Nepalhilfe Beilngries e.V.

31 Jahre Nepalhilfe Beilngries e.V.
deutschenglisch

30 years Nepalhilfe Beilngries e.V.

A journey to Nepal and what grew out of it

The first charity event in 1992: from left to right Michael and Karl Rebele, Michl Dacher, Christian Thumann, Manfred
The first charity event in 1992: from left to right Michael and Karl Rebele, Michl Dacher, Christian Thumann, Manfred
f.l.t.r.: Claudia und Christian Thumann, Ralf Petschl, Michael Rebele, Manfred Lindner
f.l.t.r.: Claudia und Christian Thumann, Ralf Petschl, Michael Rebele, Manfred Lindner
Calendars and their image donors: from left to right Werner Eisenhofer, Hans Kammerlander, Ralf Petschl
Calendars and their image donors: from left to right Werner Eisenhofer, Hans Kammerlander, Ralf Petschl
A flagship for years - the Shaligram Children's House
A flagship for years - the Shaligram Children's House
Presentation of a cheque for a new rescue vehicle by Claudia Thumann (second from right) and Michaela Rebele
Presentation of a cheque for a new rescue vehicle by Claudia Thumann (second from right) and Michaela Rebele
Start of school at the Gyan Mandir Higher Secondary School of Mailchaur
Start of school at the Gyan Mandir Higher Secondary School of Mailchaur
View into the computer room at one of the schools
View into the computer room at one of the schools
The first of the schools - the Michl Dacher School in Kadambas
The first of the schools - the Michl Dacher School in Kadambas
The new day care center in Lubhu
The new day care center in Lubhu

"Nepal - Land in the shadow of the Himalayas" was the title of a special "trekking tour" started by four police officers from Beilngries and Regensburg on March 11, 1992. The goal was not the scenic and cultural sights, but the improvement of the living conditions of the people of the country, which Christian Thumann, Manfred Lindner, and Karl and Michael Rebele had visited in 1990. What started out as a vacation trip has now turned into a three-decade commitment to education and health in one of the poorest countries in the world. 

Together with their wives and a handful of close friends, the four founded the "Nepalhilfe Beilngries e.V." in March 1992, embarking on a journey they did not know would bring challenges, highlights and setbacks. It was worth it, that should be mentioned here.

After the provider of ideas and motor, Karl Rebele, retired in the fall of 2009, Ralf Petschl led the association as first chairman for more than 12 years.  Manfred Lindner succeeded him at the turn of the year 2022. Michael Rebele acts as secretary and coordinates public relations. Claudia Thumann has held the office of financial administrator for 30 years. She is assisted by Helene Pfaller and Michaela Rebele as treasurers. Over the years, new helpers and employees have joined the organization, which currently consists of 17 members. Reinforcement and financial support have been provided for almost 20 years by the friends around the  team of Erwin and Max Stix, from Lichtenegg in Lower Austria. 

In the beginning there was a donation check

Manfred Lindner had a check for 3.000 German marks with him when he travelled to Nepal a few months later and presented it to the school for the poor run by the nuns of the "English Misses" in Kathmandu. He also carried medical equipment and medicines for the pharmacy for the poor at Bir Hospital. All the addressees had contact persons from Bavaria, which made it much easier to establish contact.  The first step was taken, and many more were to follow.  The first step was the construction of the Michl-Dacher-School in Kadambas, 80 km northeast of Kathmandu, which was opened in 1995.  No one would have thought at that time that another 27 would follow, in which about 9,200 children are currently being taught. 

It’s  well known, the realization of all the measures tackled has many fathers. The four police officers used the prestige of their profession to find supporters for their social commitment everywhere. Added to this were the efforts of many helpers in the background, who were always available as reinforcements. What significance would the efforts have in this country if there were not also motivated and reliable partners at the other end. Like Sunil Shrestha and Shyam Pandit, who have been the coordinators of Nepalhilfe on the ground since day one. 

It would go beyond the scope of this report to list all the other projects. For example, the Shaligram children's home not far from Kathmandu, the modernization of hospitals or the recently completed day care center for people with mental or physical disabilities. In all construction projects, care is taken to ensure that the community contributes adequately to the project, which contributes to its appreciation and thus to its continued existence. Another mosaic stone is the granting of scholarships, such as for Sabina Parachuli, who now works as an ophthalmologist in remote western Nepal. Projects ranging from improving the water supply to supplying fire and rescue vehicles or buying them locally also fall into this category. Often these were challenging actions that took up time and nerves.

For many years, the daily business has included the transport of high-quality relief supplies from Germany to Nepal. Nearly three tons have been packed in duffel bags by Nepalese travelers over the years, free of charge. Sometimes a Sisyphean task, the reward of which is only received when one can look into the faces of the recipients on site.

The solid financial security and the view beyond one's own nose also make it possible to financially support facilities of other aid organizations, such as the German-Nepalese Aid Association (DNHG) from Stuttgart.

For more information on the diverse relief projects and activities now scattered throughout the country, interested parties can find it here on our website.

Earthquake and corona pandemic 

The severe earthquake in April 2015 left some of the school buildings of Nepalhilfe Beilngries with enormous damage. Fourteen of them were completely or partially destroyed. At a cost of nearly two million Euro, it was possible to renovate or rebuild them by October 2019. Immediately after this catastrophe, the association had provided 320,000 euros as emergency aid to procure food, tents, clothing and medicine for people who were particularly hard hit. 

Nepal was not spared from the corona pandemic.  It spilled over the border from India and the "delta virus" spread rapidly with serious consequences. The health system, which was not very resilient, collapsed. Nepalhilfe Beilngries provided 110.000 Euro to improve basic medical care. This was done with the aim of supporting the poorest parts of the population in particular.

Donations and own initiatives

All these achievements were made possible by the contributions of countless donors. Their motives are manifold. But they are united in their goal to realize the aid projects. What all supporters certainly have in common is their conviction regarding the seriousness and transparency of the association. All donations received will be used in full for the project work.

Also within the association one was anxious from the outset to fill the donation account. Ingenuity and personal initiative were and are the essential points to arouse interest. With the presentation of their travel report, the policemen collected money at nearly 200 events and offered handicraft products from Nepal. A little later, the sale of calendars was added. To this day, it is an essential part of the association's budget. The success of the association is certainly due in part to the renowned photographers from the alpine scene, such as Hans Kammerlander and Gerlinde Kaltenbrunner. 

In addition, there are the proceeds from 168 charity events in Beilngries, for example with those same alpinists. The first of these was the high-altitude mountaineer Michl Dacher from Peiting. In addition, well-known representatives from the cabaret and music scene also came to Beilngries. Their list reads like the "who's who" of the cultural field. From Gerhard Polt, Bruno Jonas and Josef Hader to the EAV, STS or the Trientiner Bergsteigerchor and the Regensburger Domspatzen the pallet reaches.

The flow of donations over three decades is considerable. Almost 16 million Euro have been collected in this way. It is important to pause and express our gratitude to all those who have contributed to this.

Outlook from retirement

The three police officers are now retired. Some of the other members have also left professional life behind them.  In their spare time, which has now increased, efforts to realize new aid projects in Nepal continue to play an important role. For example, a passive solar house is currently being built in remote Dolpo and a district hospital in Terai in southern Nepal.  Further projects are on the waiting list. The focus is increasingly on the health sector, although school facilities are not being ignored.

This is only possible with a solid financial basis. And in order to be able to realize this, the members of the Beilngries aid organization continue to hope for support from the population.