Nepalhilfe Beilngries e.V.

31 Jahre Nepalhilfe Beilngries e.V.

25th anniversary of Nepalhilfe Beilngries – great response for their jubilee action

All the effort in the forerun of the jubilee action for the 25th anniversary seems to have been worth it, which was shown by the great immediate response after the celebration on 18th March. 300 guests from all parts of the republic as well as from Switzerland, Austria and Italy filled the assembly hall of the grammar school Beilngries - among them innumerable donators and benefactors, some of them have been beneficial in various ways since the early beginning of our aid organisation.

A commemorative speech with punchlines and words of thanks

Ralf Petschl, chairman of NHB, led the audience through the history of Nepalhilfe from the early beginning to today. It all started in 1992, when the four police officers Christian Thumann, Manfred Lindner, Karl und Michael Rebele returned home from their trekking tour in Nepal and presented their photos in a slide show in order to raise donations. 2,000 German Mark was the outcome of this first event, which was a motivating and overwhelming result. Just as the high peaks and deep valleys of Nepal, the meanwhile 15 members of NHB have since been on their way with ups and downs. There have been definitely more ups than downs and that’s how they can be proud of 10 million Euro donated by an uncountable number of supporters, almost 150 fund-raisers by renowned mountaineers and cabaret artists, arranged bazaars and calendar sales.

This money has been invested into 28 schools, which have since been attended by 20,000 pupils, into Shaligram Children’s Home, which is home to presently 43 children, or into the support of various hospitals, for instance the Siddhi Memorial Hospital in Bhaktapur. Not completing the entire list of projects, Petschl additionally mentioned the fire brigade and ambulance vehicles delivered from Germany and India, the water supply projects and the construction of a school kitchen.

However, everything started with jumping on bandwagons, like the dispensary of the Bir-Hospital in Kathmandu or the charity school of the Mary Ward Sisters in Patan. Thus financial and material support was guaranteed for them. Nevertheless, NHB’s main aim has always been an independent organisation, which Karl Rebele, who used to be chairman and think-tank until his resignation in 2009, managed to pursue. This fundamental idea of independence has since been intensified and pursued by all members, including their friends of the Austrian section Lichtenegg/Burgenland.

Petschl broached the issue of the earth quake of April 2015 and its enormous tragic aftermath in his speech, of course. The overwhelming response of the German population and their generosity made it possible for the NHB to coordinate first emergency measures within short time. Nevertheless, it will take some more years to reach the status quo of the days before the natural disaster.

Words of thanks from Nepal and the deputy mayor

Shyam Dhaubadel, manager of Siddhi Memorial Hospital in Bhaktapur, emphasised the importance of the financial support of NHB for his institution and therefore for all the mothers and children as well as all for the residents of the neighbouring elderly home. NHB has become a reliable partner for him and his employees over the years.

Sunil Shrestha, who has always been the linchpin from the early days on, held his speech in German, which caused long applause by the audience – especially when he said he would take his hat off to the hard work NHB members have been doing, and when he was lifting his topi – the traditional Nepali headgear – at the same time. Doing so, he showed his and his fellow people’s deep thanks for the long-lasting and efficient cooperation.

He and his fugleman, Shyam Pandit, originally teacher at the first school built by NHB in Kadambas, came to celebrate the anniversary with their wives. The guests from Nepal who were all wearing traditional clothes had brought along a special surprise in the form of medals with which they decorated each member of Nepalhilfe Beilngries and Lichtenegg. The female members also received each a nice woven scarf, whereas the male members were presented a topi. The honoured party was obviously highly pleased about this surprise.

An envoy of the municipality, deputy mayor Mr Anton Grad, also attended the festivity and thanked the organization for their commitment. He emphasised the found-raiser events, no matter slide-shows by adventurers or evenings with cabaret artists, which enriched the cultural programme and made the town itself well-known over regional boundaries, even partly in Germany. He handed over a donation cheque and wished the members of NHB to go on with the same impetus and success in the future.

Bridge builder Buddhi Maya Sherpa

Buddhi Maya Sherpa from Klagenfurt was invited to come to Beilngries to convey an impression of Nepal to the audience. Her presentation about a life between two cultures, held in a Styrian dialect, showed the facets of her spare life with her parents and siblings at the foot of Mount Everest and her growing-up in Austria with her adoptive father, and enthused the audience. Her speech reflected various experiences of her very own, but also the fact that ambition and hard work often lead to achieving ambitious aims. She, as a successful entrepreneur and first female Nepali trekking guide, would know how to reach targets.

In the end she mentioned that she was also indebted to NHB as five children of her home region found a new safe home in Shaligram Children’s home. 

Renowned mountaineers as guests

The presence of world-known and famous mountaineers like Gerlinde Kaltenbrunner, Ralf Dujmovits und Hans Kammerlander made the jubilee event even more special. They all have been good friends with NHB and generous supporters for many years, as well as providing photos for our calendar or being coordinator to further benefactors. A meeting of such extraordinary mountaineers - Sigi und Gabi Hupfauer also need to be mentioned here – won’t happen again for a long time. Jürgen Winkler – famous mountaineer and outstanding photographer - may not be forgotten in this list, as he provided the photos for the calendar for many years.

Ernst Vogt, manager of the editorial department “hiking and climbing” of the Bavarian broadcast, gave a very satisfying feedback as for him the evening was entertaining and worthy of this kind of jubilee. Being impressed by the cheerful atmosphere of the evening, he gave high compliments for the organization.

If all other guests also went home with such a positive feeling, the organizers could call it a successful jubilee action.