First things first

(Untold stories)

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The room is about 4sm per 4sm, it has one bed where Seema and Nisha are sleeping, one small table in the corner and a few plastic chairs we use to welcome the visistors in. But most of the time we sit on the floor. Green floor, a thin green carpet covers the floor and gives the room a bright air. One white board on the left side wall as you enter, and lots of advertisment posters and drawings made by the kids suspended on the ceiling and on the walls, partly covering some spot of fallen paint, some to testify and proudly speak of the artistic talents of the smallest ones in the house. On the drawings, you would read: ‘Art by Niash’ or ‘Art by Dawa’ or ‘Art by Bijay’ … Never got it where this came from.

It was when I saw them writing their homeworks sitting down on the cold floor, under the poor light of the only bulb in the room, when I knew there was at least one thing I could do for them: buy them desks. Make it a bit better of a living.

You have to start from somewhere. It is always like this. You have to start from somewhere. And this is where I have started: with this small dream for me and for them of having a room full of desks and chairs, and a small library I would fill up with books. I knew I would do it by the time I would leave Kathmandu, and the house, five weeks ahead. I knew it, I trusted it, I felt it with all my being.

I started asking people for money. The means are less important now. What matters is, I found myself working with all my faith in something like this, for the first time in my life. There I was, at 33, trying to collect 600Euros – and hoping for more. I started writing their stories, each and every one’s of them. I wanted the people I was talking to, to get to know them, to undestand their are flesh and boold, they have a life full of pain and hopes, and they have draems, although they might not know how to put them in words. I was so close to them, and I wanted them all to meet them. I would find myslef later on, takling about them … over and over again, to my closest friends and family. Looking back at how this all happened. I was full hearted, I had no shame, I could speak out lound and clear, I could argue and I could project every small step into the next one, with no doubt I was going to make it happen, either way or another. I had never had such a strong, and at the same time calm hold on my actions, ever before.

And it did happen.  I wish you could have seen them running up and down the dusty street, to the furniture shop and back, helping to bring everything home! They are happy, the rooms look so much brighter, the joy I trust will stay, back in their memory with the remembrance of this day.


About Madalina Serban

I love children. I love the sea. I love dancing. I love writing. And I love a man who makes me laugh.


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