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 studies.
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 for 2017!
Tenzing Norbu Lama & Smita