CNN Hero Of The Year: Nepalese Woman With A Heart For Children Of Imprisoned Parents.

Every year CNN holds their ‘Heroes Awards’ and every year they find the most incredible people doing wonderful things in the world. It does make me wonder why these stories are only a once-a-year celebration? There are so many powerful, selfless, motivated human beings in the world, it seems unfair they only get that one mainstream media coverage.

These are the people who should dominate news media headlines, not the Real Housewives of WhoCaresWhere!

Regardless, these CNN Heroes deserve the recognition and I am excited to blog about the recipient of this year’s trophy.

Her name is Pushpa Basenet and she is 29. She hails from Nepal, one of the poorest countries in the world. But circumstance and statistic does not stop this dynamic young woman from forging new paths. Her organization is called the Early Childhood Development Center which takes children of incarcerated parents and gives them shelter and education.

What often happens in a country where families are too poor to children looked after by a relative or friend, they end up living in the prisons with their parents and therefore by default enter into a life of crime and poverty just because of their circumstance. It is a sad situation that in 2012 there are still children who are denied the rights to an education, yet here we are in the western world skipping out school because we aren’t that interested!

Pushpa, a Kathmandu University graduate,  started a home in Kathmandu in 2005 after doing a trip to a jail cell as part of her degree in Social Services. While she was on the trip, she saw a young girl in a cell and asked why a child was in prison. From that moment on she knew in her heart her mission was to rescue these little ones and give them a chance at a better life.

As of today there are 40 children in the home who all call her “Pushpa Mummy” and so far the ECDC has rescued 140 kids. Her eventual goal is to be able to work with the Nepalese Government to expand the movement throughout the whole country. Right now they are a non profit and rely on grants. Her $250 000 win from CNN is a huge help!

They give these children vital life skills and education so they can enter into adult life with some stability. They also work with the parents after they are released from prison, offering them employment at the Center if they can’t find work, and the ensure the children are going back to a family that is stable, healthy and prosperous.

What a superwoman! I can’t find any other appropriate adjective for Pushpa because what she is doing is super amazing. Girls, don’t you think it is amazing that this young woman is using her time, talents and resources to change her world and give someone else the opportunity at a better life?

Pushpa says her desire stemmed from her own childhood. She was privileged enough to get a college degree and it broke her heart that these children didn’t have the same opportunities as her.

“I want them to see the world and how things work. I want them to have the best time in their life here. I want them to feel they had everything I had in my childhood.”

In a day and age where women and children are still unfortunately facing an uphill battle with basic human rights, it is encouraging to see so many people using what they have to create change. When Barack Obama talked about ‘Change’ he meant it. This is a perfect example of what he wants to see happen with the youth of our country and the greater western world. It’s ok to be comfortable and enjoy the good life, but honestly, we are put here on earth for a reason and we have a duty to find out what that is, and pledge all our time energy and resources to make it happen.

Well done on your win Pushpa, this is a major step for the lives of children in Kathmandu, and hopefully the rest of the country.

What is something you can do you in your life to create change and be a hero in some way?

You can watch Pushpa’s win here. WARNING: It will make you tear up…


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