September 8, a cycle rickshaw leaves at the gate of Jesu Ashram a young Nepali mother and her 5 years old daughter, Menuka. Aware of her dying condition her mother gathers her last ounce of strength for an adventurous journey through the hills of Nepal and to India in order to bring her darling daughter in a safe and caring place –Jesu Ashram. She is in such a critical condition that she is not able to give her proper name or address. She dies of tuberculosis two days after her arrival leaving Menuka orphan, but definitely under the good care of Brother Bob and Sister Ivana.
The little girl Menuka, also sick of tuberculosis was first treated for her illness and then sent to study in Jesu Ashram School for about a year. In the meantime Brother Bob did the necessary homework to find a new loving and caring family for her in Switzerland.
In 1989 Sister Ivana along with Menuka boarded the famous train, the Darjeeling Mail to Kolkata where she stayed in the care of “Terre des Hommes”, Indian Society for some time and then to Delhi in the care of Missionaries of Charity Sisters to attain her passport, visa and necessary documents for her travel to distant land. Finally she flew from Delhi towards Switzerland where her new excited family awaited eagerly for her arrival.
She was warmly received by Brodard family on March 10, 1990 and became a part of the family ever since taking up the family name as Menuka Brodard. Now Menuka is 32 years old, happy and healthy living a happy married life with her husband who loves her dearly.
Jesu Ashram was delighted to welcome Menuka (and her brother Frederic) on 14 February 2015. It was Frederic Brodard when he was still a child had promised Menuka that he would take her to her roots when they would grow up. After 26 years Menuka visited Jesu Ashram. She was happily surprised when some people at Jesu Ashram recognized her. Menuka spent about a week in Jesu Ashram recalling and reliving her past. It was surely a spiritual moment as she moved around on the dusty roads of Jesu Ashram and breathed the same air that gave her a new life. After spending a quality time in Jesu Ashram, Menuka left for her home in Switzerland on 20 February 2015, but this time with lots of memories to cherish as she collected bits and pieces of her past.
– by Menuka, Fred & Pramod