Sujata Shrestha is the living definition of a bundle of joy. She’s almost three and like most children she adores cartoons, singing songs, and getting as much loving attention as she can from both her family and strangers who are charmed by her outgoing nature. Looking at her today you’d never guess at the tragedy in her past that brought her to ServLife’s Kathmandu Children’s Home.
Sujata was only one year old when the earthquake hit Nepal on April 25th, 2015. Her mother had left Sujata outside while she went in to use the bathroom and the house collapsed in the quake. Sujata’s mother was killed in the falling home, but Sujata was miraculously unharmed. Her father and older brother attempted to care for little Sujata, but between her father’s work and her brother’s school the situation was unsustainable. Sujata needed the full-time love and care that would allow her to thrive.
After the earthquake orphanages and children’s homes were flooded with children in need of care, and it was difficult for Sujata’s father to find a permanent place where she would be cared for well. Many children from the affected areas were sent home by the government due to inadequate care. A local official referred him to ServLife, where he knew refugee children were approved to stay long-term.
So, on the day of her second birthday Sujata joined the family at the Kathmandu children’s home. Now she is running the place! “She’s our boss here,” Children’s Director Udaya Bhatta says, “She keeps us running after her. She is very smiley and very loving and she’s a very good girl. I love her very much.” Sujata has everyone wrapped around her finger and her sweet little smile lights up the room. Thanks to the loving care she is receiving Sujata is growing and learning in ways that would have been completely unavailable to her after her mother’s death. “We are happy that Sujata is with us here, and to help her to grow, and make her life better in the future. We are glad to do that.” Udaya says, “I think it is really the vision that God has given us the heart for us to help kids to grow in a loving place.”