Hello everyone, nice to meet you! I'm Mika Sato, founder, Gospel Aid.
I have been actively working as a Gospel music director in Central Japan ever since I was 19.
Over the last 20 years, I have witnessed many people being liberated, encouraged and countless lives changed by Gospel music throughout Japan.
At the same time, I was able to learn the history of black people in US, who were the pioneers and originators of the Gospel music that we know and love now. I learned about how they were able to overcome their sufferings and racial discrimination, and have made history in the present day United States.
Rev. Martin Luther King once said "I have a dream" and now, we can see his dream being fulfilled in the present day United States. On American television shows, we can see today that both whites and blacks are able to work together and sit and eat together on the same table. It was built on the sweat, blood and tears, prayers and anguish of many a human rights activists. And the underlying ideology that supported all of it was “the Gospel message”, the song of hope. The problem of discrimination is not something that took place a long time ago. It has been less than 60 years since his iconic speech was delivered. It was not too long ago when black people were killed and hung on a tree just because of their skin color.
Such discrimination still exists to this day in Nepal.
The people who are called "Untouchables", located at the bottom of the caste system, and who sometimes call themselves as "Dalits", are often considered by the society to be alienated, ostracized and discriminated against, so much so that just because of their identity as "Dalits" they might even be killed without any remorse.
When I came to know about this problem, I couldn't be still without doing something and yet I felt powerless to do anything. I was struck by an impulsive urge and feelings of frustration. And the feelings of helplessness and disappointment were all that were left in my weary heart.
But for the next two years, instead of worrying about the money that I don't have, I decided to focus on something that I did have - the network of Gospel musicians and artists.
I have a dream.
That one day in Nepal, people who are labelled as untouchables and those from the higher castes will be able to work together in the same workplace, eat the same meals, and become neighbors and help each other.
And eventually people who were once called untouchables would be called people of a miracle,
and will become people who give hope to the world.
With your cooperation, together we can create jobs for the Badi people, end forced prostitution, and witness the transformation of Nepal!