Currently the Nepalese media is mainly concerned with the impending
municipal elections, which have been put into question by the insurgent
Madhesis in the South of the country. For a long time, they have been
demanding, that their region is to become autonomous and that Nepal
should be made a federal state. They are constantly complaining that
their requests have been widely ignored. Most of the time, workers strikes
and street blockages are to be expected, which continue to slow down
the nation and make Kathmandu appear like a ghost town.
Waking up one morning, one finds an abnormal silence: no sounds of cars,
only conversations and the sounds of cooking are heard in the neighbouring
houses. Everyone knows right then, that another mandatory strike was
called. If you ask, who was responsible for it, no one will be able
to give you an answer. Slowly the radio and television will then clarify
further details, and people will be prepared to stay home, as they will
not be allowed to drive anywhere. That schools and factories are now
shut down seems like a gift, and no one seems alarmed to be living in
a nation where any group or organization can call out a state of emergency
at any time, without the government being able to intervene.
Only very few Nepalese people actually know what is going on in the
country: "Politicians are all corrupt anyway", is the way
most people think. No one is interested in the political climate: Even
our employees typically have no idea who the newest prime minister is.
Unfortunately, it is not only the politicians who are corrupt, but also
most of the Nepalese community. Those individuals who are successful
in what they do, only hire members of his or her family or caste. This
prevents individuals from the "lower" castes from getting
a job, since it appears impossible for them to break the system of hierarchy.
The frequent change of government adds an additional chaos, through
which most people are at war, in order to defend their share of the
power and money. The result is, that those who succeed in receiving
a decent education, emigrate to the United States or Australia. The
poorer ones have no choice, but to sell themselves to the Gulf States
as cheap labor.
At the same time, the cost of living continues to rise, so that Kathmandu
has become the third most expensive city in South East Asia, as it is
more expensive than New Delhi or Karachi. The prices for simple staple
foods are so high, that a healthy diet is not possible for most people.
Sumitra, a young women from our former children's home, was found naked
in the streets 20 years ago. She had been left by her parents, because
she was a girl and it was not cost-efficient for them to feed her. Today,
she works as a nurse. Last March she insisted to finally invite us to
dinner in order to show her gratitude. Her husband is a truck driver
and they have a five-year old girl, Dolma, who is enrolled in school.
He earns 240 € a month to add to Sumitra's 75 €. And exactly
75€, an entire month worth of work, is what she had to pay in order
to pay for us to have a normal meal of water buffalo, vegetables and
rice. Who would be able to feel comfortable during such a dinner invitation?
The small family lives in a tiny room without access to running water.
In this room, they cook on the floor, and the family of three shares
the only toilet in the house with 25 other people. Most Nepalese people
live like this in Kathmandu. It is not the case, that our other former
children from "Children's World" who are better off today,
would support their brothers and sisters in need.
Everyone lives and fends for themselves, not interested in how others
are doing. This is typical for the merciless and egoistical cohabitation
of the inhabitants of Kathmandu. Untouched by this, we continue the
work of the Kinderhilfe Nepal relentlessly. In May, the new school year
begins, and we will send new children from the three slums that we support,
to begin school. In the meantime, our organization is covering the costs
of education for 200 children. Muna and Sushma have repeatedly assured
us, that the schooling has occurred on a regular basis.
Nevertheless, the Maute children have a tendency of skipping school,
because their parents are convinced that their traditional rituals and
celebrations are more important than their lessons. The survivors of
the big earthquake are still waiting for financial help and are still
living under plastic sheets and corrugated iron.
The 20 families from Mudhku that, due to your support, were lucky enough
to receive an earthquake proof home, live under better conditions today
than they did before the earthquake. The chance to live in a proper
home, has given them a better, more hygienic life. Muna's engagement
and the improved living conditions has turned the children of Mudhku
into healthier and more groomed children than they were before.
We gave them the necessary materials to give them a good start into
the new school year. Furthermore, the Maute nomads that we support,
stayed in Kathmandu this year. Hence, we gave them mosquito nets in
order to keep them safe from dengue-fever and malaria during the rainy
season. For financial reasons, we have only been able to give our vitamin
and mineral rich milk pudding only to children under the age of 10 years
old. The potable water that we bring to slums in trucks has become more
and more expensive as it is brought in from the outskirts of Kathmandu.
No one in the capital has running water in their home. The water is
bought and filled into large cisterns that need to be refilled regularly.
Only wealthy people can afford that habit. The sewage and with it the
human excrements from the 1.5 million inhabitants of the metropolis,
lands directly in the rivers of the Kathmandu valley where it contaminates
Under the prevailing circumstances, our project is doing the best of
its abilities. With many thanks to you, the children are offered clean
potable water and the necessary vitamins and minerals to develop both
physically and spiritually. This is most certainly the most meaningful
work of our support in Nepal, because only fully developed children
will succeed in school. Our full gratitude goes to all of you who have
made that support possible.