Meet Sunmaya

Reuniting families makes us proud.

Twelve year-old Sunmaya is currently in Asha Orphanage awaiting news that her family has been found and she can return home.

Her father Lal Bahadur worked abroad for 15 years and came back to Nepal after his wife left him and made Sunmaya his responsibility. She was just seven years old when her father admitted her into the orphanage and flew abroad to work again.

Lal Bahadur told us he tried to keep in touch with Sunmaya during his time abroad but was told by orphanage staff that if he had contact with his daughter is would have a detrimental effect on her education. With his daughter’s best interests in mind he decided to leave her to focus on her education and vowed to visit when he returned to Nepal.

We shut down Asha Orphanage and transformed it into a transit home during the family tracing and reintegration phase. Our team visited Dhading with photographs and Sunmaya’s father recognized her. He was shocked to learn she was studying grade 8 because he believed Sunmaya should have been studying grade 10 by now. Lal Bahadur is desperate to have his daughter home and wants to care for her himself.

He said he wonders what she looks like but that she must be more beautiful than in the picture.