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In eigener Sache
Um eine reibungslose Zusendung von Spendenquittungen zu gewährleisten, bitten wir die Spender folgendes zu beachten:
- Für Spenden bis 200,– € genügt der Einzahlungsbeleg zur Vorlage beim Finanzamt
- Komplette Anschrift auf dem Überweisungsträger angeben
Für Ihre Mithilfe sind wir Ihnen sehr dankbar.
Bitte vergessen Sie nicht, dass wir alle berufstätig sind und ehrenamtlich für die Nepalhilfe Beilngries arbeiten. So können wir die Spendenquittungen nicht sofort ausgestellt werden. Diese werden wir aber auf jeden Fall noch rechtzeitig zu Ihnen senden bevor Sie die Steuer für das laufende Jahr abgeben müssen. Wir bitten um Verständnis.
Folgen des Erdbebens werden beseitigt
Umfassende Bau- und Sanierungsmaßnahmen haben begonnen
Neben tausenden von Toten und Verletzten hat das schwere Erdbeben in Nepal, im April des vergangenen Jahres, auch erhebliche Sachschäden angerichtet. So auch an den Einrichtungen der Nepalhilfe Beilngries. Gerade der Sindhupalchok-Distrikt, in dem zahlreiche Schulen der Hilfsorganisation liegen war davon besonders schwer betroffen.
Wie sowohl die Baugutachten der Behörden als auch die der von der Nepalhilfe selbst beauftragten Ingenieurbüros ergaben, ist es notwendig sechs Schulen neu zu bauen und bei acht weiteren Gebäuden umfangreiche Reparaturmaßnahmen durchzuführen. Die Gesamtkosten dafür werden etwa 900.000 Euro betragen. Nun begannen endlich die ersten Arbeiten dazu. Sie werden zwei bis drei Jahre in Anspruch nehmen. Ein Moment auf den man sehnlichst gewartet hatte.
Bauruine sinnvoll genutzt
Den glücklichen Umstand in einem seit mehreren Jahren brach liegenden Rohbau einziehen zu können nutzte die Gemeinde Sangachok, deren Schule komplett zerstört worden war. Das Gebäude wird nun in wenigen Wochen bezugsfertig sein, dann kann ein Großteil der 500 Schulkinder aus den Provisorien aus Wellblech und Bambus umziehen. Diese werden dann dem neuen zweigeschossigen und aus zwölf Klassenzimmern samt Büro bestehenden Gebäude weichen, das mit 170.000 Euro Bausumme veranschlagt ist. Während die Fachkräfte aus der Kreisstadt Chautara bzw. Kathmandu kommen, werden als Hilfskräfte Männer und Frauen aus Sangachok ihren Beitrag leisten. Im Dezember 2017 soll die Shree Janagrity Higher Secondary School dann fertiggestellt sein und 600 Jungen und Mädchen ein neues schulisches Zuhause bieten.
Auch an dem vierstöckigen und schon fast fertiggestellten Schulgebäude von Sanosiruwari waren durch die schweren Erdstöße massive Schäden entstanden. Die müssen nun durch ein neu eingezogenes Stützkonstrukt behoben werden. Daran arbeitet man derzeit, ehe es mit dem Hochziehen der Innen- und Außenwände weitergeht. Klappt dies alles, so werden im Sommer des kommenden Jahres 400 Kinder endlich in ihre neue Schule einziehen können. 65.000 Euro werden diese Sanierungsmaßnahmen betragen.
Grundsteinlegung zur neuen Schule
Mit der Grundsteinlegung begannen am 25. September 2016 nun auch die Arbeiten zur Neuerrichtung der Shree Setidevi Higher Secondary School in Thulosiurbari, die ebenfalls gänzlich zerstört worden war. Sie war ehedem eine der größten Schulen der Nepalhilfe, maßgeblich mitfinanziert von den Alpinisten Gerlinde Kaltenbrunner und Ralf Dujmovits. Auch hier wird künftig ein zweistöckiges Gebäude mit zwölf Klassenräumen und Verwaltungsbereich entstehen das dann annähernd 600 Kindern samt Lehrkräften nutzen werden. Für die ersten Bauabschnitte sind dazu 100.000 Euro eingeplant. Der annähernd gleiche Betrag wird bis zur völligen Fertigstellung hinzukommen.
Fertiggestellt ist mittlerweile die Sukute Lower Secondary School und der Unterricht läuft bereits wenngleich auch die Farbe an den Wänden noch fehlt. An der kleinen Dorfschule, die 115 Kinder besuchen, waren im Erdgeschoß massive Schäden aufgetreten. 17.000 Euro kostete es diese zu beheben.
Auch am Shaligram Kinderhaus in Lubhu waren durch das Erdbeben Schäden entstanden. Die waren glücklicherweise nur geringfügiger Natur. Neben dem reich verzierten Pavillon stürzten auch Teile der Grundstücksaußenmauer ein. Diese und der komplette Eingangsbereich sind nun wieder vollständig hergestellt. Schließlich soll zum Ende dieses Jahres das 20-jährige Bestehen des Kinderhauses gefeiert werden - dazu putzt man sich natürlich heraus.
Noch ein langer Weg
Vor dem Hintergrund der nun endlich laufenden Arbeiten ist es der Nepalhilfe Beilngries ein Bedürfnis sich bei allen Spendern zu bedanken. Nur durch deren Unterstützung war und ist es möglich die Schritte zum Wiederaufbau in die Wege zu leiten.
Das ist in der Tat noch ein langer Weg, denn auch neue Projekte wollen angepackt werden, wofür weitere Gelder vonnöten sind. Aber jede Wanderung beginnt bekanntermaßen mit dem ersten Schritt.
The first stone is lying
A report by Stefan Nestler
September 2016: Gabi Hupfauer als Volontärin – Authentische Erlebnisberichte
Von Anfang September bis Mitte Oktober arbeitet die 69-jährige Gabi Hupfauer im Kinderhaus. Es war ein lang gehegter Wunsch der Ehefrau des renommierten Extrembergsteigers Siegi Hupfauer, mit dem Sie die Wochen vor ihrem Aufenthalt eine Reisegruppe zum Berg Kailash/Tibet geführt hatte. Gabi Hupfauer stand in ihrer bergsteigerischen Laufbahn, gemeinsam mit ihrem Mann, selbst auf drei Achttausendern. Das Ehepaar lebt im Landkreis Neu-Ulm.
In ihren authentischen Berichten spiegeln sich neben den nüchternen Fakten auch die Emotionen wieder, wie man aus den folgenden Zeilen entnehmen kann:
Namaste, liebe Freunde,
die zweite ereignisreiche Woche ist bereits vorüber und jeden Tag gibt es Neues zu verarbeiten bzw. zu verkraften. Ich glaube, ihr könnt euch die Verhältnisse nicht vorstellen. Armut, Schmutz, Lärm, Gestank, dazwischen aber lächelnde, fröhliche Menschen. Im Vergleich dazu leben wir alle in paradiesischen Verhältnissen, wir wissen es nur nicht immer zu schätzen. In der Fremde merkt man dies ganz gewaltig.
Doch nun zu meinen Erlebnissen: Die landesüblichen Ess- und Tischgewohnheiten in einer Großfamilie machen mir immer noch zu schaffen. Der Speiseplan besteht aus dreimal täglich Reis und ein wenig Gemüse. Aber immerhin zweimal gab es Toastbrot mit Ei gebacken zum Tee u. zweimal ein wenig Fleisch und einmal Jogurt. Das ist dann schon eine Abwechslung. Habe mir dann auch Toastbrot gekauft fürs Frühstück, aber das schmeckt nach Mottenkugeln. Braunbrot gibt es nur in Kathmandu zu kaufen unddas ist ca. 18 km entfernt.
Bin aber schon zweimal in Patan gewesen, das 15 km entfernt liegt. Einmal mit dem Motorroller, das ist mir aber zukünftig doch zu riskant. Der Verkehr und die Straßenverhältnisse sind chaotisch. Das zweite Mal bin ich mit dem Bus gefahren - alt und klapprig, dafür kostete er aber nur ca. 15 Cent. Das ist dann die Abwechslung. Der Lärm u. Gestank in der Stadt ist aber noch größer.
Die Putzarbeiten im Haus wurden fortgesetzt, ein Fass ohne Boden!!
Wäsche wird täglich gewaschen, von jedem der Kinder selbst. Sie sieht dementsprechend aus, natürlich mit kaltem Wasser.
Große Anschaffungen wurden gemacht von den Spendengeldern der Kailash-Gruppe. So u.a. ein Kleiderschrank für das Mädchenzimmer, vom Schreiner nebenan. Der Preis ist hoch mit 220 Euro, Trinkwasserfilter 50 Euro , Putzmittel, Schrubber, Besen und Schaufel, ein Kochtopf für Heißwasser, 5 Neonröhren u. Glühbirnen, Mehrfachadapter für die Steckdosen usw. Das Geld geht ganz heftig hinaus. Das ist aber nur das Notwendigste.
Dann geht das Trinkwasser aus. Es muss telefonisch vorbestellt werden und kommt dann mit dem Tankwagen. 8.000 l kosten ca. 14 Euro.
Der Alteisenhändler schaut auch vorbei und bietet für eine alte Waschmaschine zwei Euro, zertrümmert diese mit einem Hammer, um sie dann per Fahrrad abzutransportieren. Für mich ist hier vieles fast nicht zu begreifen!
Die mitgebrachte, gespendete Nähmaschine ist im Dauereinsatz. Hosen kürzen, Kleider umnaähen und unendlich viele offenen Nähte und Löcher flicken. Die Mädchen selbst wollen auch nähen, aber da müssen wir noch viel üben.
In Hof und Garten wurden Wege aus Ziegelsteinen von der eingefallenen Gartenmauer gelegt.
Der Höhepunkt war am vergangenen Samstag der Besuch des Zoos in Kathmandu. Mit neun Kindern sind wir mit dem Bus hingefahren. Die vielen Tiere, einschl. Tiger, Leopard u. Elefant waren für alle ein großes Erlebnis. Besonders die 19-jährige Haushaltshilfe Sapana freute sich besonders. Sie lebt erst seit fünf Monaten hier und hat diese Tiere noch nie zuvor gesehen. Zum Abschluss gab‘s für alle ein Eis. Dafür mussten sie eine Teilstrecke des Heimweges zu Fuß gehen. Bei der Heimfahrt schliefen die Kleineren dann gleich fest im Bus ein und mussten zum Ausstieg geweckt werden.
Es wird hier nicht langweilig, die Rasselbande hält eine ganz schön auf Trab.
Nepali doctor trainee at hospital in Wörth/Danube –returning home with rich experiences
Sabina Parajuli will return home to Nepal at the beginning of September after three months of staying in Bavaria and being a trainee at the hospital in Wörth/Danube. All this was made possible by the financial support of Nepalhilfe Beilngries and the professional care of the responsible hospital staff members, especially the head physician in internal medicine and cardiology, Dr Christoph von Eisenhart-Rothe.
Everything began many years before and developed perfectly well. In 2008 Padam Prasad Parajuli, headmaster of Higher Secondary School in Sangachok (one of the NHB schools), pled the aid organization to finance his daughter’s medical studies. The agreement to this support still seems to have been the right decision as Sabina’s professional career shows. Today she is 26 years old and graduated from Tribhuvan University of Kathmandu in April 2014.
As the Nepali government had also given the young doctor a scholarship, she had to commit herself in working in deprived mountain areas of Nepal the following two years. She has never lost her personal aim out of sight of being a cardiologist one day – not even during the time of the heavy earth quake in April 2015 when her parents’ house, her school and the hospital in Chautara was destroyed.
But how did it come that Sabina got this three-months traineeship in Bavaria? Dr von Eisenhart-Rothe made this fortunate coincidence possible by his love for Nepal and his bounds to the Nepalhilfe Beilngries. The 55-year-old physician and his spouse Dr Irmgard Sieber met Sabina in Kathmandu in February 2016 and they arranged the young physician’s stay in Wörth/Danube for the following June.
Hospitating physicians from Nepal are not very unusual there as the medical director, Dr Wolfgang Sieber, has been having close bounds to the Himalaya state for several years. Dr von Eisenhart-Rothe and some more clinic members taught the industrious and ambitious physician first steps in cardiology.
After a one week ECG course, she started her training in sonography of the heart, the echocardiography. Step by step Sabina was taught the diverse diseases of the cardiac muscle and valve. After two months she was able to bring the ECG-finding in line with the patients’ medical condition. Moreover, she assisted the head physician in his cardiac catheter examinations.
The young woman from Sindhupalchok District made a great variety of new experiences on her stay in Germany in every way. Special was not only the high standard of clinic equipment and infrastructure, but also comforts of daily life, such as permanent power and water (even cold and warm) supplies.
Sightseeing tours to Munich, Vienna, Bregenz and Sanct Gallen, as well as mountain hikes contributed to a perfect work-life-balance. She also enjoyed her visits to Beilngries, where she surprised the Bavarian prime minister with a German sentence “My name is Sabina Parajuli and I come from Nepal”. Sabina visited the Nepal temple which lies close to Wörth several times to meet fellow countrymen and to feel close to home in times of homesickness. Her free-time activities will stay in her mind for a long time as well as her medical experiences at the hospital.
Sabina plans to come back one day and start her studies to become a cardiologist. That will be a long way, but Dr von Eisenhart-Rothe is sure she will manage this as she is a good physician. Her curriculum vita shows that she is ambitious enough to reach her aims. NHB will keep supporting her financially provided she practises her medical knowledge in Nepal and for the profit of the people and Nepal.
First pupils to learn in a proper school building
During his visit in July 2015, close to the old, but destroyed school building, the school committee showed Manfred Lindner a shell of an unfinished building, whose construction hadn’t been continued due to the lack of financial means on the part of the Nepali government. Manfred Lindner had the idea of buying the unfinished governmental college and finishing the building to turn it in a school with ten classrooms.
At the beginning of 2016, as soon as the municipality of Sangachok had got the official allowance to take over the unfinished shell as well as a construction engineer had inspected it and given the green light, construction workers could start continuing working on the unfinished building and turning it into a school. Walls were set up and the area in front of the school building was also fixed. Doors and windows were installed and so the school is ready for 450 pupils of grades 8 – 12. The pupils will move in in August 2016 and so their time in provisional housing made of bamboo will end.
The reconstruction of the destroyed school on the former premises is planned for 2017.
… go! Not only the Olympia athletics in Rio de Janeiro are waiting for this start sign, but also the people in Thuloirubari are in the starting blocks. Only a few days to go and the construction work for the new school building are about to start in the small Nepali village in Sindhupalchowk District.
A report by Stefan Nestler
Finally some progress in reconstruction!
Certainly, donators as well as the members of NHB themselves have long waited for some pictures from Nepal. Despite the available donations, the Nepali government prevented the reconstruction for more than a year as they took 13 months to make new governmental building regulations. In these 13 months of standstill no public nor private building could be repaired nor reconstructed. What a sign of inability and indifference on part of the government! And when finally the green light was set for reconstruction, the monsoon started – this year with especially heavy rain – and the construction work had to be stopped again.
The first 50,000€ of donations could be transferred for the reconstruction of the schools in Sukute and Kadambas. The NHB was generously supported by the foundation of the company VPI from Neuburg/Danube. Reconstruction work should be finished by the beginning of 2017, so that pupils in Sukute will be able to move into their new school building. In Kadambas the earth quake spared only the new building. The small damages can be fixed and six classrooms can be used from the beginning of 2017. The reconstruction of the old school, which was completely destroyed, is planned for 2018.
Hans Kammerlander visiting Kathmandu
Hans Kammerlander visited Nepal once again after quite a long break. He showed much interest and spent much time visiting three different institutions in Lhubu: Shaligram Bal Griha, our farming land and Shree Setidevi Higher Secondary School, which he himself founded in 2004 and which is one of three schools named after him.
He was very relieved to see these three institutions in a relative good condition after the earth quakes last year. All of these were only slightly damaged and the necessary extensions of the school building could be continued. However, it was not satisfying that the water supplies at school were still not working properly and therefore the hygiene at the sanitary facilities was suffering. Kammerlander showed himself immensely impressed on his tour through the farming land, seeing the biogas plant and the results of agricultural growing a diverse variety of plants. This shows the high motivation and commitment the farming staff invests working exemplary. The children and leading staff welcomed the guest heartily and showed their enourmous gratitude.
Hans Kammerlander was welcomed and accompanied by Sunil Krishna Shrestha, the Country Director of NHB, who took much time to show the visitors around.
The famous mountaineer came together with a group of trekking tourists who had rounded Manaslu (8,163 m) and passed the Larkya-La-Pass (5,220 m) the previous two weeks. All group members were deeply impressed of the commitment of the NHB and of the friendliness and lust for life of the people in Nepal.
Author: Siegfried Butz, Management Hans Kammerlander – Germany – May 2016
Mitschnitt radioWelt am Abend, Bayern 2 vom 25.04.16
Der Wiederaufbau - Nepal ein Jahr nach dem Erdbeben, Autor Ruslan Amirov
Proceeds of donated dental gold
A very extraordinary request reached us in spring 2015. A dental surgery from the Hessian administrative district of Darmstadt-Dieburg intended to donate the proceeds of the sale of their patients’ donated dental gold. A patient had called the attention of Marc Ohle, the owner of the dental surgery, to our organization.
Then he started his collection project, during which he collected dental gold and old gold from patients in donation boxes set out on the reception desk. 1822.52 Euro was the proceeds of his campaign – a real success. There had already been a great variety of different fund raising campaigns, but this one was unprecedented and very special. Thousand thanks to Marc Ohle and the unknown patients who zuset the ball rolling.
New Project – NHB funds a small orphanage
The NHB has started to financially support a small orphanage in Sunakothi, a village 10 km south of Kathmandu. A former volunteer initiated this bond in January 2015. Supporting other people’s project isn’t something new for NHB, in the contrary, it all started like this more than twenty years ago with the Mary Ward charity school or the charity pharmacy of the Bir Hospital run by the German-Nepali Aid Organization Stuttgart (DNH). Many things have changed as is known, especially concerning the NHB’s own projects.
No matter how big NHB’s own projects have become, the named projects of other organizations have always received the same – party significantly high – financial support. Even more projects, like the Siddhi Memorial Hospital in Bhaktapur or the Midpoint Hospital in Nawalparasi, have been added to the list during the last couple of years. This is only made possible by the generous donations and the responsible dealing with the trusted money.
From a student and travel guide to an „orphanage mother“
Back to the small orphanage, the Child Help Education Fund (CHEF):
Seven boys and girls aged between five and sixteen are living at the orphanage which Lila Devi and her brother Oman founded in 2011 as a non-governmental organization (NGO), so the government doesn’t support this project financially. Lila Devi, 27 years then, used to work at a trekking tourist office in Kathmandu and her wage together with some donations from tourists formed the basis of her project. She finished her studies with a master in sociology at the Tribhuvan University of Kathmandu and married last year. Her husband, who studies medicine, also cares for the children of the orphanage. Lila’s brother Oman has left the country to gain his family’s means of subsistence abroad.
The CHEF lies on the ground floor of a three-story residential building. The children come from the district of Myagdi, which is well-known to tourists who trek through the Kali Gankaki valley between Dhaulagiri and Annapurna. All the children share the same social background like illiteracy of their parents, many siblings, no income, diseases or death of the bread-earner.
Postponed is not abandoned
The request of the volunteer was pushed into the background by the earth quake last April, but has never been forgotten. Some local coordinators visited CHEF again and again and in the end Ralf Petschl, the chairman of the NHB together with his wife Ingrid in February 2016. It has been decided that the orphanage will receive 8,000 Euro annually for the next five years, which will be sufficient for its running costs. Moreover, the children have already been provided with clothes, shoes, sanitary articles and school material taken from the fund of the Shaligram children’s home. This provision will be kept in regular intervals.
Living in a constricted room
The children sleep in two small rooms, one for the boys and one for the girls. Lila Devi sleeps in the dorm with the girls and her husband Raj Sunar in the other one with the boys. The married couple doesn’t own any separate rooms. For the chores, Lila gets help from Sabin, a sixteen-year-old who lived with his grandmother until she died. In addition, there is Emse, a 13-year-old girl, who is a very good chef and who wants to become a nurse one day.
Looking for a volunteer
Lila Devi keeps looking for volunteers who want to live and work at her small orphanage for at least two months. The volunteers will have the privilege of having their own room.
Anybody interested can contact us via firstname.lastname@example.org.
Bavarian politicians visit NHB children’s home – in their luggage some relief
This year the world women’s conference took place in Nepal’s capital Kathmandu from 13th to 18th March. The participants from Bavaria also visited the Shaligram children’s home, which is located in Lubhu only some miles away from the big city.
The politicians from Eichstätt, Augsburg and Ebersberg used this occasion to visit the forty girls and boys of the NHB main project together with Sunil Shrestha, the coordinator of the aid organization. Tanja Schorer-Dremel (CSU) and Eva Gottstein (FW) as well as Dr. Simone Strohmayr (SPD) from Augsburg and Johanna Mühlfeld (ÖDP) from Ebersberg, they all had heavy luggage, namely six kitbags packed with brand-new blue children’s trekking shoes which were sponsored by LOWA and brought to Nepal as free allowance. This amount of shoes even allows the provision of some more children at the local schools and some other people affected by the earth quake. Besides that, the visitors had bought 270 kg food, e.g. rice, lentils and beans, from their own means. That’s enough to cook the national dish Dal Baht for several weeks. Of course, the children were more interested in the sweets the women brought from Germany.
Sunil Shrestha and the manager of the children’s home, Radhika Singh Maharjan, welcomed the guests from Bavaria together with the children. Two volunteers from Munich who were working at schools and at Shaligram for several months also made the guests feel home.
During their tour through the house and the property itself, the politicians were very flabbergasted by the biogas plant, the photovoltaic and the solar panels and thus by the environmentally sustainability of the institution itself. After they had signed the visitors’ book, the politicians said goodbye with a song – the Bavarian anthem.
Visits like this are always a good moment for NHB to show transparency about its work. Nothing is more revealing than getting an immediate insight on the ground, just like the Bavarian group did. These contacts are very important for the organisation’s found-raising in Beilngries and in whole Germany.
At this point we would like to thank everybody who travelled to Nepal and took reliefs with them in their free allowance. Without their energetic commitment it wouldn’t be possible to support the people in Nepal in the way we are able to do it. Thanks!
Still no light at the end of the tunnel
A report by Stefan Nestler
“We are ready” in Thulosirubari
A report by Stefan Nestler
The reconstruction has started …
…at least in Sangachok, where the entire school building had to be levelled. Within walking distance of the former school, the government had already intended to erect a college in 2013, construction had started with the brickwork complete but stalled due to lack of money. During his visit in July 2015, Manfred Lindner inspected the partially complete building and decided to find out whether it could be completed to be used as the new school.
After some negotiations with the community of Sangachok about the usage of the building, the conveyance of property (land and partially complete building) was fixed. Thanks to the donations of NHB, work on completion of the building will start in March 2016. The ten classrooms will be finished by summer 2016 and the first pupils will move in from their temporary classrooms to their proper school.
By the way: the window and door frames of the old school which were undamaged were taken out of the ruined school and will be used in the new building. As soon as the administrative decision of the government gives the green light we will also start the reconstruction of the Jana Jagriti School.
Just a little song
It is a little song the 16-year-old Suku Maja Lobchen sang for Betina Wanner for her farwell. The German woman used her holiday to play a part in the daily life of our Shaligram children’s home in Lubhu.
During her time there, Betina Wanner was living in the main building of our new nursery, which is cared for by the parents of Suku Maja, who has been blind since her birth. They live there together with their other daughter Sushila, an eleven year old, blind girl. The daily life of the married couple has been planting and growing a great variety of vegetables and caring for pigs, hens and ducks ever since.
Tashi and Kippa Lobchen came here seven years ago with their two blind daughters and their two able-bodied sons from their home village Ramche, which lies far from public infrastructure and which is dear to trekker who love this area – the Langtang Himal.
Since an operation eleven years ago, Suku Maja has been able to notice her environment dimly, which is also true for her sister, whose eye-operation was paid by NHB. Suku Maja has been living at the School for the Blind in Chautara, which was founded by our partners from Lichtenegg. Currently she and all the other inhabitants of the boarding school are housed in a provisionary building because of the severe damage caused by the earth quake.
Suku Maja’s singing skills, which the manager of our children’s home, Radhika Singh Maharjan, calls “hidden treasure”, shall not be kept from our friends and supporters, that’s why they recorded her. It is just a little song and the audio-visual quality could be better, but any one who listens carefully will hear more than that.
Indian-Nepali border open again
The blockade of the Indian-Nepali border came to an end on the 06th Feb 2016. After more than five months, goods have now been able to pass across the border to Nepal again. Importantly fuel, gas and building materials have been able to be delivered since then. An argument which lasted more than five months and which made millions of Nepali suffer finally came to an end.
Apart from the earth quake in April/May 2015, this border blockade was the biggest disaster for Nepal over the last couple of decades, which however hardly was reported of in the media worldwide.
In the next few weeks the price for fuel will normalize again, after people temporarily had to pay up to 3€ a litre. The same goes for cooking gas which was occasionally not available, which forced the population to use wood for cooking and which in turn led to a rise in forest clearance.
You can find further information to this topic here: http://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-news-india/key-india-nepal-border-post-open-trucks-cross-after-5-months/
Positive German – Nepali cooperation
Many people who have ever travelled to Nepal keep returning there. I am among these people. I used to follow the work of NHB now and then until the day that I asked if I could do them a favour. I used the rest of my free allowance to take a kitbag full of LOWA children’s shoes with me to Nepal. These shoes were sponsored by LOWA itself.
Sunil Shrestra, the local coordinator of NHB, took me on a tour which also led us to the district of Sindhupalchok. This region in particular was severely hit by the second earth quake on 12th May 2015. The friendly German-Nepali cooperation has been really positive.
Our tour leads us on a well-constructed (considering Nepali standard) main road from Kathmandu to Tibet. After one hour of bends we turned in Dolalghat to go in the direction of Chautara on a small serpentine road uphill after crossing the river Indravati Nadi. The landscape is densely populated and narrowly terraced. Sometime later the path leads down onto a narrow, macamized road through small villages. Here we can see the extent of the damage from the May earth quake very clearly. There are only ruins of the former houses and most miserable huts have been repaired in a rough-and-read way with some corrugated metal sheets and tarpaulins. The climate of the last couple of months with its monsoon and enormous temperature variations has deteriorated the quality of the plastic material. That’s why the shelters might not be sufficient for the winter nights to come.
Only a few schools without damage
We arrive at Phalante. Here the new LOWA-School was opened only in the previous November. Fortunately, this school was undamaged by the earth quake. About 200 children from the surrounding villages attend this school. The pupils had been expecting our group with Sunil Shrstha and Shyam Pandit, the school construction coordinator. They formed a long queue ordered according to size. Most of them held a Khada, which is a self-made flower necklace of Tagetes or Bougainvillea blossoms and which is said to bring good luck as well as the silk scarves the children to give us as presents - a very moving gesture.
Our SUV is loaded with second-hand clothes for cold days – including the fifty pairs of new LOWA trekking shoes in various children sizes. After we have handed out the shoes we can see some children walking around like storks: Wearing sturdy shoes is a completely new experience for them. Children and parents are happy about new trousers, pullovers or jackets, which Sunil Shrestha has collected either from private people or from shops in Kathmandu. All pupils go back to their classrooms after this exciting event. They wave goodbye smiling happily.
We are welcomed at Ramadevi Secondary School in Harre by children waiting for us with brightly shining eyes and innumerable khadas. Some girls perform dances and receive a round of applause from their schoolmates and the guests. Some boys have prepared a small flag of Nepal made of cardboard, which they hand over with pride.
Education is the Alpha and Omega
Shyam Pandit shows us the damage at several schools and talks about them during our tour. The enormous violence of the earth quake can be seen and felt which leaves us stunned. Only three of the NHB-schools are undamaged while the other fifteen either need significant rehabilitation or a complete reconstruction. This is also true for the school in Chautara with its annexed school for the blind and its 15 children who live there. At the moment they are living in temporary accommodation nearby and are being taught in classrooms in shanties and tarpaulins. In Chautara we also meet the young practitioner Doctor Sabina Parajuli. The 24-year-old is the first to have studied medicine supported by NHB. Today she works at the hospital in Chautara. She welcomes the guests in a very friendly way and introduces herself in perfect English. Her calm and self-confident appearance shows very clearly that she knows what she wants.
Personality is what counts for a country
Sarita Pathak is well-educated and self-confident. The 26-year-old was the first child of the children’s home in Lalitpur. The children’s home was built 23 years ago and was the first project of the NHB. The building itself was spared by the earth quake – with exception of the photovoltaic and the garden wall. Today Sarita Pathak herself has become the boss of the children’s home. 40 children and teens between four and nineteen live here. They are from difficult family backgrounds or have only one parent. Living at the orphanage the children are supposed to stay in contact with their family. Sarita manages the staff of the children’s home and the farming land which supplies the institution. Surva Chimara economizes ecologically and without mineral fertilizer or pesticides. He proudly shows us how he makes compost and what he can harvest in winter, including cauliflower and broccoli.
Reconstruction will take years and many supporters
NHB have made sure that the school and daily life for the children and teens can go back to normal as soon as possible. They know how important education is for young people in Nepal. The reconstruction of the destroyed schools will take time and the support of many people. Indispensable young people like Doctor Sabina Parajuli and Sarita Pathak will become the tower of strength of the country.
Anne Oschwald (Free-lance journalist)
Any kind of support helps the people in Nepal. For example, anyone who travels to Nepal can use their surplus weight of his or her free allowance to take more LOWA children shoes with them. Regular shipping and customs would be disproportionally high.