Kinderhilfe Nepal e.V.Charity Organization for Nepalese Slum Children

Newsletter April, 2001

Dear Friends,

also in Nepal spring has started, which brings in April and May the intolerable heat, that always precedes the monsoon time. But this is not at all disturbing for our Nepali children and friends, for here they are used to adapt themselves to the actual conditions of life. There is no sign of any improvement of the political situation. Maovadis are getting closer and closer to the capital. They already dominate five districts and have their own administration and laws. The state formed a special commission to purge the country of the rebels. Even then Maovadis gain more and more influence among the poor. Only yesterday we heard about the death of 35 policemen during an attack, while the surviving 23 have been abducted to the woods.

At present there are final examinations of the school year being held at our home, and all try their best to get at least admitted to the next class. Most of our children are slow and they themselves admit they are rather lazy. We had long discussions with them to find out the reason why. At the beginning all had the firm intention, that once they are admitted to the children’s home they will be very eager students for sheer joy and pride, and they want to become - as they themselves put it - "great men" or "great women". But after one year, all this enthusiasm was gone, they told. They feel very homely in the warm nest of "Children’s World", they get good food and have all facilities, they live in a clean, nice house and thus automatically turn lazy. They insisted, they would still endeavour, but not as much as before. Khim proposed that those who failed, should be sent away from the children’s home. Strangely enough the children are not afraid of any kind of punishement. To throw them out whould be a good idea, but where? Especially when we know that they have no more parents and will finish living again in the streets of Kathmandu.

It is our consolation to know that about one third of them are doing quite well and are successful. Renu, Ram Pukhal and Baghat found employment as primary teachers. At the same time they continue to study and give part of their salary to the children’s home as contribution towards food and shelter. Sija and Bilu take all the necessary care, so that the project runs even better than before.

Bikram is going to be an engineer and he is the „saviour“ for the younger ones, who are all rather weak in maths. He teaches them daily. Sija finished her training as a secretary, she continues learning German and is looking for a job.

The two quiet angels, who really manage Children’s World are Meena and Sarshoti. They have been there for so many years, that they now have lot of authority, and all should be grateful to them for their loving engagement.

Sarshoti’s husband Shiva is 40 by now. We are worried, when our staff reaches the retirement age. Traditionally in old age parents in Nepal are being looked after by their children, but nowadays the Western way of life gets the better, and one can find many old people loitering all alone in the streets.

We support Shiva by giving him a training as electrician, and lateron we want to help him to open a small shop, where we could also fix a few of our children. Sita, the young physically disabled cook, will lateron be cared for by Shree Krishna. He solemnly promised to care for Lu till the end of her life. We are providing the best schooling to Shree and he had the good luck to find admission in India in a first-class school. He continues being very serious and successful, and certainly will lateron be in a position to look after Sita. He cannot evade his promise in any case, for to break it would only earn him the wrath of the gods. That’s what the children tell... Of course we thought about introducing our European system of old age insurance, but the percentage they can put aside would be so small in view of the low income, that this „pension“ would not enable our friends, to lead a worthwhile life for a few years, once they grow old. That is why we try to find an individual solution for everybody.

Our blind Goma continues to be successful in her school in New Delhi, and Furgel, who also turned blind after a brain tumour operation, thrives wonderfully. He is independent, he learnt by himself to walk with the white stick and he makes it alone through the entire valley of Kathmandu. He earns lot of scholarships and we shall open lateron a bank account for him where we shall remit every month the university fees which we would have to pay for him otherwise. Furgel is studying history and he stored all important (and unimportant!) dates of European history in his brain. It is big fun to sit with him and put him questions about his subject. He is unbeatable and we are wondering how he can keep so much information in his head. We provided him with a small tape-recorder, which he takes to the classes, and he obviously learns the whole stuff by heart. Textbooks in braille are available in Nepal only for small children, so that Furgel really depends on his tape-recorder.

We are also proud of Santoshi, who has been training to become carpenter for eight months now. Three weeks ago we heard that he had a fight with two policemen who very nasty with an old woman. Khim is hiding him because they searched after him. Such things are forgotten quickly in Nepal because police is too lazy to make proper inquiries. They never made it up to the Children’s home. After two months Santosh should be able to continue his training.

Raj Kumar’s condition has become stable. His biggest complaint is that he has no proper work. He expressed the wish to get two partridges. These chicken are raised in Nepal and their eggs are believed to be excellent remedies against muscular diseases. Since the wishes of our „prince“ (Raj Kumar means „prince“) are always fulfulled, Shiva built a big cage, and Raj Kumar waited for months for the miraculous eggs. Since eggs did’nt come, he sent the partridges away and decided to have real chicken. In the meantime there are 9 eggs, which nobody is allowed to eat because Raj Kumar wants to build up a „chicken business“. For days he sits near the brooding chicken and waits for the chicks which would earn him huge money. Of course the droppings also have to be cleaned, but he employs two of his friends for this job by paying them a few Rupees, which he earns as „watchman“ of the house.

People in Children’s World are indeed lazy and slow, but also really happy! There is love and harmony in this big family, and that there are now additionally two babies, Shanta’s and Anita’s kids, is not felt as a burden, for girls and boys, all take turns in looking after them, and this happens all quite naturally without being organized in any way. We did not commit ourselves for these two children in any way; indeed we had warned Shanta and Anita when they started living with their lovers, that we would not be able to take any responsability for their offspring. In the meantime the lovers dissappeared, but both women were always quite well aware, where they could find refuge with their babies. Of course we shall not send them to the streets. Thus for the time being the babies also live in the children’s home.

For June another trip to Kathmandu is planned, for Goma and Shree Krishna will then return for holidays from India and it will be so nice when everybody is together home again. The children always ask when more friends will come from Germany. Just as grown-up people in Nepal they find it difficult to understand, that our „higher standard of living“ does not make possible just anything and everything. Yet only because of this difference in the standard of living the entire project can be run so well. We shall report again in August-September and we wish you happy Easter and much good luck for the coming months !

With kind regards

Elisabeth Montet