Shyam (pronounced Sham, and pictured in the photo above) Awale, our country director in Nepal, is an incredible leader for our projects as well as a dedicated husband, father, and member of his community. He seems to know someone everywhere he goes in the city, and he is appreciated and looked up to for all of the work that he does.
Together with a few of his siblings, Shyam owns and operates two brick factories that employ hundreds of people in the area. Outside of his role in the factories, Shyam stays very busy between managing our projects, as well as being an active member of various schools, leadership and sports programs in the community.
Shyam grew up just outside of the capital, Kathmandu, and has lived there all his life. He now lives with his wife and two young sons in that same community. Shyam grew up in a large family, fourth in the lineup of five boys. It may be hard to believe, but Shyam and his family live with all of his brothers, their wives and kids in one big house! All together there are 25 people spanning four generations. It’s easy to see where his passion for transforming kid’s lives may have come from!
Our partnership with Shyam began in 2014, a few years after meeting him at an international conference. We began discussing ideas to plan a scouting trip so that he could show us around his community. After seeing the needs there and working through the details of how to get started, we decided to open a small home for girls, and from there, expanded to include a community school.
Future plans for Love Does in Nepal are exciting to think about. We are currently working on plans to build a school at one of Shyam’s brick factories. Many families move to work there during the dry season, often with school age kids. A school would give these kids a place to be while their parents work, and would help ensure that their studies do not get disrupted.