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

Newsletter August, 2022

Dear Friends,

This year the monsoon, usually expected in Nepal in mid-June, arrived six weeks early. With the heavy rains comes the beginning of the planting of rice cuttings, an activity in which many Nepalese participate with joy because it is the occasion for celebration. This time, however, the rains have been so heavy that many cuttings have been spiraled away and the fertilizer that used to come from Russia and Ukraine is no longer available. In addition, there are giant floods that wash away the mud houses of many people, especially in the south of the country, and in the mountains the rain causes numerous earth avalanches that leave farmers homeless, destroy roads and isolate distant villages. Not only all the diseases that are spread by polluted water in this season, such as typhoid, hepatitis A, E and diarrhea plague the population.

At present, a cholera epidemic is also developing, causing great concern to the medical community. The Ministry of Health has asked the WHO for help and is distributing oral vaccine doses in the most affected regions. 80% of the drinking water available to the Nepalese is contaminated with fecal bacteria. These harmful germs are also present in the water that is sold in bottles or plastic canisters, so this water now also has to be boiled. The poor cannot afford this because gas and electricity have become unaffordable for them. Economic globalization, which is currently throwing the whole world out of balance, is hitting poor countries like Nepal particularly hard: first, the two-year Covid crisis without tourism revenue has weakened the country very much, and now the war in Ukraine is adding to this: Food, rents, school fees and transportation have become far too expensive for most. Especially in the south of the country, but also in the cities, the malnutrition of children is growing: many only get a pair of cookies from their mother in the morning to satisfy their hunger at school, and there is only a plate of rice with some lentil sauce in the evening.

The members of the government continue to not really care about the problems of the people. In the last local elections, the India-oriented Nepal! Congress over the leftist parties, which tend to favor China as Nepal's partner. Parliamentary elections will be held next November, and many observers think that the country's political direction could change once again.

The inhabitants of all Kathmandu's slums are, of course, suffering particularly badly from the new economic crisis and the diseases brought on by the rainy season. In the slum of Banshigat, which is otherwise considered a relatively developed slum, the sewage systems that were laid with our help a few years ago have become fragile due to the pressure of the rains, and excrement and sewage flow out at several points in the settlement. A new sewer system would have to be professionally constructed urgently, but there is no money for it.

Even we can no longer help with such problems, because due to price increases and inflation, Kinderhilfe Nepal has to concentrate on the essentials and unfortunately limit its support. We still take care of the children who get their nutritious milk porridge from us in the kindergarten and receive medical care. The inhabitants of Banshigat are not as passive as the people from other slums. Thanks to our kindergarten, the women can work on construction sites or sell homemade snacks on the street to earn extra money. These people have become more hygiene conscious because of our 15-year presence in the slum. They try to be careful because of the broken sewage systems, and we help them disinfect the drinking water we supply with sterilizing tablets.

In the Thapathali slum, malnutrition among children and adults is at its worst. When one of the 1500 inhabitants becomes seriously ill, money is collected among the slum people, but the necessary amount can never be reached: Medical expenses and operations are now as expensive as in Europe, and no one can afford health insurance. Either these people borrow money from each other and are hopelessly in debt, or they die. The Korean Christians, who at the beginning of their activity had tried to support the people of Thapathali, have now changed their tactics in their missionary work: They used to offer tutoring to all the children of the slum. Recently, however, they have started to take care only of the children of families who have converted to Christianity. The children of Buddhists or Hindus are rejected and sent home. This approach brings more and more anger among the people of the slum, who now become aggressive towards the Christians. A woman who attended the mass of these missionaries suddenly began to behave strangely.


Muna goes from hut to hut early in the morning, currently educating girls and adult women about the importance of personal hygiene. Most of them fall ill with fungal infections during this hot and humid season. The Nepalese, even those from the middle class, do not use toilet paper. After going to the toilet, they use their left hand and clean themselves with water. Afterwards, they do not dry themselves, and since women wear cheap polyester underwear from China, infections are difficult to avoid. The people of our Madhesi clan, our .Maute" people, do not have this problem because, like all the poorest people of Nepal, they do not wear underwear at all, so their private parts are better "ventilated".... We had been trying for a year to find a better place to live than the dump they have been living in for so long. All the effort was in vain each time before signing the contract, because the future neighbors refused to let them live near them. The situation became a great burden to us and seemed hopeless. We made it clear to the clan that we would stop supporting them if they continued to live in the middle of the garbage. They were very concerned and saddened, but were able to understand that it was unacceptable and extremely dangerous for them and their children to remain in this contaminated place.

Fortunately, almost at the same time, "fate" turned for the better again: We found a nice man who was willing to rent us a plot of land for 5 years for the paltry sum of €20 a month. Tin huts were immediately built by us, a well drilled and toilets installed. Soon the "move" will take place. Our Maute people are in seventh heaven because, they keep saying, for the first time in their lives they will live in a "real house".

The clan says that they are ready to adapt and that everyone will be considerate of their neighbors. Neighbors are always very noisy in Nepal anyway, people call each other from house to house, and everyone knows very well what is happening in the next building. However, the volume of our clan is excessive, and we will see how the coexistence with the somewhat "more distinguished" society of the capital will go. So far, no one has complained about the project, and we hope that it will work out. A hut will serve as a kindergarten, and the children will continue to receive our milk porridge enriched with vitamins and mine¬ralia, go to school and receive medical care from us.

Many loving greetings and regards!

Elisabeth Montet