On April 22nd we returned from Nepal. Once again it was an exciting and inspiring journey. The answer to the question whether Nepal had fully recovered from the earthquake of three years ago, we can say that quite a lot of construction work has been carried out so far and a lot of building works are still ongoing. However, so much has still to be done and much needs to be done differently. We visited a few villages outside Kathmandu, called Sankhu and Changu Narayan. Both villages were badly damaged after the earthquake. Fortunately many houses have been rebuilt and the sound of construction work was still predominant on the streets. We noticed the same situation in the district of Nuwakot. The government has provided a sum of 2500 Euro to each family, to be given in three different instalments during the building process. It’s true to say that with the soaring prices of building materials this amount is not sufficiënt to built a simple two room-house and many families had to take out expensive loans, that will take them years and years to repay, if ever.
Time for news of our projects:
Backpacks, Sandals, Writing Materials and Sports items:
The first week we stayed in the center of Kathmandu from where we could focus on the schools in the Nuwakot district. Two afternoons we went out shopping at the wholesalers of medieval area of Asan, a maze of small streets packed with tiny wholesale shops amongst high buildings. Sunlight never reaches the ground in these small dark alleys. We purchased backpacks, sandals, copies, pencils, sharpeners, erasers and sports items for a total of 230 students divided over four schools. In the early hours we left with two 4×4 jeeps to Nuwakot. One jeep was loaded to the gills with our purchases and the second jeep was for the team, myself and family plus Ram and Saraswati and their two-year-old daughter.
The journey up to the Trisuli River went smoothly. After crossing the bridge the jeeps climbed up the hills and the road became unpaved and extremely dusty. Some delays occurred, when a truck in the middle of a hilly road broke down. Luckily there was enough space to pass the truck on the mountainside, but some heavy work had to be done to roll away large boulders and level out small stones and grit. After half an hour or so, we jumped back in the jeep and continued our journey to the village of Newarpani, where we distributed all the things to the children of the first school. Over the past three years the 90 children of this school have had their lessons under a simple corrugated roof. Fortunately, building works for a new school have started, so the end of this harsh situation is in sight. It was rewarding to see that several children were wearing the fleece jackets that Laxmi Support had distributed in November last year.
The second school is located twenty minutes farther on the next hill in the village of Simle. The children of this small school are part of the lowest caste of society, called Dalits. For the past three years these children have been taught in a corrugated iron cabin, which is boiling hot and terrible noisy in the rainy months and freezing cold in the dry months. The iron cabin does provide shelter from the wind, but the majority of their lessons are done outside on a wooden bench. The heavily damaged school is still there but will soon be demolished to be replaced by a new school. The children were so delighted with all the things we brought them. It is difficult to understand that besides a wooden table and bench there is hardly anything else in this school. The children will also receive a new school uniform, which is currently made by the local tailor. More on this to follow later.
Time to travel to the third school in the village of Budhasing. These children also come from the very lowest caste and on our arrival many villagers came out to watch. A long speech was given by the head of the school and Ram highlighted to all the students that attending classes to learn to read, write and do maths is really quite essential. We hope that this support motivates the children to keep on going to school. School uniforms are also made for these children by the local village tailor. Full report on this will follow shortly.
Late in the day we visited the fourth and last school, also located in the village of Budhasing. Since 2007 we supported this school and therefore it was wonderful to return and to meet everyone. Part of this school has been demolished and is being rebuilt. The second part is still in use, but here too there is hardly anything in the class rooms other than a wooden bench and table. The children neatly lined up to receive the backpack, sandals and writing materials. The sports articles were also a great success and a little boy was a superstar in trying out the hoola-hoop.
In total we were able to support 230 students, young and old, who were all delighted with all the gifts. It was a tiring but truly fantastic day! For full report with photos, visit: https://laxmi-support.com/scholen/schooltassen-sandalen-voor-vier-scholen-nuwakot-2018
Day out with the children of Hopeful Home:
In the second week of our trip we stayed outside Kathmandu in the historic village of Changu Narayan. From here we walked to the children’s home, Hopeful Home, which was a beautiful walk with many things to see. However, the orphanage was much further than we had expected and our girls were quite tired at the end of the day. It was great to see Gopini and the kids again and Anneloes and Juliette quickly made new friends.
We wanted to organize a day out for the children and Gopini suggested to go to the recently opened aviation museum, located in an actual airplane, Airbus 300-330. The visit was a great success and afterwards we treated the kids to pizzas in a restaurant, something they never ever experience. All 20 pizzas were eaten in no-time, even though we completely forgot to put the spicy chili on the table, Nepali kids do not have a meal without it. After the pizzas we crossed the street to visit a beautifully restored historical garden, the ‘Garden of Dreams’. While queing at the entrance we were told that no children were allowed in the garden after 12 o’clock! And there we were with more than 20 children! The manager was called over and after solemnly promising that we would all behave properly, we were allowed to enter the garden, which was full of colourful flowers and exotic trees. The little chipmunks in the trees and in the grass stole the show and spotting tadpoles in the pond was a joy. We finished the day off with an icecream for all children after which it was time to hop back on the bus, which we hired for the day to bring the children back home. Fabulous day and we hope the kids will remember it for a long time! For full report with photos, see: https://laxmi-support.com/kinderhuis-hopeful-home/akties/dagje-uit-with-the-children-2018
New mattresses and bedding for Hopeful Home:
During our visit to the house of Hopeful Home we discussed with Gopini what kind of support was needed. It was not difficult to notice that the mattresses, or actually the blankets filled with cotton, needed to be replaced and the bedding was old and worn. The children sleep in bunk beds, with two or three children per bed. We prepared a list and a few days later we returned to the wholesalers at New Road to purchase all the things together with Gopini. We bought new blankets, mattress covers and also 25 cushions for in the ‘library’, where they make their homework on the cold cemented floor. At least with the cushions it will be so much more comfortable. All the things were loaded into a van and we drove on to Bhaktapur that same afternoon to purchase new mattresses, this time actual real mattrasses! Pillows with pillow cases and last but not least new carpet for the bedrooms, so also here it’s no longer a cold cemented floor. Red colour carpet for the girls and grey for the boys bedroom. As a very last thing, we bought a new iron machine, because Krishna, one of the oldest boys in the house, had told us that theirs was broken. An ironing board was not necessary as the top of a wooden cupboard is used as such. A few days before we had to leave for England, we went back to Hopeful Home for our final visit. The children were so so happy with their new mattress and warm blanket. Sleep well, sweet children! For full report with photos, see: https://laxmi-support.com/kinderhuis-hopeful-home/akties/nieuwe-matrassen-en-beddengoed-2018
Having said it so many times before, I will keep on saying it: all this support cannot be arranged without the generous donations from all our sponsors!! Thank you so very much on behalf of the children of Nuwakot and Hopeful Home and from all of us at Laxmi Support! You brought so much joy to all, if you could only imagine! Check our website for photos and extensive report and follow us on Facebook and spread the word.
Laxmi Support Foundatio