Born in Nepal, but moved to Wisconsin in 2000 to attend the University in Whitewater, Ojash Shrestha found his true calling when he returned home 8 years later to be married.
While staying in his parents’ house, he met a young girl around 12 years-old who worked as a maid there because her family could not support her or afford to send her to school.
At that moment, Ojash realized how different her fate might be if she had the same opportunities as he had for education while growing up. When he was a child, he was going to school, playing with his friends, and sitting down with his family for dinner.
After returning to the U.S. he was happily married with wonderful memories of home, but could not erase the girl’s face from his memory. Her name was Rita and her salary was a mere $7 for a month of work.
On the bright side, he thought, she is in a safe place, she has enough food to eat, and is helping her family with financial support. Thousands of families like hers live on an annual average income of $473 and never dream of having the money to send their children to school.
Realizing how important education had been to his own success, Ojash decided to help change the fate of children like Rita. Together with family members and friends, he sponsored the schooling of not one, but five children in 2009 – providing tuition, books, supplies, and uniforms for the children.
The hunger for helping these children and their families grew until Ojash established a non-profit organization called Ganga Ghar, “mother’s house”, inspired by the moment he met Rita, and the holy River Ganga in Nepal.
Today, with a small dedicated band of volunteers in the U.S. and Nepal, Ganga Ghar sponsors education for more than 100 children, improves struggling schools by installing computer labs, fans, and more classrooms, and launching an entrepreneurship program for women in a remote village.
(WATCH what they did just during the Christmas holiday and visit the fantastic website to learn more: www.gangaghar.org)
Photos from Ganga Ghar Facebook Page