The Beginning

In 1997 Steve was staying with his friends, Shiva and Prerana, in their home in Kathmandu. During this time, Shiva and Prerana took a young girl called Sarimilla into their home. She was about 9 or 10 years old and had never been to school. Her father had left home to find work and never returned to his wife, Sarimilla and her 3 sisters. With no financial support, the family travelled to Kathmandu where her mother had some relatives.

Young girls from poor families are often hired out to work as domestic help in homes in Kathmandu. Sarimilla being only about 9 years old, was obviously well under the legal Nepalese working age of 14. Shiva and Prerana had become aware of Sarimilla’s predicament and wanted to try & help so they took her into their home and wanted to pay for her to go to school. In the month that she lived with Shiva & Preyna, things were going well & Sarimilla was very happy. She was treated like one of the family and was looking forward to starting school.

Sadly one evening her uncle came to Shiva demanding payment for her. Shiva refused saying Sarimilla had been taken in as an offer of help to her family & not as a domestic worker. Sarimilla wanted to stay with Shiva & his family but during the conversation her uncle became angry, grabbed Sarimilla & strode off into the crowd. That was the last time that Steve ever heard or saw of  Sarimilla. It is unknown what happened to her but it made Steve realise the predicament that can befall young children when home life goes drastically wrong.

After witnessing what happened to Sarimilla Steve wanted to try and do something to help young kids like Sarimilla. Fortunately a year later he met Elizabeth whilst working in a soup kitchen in Kathmandu and together they came up with the idea of raising funds to help rural communities. In 2001 Steve and Dawn and Elizabeth formed the Sarimilla Trust and registered it as a Charity in the UK …..this is the story of what happened after that. The Trust is named after her.

footnote- Sharmilla is Sarimilla’s real name unfortunately Steve’s spelling of her name sounded different in English !!  He only knew her by her family name Maili meaning second born in the family