Nepalhilfe Beilngries e.V.

27 Jahre Nepalhilfe Beilngries e.V.
deutschenglisch

Positive German – Nepali cooperation

The children of the school for the blind are housed in a provisionary accommodation
The children of the school for the blind are housed in a provisionary accommodation
Huts made of tin plates serve as rooms for schooling in Chautara
Huts made of tin plates serve as rooms for schooling in Chautara
Sences of devastation on the way to Chautara
Sences of devastation on the way to Chautara
Warm reception at LOWA-School in Phalate
Warm reception at LOWA-School in Phalate
New LOWA shoes and clothes brought from Germany are necessarily needed and gratefully received
New LOWA shoes and clothes brought from Germany are necessarily needed and gratefully received
New LOWA shoes and clothes brought from Germany are necessarily needed and gratefully received
New LOWA shoes and clothes brought from Germany are necessarily needed and gratefully received
A view inside a classroom of the new LOWA-School
A view inside a classroom of the new LOWA-School
A provisionary classroom at the Jana Bikash Secondary School in Panichaur
A provisionary classroom at the Jana Bikash Secondary School in Panichaur

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)

More information

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. 

www.nepalhilfe-beilngries.de