Kyra Gibson: Writer and Volunteer

 by Kyra Gibson

Akkas, holding a copy of the book he helped inspire.
It was three years ago that I first saw his smiling face in a photo. I knew exactly the boy I was in search of, with his bright eyes and carefree laugh. He was unlike many of the other children I knew in Nepal. His eyes held the hope for his future, as other children’s only show pain. He was rescued out of a carpet factory by GoodWeave and brought to Hamro Ghar, GoodWeave’s rehabilitation center. That is where I first met him a year and a half ago. As we drove up to his school, I was excited and a little nervous to be reunited with him again.

In June, after writing two children’s books, I returned to Nepal to give copies to GoodWeave and other organizations. The main characters of both books were inspired by children I knew in Nepal, one being the boy with bright eyes from Hamro Ghar.

We arrived at a premiere boarding school outside Kathmandu where 20 students, recent graduates of Hamro Ghar, are receiving higher education fully sponsored by GoodWeave. It was the end of the school day and over 200 students were coming out of their classrooms, excited to go play. A GoodWeave staff member and I sat down in a courtyard to wait for the children to assemble. There was so much commotion and excitement that I did not notice when the boy walked up until I saw his smile through the crowd of children. He looked much older than I remembered. His youthful face now graced a much larger frame. It was clear to me that he was maturing under the care and support of GoodWeave.

Once all 20 GoodWeave students were together, the staff member explained that I had written two children’s books, and that one of them was the hero of The Smartest Monkey in the World. The children squealed as I walked over to the boy with bright eyes, introduced myself and gave him the book with his smiling face on the cover. His cheeks reddened with embarrassment. I passed out the books to all the children and looked back to the boy, who was still turning the pages of his book. His smile had returned and he looked up and me and said, “Thank you, sister.”

The boy’s name is Akkas, which means “sky” in Nepalese. It is a perfectly fitting name for an extraordinary boy with bright eyes, a playful smile and, thanks to GoodWeave, a future as open as the sky!

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