Irjum is eight years old, in the Lower Kindergarten class, and is thankful for the NCF hostel. She comes from a large family in Dojam, and her father takes special care to go out of his way to visit the hostel as often as he can. This journey can easily be a full day’s walk from Dojam to Simikot, and is a definite indication of how important family means to them. Her father usually is the first parent to arrive and the last parent to leave, and is more than happy to open his home to guests who care to make the trek out to Dojam.
Compared to her siblings, Irjum has a warmer spirit and a rosy glow about her. She is by far one of the loudest girls at the hostel, choosing to communicate often by yelling or screaming. She has a robust and easy laugh and laughs at almost everything. She loves to roughhouse, chase and wrestle her friends from Dojam who are also at the hostel, and is never afraid to get her hands dirty or play with the older girls. Irjum is confident, bossy and just plain enjoyable.
She has been at the hostel for eight months. Her parents are farmers, but as customary in Lama communities, Irjum says she has two fathers and one mother. She has three older sisters, and three older brothers as well. Irjum’s favorite color is red, her favorite animal is a zebra, her favorite activity is dance, and her favorite subject is Science. When she grows up she would like to be a nurse.