My name is Tenzing Norbu Lama, l was born in Nepal's most remote district
called Dolpa. My parents were very poor farmers and we lived from our
products. My father had to ride by horse during 6 days to the n next
bigger village and was exchanging the goods of our farm against oil,
salt and rice. We did not know what money was. l was the eldest child
and l had to take care of my sister and my brother, to cook and to help
on the fields. There was no doctor and no school in our place, and we
depended for health and education on the Buddhist monastery. The monks
were guiding us and healing our sick with traditional medicines and
prayers. When l had time, l went to learn reading and writing from them.
As l was ten
years old, my father died suddenly as he came back from one of his trips
by horse. One year later my mother died of tuberculosis. My uncle and
my aunt could not feed 3 orphans and they gave me to a traveling salesman
to bring me to Kathmandu to work äs a servant in his house against
food and a place to sleep. We walked 9 days to the next bus Station
to take a bus to Kathmandu. I worked for this man like a slave doing
all the hard works for the family from 5 in the morning to midnight
l also studied at night with old books.
One day l heard that there was a new law in Nepal prohibiting child
labour and l told my master that l would go and complain if he refused
to send me to school. He had no choice and allowed me to go to school
from 6 to 10 in the morning. l could join a higher class because l had
studied alone before. l became the greatest Chance of my Life as one
of my teachers, who was impressed by my will to learn, brought me to
Children's World run by Kinderhilfe Nepal.
Then I could stop working and l got good food, enough time to sleep
and to study seriously, l also got love and guidance and l could pass
my college's examination with very good marks. At that time I met my
wife Smita. She was an orphan and had been educated by SOS Kinderdorf.
She was a brilliant Student but SOS Kinderdorf could not pay for further
We both got the great opportunity to be sent by Kinderhilfe Nepal to
Bangalore in India to achieve a Bachelor in Physiotherapy, which was
not possible in Nepal. We studied very, very hard and six years later
we could get a Master. Smita has now a Master in Physiotherapy specialized
in Pediatrics and is now Professor at the Kathmandu University while
l got a Master in Neurology. We just came back to Nepal at the time
of the big earth-quake, and l went to the badly affected regions to
work for Handicap International and for the Norwegian Red Cross during
six months. Only very few people in Nepal have a Master in Physiotherapy.
and l could become Partner in a clinic together with a cardiologist
surgeon and an orthopedist.
Compared to other educated people. Smita and l are earning quite good
and we really love our work l am conscious that came from the middle
age into the 21st Century within 30 years, and YOU are the ones who
made this possible. My sister and my brother are still living in Dolpa,
and l help them as much as possible. Smita and l will never forget what
you have given to us. Never without your support we still would be poor
people just surviving in poverty. We are glad to get today the chance
to say a big Thank You to all of you. You will always be in our heart
and our mind.
We wish you all a Merry Christmas as well as good Health and Happiness