Like the flap of a butterfly's wings, seemingly small acts of kindness can ripple through space and time to change the world forever.
We sometimes underestimate the power of the individual. Eva Holmberg-Tedert, a sixty-year-old Swedish civil servant, proves us all wrong. With the power of her fierce compassion and no-nonsense call to action, this one woman is moving mountains in Nepal, not only changing the lives of a group of children and their families, but also impacting generations to come.
‘I am a truly ordinary, middle-aged woman,’ Eva describes herself and laughs. ‘Rheumatic, asthmatic, deadly scared of snakes and heights. My ‘tiger mum’ instincts to protect those children still surprise me!’
After a fateful encounter in Sweden with Pema Dorjee, a Tibetan Lama who works for the Dalai Lama in exile, Eva learned of the plight on the streets of Kathmandu and the rural areas of Nepal, where thousands of children are left homeless, neglected or snatched by human traffickers taking advantage of a developing world and natural disasters. 'Do you think you can help?' the Tibetan lama asked Eva when she approached him after his talk. 'Yes, I can!' She immediately replied. And that was it. Eva founded the Society for the Street Children in Nepal and later also directed the Gayatri Fund's projects (an initiative started by Deva Premal, Miten and Manose) after the 2015 earthquakes.
The story of these children is just a small part of a bigger picture of national poverty, government corruption and international corporate greed, which extends beyond the borders of Nepal and involves us more than we may think. Although they suffer the consequences, these children know nothing of this world and Eva dedicates her life, savings, holidays and energy to help them as much as she can with a variety of small scale, big impact projects focused on building a future for them and their communities.
Since 2008 Eva has provided a home and education for girls from pre-school age to teenagers, some of whom are already training to be doctors, nurses and midwives and who now want give back to their communities. She has re-settled many children back with their families or other relatives and provided sponsorship for education and health costs. She’s provided rural areas with livestock and water supplies and filtration systems, and helped re-build a school that was destroyed by the earthquakes of 2015 by providing not only the materials but also training the locals and teaching them them how to make earthquake resistant bricks so they could re-build their school and carry on to re-build their village. This is turn help them re-build their local infrastructure and economy. All in all Eva has touched and changed the futures of hundreds of children.
But there are still thousands of children living on the streets of Nepal, and some say even thousands more girls are sold into prostitution every year to neighbouring India and the Gulf states. The fact that no-one knows the true number is part of the problem. It seems like a fruitless battle but Eva shows that one person can make an enormous difference for the individual lives and future of these children and their children.
Butterfly Wings is a joyful celebration of Eva’s life and work. It’s a story charged with hope for the future, for not only for Nepal but for humanity. Filmed mainly in Nepal, this documentary will show how the only requirement to create extraordinary change and make a world a better place, is to have a truly open heart and enough courage to follow it.
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