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Anna Howe

Anna Howe
Anna Howe

 “I had a great childhood,” says seventh-generation Mainer Anna Howe, who grew up in Cape Elizabeth, a short walk from the ocean. She slept in a tent all summer, skied in the winter and garnered more merit badges than any other Girl Scout in the country. Later, she studied business at nearby Westbrook College, ski-bummed in Colorado and protested the Vietnam War by helping draft resisters move to Canada. She also moved to Canada, was married twice, raised two sons and homesteaded off the grid for 14 years in Nova Scotia. “We worked all the time, no skiing,” she says. “We raised animals, made cheese and butter, and bartered with the food we raised.” She moved to Ohio and a third marriage in 1981, and got back to hiking, skiing and travel adventures. “Our last adventure was Nepal in 1994,” she says. “Six months later, I moved to Nepal with only a backpack.” She rented a flat in Katmandu, but spent months away in remote areas. “I befriended a family in the mountains and fostered their young daughter for 12 years,” she says. “I was like a second mom.” After three years of work for an international organization that rescues trafficked children, she was contacted in 2006 by Conor Grennan, whose 2010 bestseller Little Princes would detail child trafficking in Nepal. Grennan needed guidance in setting up a nonprofit. Today, Howe is executive director of that organization, Next Generation Nepal, based in Katmandu’s U.S. sister city, Eugene. NGN’s other office, in Katmandu, is staffed by Nepalis. To date, NGN has reconnected almost 300 children with their families, but 15,000 kids remain in abusive orphanages. Learn more and get involved at nextgenerationnepal.org.