Week 11: Khata Life
Welcome back to another week of GIVE52. This week’s organization, Khata Life, was started by my amazing friend Michelle Welsch. At the core of their work is a desire to support personal initiative and sustainability within the Kaski community in Nepal. It is my pleasure today to tell you about Michelle and Khata Life.
The story began when, in a bold move, Michelle quit everything and moved to Nepal. After working as a volunteer teacher in a monastery, she founded Khata Life. By working with local partners and focusing on community, Khata Life encourages leadership and education in Nepal. Projects focus on two main areas: education and leadership within Pokhara.
Michelle runs Learning House to encourage education and community, has installed a solar system to provide reliable electricity for the Matepani community, hosts career seminars connecting local leaders and aspiring entrepreneurs, and runs a dental clinic.
She says that in the beginning she started small “with projects at Matepani Gumba: buying books, hiring an English teacher, getting clothes donated…then the solar project, organizing field trips and health camps …and now the Learning House.”
Michelle and I first met when she worked with Seth Godin to host a summer internship. Since then, we have traveled to Kenya together and have cheered each other on with every new project. It has been inspiring to watch her turn her ideas for supporting an incredible community into reality and I continue to be in awe of her tenacity, bravery, and relentless optimism.
Michelle had the guts to quit a life she liked in favor of one she loves.
In her own words:
“I’m so very thankful I’ve had the guts to step into the doorway of chance and risk and opportunity (and disappointment and failure). Instead of letting confusion and anxiety get the best of me, I’ve clawed my way to make decisions that tackle my fears head on.
As a result, I’ve been able to create a life I often have to laugh and smile at, “This is real! This is my life!” I have moments that feel so surreal, so dreamlike.
I’m not the richest person, but I’m doing work I love with people I adore and I think I’m helping others achieve their dreams. That seems like gold to me.”
Here’s to a life you love.
Make this week a wonderful one,