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The “Soni Effect”

Some of you may recall that last May, a handful of people from across India, UK and US poured in their generosity for HEF to support the education and boarding of two girls and a boy from Munsiyari. I thought you may like to know how the kids are doing. All three children are now settled in Himalaya Public School, Chaukori and are at various stages of development. I chose to profile one of the students today –

Soni Thakuni is a 13 year old girl whose parents do hard manual labor in the Munsiyari area of the Indian Himalayas and have an extremely low income. She is now a 7th grade boarding student at HPS.

I would like you to do me a favor… look at her picture on the left for a minute longer than you normally would…. notice her bright smile that will melt your heart and notice the excitement and optimism that shines from her eyes. The first thing that came to my mind as I saw the picture was – “she reminds me of my own daughter”. And if you look carefully, she will remind you of your own daughter or sister or someone that you care about. This feeling leaves no doubt in our minds that ALL children across this planet are equal and deserve an equal opportunity.

Soni recently visited her village for the holiday break in November. Malika Virdi – one of the women leaders of her community and an HEF partner described the impact she is having – “We call it the Soni-Effect! Our village kids are absolutely charged up. There are so many requests to explore possibilities for more kids to go to HPS that we just went ahead and kick-started the Knowledge Centre…. we have 10 highly motivated kids coming to study English at 6:30 every morning for an hour. There is real motivation and I think Soni just got them all competitive in the best sort of way. …Soni is happy. And seems to be doing well. Brought her books and showed it around in the village- lovely handwriting and full of information”!

I thank you all for your continued support for Soni, Navneet, Renuka, Himani, Pavan, Kavita, Jyoti, Nisha, Hema, Deepak, Lalit… and all the other children!

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