out of the industry; this was still long before the virus, but trekkers were becoming scarce. So, he closed his business and considered his future. He decided upon marketing and asked us to send him to a one-year Google-based marketing school. He was hoping to freelance with his newfound knowledge, and that is where he was before this latest email.

Some of our children, the boys mostly, are all anxious to step up onto a ledge and begin to fly as soon as possible. I understand the desire, for I was the same. Other boys have taken a slower approach, staying in school, and acquiring more knowledge with their eye on an advanced degree. They are still in school, but they feel confident and secure in their growing appreciation for their chosen subject and path in life. Not one style suits everyone, and we encourage in all the children from a young age to find their own style. We are there for them, a constant support that allows them the freedom to experiment and experience life a little more easily.

One of our older girls just announced an impending marriage. She is quite happy; her fiancé is a member of the Nepal Army. This daughter studied science in school, and then decided she wished to go to Germany in the Au Pair program. The year before the pandemic began, she studied German at the institute and had achieved her passing marks. She was awaiting the visa and looking for a position when the virus interrupted everything last March. Sangita will be the fourth of our marriage-age daughters to marry during the pandemic.

The virus has clearly impacted everyone’s life to varying degrees. None of us are the same today as we were on March 26th when we separated. We have children who have discovered new interests and talents and they have broadened their perspectives accordingly. One other daughter who remained with us during the pandemic has progressed with her love of reading to the point where she is completing one or two books every week. She began selecting books from my own stock. Our conversations reflect the developing of her philosophy of life. To share with a young adult is wonderful and privileged, and her appreciation of novels that I have enjoyed makes me very happy.

Many of our girls with access to a smartphone have been expressing themselves on TikTok. I have been amazed by the creativity expressed there. They show confidence, joy, and a lot of dance talent.

Many of the children have been doing online classes managed by Prashanna and our Chelsea Center teachers. Prashanna has also supplemented the academics with “Life Coaching,” teaching the kids to think creatively, to see themselves as the unique and powerful humans they are, and to set goals and learn how to work towards them with an action plan.

Some of the college children, those attending the college for IT, for example, have continued their schooling nonstop online, while others have not had that advantage and have lost a year’s time. This is frustrating for us all.

Our daughter Urmila had just one semester left to complete her Dental School’s first three years. She is anxious to resume. As many might remember, Urmila received the highest score in the Dental School entrance exam three years ago. She will be fine, but she is nervous about her exams after an eight-month absence from school. Urmila returned to her village and lives with her aunt. Life has been hard; they live in a clay house with a thatched roof. There is field work to be done every day, and she has shouldered many family responsibilities that previously existed, but the reality of which was unfelt by her while living with us. The daily care of an adult with serious illness has been foremost. But we speak several times a week and it has been apparent that the weight of these responsibilities has enlightened and broadened her understanding of human nature and has made her even more compassionate.

Applying Tika during Dashain 2018 Urmila, after Dental College admissions test, in 2017

The limitation of movement during the pandemic has called upon our children to consider life beyond what they were focused on at home and school. It has opened our children’s eyes to how large life really is, and the infinite possibilities that exist for their choosing. This is to say, that they have discovered with new eyes, that life in the village has possibilities as well as life in Kathmandu or even another country; that they are not limited but for their imagination in what they wish to do with their lives; that there is no urgency to life; that indeed they will miss so much if they do not slow down and look around them, and notice the beauty in the smallest things; and how that beauty is always present, but unnoticed in their rushing about. And in so doing, love has happened, not just as in a boyfriend for some, but love for life, for friends, for the universe, for education, for understanding, and for expressing themselves in different ways. Their lives and the world are miracles made fresh every day.

My take is that this forced time-out has been, when the calculations are done, a good reset for us all. And this brings me to account for myself.

During these many months of COVID lockdown, with the bulk of our children being gone, I have missed them terribly. Emailing, texting, and speaking on the phone only somewhat soothes the hurt. This has been my life for the last fifteen years.

With so many of the children gone my days were filled with painting the interiors of our homes and buildings, soaking up the energy in the rooms of the children. The energy I felt each day led me to recognize more about this time in my life.

The first Papa’s House children 2006

Fifteen years ago, a friend took me to an "orphanage" that needed help in Dhapasi, a village in the northern outskirts of Kathmandu district. I found a small, rundown house with two dozen destitute children. Malnourished, in poor health, and not attending school, the children were forced by the owners to beg on the streets. I assumed management of the home, renovated the building, and began Papa’s House to care for the children.  

The ensuing years have been good. Many children have grown up in the nurturing environment of Papa’s House. I have always felt that we are a really big family, with each child’s joys and fears, smiles, accomplishments, failures, anxieties and laughter, future plans and work to achieve them deeply felt by all. Nepal Orphans Home has been fortunate to have dedicated staff caring for the children.  We have expanded our mission to include Volunteer Nepal and the Chelsea Education and Community Center and we have provided assistance to many others in Nepal through NOH Outreach.

Celebrating Christmas 2019 at Papa’s House

Reflection of this brought some relief in thinking that it might be time for me to return to America and tend to some of the dreams that I have, ideas that have been shelved knowing that one day, when an appropriate time had come, would be dusted off and eagerly begun. In the last month I have thought about living near Hope, being able to visit my children and grandchildren and being near to my family, and these thoughts have brought a lot of smiles to me, and I have made plans to further those commitments, and those plans have comforted and rewarded a somewhat parched soul.

I would never leave if I thought that doing so would in any way compromise the future of our children and our community outreach. I have worked daily with our Director of Operations, Sunita (Mrs. Pandey, to me) for over eight years now. I trust her and I know she has a good heart. While I am away, we will continue emailing and discussing many things, as we do now. In addition to Sunita, we have Prashanna, a young man with impressive maturity and depth, directing the Chelsea Center. We also have the commitment of the NOH board. With the board’s decision to increase the autonomy of Papa’s House over the last few years in the making, we have been able to help Sunita to be fully prepared to manage. The government’s relationship with Papa’s House grows with time, and Sunita has earned the respect of the government in a way that is unparalleled in the Social Welfare Sector.

I came to America on October 11th, though it feels like a year ago. I spent some time in Maine visiting the small town of my childhood. It remains essentially the same. When I wandered the street that I lived on starting at the age of ten, I was drawn back to that time in my life, 57 years ago. It was an exciting and comfortable feeling. As I stood before the houses of our neighborhood it felt as if my younger self stood next to me gazing, sharing the memories washing over me. My recollections came crisp and clear as they were through the eyes of my present self. This transformative experience was replete with all my senses sharply lived again. Memory after memory came to me, and when it began to wane, I was feeling, most sharply, the passage of time and an acute sense of how much time might be left to me, and how I was going to spend it.

To be honest, from the moment I left Kathmandu on a plane to Doha, where the attendants were wearing hazmat suits with masks and glasses, and the passengers sat with masks and face shields, truly a dystopian moment, I have felt lost. I thought that I would feel excited for returning to America; every other time I did, but this time I felt like I was leaving my children behind.

I have come to try and know what I will do now in my life. The conflict that I have felt to do what is right between my own family in America and my family in Nepal has been a constant and somewhat unsettling companion for the last sixteen years.

I am now in North Carolina. It is wonderful to be near my family, and to be with Hope. Some of you who have been reading our Updates since the fall of 2013 know the profound relationship between us. Hope is my miracle girl who fills my soul with cheerfulness and a sense of purpose, of wellbeing, and a desire to be watching over her and contributing as much as I can to her happiness. She is a little girl now; she will be eight next year. She has developed intellectually; her knowledge of life, and the facts from school with her desire to discuss it all with me, fills me with a longing to remain by her side, to watch over and admire her life, and to bring it joy every day, to help her explore and wonder, for as long as I am able. Hope has an incredibly happy life with her Dad Sam and Mom Anita. I hope to add another dimension to that.

Anita, Sam, and Hope at their July 2018
wedding celebration in Dhapasi

That said, I am not sure at this moment when I will return to Nepal. I have rented a place for a short term just down the street from Hope. All I can say is time will tell.

Nepal Orphans Home has been my life since I first came in the late summer of 2004. Everyone who is reading this has become a friend who has known me through NOH. The million moments that I have shared with our children have had a profound impact upon my life. And they always will.

I am looking for a rural acre, close to Hope. I wish to build a small house and a larger woodworking shop, to grow my own vegetables, to walk barefoot on my property, to sit on my porch, to collect my memories on paper, and to be a daily part of Hope’s life, in person, while now being a daily presence in my Nepali children’s lives only on WhatsApp and through emails.

The NOH Board knows of my thinking not to return in the foreseeable future to Nepal and they have been resoundingly supportive. Mrs. Pandey also knows, and she too understands. We are in almost daily contact and she discusses her observations and shares her thinking as it concerns managing Papa’s House activities in Nepal. This will not change regardless of where I am located. I know her instincts and capabilities and she will continue to do a fine job.

I am not sure if this revelation is important to anyone, but you are an extended family, and it was important to me to share it with you.

All my best,

On main grounds outside Papa’s Samanjasya House 2014

August 2020

Papa’s House is a big family, with each child’s joys and fears, laughter and anxieties, accomplishments and setbacks, dreams and hopes deeply felt by all the children and staff. The Nepal Orphans Home family extends beyond Papa’s House in Nepal to the boards of directors and advisers, the hundreds of volunteers, friends, and donors who have supported our mission over the years.

Below are just a few of the children who have come to Papa’s House. All were either former kamlaris or children whose families could not or would not adequately provide for them—children sold into indentured servitude, abandoned, orphaned, or neglected.

Kaushila is fluent in three languages, conversant in a fourth. After the coronavirus ends, she will be leaving for Germany to work as an au pair for one year, followed by attending university there.

Urmila has completed three years of Dental College and was the highest scorer among hundreds in her entrance exam.

Tilak has completed his first year as a university-level engineering student and holds a black belt in Taekwondo.

Sujan excels in competitive Taekwondo as a black belt and is a science major in college.

Anisha will complete her college studies this year with a degree in Humanities and has worked caring for orphaned babies at Bal Mandir for two years. She is planning to do further studies in Social Work in Germany.

Ashok started a successful business, Brothers Café, two years ago while completing college. The business now supports him while he does graduate work in Information Technology.

Sumitra is finishing her college degree in Business Management and is a teacher in our Adult Education program at the Chelsea Center. She earned her black belt in Taekwondo and has competed in tournaments.

While finishing his college degree in Science Rajan has studied photography. He tutors students and has started a popular Photography Club which meets on Saturdays at the Chelsea Center. He loves teaching.

Lalit is about to finish year one at university where he studies computer science. A serious student, he received the top score in his last year of college among all our children. A gentle soul, he also has mastered Taekwondo.

Ankit taught in the adult education program at the Chelsea Center for two years. He has devoted his last six months as a candidate for the British Army’s prestigious Gorkha Division. In February he will be inducted.  

Lalita was rescued from indentured servitude at 12. She completed her degree in hotel management, learned Mandarin and was an intern at a four-star Hotel in Beijing China when the coronavirus came.

Srijana has studied computer science for six years. She hopes to complete university in IT in Australia starting in 2021. She started a popular IT club at the Chelsea Center where members develop programs and teach younger children.

Ishwor scored the 24th highest out of over 800 students in the entrance exam for medical technology. He is in his second year of five for lab technician studies at a medical college.

Sabina studied German at the Chelsea Center and has completed one year in Germany as an au pair. She has now been hired as an apprentice in social work at a large German orphanage. After one more year she will be eligible to attend nursing school in Germany.

Sushma is in her third year at University for her bachelor’s degree in social work. She has been a teacher in our adult education classes at the Chelsea Center for two years.

Sarita was rescued from indentured servitude at 14 years of age and had not attended school much before then. She has now completed college with a degree in humanities and has learned Japanese. She has been accepted to university there and will attend after the coronavirus pandemic is over.

During college Himal was the House Manager for Volunteer Nepal. He is now studying information technology in Brisbane, Australia.

Nama plays basketball for Nepal’s National Team. He is in his fourth year of college as a Humanities student where he has received a full scholarship. He has earned his Basketball License as a referee and also coaches at his alma mater, Skylark School.

Dhiraj is in his final semester towards his bachelor’s degree in computer science in Sydney Australia. He has worked a sixty-hour a week job, which he loves, since his arrival two years ago. This has paid all of his tuition as well as supported him. He never took a break between semesters so that he could finish quickly. Last semester he scored a 4.0 GPA and he will attend graduate school there in CS.

Education has always been Anita’s greatest desire and she has always tutored her Papa’s House brothers and sisters. She has completed high school and will begin college as a science major after the coronavirus. She was named Miss Skylark in her last year of high school.

Puja is a student of social work at a university in Australia. She has two part-time jobs that she attends to daily. She plans to be famous in the academic sector of social work.

Chham started a successful trekking company three years ago and has received his government license as a high-altitude guide. He graduated with a bachelor’s degree in social work. During the pandemic he has returned to his poor mountain village to teach and rebuild dilapidated structures, just as he did after the major earthquake in 2015.

Anumaya has spent the past year working at an 800-year-old family-owned winery/estate in Portugal. She earned her college degree in hotel management. This job was arranged through a Portuguese man of high honor and long-time friend of Nepal Orphans Home. The staff is small, and each member works in every department to learn it all. Some of the other staff began there at her age and are now approaching retirement. They entertain guests from around the world. She is learning Portuguese and so much about life.

Apsara is about to finish her first year of computer science in university.  She is a tutor, and a very devoted student who always achieves high marks. She hopes to do graduate work in America in two more years.

Sita is an artist. This is her passion, but it comes after her studies in business management and her teaching position in adult education at the Chelsea Center. She loves teaching, and the smiles she receives when an auntie really understands something for the first time.

Ram Saran has completed his undergraduate courses in hotel management. He was an apprentice at a luxury hotel in Beijing when the coronavirus came, and he returned to Nepal. He was learning Mandarin in order to perform his duties. His two passions are photography and Taekwondo, and he managed to work on both daily while off duty from his job. He is spending time during the pandemic back in his village where he has elderly parents who are extremely poor. He has been handling the farm work for them. They could not support him and sent him away when he was young. He appreciates his time with them now.

Rabindra is in his final year of a Bachelor of Business course at university. He has been the bookkeeper for the Papa’s House NGO office for almost two years. He is also in charge of our Outreach program that cares for the welfare and education of children living in a home for the blind. In addition to other work there, he tutors the children.

During college where Ram studied hotel management, he worked as a lifeguard at a small resort. During the winter he had other duties to perform. Then he joined an advanced program in hotel management, learned Mandarin and went to Beijing, where he started his training in a Japanese restaurant in a paid position for a one-year degree program. He will return there when the coronavirus allows.

Kamal has worked hard during his college years so that he could, with help from NOH, support his four cousins in school. He attended teacher training and earned a job teaching our aunties in the Chelsea Center. He did this for one year and saved his money to attend university. However, the coronavirus came, and he returned to his village to be with his elderly mother. His village is one of the poorest in Nepal. The Maoists killed his father when he was young, and he was sent to Kathmandu and taken in by NOH. Now back in his village, he has used his money to build a small home for his mother.

Anu has become a gifted teacher of the adult women at the Chelsea Center. She is serious about her trade. During the lockdown in Nepal she has taught a number of the women daily, online. She is making a big difference in the lives of many.

Sapana (formerly Rita) has worked for a finance company for three years and has a degree in computer science. She has learned German but was recently offered a job at a prestigious old winery/estate in Portugal near where her friend AnuMaya is working. She will leave Nepal after the coronavirus ends.

Kamana is happy—always! She worked at Nepal’s very first Mexican restaurant for a year while attending college, after the Mexican family that started it spent a Saturday with us. They were impressed by her personality and smile and asked if she would like a job. She has a college degree in management, and a world of plans after the coronavirus ends.

Bhumika completed college and is almost finished with her first year of computer science in university. A very petite young woman, she has the warmest smile you would ever receive. Serious in her studies, she has always been full of good cheer and has felt that life is good, and the world is her oyster.


There has been a lot written in the past few years about orphanages and children’s homes. That they are inherently bad. The idea of institutionalizing children is, of course, something to avoid if possible. But what has not been adequately addressed, it seems to me, is how to care for the children rescued from slavery, whose parents sold them and refuse to have them back. And the children who have lost one parent, and then when the remaining parent remarries, the child is abandoned. And the children during the Maoist insurgency who lost a father and were in harm’s way living in destitution with a mother abused by soldiers. And the children with parents so poor that eating at all was insecure, and so they sent their children away.

NOH has always offered to support the children who have some relatives with them in their villages, since we recognize that all children, if possible, should grow up with a parent in a nurturing home.  When this is not possible, Nepal Orphans Home has provided for them, living up to our mission: 

Nepal Orphans Home attends to the welfare of children in Nepal who are orphaned, abandoned, or not supported by their parents. NOH provides for the children’s basic needs of food, shelter, and clothing, as well as schooling and health care, and administers to their emotional needs with love and compassion, allowing them to grow up in a nurturing environment. Our mission is not just to rescue children from abject poverty, but to enable the children to develop and realize their potentials.

Whenever possible NOH has also worked hard to reunite children with a parent, or parents if they exist, and to help them, over the years, to establish a relationship. We have encouraged the children to spend a month each year during the Dashain festival time in their village to better understand the daily life and what their situation might have been.

We are immensely proud of all our children. Each child feels special among their many brothers and sisters, and each has achieved a high standard of character development and understanding of life.

We are proud of what we have been doing, with your help, for children in need since 2004.

Thank you,

Michael’s CV stories: April 17th

An update on our situation in Nepal:  We have been in a lockdown period for about three weeks now. What this means is the only time that you may be on the street is in the early mornings to buy vegetables, grains, and staples from your neighborhood seller. The quantity and quality of the vegetables have been quite good, but the cost about triple what it is normally. Before sunrise, a few licensed vegetable wholesalers can go to the wholesale market and load their trucks for distribution in neighborhood shops. A licensed milk truck is also allowed to pick up milk from the dairy and bring it to the local shops. From two days ago, bread has been brought to our local shops from a small bakery here in Dhapasi.

Along a street in Dhapasi

Shortly after sunrise people will go to their nearest or favorite neighborhood shop to get what they need. In front of the shops, circles have been spray painted to mark where one is allowed to stand. You hop-scotch your way forward as people are served. The shops will have ribbon crisscrossing the opening to keep people away from the counter. You call out your order, the owner will place the items in a basket that you stretch to retrieve, then you put the money in the same basket and the transaction is finished. People wear masks, and some gloves. The shopkeepers spray the money with a disinfectant when it is in the basket. They are wearing gloves.

Waiting to make a purchase from a shop in Dhapasi

The people of Nepal are taking this situation with the gravity it deserves. Our only chance as a nation is to prevent the CV from coming into the country. Sadly, combating it would be Quixotic at best. Everyone knows that it would be tantamount to kicking a massive beehive if the CV spreads here. According to the latest government report, there are presently 16 confirmed cases in Nepal, I believe all attributed to people coming from other countries. I do not know how testing is done, perhaps only when someone shows up sick, but the government has said that contact searches are being done for each case.

It seems to be that natural disasters and plagues bring out the essence of people. Good people seem to be better, wanting to reach out and help others, while bad people become worse. The past three weeks have brought both to my door. The bad situations seem explosive, the pressure of restricted movement, lack of money, poor nutrition, and uncertainty build until something sets the person off.

And there are small gestures that reveal a person has been thinking about their lives and where they fit in humanity. They wish to reach out to others, even if behind masks and at two meters distant. They do so with their softening eyes, a wink, a nod, and their patience in line. This is a big tell for me, as people in Nepal tend to elbow their way to the front of any line, resulting in loud chaos.

There is a lot of need now and it is growing. This is a cash society, and when you have no cash you get nothing, be it medical care or food. NOH has been supporting our usual array of people; at least those that we can reach. There is one young friend of ours, a nurse, now unemployed while caring full time for a mother in her last stage of cancer. There is no father, and there are two younger sisters, neither who work. We have been unable to reach each other so that I can get money to her for her mom’s care. The police and army patrol the streets and you do not want to be out of your own neighborhood after the early morning lift for food, or even out period. We will think of a solution to getting money to her in the next day.

As we previously reported, we managed to get most of our children back to their villages before the lock down. Those who have a guardian, an aunt, in few cases a mother, a grandparent, or older sibling are staying with them. Some who had none of the above are staying with their friends in their homes. All are well and out of harm’s way. They help with the daily work in the fields, with livestock, cooking, and cleaning. We have a good network of communication among all our children and staff.

One of our older daughters called me the other day to ask if we could help a young girl in her village. Her description of the situation caused me profound sadness, followed by determined joy. My daughter Urmila learned from neighbors that a young girl named Shristi, has been abandoned by her mother and father. The parents, uneducated and poor, split from one another. Both quickly found new partners. Shristi was with her mother, but then her mother’s new partner said she could not stay, and her mother told her to go live with her father. The father and his partner both told her to go stay with her grandmother.  The grandmother told Urmila that she is tired of caring for her, saying her father is only my stepson and so the girl is not even my kin. So, the grandmother is now refusing to care for her. Urmila found Shristi sitting under a tree and crying. If she goes to either parent’s house, they beat her and send her away. When she goes back to her grandmother’s, she scolds her, calls her names, and says she will not care for her anymore. Imagine if you will, being Shristi, your parents beat you and tell you to go away. She is only nine or ten years old.  No one will feed her. She is out on her own, no house, no water, no other clothes, no food, no toilet, and no love. At what age could any of us handle that? So I instructed Urmila to take her in and provide her with comfort and explain to her that she can come and live at NOH, where young girls live among many friends, are encouraged to dream big, are able to live in security, sleep in a warm and comfortable bed, eat nutritious food, go to school, laugh, play, and feel loved and appreciated by everyone in the family. Her nightmare is over. Urmila came to us when she was seven, thirteen years ago, and in another year will graduate from dental school. Now it is Shristi’s turn.

Shristi’s story is all too common for us. In village life, illiteracy, poverty, hunger, and alcohol turn people mean. They have maybe never known love of a parent and thus never muster the same for their children, at least their girl children. Little boys are maybe abused, but they are also kept close in order to help the family one day, to marry and bring in a wife to work as well.

Shristi will be one of nine young girls who will be coming to us as soon as the country re-opens. Each girl has pretty much the same story, either sold or at the edge of being sold, or abandoned. But these girls will all recover their childhood and begin to blossom with great potential. They each will begin to exude joy, love, and compassion for each other, and like the hundreds before them they will feel the love of family and be dedicated, happy young women. Knowing this was the determined joy I mentioned earlier.

Nepal hopes to open by May 1st. Then we are all together again, in our state of blissful cooperation.

We wish you all the absolute best during your personal time of suffering and loss.

Thank you.


January 2020

On Sunday, February 1, 2004 a 51-year-old experiencing the world beyond America for the first time in his life arrived in Nepal. He had prepared for this moment for the past year by slowly withdrawing from society, beyond his family, and looking inward to sift through his life and pack it away in hope of arriving in Nepal as empty a vessel as possible.

Here is an attempt to sum up the past 16 years. The years have been good, that much comes easy to this report. This morning as I write we have 32 of our children attending a picnic, 14 more from class 10 at school in an exam prep course, 57 children at college, 11 children in 4 different countries in work/study programs, several here in Dhapasi as full time staff, and approximately 30 more children who have married and are living mostly back in the villages of their husbands, and who have provided NOH with around 9 grandchildren.

And so, let us look back over the years.

2004: February

Arrived in Trisoli, a small and remote village as a volunteer. It profoundly changed my life and I knew before leaving that I would return to Nepal. This I managed to do by late June.

2004: August

Returned to Nepal and settled in Kathmandu.

Took over management of a home with 26 children living in miserable conditions. The children did not attend school, but rather were required to panhandle for money and food. They were sick, malnourished, and ridden with scabies and other skin conditions. They also smiled with a radiance like I had not seen before.

The children and a few of the “guardians” of the home The amazing Chham

2004: Christmas

By Christmas our 26 children had grown to 37.

For Christmas the children received a metal box filled with gifts, practical and fun as well.


By spring of 2005 we had 50 children in the home. Known locally as “Papa’s House” We sent them all to an English Medium school. While the children were at school we began a free school in our home with close to 60 village children who I had noticed were playing in the streets during the day.

2005: January poor village children attending our new free school.

2005: March rapid growth of our free school after receiving a sizeable Christmas donation.

2005: April our children in the morning ready to walk to their new school.


My older brother Peter and his wife Boo came for a visit. They were moved by the children and our small village school. They also recognized the need for us to become a registered charity in the states. Boo took this challenge on and in August of 2007 NOH was incorporated in North Carolina. The first NOH Annual Report was for the year 2006. In February 2008, NOH received its 501(c)3 status from IRS, which was retroactive from August 29, 2005, which meant earlier donations to NOH from that date were tax deductible. The Board of Directors was created with Peter as President and Boo as Treasurer. The other board members were made up of friends and family who were very involved in the work we were doing.

Each year our operations expanded to help more children. In 2006 Papa’s House moved to a new, larger building to accommodate the growing family. Our school, Papa’s Trinity Academy, enabled more than 200 more children from the community to attend for free.

Our Papa’s Trinity Academy’s new home where our children also lived. Our dedicated teachers.

A morning assembly at PTA and some of our older children who attended the Science Lab School.

2006: Christmas

Our Family on a cold Christmas morning Gift giving Christmas
First Christmas for some, third for others.


In 2007 NOH was asked to take over a nearby destitute orphanage with a dozen children. Another building was leased in Dhapasi for a second Papa’s House and additional staff were hired. Papa’s Trinity Academy leased a new building for its school as the enrollment had grown to over 340 children, the vast majority attending for free.

Children we took in Expanded teaching staff

NOH began a collaboration with Society Welfare Action Nepal (SWAN), a Nepali nongovernmental organization operating in the Dang district, some 12 hours away by bus, to rescue Kamlari girls from indentured servitude. NOH renovated two buildings in a tiny village called Narti and opened the Lawajuni (New Beginning) Home, providing shelter, food, clothing, schooling, and health care for girls rescued by SWAN.  Over the year more than 60 girls who had been sold into slavery came to the Lawajuni Home, gaining their freedom, recovering their childhoods and attending school. NOH was able to bring 12 of these girls to Dhapasi, raising the number of children provided for in Papa’s Dhapasi Houses to 70.

The two homes

Within one year of opening we had 100 girls rescued and living here. In 2007 we brought twelve to Dhapasi. The first of many to come in the following years.

Just some of the first girls to be rescued from indentured servitude


In 2008, concerns with the management and direction of Papa’s Trinity Academy forced NOH to cease its support of the school. The children of Papa’s House began to attend the Skylark School, an English-medium private school in Dhapasi.  NOH then initiated support of two schools in remote villages in the Ramechhap district, the Shree Sham primary school in Dumrikharka and the Mudkeswori primary school in Votetar, funding hot lunch programs and contributing to teacher salaries and school supplies for over 140 children, most of whom are Dalits (untouchables).

This is the Shree Shram School in Ramechhap in April for the New Years beginning session.

Both schools suffered from a lack of attendance. We provided the hot lunch program as an incentive for the children to attend, as well as the supplies necessary for them to benefit in class.

The Mudkeswori School where we began the same program for the children’s education.

In addition to our educational support in the remote village of Dumrikhaka we also began a women’s collective for the village.

There were several environmental issues that severely diminished the quality of life there. Cooking was done indoors without ventilation over fires of twigs, brush, and trash. The land surrounding the village was simply an open container for debris. With the help of FoST, a Kathmandu NGO striving to raise awareness in environmental health and sustainable technologies, NOH introduced a system to make virtually smokeless briquettes for cooking, and in addition retrofitted the interior clay stoves with ventilation. The debris and trash casually spread everywhere was the primary source for these briquettes. The incentive for doing this was two pronged, first to increase the health of the people and environment and secondly to allow the women’s collective to begin selling these briquettes to other villages for income.


In early 2009, NOH brought another 26 rescued Kamlari girls from Lawajuni to Dhapasi, where the education was significantly better. We opened a third home, known as Papa’s Kalpana (Imagine) House. The girls moved into the building originally housing our boys, who relocated to a newly expanded and renovated home on the same grounds, Papa’s Sambhav Possibilities) House for boys. Later in the same year, 28 more girls rescued by SWAN (Society Action Welfare Nepal) came from our Lawajuni homes to live in NOH’s fourth and newest home, Papa’s Gumba (Sanctuary) House.

A truly wonderful event occurred in early 2009 when one of our Volunteers happened to be creating a website for Sanctuary for Children. The founders, Amanda Tapping and Jill Bodie, learned about us and decided to visit. Sanctuary for Children (S4K) had recently formed and owing to Amanda and Jill’s celebrity recognition in the film industry it garnered a multitude of fans in support of their mission to help children.

Amanda surrounded by some of the children Jill with a couple of our older girls

The support from Sanctuary for Kids, which was to last for eight years when they closed S4K   and dispersed the balance of funds to a number of organizations like ours, allowed us in 2009 to open our new Sanctuary House and bring an additional 28 rescued Kamlari to live with us in Dhapasi.

Above and below some of our new children who arrived in 2009.


By 2010 NOH was operating four homes in Dhapasi, all within a short walking distance of each other. Over half of the children then provided for in Papa’s Houses were rescued Kamlari girls.

Welcoming new girls and boys

The boys came when their orphanage was closed These girls were brought from Lawajuni

NOH also began supporting three more outreach programs in 2010. The Bigu Nuns Monastery, a school for Sherpa children, and some additional local community support, from medical to educational.

Bigu Nuns’ Monastery

Sherpa School

Since 2005, NOH has also operated a volunteer program. With placements in reputable NGO’s and local community projects, Volunteer Nepal grew steadily by way of the testimony’s volunteers took back home with them.  They described life-changing experiences with us and felt they had received more than promised in every aspect. The income from Volunteer Nepal helped provide revenue for our expenses and support for local organizations allowing us to expand both our outreach programs and the care for our growing family. Volunteer Nepal continues to this day.

Papa’s House Children in 2010


2011 began with 113 children, 86 girls and 27 boys.

Additional community support in 2011included a local outreach. NOH paid weekly visits and provided medical intervention and nutritional support for mothers and children in a neglected slum in Kathmandu known as Dalu.

At home the children were learning to prepare, grow, and cultivate vegetables.

As well as cultivating a crop of great perfomances at school.

Ishwor 86.22% Samjhana 100% Srijana 95%
Apsara 93% Rupa 94% Khusbu 94.83% Sita 91.56%
Kamal 82.5% Sangita 93% Kanchi 99%
Sumitra 88.4% Asha 90.88% Anisha 88.8%

And this year the first of our children to begin college.

It was an early, rainy, August morning when all the children walked together with Hikmat to his first day of college.

Christmas Morning 2011


A fifth home, Indreni (Rainbow) House, was opened in early 2012. A total of 124 children now resided in Papa’s House’s. Even with all the growth, one constant has been the exceptional care our children receive. Papa’s House children are secure, happy members of a loving family.

Adding the Indreni House required us to Home School for one year the children who would be sitting there. Mrs. Sunita Pandey who is now our Director of Papa’s House was the sole teacher for them all. Her task would be with teaching them English and grade level subjects in order that they could attend the Skylark School the following year. These children ranged had little formal education and spoke the language of their villages.

We created uniforms for the children for their homeschool.


2013 began with 135 children, 9 of them in college.

Maintaining all of our Outreach programs we continued to serve local needs as best we could. We raised the money to help a dying 16-year-old boy receive a new kidney, and care for him and his family for 1 year. Today he greets us each morning when he brings his son to Skylark school.

The donated kidney came from his mom. With operation supplies he waits.

NOH opened an after-school Vocational Training Center. Classes were held in Computer Hardware and Software, Guitar, Voice, and Harmonium, Tailoring, Beauty Salon, Motorcycle Repair, and Mobile Phone Repair.

NOH added to their list of Outreach Programs by beginning support of the Gholdunga Home for the Blind.

Money for rent, food, and salary for management was provided. All the children had exhaustive eye exams and as a result one young teenage girl had a corneal transplant.

The children and the home as we found them in 2013.

Just recently at Papa’s House we celebrated some of the holding children’s birthdays.

But the greatest event of the year occurred on August 8th, when we brought Hope Angel home from the hospital. Only 13 weeks old and twice having battled back from death. Hope is our Jedi Warrior, and my inspiration to be a better person.

From an Update in 2013, excerpts from a letter to my cousin Anne.

Our precious little girl has been named Hope following your suggestion, but I have heard many of our smaller children whisper to her ‘Angel’, as if they know something. She has found a way to touch each of our hearts in exactly the way we did not know we needed them touched. Hope radiates love and courage; watching some of our older girls talk to her, feed her and hold her with such beatific smiles in the darkening evening’s golden hues is priceless.

Our family has closed around Hope like we do all our children. A new child arrives and their heart beats out of synch; they are feeling alone, afraid, and then the children draw them in and the pain that has brought them here evaporates, and within a few hours they smile as their heart becomes part of the collective beat of all the children.

This evening with her new Mom Anita radiating love upon her, Hope lay on the bed and surveyed all her sisters cooing over her, she gave a crooked smile, took a deep breath and went to sleep. She had had a long day.

Hope is our family’s finest gift ever; the road ahead will not be easy, but it will be paved in love with all our children sharing her battles. One day the unique spirit of Hope’s will be known to many. Little Hope has a big destiny ahead.

Hope today with her Dad, Sam

Meeting friends

And with Mom, Anita


2014 began with 141 children. There were 16 children in college.

Some of the college children Cila won a full basketball scholarship

Our Chelsea Education and Community Center began teaching local women during the daytime. They came to learn English, simple math to help them with their small shops, and some to learn to read and write.

The women arriving early for school Tilak and his first shoe

In the afternoon classes we added a course in Shoe Making which resulted in our children opening Papa’s Shoe Shop which provided the kids an income and us all of our school shoes. The children also made shoes for some other school children and a few of the homes that we support.

We opened Hope’s Café at the Skylark School in order to provide our children with a hot and nutritious lunch and to well over 100 other Skylark children.

Children in front of Hope’s Café at lunch time Hope

Our Outreach Programs expanded to include the EDUC School which provides a good education for children of street vendors. Kanti Children’s Hospital Oncology unit to provide medicine and grant final wishes to the children there whose parents are destitute and cannot provide the medicines themselves. Om’s House, a small orphanage that cares for children with disabilities, and OCPF a small orphanage near us. We also extended more support to local families in great need. Hope’s Fund was established to provide primarily medical support or living support to those with disabilities.

EDUC Kanti Children’s Hospital
Om’s House OCPF
Local families in need It was a great year of service and Hope


2015 Began with 136 children. 25 of them in college.

This was a most uncommon year, with two devastating earthquakes; political strikes resulting in months of severe shortages of petrol, cooking gas, food supplies; but it was also a good year too.


Our Education and Community Center purchased 36 laptops and began a Math curriculum using Khan Academy online.

Board Member Ted Seymour guided this programs construction with help from Emily Gabbard a Math whiz who volunteered with us.

Ted and Emily with some students Binod, one of our math teachers


Our first purchased home. The boys moved in.

February 14th

At the annual Valentines Day Celebration at Skylark Anita was on one side in front of the stage watching with Hope while I was on the opposite side taking photos. Suddenly Hope left Anita’s arms, walking solo for the first time and she came towards me landing and laughing in my outstretched arms. A marathon first walk distance. A walk that will never be forgotten. Others with camera’s caught it on film for us.


We opened the Papa’s House Tailoring Shop, owned and managed by our girls.


The school year ended in April with 14 of our children scoring between 1st and 3rd in their classes.

Ranked second in their classes Ranked third in their classes

Ranked first in their class

April 18th

One Billion (Girls) Rising came to Dhapasi

April 25th

Just before noon a 7.8 magnitude earthquake would change our lives forever. 9000 people dead, 22,000 people injured.

That same afternoon our children began a clean-up, while neighbors sat huddled in the middle of our grounds, far away from structures, too much in shock to do anything.

By the next day NOH organized its Volunteer Nepal department to go to remote villages that we supported and bring blankets, money and other supplies. The journeys were difficult because of landslides, and the destruction so widespread, but our staff made it through, and they were often the first people to reach those in need.

Aftershocks in the high 6’s were frequent. Our kids showed great strength, and adaptability to living without many things, and prevailing fear among the general population. The children’s support for one another was very touching. We refused to sit around paralyzed like most and each day we strived to bring more order with the clean-up and attempts to resume normalcy.

April 30th

Hope’s Birthday!

We decided to celebrate it well.

May 2nd

We welcomed new children, sister and brother Samita and Sanjeev.

May 11th

A second earthquake. 7.3 magnitude. Our neighborhood below.

The second earthquake opened fresh wounds, so we doubled down on arranging picnics and fashion shows, sports days, and other fun activities and made adventure from the shortages.

August 13th

Another new child arrived. She is from Gorkha, a remote mountainous region that was devastated by the earthquake and had lost her family.

Sarita in front, day of arrival Same day, flashing the peace sign

July and through the rest of the year. Political strife closed our southern border which resulted in severe shortages in petrol, food supplies, cooking gas, all transported goods and goods from India. The Chinese border remained closed due to the earthquake’s landslides. As fall came on the electric was reduced to 8-10 hours per day.

2015 was a year to remember, for it taught each of us about our personal strength, and the power of love for your family.


We began the year with 132 children (39 in college).

This year was notable for the hard work and support that our Outreach Program provided.

Donations poured in as a result of last year’s two earthquakes, allowing us to assist many communities, organizations, and families.

Earthquake rebuilding support was given to

  1. Mother Sister Nepal, an orphanage opened in a remote area to house children orphaned by the earthquake.

  2. The total cost of building a new school at the Dumrikhaka Village that we have supported for many years.

  3. The Bigu Buddhist Nuns’ Monastery.

  4. A boy’s home in Charikot, part of the Bal Mandir network of 9 Children’s Homes.

  5. Chaturali Village Medical Clinic.
  6. Home and School in Ghorka, a remote mountain region devastated by the quakes.
  7. Home in Trisoli.
  8. Several families homes in our own community.
  9. The home of our Tutung Volunteer Host family.

In April we welcomed Ranjana into our home.

In May we sent two of our older boys to bring rescue supplies to a Chepong Community of 29 families that had no food and were living on nettle soup.

In June we took hope to Boston in order to have her first operation and to be fitted with state-of-the-art prosthetics.

In August we broke ground on our new Education and Community Center. Early in 2016 NOH President Peter Hess submitted a proposal in response to a request from a Swiss Charity organization. Peter wrote a compelling work outlining the benefit to NOH and the Dhapasi Community if we were able to build a new Center and the grant was approved.

The new center was built on the grounds of our Boy’s Possibilities House

Meanwhile all our other Outreach Programs continued unabated.


2017 began with 132 children, 44 of whom are in college.

In the summer of 2017, following board meetings in Dhapasi, the NOH Board of Directors approved the Strategic Vision of Nepal Orphans Home.  In the fall the in-country operations of Nepal Orphans Home become the Papa’s House Nongovernmental Organization (NGO), rather than an International Nongovernmental Organization (INGO).

All the children, from our youngest Hope Angel at four years, to those now hitting twenty-five and older, have had personal breakthrough moments, epiphanies of both mind and soul, catalyzed by situations good or challenging, as they continue to develop character and skills ahead of their ages. Profound moments of realization for the individual and joyful moments for the rest of us to share with them.

Five of our boys won scholarships to a college noted for its basketball program.  Bimal has turned his years’ worth of Saturday morning art instruction by a kind College of Fine Arts instructor, into some captivating and technically advanced paintings in his own style, which he has been selling to very appreciative viewers.

Urmila won a full scholarship and placed first out of hundreds taking an admission test to Kantipur Dental College; four of our nine advanced Taekwondo students tested and won their Black Belts; the others have not yet tested due to time conflicts but will soon.

Our first black belt holders Bimal, the artist
Urmila in 2017 and on right in 2007 at our Lawajuni Home

In less obvious fronts we have witnessed the graceful transition of those leaving their teen years and displaying the best of adulthood in how they balance college, work, friends, group living, independence and inter-dependence, maintaining their individuality, and growing even more confident in themselves and their choices for a future.

There are few rewards as fulfilling as sharing the evolution of your children from bundles of energy living in the moment, whose attention span is as brief as a butterfly, to young adults full of quiet conviction and a desire to return to you their thanks for always being there for them.

The NOH Business Incubator program helped our sons Ashok and Dhiraj open the “Brothers’ Café” on the grounds of Skylark School. With a student body of over 500 non-NOH students, half of which have the means to buy a good lunch, and over thirty teachers wishing for a variety to choose from for their mid-day meal, we felt this to be a perfectly positioned location for the Brothers to begin their dream.

2017 2007 Ashok 4th from the left, Dhiraj far right

Ashok, on the left, finished three years of college, has taught the adult women at our Chelsea Center for two years, and is a member of the Papa’s House Board of Directors. He recently received a scholarship at Thames College to study IT and has finished one half of a three-year program.

Dhiraj, on the right, has always excelled academically and has helped to develop some of the computer programs taught at the Chelsea Center. He has finished two years of college in Science and is taking a year off to contemplate his future while getting his TOFEL certificate, and exploring opportunities in Medicine, or IT. As an update, Dhiraj will graduate from an IT college in Australia in February 2021. He works very hard and supports himself entirely.

In April the completed Chelsea Education and Community Center was officially opened.

The newly completed CECC An American Embassy Rep and Peter Hess, President of Nepal Orphans Home

Dedication speech by Mr. Roger Biggs representing the Charitable Foundation that provided the grant. And on the right, local woman filling the main hall of the new CECC.


We began the year with 125 Children 51 of them in college.

NOH spent the year in reflection and considering what if any changes we wish to make going forward. A new Director of NOH was named, Mrs. Sunita Pandey who already had seven years working for us while serving in every department.

In our Outreach Program we continued our care for all the existing programs but informed several that the funding was going to be reduced in 2018, and then again in 2019. We increased our local support for individuals and families in need, and we increased our support for the babies at Bal Mandir Orphanage.

One of the babies at Bal Mandir A young boy we took to the Jaipur Clinic in India

NOH enrolled nine of our college students into an apprenticeship program at Park Village Academy under a 6-month program in Hotel Management. The hours spent there allowed for their regular college classes to continue.

The Business Incubator Program helped the older college students to open “Papa’s House Pies” on the grounds of the Chelsea Center, and provided a new loan to the “Brother’s Café” for expansion.

The highlight of the year was the marriage of Anita and Sam. Old friends from 3 continents arrived to witness this remarkable day. Soon thereafter they moved to North Carolina to begin their family’s journey together. Hope absolutely loves it there.

In the fall Hope Angel had her second operation at Shriner’s and came through giving the “thumbs up” while still in recovery. She is the bravest little person I know.


103 children in our Dhapasi homes 57 of them in college.

We welcomed two new children, a brother and sister, in April.

Arrival of Saurob and Renukha

Later that same month with new friends

In April NOH opened its Sanctuary College Girls House to include girls who wished to fully commit to their studies and achieve academic excellence. Twenty-four girls reside there.

Our Outreach program added a small orphanage that housed 10 girls aged 5-8. In addition to providing food, each afternoon two of our college girls go there to mentor the children.

At the end of 2019 NOH ceased to support the Dumrikhaka school. After 10 years of receiving NOH support, including building a new school, it was determined that the village was able to maintain the hot lunch, and teacher support programs on their own.  We reduced support, as planned, for several other Outreach projects feeling confident that these programs could now be self-sustaining.

The Chelsea Education and Community Center, under the Direction of Prashanna Bista flourished. Well over 200 community women continue to receive an education there as well as experiencing workshops in life skills and using the center as a nucleus for celebrating some of the important holidays each year.

In service to our own children the CECC has two hours of daily academics taught by highly educated teachers. The children also have had numerous workshops in life skills and have started training in a variety of media programs.

2019 was a year in which we tightened up our operations, shored up continued educational opportunities for our staff and older children, fine-tuned our Human Resources program for our 42 staff members, over half of whom are our grown children, enabling them savings plans, health benefits, and access to additional training.

We feel that going into 2020 we are prepared to welcome more children into NOH while creating academic and vocational opportunities for our existing children through collaborations and contacts made in Germany, Australia, China, and Portugal.

By way of summation I wish to share this. We frequently suggest to the children essays to write. One was:

 “An asteroid will be hitting the earth; the planet has 14 days left.  How will you spend your time?”  

The children’s essays were impressively well thought out and creative, some humorous, others beautiful, and very touching. Many of the children wished to spend time with elderly people to learn what it is like to grow older; there were some who wished to create something that would live on after them, and in many cases this involved making memories for others to remember them by. Many would busy themselves trying to find people from their past to say thank-you or I am sorry, but all said that when time was almost out they wanted to be with their NOH family because this is where they know love is real; they want us all to be together in the end and together they will not have any fear. Rarely has love been so eloquently expressed.

Thank you all for so many years of support. Because of you the lives of hundreds of children have gone from tragic to beautiful. Sixteen years recorded and generations left to go.