whether the Maoists, the conservative Congress Party or how the Communists now rule the country makes no difference to the Nepalese. Those who come to power organise their own network of mismanagement and ensure that money goes into the pockets of their own party's politicians. Corruption is therefore a properly institutionalised system, managed alternately by the election winners.
Since Nepal was proclaimed the Federal Republic in 2008, the provinces outside the Kathmandu Valley have hoped to gain more autonomy, but everything is still decided in Kathmandu today. The provincial governments, which have agreed on aid projects with foreign NGOs, for example, wait months for the final approval of the central government, and this waiting period jeopardizes the contracts already signed or even prevents their realization: Kathmandu wants to hold the reins of the country as long as possible.
The development of Nepal continues otherwise confusingly. The country continues to empty itself of its inhabitants: Australia is currently a sought-after destination for people with education. Five of our then Children's World children now live in Sydney or Melbourne, while those who didn't make it far in school work in the Emirates, Korea and Portugal. One of our girls was particularly smart with her husband: both have a child and now enjoy the benefits of the welfare state of France after posing as Tibetan refugees, like many before them.
Abroad, the Nepalese do not integrate at all in their new host country. They stay among themselves, celebrate their numerous religious festivals together and try to show their friends and relatives in their homeland a standard of living on Facebook that is not as rosy as it looks on the photos, "But they also send money home", and Nepal owes its material development to them. Nevertheless, most Nepalese who have stayed at home fall by the wayside: the country has no proper medical infrastructure, and even in Kathmandu patients have to wait months for necessary operations that have become unaffordable.
In our Banshigat slum, where we have been working for years, most children stay healthy thanks to our vitamin- and mineral-enriched milk porridge. One exception is three-year-old Kayle, who suffers from nephrotic syndrome, which causes swelling of the body and is fatal without treatment. His father works on construction sites as a cement and stone carrier, while his mother roasts corncobs on the street to earn some extra money. These people, who have nothing at all, have already owed 2000 € to neighbours and family members. A sum that they will certainly never be able to repay. After we were able to convince the doctor to waive a fee, we now take over the 100 € medicines that Kayle needs monthly to get a chance to heal.
Without the kindergarten the mothers could not go to work and they are very grateful for it. They have to work hard on construction sites or serve as housemaids in the households of Indian families, but they can feed their families alone or with their husbands due to their meagre income.
A year ago we were happy when the use of plastic bags was strictly forbidden in Nepal. Politicians and VIPs competed by cleaning up in Kathmandu in front of the press cameras, and it was then reported who had removed how many tons of garbage from the Bagmati River on the weekend. Such articles fill newspapers today more often than ever before, because the use of plastic bags was allowed again for no reason.
The slum of Thapathali is itself a pure plastic settlement, which is now firmly in the hands of Korean missionaries. They are a thorn in the side of the Nepalese government, which is trying to get them out of the country because they usually stay in the country without visas. Especially in Thapathali they have great influence: After the service they distribute food and supervise the school work of the children. A third of the settlement has been converted, and the new Christians tell the other slum dwellers about the miraculous healings they think they have experienced through Jesus Christ. Kinderhilfe Nepal continues to provide the children here with the enriched milk porridge, pays their school fees and regularly brings drinking water for the 1500 inhabitants to the settlement, while Muna at the same time takes care of the health of the little ones.
In the village of Mudhgku, where we built 20 earthquake-proof houses after the 2015 disaster, the remaining 60 families still live under tin huts. We do not have the means to build more houses, but we support the village as much as we can. Last year we connected the 80 households to a water source 2 km away, and the inhabitants no longer need to carry the heavy pots on the long way. Since the water pressure was not enough for the big laundry, we helped the people of Mudhku to build a washing place that makes the work easier for the women and at the same time is a welcome meeting place for them.
In the toll camp near the runway of Kathmandu airport, there is still pure joie de vivre despite the particularly harsh living conditions. Our tent school works just like a "normal" school, and the children expect Muna and Sushma punctually, alternating in the morning and afternoon. The 50 or so toll people, who have so far been able to meet their needs right next to their tents, are beginning to enjoy the advantages of the toilet with septic tank, which we built for the children not far from the tents. The toilet is available to the whole community from evening till morning. Everyone has been blamed for the cleanliness of the place, and surprisingly so far they have stuck to it. We provided the children with warm clothes and boots for winter. Until now, these people ate directly from the bowl with their hands. We have given them plates, spoons and cups in the hope of introducing more hygiene into their lives, although we know that this eating habit will not be easy to change.
The women were especially happy to buy a pressure cooker because it saves them wood for their fireplaces. Despite the unhygienic and foul-smelling everyday life of the former nomads, working with them is what we enjoy most. We have adapted to their way of life and only change what they are willing to change. We give them something, they rejoice. If we come to them empty-handed, we are just as welcome. In the other slums we constantly feel the expectations of the inhabitants. Not here. Recently the women said that they could hardly understand that so far away from their camp there could be strangers doing so much good for them while they are used to being chased away. They feel especially blessed by the god Ganesh, the Hindu elephant god of happiness, they say: This is a kind thank you to all of you who have supported our mission in Nepal for so long.