In October and November Nepal is paralyzed: the Nepalese are focussing
on the celebrations and religious festivals happening in that time of
the year. Most inhabitants of Kathmandu spent that time in their homes
far away from the capital city. Kathmandu is deserted and people are
only returning after Dipawli - the festival of lights. On the night
of new moon houses are enlightened and doors are open to invite the
god of Laxmi, who is supposed to bring wealth for the next year.
Due to the fact that no one came to work for four weeks during the celebrations
and religious festivals, streets are crowded with rubbish and dirt,
although it seems as the Nepalese do not mind living in this surroundings.
While local politicians are discussing the future of Nepal to death,
the money of international donors is mainly lining some civil servants'
pockets. Therefore some countries as China try to avoid the corruption
by supporting people directly. Last year China donated 4000 trash cans,
but most of them were stolen almost immediately or they were destroyed
by hoteliers, who burned the rubbish in the cans
Increasing prices make the poorest suffer. Nepalese middle-class family
needs about 650 Euro monthly although well-educated people earn approximately
150 to 300 Euros per month. Most Nepalese earn only 50 to 100 Euros
monthly and that is only by selling their manpower as a carrier for
stones and cement. It is very hard for well-educated people, especially
women, to find a proper job without the payment of a bribe. Applicants
are mostly not successful until they put up to thousands of Euros in
an envelope for their future employer. Although child labour is a crime
in Nepal, butlers are mostly children under 10 years old. They have
no board to pay - which means they get a mattress somewhere to sleep
on. Nepalese who stayed in the countryside can make a living from cattle
and rice cultivation, but those who came to Kathmandu at a venture ended
often in the slums. And that is where we carry on supporting.
The demolition of the slums by the government has stopped right now.
But in the demolished area of the slum Thapatali people are holding
on camping in the cold. We take care of the health of 300 children and
distribute milk pudding with vitamins and minerals among them. This
occurs to be the most effective mission in our project! Additionally
we give away drinking water to the inhabitants. In the slums of Thapatali
and Banshigat -where we still have our kindergarten- and Sinamangal
we handed out winter jackets. In Sinamangal, Sija and Muna are still
advising people with diseases and hand out medical treatments. In addition
to that medical examinations were done this month.
At the moment we take care of a child from the former Children´s
world Dipesh Lopchan, 25. In Septmeber we got notice by his brother
that Dipesh, who worked in a hotel in Goa, was lying in his rooms for
weeks now and cannot afford medical examinations. We arranged a magnetic
resonance tomography (MRT), which showed a malignant tumour. Dipesh
had to be operated otherwise he would have died in a few days. He knows
that his life might be ending soon, but he is in Kathmandu now getting
his chemotherapy. Due to this the tumour can be kept from growing and
Dipesh might enjoy his last months.
In Bhaktapur's cancer hospital near Kathmandu patients are suffering
unbelievably. Indrajit suffers from the same sort of cancer as Dipesh
for two years already. His parents sold -like so many other parents
do- everything they had hoping their son is recovering in Kathmandu.
They still did not have enough money to pay for the best treatment for
their son. By now he is blind and deaf and is not able to speak anymore.
In the hospital cancer patients are treated inhuman. The staff treats
patients like animals, which is outrages.
Many visitors in Nepal are impressed by the friendly nature of Nepalese
people. But since the last years while we are trying to support the
poorest people there, this impression is sometimes not true. The Nepalese
society does not respect the poorest people, but discriminates them
and treats them with cruelty. Muna, who works for our project, is telling
her story in a letter (see last page) and makes clears what it means
to belong to the caste of the untouchables. If the landlord of the apartment,
where the girls working for the project are living in, knew they were
untouchable, he already would have cancelled the contract!
Despite the ups and downs our project has reached its 25th year! Even
if it is sometimes hard to cope with discrimination and animosity in
the Nepalese society, we still take care of the poorest with their miserable
lives. And they are our motivation. But without your support this work
would be impossible! And that is what we have to thank for!
We wish you a merry Christmas and very happy and healthy new year!
All the best,