Aji's

Aji's is a social enterprise that empowers the elderly to live healthy and happy lives by providing a platform to showcase their skills and knowledge.

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Unconditional love for children & grandchildren - #AskAnAji

Our second #AskAnAji question comes from Lirisha Tuladhar who is pursuing her Bachelors in Public Health. She is currently on a two month WASH (water, sanitation and hygiene) training in Gorkha district in Nepal. She asks: “Despite hardships, what motivates you to move forward in life and stay happy? How can the young generation get motivated to stay positive in moving forward in life?”

For this edition of #AskAnAji, we gathered some incredibly insightful answers from France, Italy, and Nepal. The common thread in these answers from different parts of the world seems to be the unconditional love for children and grandchildren.

Hélène Contini is 84 years old and a resident of La Grave, Hautes-Alpes in south eastern region of France. She says:

La Grave, France where Hélène lives

"For me, happiness, joy, what makes me move forward without asking myself questions about my future is the happiness that I can give to my children and my grandchildren and I’m happy only if I see them happy and succeed in life. In short, the only guideword that has made me progress since my marriage is the word ‘love’ in all its forms. God and all creations first, then the gifts we received: our daughter and our grandkids! Then we must add friendship, empathy, sharing! Each being is so different that I cannot give any advice to younger generations, especially in a world that is so different than the world that shaped me! I just occupy my tiny place, trying to be useful to those I love as much as I can, that is enough for my happiness. My vision of happiness is surely a bit selfish but I can not change anything."

From France, we go to neighboring Italy where we hear from Fidelia La Valle who lives in Catania in the southern tip of Italy. She says, “It is my faith in god and my love for people that keeps me going through happiness and hardships in life. When I say people, I mean my children, grandchildren, husband, parents, family, friends and strangers, in a word- everybody.” Fidelia has eight grandchildren and she is looking forward to celebrating her 90th birthday with them next week. Buon compleanno Fidelia!

 Brucoli in Catania where Fidelia spends her summers with her family.

Brucoli in Catania where Fidelia spends her summers with her family.

Champa Devi Tuladhar, 76, Aji’s first maker and resident of Maitidevi in Kathmandu Nepal says, “It hasn’t been an easy journey to reach this point in life. There were times when I got highly demotivated and I lost reasons to move forward. But it was my children and grandchildren who gave me strength. Being close to them, spending time with them and working with them gives me utmost satisfaction. As for the young generation, I think they need to focus on what makes them happy and motivated and worry less about pleasing others.” Champa Devi was recently featured in the Nepali Times article and video about Aji’s. She makes the wonderful Lumu Socks for Aji’s.

 Trishuli is a famous destination for rafting in Nepal.

Trishuli is a famous destination for rafting in Nepal.

Finally we have 72 year old Hari Bahadur Dangol from Trishuli region of Nepal who offers words of encouragement for the future generation. “I have always thought of my children and their happiness and that has helped me to get back up and fight hardships in life. I want the younger generation to think about their loved ones and their happiness. I want to tell them to be strong, daring and face life head on.”

We’d like to thank our intern Srabada Gurung (Hari Bahadur’s granddaughter) and Mathilde Lefebvre (Hélène’s granddaughter) for helping us gather these insightful answers. If you’re in Kathmandu, check out Mathilde’s recently opened restaurant Raithaane!

#AskAnAji is an Aji’s initiative, where anyone from anywhere in the world can ask a question to the elders of Aji’s community and get answers based on their years of knowledge, experience and wisdom. You can ask your question here or post it on Facebook with #AskAnAji.