I met Mendo when she was 14, she was living in a village, with her mum and dad and younger brother. She milked the family Naks, and carried the milk for 2 days for selling.
She gathered wood, churned milk and was destined to soon be married. She had no education.
Within a few months of us meeting; circumstances, saw her moving to Kathmandu..
Mendo was enrolled in an all girls school, where girls of any age and of any caste, could study from kindergarten to year 10.
My hope was for her was to be able to read, and write; to have a brighter future, working in a shop or similar. Certainly not to be married by 15.
She passed the Year 10 exam, a tough national exam.
Her next goal - to sit an entrance exam for Kantipur Dental Hosptial (KDC), to become a dental hygienist.
A 3 year course to complete years 11 and 12 and study Dental Hygiene. The challenge here being, she would have to learn all her subjects in English, her previous school had taught only in Nepali. Of course it was hard, but she made friendships with teachers - who gave here extra tuition. She attended college, studied, all whilst raising her younger brother & niece.
During these years, Ausnep Australia was growing & achieved Australian Charity status in 2015.
With her new qualification - Mendo was able to be part of the Ausnep dental program. She had joined each camp since Ausnep’s humble beginnings in 2008, but now she was helping organise the camps and being on the frontline of ‘helping where it matters’.
Nepaus Association is the link that helps create the work that Ausnep Australia does.
Nepaus Association, a not for profit, Nepal based organisation, of which Mendo is President. She sorts all the logistics on the Nepal side, from acquiring permission for the camps, to sorting transport, dental staff & equipment.
Of course Mendo was ready for more, a degree in Public Health was next on her agenda. She is in her 3rd year at Pokhara University .
Her brother, neice and nephew all live at home, with her, so her role there has not changed, she has a plethora of responsibilities - but now there’s more.
She has opened her own Dental Clinic - Nepaus Dental Clinic (whilst it has a similar name - they are independent). Mendo has achieved so much in such a short time. I am so proud of her incredible achievements She continues to be inspiring.
Her clinic will enable Ausnep Australia to carry out much needed free dental treatments to those who cannot afford it in the Kathmandu area. It will also enable us to provide an oral health program with local government schools. Our mutual aim will be to provide both free oral education, tooth brushes and tooth paste and dental treatments.