This is one of the boys from the village in which Nirvana Bodhisattva and his team will establish a school. He stands in a room on the roof of his existing madrasa for this portrait, away from the chaos of his friends. The room is sometimes used as a sleeping area for a few boys without homes, as our hosts do what they can for their village.
Over the next few months you will see posts regarding this school, and our hope is that you will join us in this effort. My work in this region began in 2013, and continues to this day. Earlier this year prior to my visit to this village, Nirvana asked if we would be interested in an interfaith effort. This was presented to our hosts and they received his message with open arms.
We then made a visit with Nirvana, and I was a witness to Muslims and Hindus gathering in a mosque to celebrate the idea of this venture. While I was unable to understand what was being said, it was clear to me that all were in agreement. Later on Nirvana helped explain the speeches made, thus confirming my perceptions.
The idea is to do what the local leaders have asked for, and to do so in a manner which is respectful to the community. They have asked us to help in the education of their children, and would like a formal curriculum presented to their children. They have offered any land we wish to use, and the buildings to go along with that land as well.
There are over 120 villages in this area, where there is little in terms of education or opportunity. We wish to help change this, and know we can do so by establishing a center of learning in this region. The news to come out of the area will be vastly different than the most tragic news which the media likes to share with the world... that of sectarian disunity and violence. We have seen with our own eyes the love this community had for us during our visit, and know that this venture can make a difference.