Started in 2008, Asha Nepal is an organization in Kathmandu that prevents the trafficking and abuse of girls. They also care for survivors and work for their healthy reintegration into the community. They provide trauma counseling, health care, educational support, emergency and long-term residential care. The Blue Butterfly Foundation and Asha Nepal have worked on a variety of projects throughout the years. In 2019, the two organizations teamed up to create the first trauma-informed school in Nepal. The school helps trauma survivors to find creative ways to thrive in a unique setting that honors all of the students' needs and has an individualized approach for each student. With a staff of teachers and social workers, students feel safe and heard, and they are able to thrive academically and emotionally.https://www.asha-nepal.org/home
Sadhana is receiving her Master's Degree in Expressive Arts Therapy. Together, she and Mary are growing cross-cultural understanding, ethics and praxis of Expressive Arts therapy and Community Art practice in Nepal. Over the past five years, Sadhana has worked to complete her courses at the European Graduate School in Saas Fee Switzerland and is now engaged in her master's thesis research. Mary and Sadhana are raising funds to cover Sadhana's third and final semester where she will present her thesis work, complete her exams and receive her Master's Degree in Expressive Arts Therapy.
Mary Putera is a licensed mental health counselor, expressive arts therapist, and community arts facilitator with over 25 years of experience in the fields of mental health, trauma recovery, and community development. Mary's work emphasizes cross-culture awareness, peace building, and arts-based opportunities to relieve and transform the experiences of traumatic events for individuals and communities.
Mary's work in Nepal began in 2014, when she accepted an invitation to share in an expressive arts project supporting trafficking survivors in Nepal. There she met Sadhana Thapa, an MSW professor in Nepal, and felt a deep connection. They both share the hope of bringing arts-based healing work to Nepali communities as a way to foster healing and peace.
Mary and Sadhana are excited to be part of the team at the Blue Butterfly Foundation and to work for its mission to help heal and empower those who need it most.