Filming Sarita for the Bo M. Karlsson Foundation
Besides working on our own independent documentary, Scott and I are here in Nepal filming a promotional video for the Bo M. Karlsson Foundation. This NGO is really unique in that it is providing scholarships for Nepali women to go to UNIVERSITY. There are quite a few organizations helping girls go to primary and secondary school, but BMKF is the only one I have heard of that is paying college tuition for females. According to UNESCO, less than 3% of women get a higher education in Nepal. Wow!
Sarita is one of the few. Today we went to one of the main government colleges here in Kathmandu to film her in class. Sarita is studying to be journalist. Her goal is to report on women’s issues and to return to her village to be an advocate for girls’ education. Her village is about a day’s bus ride and a half a day’s walk from Kathmandu. Her scholarship from the Bo M. Karlsson foundation pays for her tuition, for her sweet little one room apartment, her books, and a small living stipend. This girl is rocking it!
She is a long way from home and says she misses her parents a lot. They don’t get to talk on the phone very often and she only gets to go home during long breaks from school. However, she finds community in her building. Many of them are from the same caste, Tamang, and share her native language. Most of her days are either spent in class or studying. She reads the newspaper everyday as well as reads history books ‘just to learn all the things’. (She picked up what looked to me to be a very dry book about the political life of the last Prime Minister and hugged it to her chest.)
“I love to read about the histories!” Then she looked up at the bare bulb on the ceiling—”When there is light.”
This city only has 6-8 hours of electricity a day. And as far as I can tell, when you get or don’t get electricity is pretty random. Sometimes it is on, sometimes it is not.
She also has to ration her water. A truck comes to deliver it once a week. I forget to ask her how she gets the big drums of water up her stairs.
Sarita. She is amazing!
Even though she was a little nervous in front of the camera, she was so eloquent speaking about how the Bo M. Karlsson made it possible for her to go to college. She is the only one from her village to do so. Wow!
I am excited to edit this piece!
I left there promising myself I will learn Nepali. Although our translator, Nitu, could not have been better, I so badly wanted to really talk to Sarita myself. I still have so many questions for her.
I can’t wait to see what she is doing in 5 years. (I think I can learn Nepali by then!)
Sarita in her class
The door to Sarita’s classroom.
Nitu, our translator, Sarita and me