Dear friends and sponsors,
Nepalhilfe Beilngries is looking back of 23 years of social work in the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal. Coming out from a small plant it grows wit h your help to a strong tree which gives many people safety and help. Starting with school projects we are supporting or creating now social projects in different ways like the Siddhi Memorial Children Hospi tal in Bhaktapur, the dispensary for poor people, located in the Bir Hospital in Kathmanu, buying ambulance cars, building a home for elderly people and other projects.
Changes for the country in the shadow of the Himalaya
Much has changed in Nepal, one of the ten poorest countries in the world, since November 1990, when four policemen (Kar l and Michael Rebele, Christian Thuman and Manfred Lindner) started their trekking tour around the eight-thousander Annapurna. Unfortuanately, it hasn’t changed much enough to solve the country’s major problems or to enhance the living conditions considerably.
Nepal used to be a constitutional monarchy – the only Hindu-kingdom in the world. Today it is a parlamentary democracy with a variety of parties, including the Maoist Party, which has brought about the king’s abdication in 2008 by a ten-year-lasting guerilla war. In 2001, a large part of the former royal family of King Birendra was murdered by his own son. Conditions like in the Weimar Republic, the ever present corruption, the incompetence of many politicians, and the current finance crisis lead the country to the rim of state bankrupt.
The population rose from about 21 million in 1990 to an estimated 30 million in 2009.
In contrast to 1990, when you could only phone to Germany with difficulties and only for an enormous tarif of 7 DM a minute, the internet is as common as in Europe today – at least in the bigger cities. Furthermore, an operative mobile phone network has been set up in the last couple of years.
The so called tuk-tuk-taxis, which are vehicles with a twin-stroke enginge and which were therefore very stinky and pol luting, were abolished in 2006. Thus, the quality of air has improved a lot in Kathmandu.
There would be much more to report about Nepal’s positive achievements of the last twenty years, but – unfortunately – there are even more negative things which haven’t changed, which seems in no way comprehensible for any European.
Especially medical care is mostly only rudimentarily established. Hospitals and places with an ambulance can often be r eached only by a day’s foot march. Even in Kathmandu, adequated medicine, consultations or a stay in a hospital are not a matter of course.
The provision with basic educational supplies hasn’t been enhanced considerably since our first travel to this country.
Four policemen returned home from a travel in 1990, bearing in mind the memories of a country which had impressed them by its friendly and lovely people on the one hand, and by its pure poverty and state of underdevelopement on the other hand.
While they were trekking around the Annapurna, they already decided to make up a slide show presentation which they wan ted to show to their colleagues and friends in order to raise money for projects in Nepal.
Two years later, in 1992, Manfred Lindner and his wife Helga travelled to Nepal to hand over 3,000 DM, which they had c ollected till then. They donated it to the Mary Ward Sisters to support their charity school.
Karl Rebele met the German-speaking Nepali Rajendra Giri on a further travel. The number of members of the organization had increased to 15 by then; we were very motivated to keep our fund raising up in order to build our first school in the village of our new friend Rajednra Giri. According to our motto “Help for those who help t hemselves”, we built the school from 1993 to 1995 in Kadambas, a village 80 km east of Kathmandu. The NHB-school could be ceremonially opened by the German ambassador and the Nepali Secretary of Education in April 1995. There are twelve classes with more than 600 pupils. More than 7,000 pupils have attended this school so far and more than 800 pupils have done their GCSE there.
Five members of NHB travelled to Nepal in January 2010 to visit their projects in the surrounding area of Kadambas, to make sure everything is in order, and to start organizing new projects.
We have opened 22 schools so far, every type of school from a 3-grade primary school of 120 pupils to a 12-grade second ary high school of 800 pupils. The largest school in 2011 was opended with up to 1,000 pupils in Dadikot. In the same year the school for the blind in Chautara was opened, a novelty in this area.
Not only do we specialize in the educational sector, but we have also become active in the health sector for many years . We financed a three-story annexe including a modern operating theatre of the existing Siddhi-Memorial-Hospital, the women and children hospital in Bhaktapur near Kathmandu. Moreover, NHB also funds the biggest c harity pharmacy in Kathmandu up to fifty percent (see projects)
However, the core of our projects is and will be Shaligram Bal Griha children’s home, which we built in a suburb of Kat hmandu, in Lubhu. With 39 orphans living there, the available capacity has nearly been taken. Our children have found a new home in Lubhu since 2001. Twelve of them have already left the children’s home because they have come of age. With the help of NHB they are working in different jobs in Kathmandu. Our latest newcomers are three and four years old, so they have many years (until they are 18) in our children’s home to get prepared for the rough life in Nepal by a good school education and by teaching them important social skills.