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Dear Fudoma

(written in March 2024)

I am writing you a public letter because I want you and the world to know that I am extremely proud of you. You are a fantastic young lady who makes her dreams come true, you are independent, and make your own choices. That is exactly what we at 4 Smiling Faces have always wanted for you and all our scholarship recipients. 

At the time, you were our first recipient of our very first scholarship. I received a message from you saying that your live was not going to turn out the way you always hoped that it would. At that moment, you were just 17 years old and had just finished high school. You were supposed to start working and earning a salary as soon as possible. Maybe even go abroad to find work as a made in the UAE. Whatever it was going to be, it was totally not your dream.

You simply had to accept it and make the best of it. The cold hard truth was, that you very hardworking father didn’t earn enough to support you any longer, let alone pay for your further education. Specially knowing that your brother and sister would be finishing high school in the following years.

I was so shocked to hear this because I didn’t know any better than that you wanted to become a nurse. You told me that your father would love to make your dream of becoming a nurse come true, but that he simply couldn’t afford to make it happen. That is the sad truth for many young people in Nepal that don’t have the financial means and/or safety net necessary.  

My brain immediately went into overdrive, because I knew one thing for sure: this couldn’t happen if you didn’t want it to. I have known you since your 8th birthday as a helpful, socially committed, friendly, beautiful, smart, and hardworking young lady with a clear goal in life: since the death of your mother, you wanted to become a nurse and help other people. The idea that you were forced to go on a different path just didn’t sit well with me.

The solution came to me totally out of the blue: earlier that morning, I had just received my holiday pay, and that was it. With that money, I could pay for the first year of your higher education, and you didn’t have to get a job. That year, I would start raising funds like crazy to pay for the rest of your education. And so it happened.

But everything always turns out differently, and so did this whole thing. Because during that year, it turned out that there were more girls like you. They also wanted to continue their education but had no means or safety net to fall back on. So, we at 4 Smiling Faces quickly set up our professional fundraising system so that we could help anyone who needed it with a scholarship. But you are and always will be the first recipient, and that makes you special.

Thanks to our scholarship, you were given the opportunity to pursue your passion, and you grabbed it with both hands. Now you are successfully working as a nurse, earning your own income, and making your own choices. You live your life the way you want. You can be very proud of that!

I am also deeply impressed by the fact that you not only achieved your own dream but also offered a helping hand to your father, who worked hard all his life for you, your sister, and your brother. It is a wonderful example of gratitude and love to now be able to give something back to the one who has always cared for and supported you. Paying it forward.❤️💪🏼

4 Smiling Faces is very proud of you because you are proof that what we want to do with our scholarship program is realistic and gets results. You prove that it works, and we are very happy with that because it allows us to help more young people like you in this way. We think this is the only way to definitively break the cycle of poverty and despair.

It is admirable how you have shown determination and perseverance to achieve your goal. Not only have you successfully completed your studies, but you have also had the courage to enter the world of healthcare and help others in times of need. You have chosen a valuable profession that is of great importance in society.

I hope you go to work every day with pride and satisfaction, knowing that you are making a difference in the lives of others. It’s wonderful to see how you’ve turned your passion into a career where you can mean so much to patients, colleagues, family, friends and the community as a whole.

Now that you earn your own income and can make your own choices, many challenges and opportunities will undoubtedly come your way. Stay true to yourself, keep learning and growing, and keep striving for the best for yourself and the people around you.

I believe you have a bright future and will touch many life’s with your care, empathy, and dedication. Continue to follow your passion and never be afraid to dream, because you have proven that dreams can become reality.

I wish you incredible success with everything you do and will do. Enjoy every moment with your family, friends, at work and in life in general.

Lots of love,


PS Thank you for being my bodyguard all through the years. 💪🏼😉

Fudoma’s response

“Dear Tjitske and 4 Smiling Faces family,
Thank you so much for helping me out when I really needed it. 
I am forever grateful for your enormously generous support and continued friendship. 😇❤️”