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

Newsletter August, 2018

Dear Friends,

Nepal, which is wedged between the two rapidly growing major powers of China and India, would have everything in and of itself to become a prosperous country. It has the great water reserves of the Himalayas available as its resource, whilst thoroughly planned ecotourism could help the Nepalese prosper. However, because of the political instability that is continuing to dominate the country, foreign companies are not exactly inclined to invest. The Prime Minister Oli is currently doing his best to improve the relationship with India, and is trying to make his country financially attractive, knowing that the great neighbour suffering from extreme drought has a great interest in the water potential of the Himalayan State.

With all these resources, the water shortage remains the biggest problem of the Nepalese, especially in the Kathmandu Valley and in the Plains. In the village of MUDHKU, where we built Earthquake-proof houses for 20 families after the great catastrophe of the 2015, the 350 residents have to walk two kilometres through the hills to get to a watering point. This water comes through an already existing sewer directly from a remote 3 kilometre forest source. The strong plastic pipes that would be necessary to connect the village to this pipe cost €5000, and the Mudhku residents simply do not have that money. Using cement pipes would more than triple the cost and would also be pointless, because the earth's layers are constantly shifting due to the frequent small earthquakes causing the springs to relocate. The government is once again not ready to make its contribution.

Like most Nepalese, the inhabitants of Mudhku love religious rituals, where they offer the gods their sacrifice in the form of flowers, fruit and incense, and hope for a better life. This time the gods must have been particularly gracious, because one of our long-standing generous donors has already agreed to bear the cost of the water pipes. In the 20 newly built houses, twenty families will finally be able to use their small bathroom and wash their laundry at home.

Because of the hostility that we have been experiencing for some time regarding our work in the slum of THAPATHALI, a meeting was held there by our employees Muna and Sushma with the ' Slum Committee '. The people in charge could not provide an explanation for the unpleasant atmosphere in this settlement, but promised that the slum dwellers would show up cooperatively in the future instead of making our work difficult through their unfriendliness. They also ostentatiously argued that if we were to pay the school fees for their children instead of wasting the money on the expensive milk porridge, we could use our money better.

The fact that this nutritious milk porridge with its vitamins and minerals is essential for a good mental and physical development of its little ones is of little interest to the parents. The main thing you feel proud of is when you see your sweet offspring neat in their expensive uniforms every morning, even if the little ones are malnourished with two plates of rice during the day and have little chance of a glorious future.

We already carry the school fees for 300 children of our project, and not all residents of Thapathali are so terribly poor that they could not pay these fees themselves. The government is now in the process of registering the inhabitants of all Slums. Thapathali would have to be relocated first, because five years ago the state used bulldozers to destroy the fixed accommodations that the inhabitants had built. Even before the earthquake of 2015, new accommodations had been built for them, which were recently renovated after the Catastrophe. According to the representatives of the state, only the families who earn no more than €350 a year are to be described as needy and officially recognized as slum dwellers. An incredibly ridiculous sum, considering that hardly any family in Nepal could survive with so little money!

Theoretically, all other slum dwellers would soon have to leave the banks of the Bagmati River. The whole of the inhabitants, however, refuses to give up their miserable living conditions: the flats of this new settlement are too small, too far away from the town centre, and besides, they would have to pay rent, they say.

On the other hand, the poor people who live near these new buildings are revolting and want to move in. The following will be most likely to happen: officials will start to register the people, but it can be assumed that this resettlement project will not be carried out for a long time.

The slum of BANSHIGAT remains our flagship slum: due to the influence of our years of work, the settlement is now cleaner than other slums, and most of the dwellings are built with solid materials. Our kindergarten, literacy class and health post give the visitor a good picture of what we do in KATHMANDU.

But even though the Banshigat inhabitants have developed well, their moral conception differs completely from ours: as in other slums too, those who have long since occupied a small piece of land here have, in recent times, still built more rooms to rent them to victims of earthquakes and avalanches for a lot of money. Every small room houses six to seven People. To occupy public land and look at it as one's own, we, Europeans, would regard as illegal. But to use this land to enrich oneself through the bitter fate of others, many of us would call immoral. When we say this to the slum dwellers, they look at us completely stunned and uncomprehending.

Our 'MAUTE' nomads, who actually no longer qualify as such, even though they still live under tents close to Kathmandu's airport, remain satisfied and cheerful. They can barely breathe in the dust and fumes of the busy road where they are directly located, but they don't even notice it. They are constantly affected by kerosene particles as machines are starting and landing machines, and if we ask them to look for a better bearing for the benefit of their children, they say we should not worry, as all this does not disturb them and belongs to life.

Another suddenly emerged Maute clan is running a pig farm next door, so that bad smells and bacteria make the lives of people there as unhygienic as possible. This, however, does not disturb our 'friends' joy in life. They appreciate our support, and the women do not forget to provide their little ones with our milk porridge every day, because they now understand how important this is for their children. It's actually amazing how unsusceptible they are to diseases, as if their living conditions were the best vaccines in the world!

Many thanks to you all who continue to support the work of the children's help Nepal in Kathmandu and Mudhku faithfully! The donation receipts for this year will be sent to you in December.

Kind regards,

Elisabeth Montet