Nepalhilfe Beilngries e.V.

28 Jahre Nepalhilfe Beilngries e.V.
deutschenglisch

Comprehensive appreciation of conclusion of rehabilitation work on 15 schools

The new school at Sangachok, venue of the conclusion ceremony
The new school at Sangachok, venue of the conclusion ceremony
Chautara school following gutting...
Chautara school following gutting...
... and fully rehabilitated
... and fully rehabilitated
First president Ralf Petschl at the lectern
First president Ralf Petschl at the lectern
Grand reception for the Nepalhilfe Beilngries team
Grand reception for the Nepalhilfe Beilngries team

The massive earthquake of April 2015 also deeply affected Nepalhilfe Beilngries’ schools, totally or partly destroying 15 of them. In the past four years and at a cost of close to two million euros, Nepalhilfe has managed to rebuild the schools. This achievement was the subject of a ceremony at one of the rehabilitated schools on October 31st, 2019. Jana Jagriti Secondary School was the venue that offered an impressive insight to all guests.

Members of Nepalhilfe Beilngries, their friends and supporters were overwhelmed at what had been prepared for the occasion. It began with the sight of the many hundreds of visitors from the surrounding villages clad in their traditional garb. The region was obviously intent on staging an event to be remembered.

Masked dancers from Tibet, dancing groups from Sindhupalchok District’s schools and male singing which reminded the Bavarian’s of their own „Schnadahuepfl“ tradition were further visual and acoustic elements adding glamour to the celebration. Of course, the multi-hour programme also included addresses by government officials. Nepal’s vice prime minister Nada Bahadur Puma, who flew in by helicopter accompanied by bodyguards, led the way, using the opportunity to present their political successes before an unusually large audience. This, too, seemed familiar 

A moving speech 

in his thank-you speech, the vice premier praised the relationship between Bavaria and Nepal, which has been prospering for so long. What started out as a bud in 1992 has since grown into a sizeable tree reaching all the way to south Nepal.. Nepalhilfe’s logo is a reflection of the close and constructive cooperation as it shows clasped hands before a backdrop of towering mountains.

in his speech, Ralf Petschl, First President of the charity, stressed the need to provide young people with access to training and education as the foundation for a successful professional career. This, he said, was what Nepalhilfe Beilngries’ work was about.

Speaking on behalf of her schoolmates, 14-year-old Isha Tamang addressed the guests from Bavaria in German to thank them for Nepalhllfe’s overwhelming contribution and to ask them to continue to bear in mind the needs of its schools and their pupils, concluding with the wish: „May God protect you and everyone who helped us in this great achievement!“ As she uttered these words, tears welled up in many a participant’s eyes.

Subsequently, vice premier Bahadur Pum unveiled a plaque commemorating this very special day. The guests received lucky scarves in different shapes and colours as a token of thanks and mutual respect, following which the high-ranking guest was off again to Kathmandu. No wonder that the local mayor was bursting with pride and joy at this visit: the second-highest government official coming to this village in the mountains!

As the sun went down, the celebration wound up and the newly paved school yard emptied itself. The local visitors returned to their remote villages and farm, certain to remember this day for a long time. This, however, is also true of the visitors from Germany and Austria, who numbered among them high-altitude alpinist Ralf Dujmovits and Cologne-based journalist Stefan Nestler, who had especially contributed to the  rebuilding of Shree Setidevi Seconday School though their „School up“ charity. Another guest was the widow of Rajendra Giri from Kadambas, who passed away in 1999 and whose village is where Michl Dachler School was opened in 1995. Who would then have thought that 20 more such schools would subsequently be built in the region?

Three of them were part of the visitors‘ itinerary for the next day, providing proof that the efforts of the local friends had paid off, such as what Sunil Shrestha and Shyam Pandit, the local contacts, had achieved in Chautara or in Thulosirubari together with the building coordinators. Then, it was time to head back to the capital.

Lean times ahead

The time now is for taking a breath and coordinating the remaining work, with perimeter walls, external areas and especially completing the schools‘ equipment. Taking a breath is also in order because Nepalhilfe Beilngries is a small charity with limited resources that cannot simply conjure up a seven-figure sum. Also, Nepalhilfe is mindful of its ongoing obligations such as the maintenance of the other institutions, among them the Shaligram children’s home and various medical entities.

So consolidation is called for with a view to maintaining a solid foundation. Understandably, Nepalhilfe is seeking donors’ assistance in this, but is also relying on initiatives of its own such as sales of its „Himalaya 2020“ annual calendar or receipts from charity events. It is only following this step that the organisation will consider such projects as construction of a day-care centre for mentally and physically handicapped individuals in Lubhu.