Case Study – Asmita Bayalkorti, KIKN’s first university student

This is the story of one of KIKN’s sponsored children, Asmita Bayalkorti.
Asmita completed her year 10 ( 5th Form) in 2010. Though she obtained excellent grades in all her subjects, her parents could not afford the 6th form school fees. A year down the road, the Principal at Neel Barahi school asked her to help out in the school for 2 days a week. It was to keep her morale up while looking for the opportunity to source funding to enable her to continue.
Asmita came to the notice of KIKN in September 2012 when I was visiting the school with a view to setting up KIKN’s new projects and increasing our sponsorship programme.
Asmita has 2 younger brothers, living with her parents on the outskirts of Kathmandu valley. It would take an hour’s bus journey, followed by half an hour of walking on a muddy road to reach her home. Home was a mud house with 2 rooms and a kitchen with no window. A standing hose pipe outside provides all the water the family needs for washing and drinking. Clothes were draped over the tall grass to dry. Many families that live close by also have access to the water supply. The mud floor gets damp and squashy during the winter months and when it rains. Bunches of dried corn were seen hanging on the inside wall for consumption during the winter.
Asmita’s mother works on the little bit of rented land around the mud house, providing some ad hoc income by selling vegetables and eggs. Father works as a guard in a shop. The family lives like many others at a subsistent level. My first visit to their home was an eye opener. Yet they seemed content. They were ‘over the moon’ when KIKN decided that it would sponsor Asmita’s higher education.
Asmita started her year 11( Lower Six) in October 2012 and completed her 6th form studies with flying colours. She started her Chartered Accountancy study in 2014. The devastating earthquake in Nepal in April 2015 took place literally a month before her first year exam. The mud house was flattened. What is left of the family home was a grain store/ side shed which the family was having to live in through the winter of 2015. It was a leaking tin-patched shed. KIKN was concerned that Asmita ‘s study would be adversely affected. However, she passed her first year exam and continued into her second year in 2016.
Following a very successful appeal after the earthquake, KIKN was able to contribute towards the rebuilding of their new home, having considered the needs of all the other sponsored children. The parents provided the labour themselves with Asmita helping out at weekends carrying bricks and mortar to save on costs. Similarly, neither engineers nor architects were consulted. It is highly likely that the newly built home will collapse again if there is another earth tremor in the future.
Asmita’s story is heart wrenching but a very common one in Kathmandu. She is grateful for the opportunity KIKN gives her, so are her parents. She studies hard, and she gives tuition to some of KIKN sponsored children in Maths as her way of giving back. She has promised KIKN that on completion of her course, and gained paid employment, she will in turn sponsor at least one child to keep the circle going. For that we are grateful .
KIKN is deeply encouraged that the hard work and generosity from the supporters will pay dividends in the future, changing the lives of many families and communities in Kathmandu.
‘ A better life through education ‘ and KIKN is showing that we are making a little difference , in our own way.