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

Newsletter December, 2006

Dear Friends,

Only now, after eight months, the negotiations between the Maoists and the Alliance of All Parties of Nepal have led to an agreement. While the representatives of both sides did not budge an inch for a long time, the rebels used the opportunity to gain a foothold in Kathmandu und now they rule daily life in the city.

Their organizing ability - something that is not common in Nepal - is their major advantage. They free the city from the stinking garbage that litters every street and alley. Within one hour they can paralyze Kathmandu whenever they want to protest against anything. They garnered the support of a large part of the population und whatever actions they decide to undertake, will work out smoothly.

According to the recently signed agreement 85 of 330 seats of the interim parliament, which will be in session soon, will be allotted to the bigger conservative party of the former Prime Minister Koirala. 73 seats each go to the Maoists and the official communist party, while the remaining seats will be divided among the remaining five parties. After the formation of this parliament an interim government will be elected. The Maoists demand that, after the elections which are scheduled for June 2007, their 35.000 soldiers should be incorporated into the regular Nepalese army. Until then the rebels will remain in their 28 camps that are scattered over 7 provinces of the country. Under the supervision of the UN their weapons will be locked away in containers, yet the rebels themselves will keep the keys of those containers!

The Nepalese commoners celebrate peace but the intellectuals of the country regard this agreement as rather unstable, the more so as no real decision to develop the country has been announced so far.

Thanks to our project the inhabitants of Children's World and those of the slums are safeguarded against extreme poverty. Yet fate dealt us a massive blow when we had to organize terminal palliative care for our Pramod, who was dying from Leukaemia. This was the darkest moment in the history of Children's Aid Nepal. It is painful enough to see elder people go, especially one's own parents, but to watch the death of such a beautiful and sweet 16 year old boy, who was like a son for those among us who are women, proved to be a heavy blow which even now, four months after, is hard to cope with. His body was cremated in the traditional way, unfortunately before the eyes of impertinent tourists who filmed and photographed the ceremony from the other bank of the river as if it was a show. His brother Prakash wanted to have him buried, but both the Christian and Muslim cemeteries of the Kathmandu Valley refused to accept a Hindu among their dead.

Of course at Children's World we are fooling around again as before, of course we laugh again, but nothing is as it was before. We pamper our completely paralyzed Raj Kumar, who although he doesn't speak about it, knows very well that he might be the next one who has to go. Regarding the donations for the blood cell separator, please refer to the protocol of the annual meeting of our members. Of recent, there are only 25 smaller children left at Children's World and the administration of the house lies in the hands of women only. Meena is responsible for the children's house, while Sija proceeds with the slum project with immense commitment.

In this present letter we wish to give you a survey of what has become of all of "our" children of the past 17 years. Apart from the 25 younger ones, who still attend school, we also support some of the older ones financially by paying the high tuition fees for them. To cover the rest of their expenses they have to work themselves.

Here is a list of our former students:

  1. Deepak Lopchan, 23, after finishing higher secondary school and college he is now a student of psychology in Thailand.
  2. Santosh Rumba, 22, passed SLC (School Leaving Certificate) and college and now studies at the aviation academy in Calcutta, India, with a view to become a "Ground Operation Officer".
  3. Kusum Lama, 22, SLC and college, student of business administration and management.
  4. Hareram Chaudhary, 23, SLC, he is a skilled electrician by now and helps with the slum work.
  5. Saroj Battarai, 18, SLC, finished an apprenticeship as steward in several five-star-hotels.
  6. Shree Krishna Kharel, 22, SLC and college, also a student at the aviation academy in Calcutta.
  7. Maya Lama Gole Tamang, 18, college student and training to become a lab assistant.
  8. Raj Kumar Shrestha, 22, completely paralyzed, yet can read and speak English fluently.
  9. Subash Bhatta, 17, SLC, arts student who during daytime learns Buddhist painting techniques.
  10. Pramod Thapa, 16, just before passing his SLC he passed away.
  11. Prakash Thapa, 23, SLC and college, student of computer engineering, together with Meena he does the bookkeeping of our Children's World.
  12. Menuka Dhamala, 21, SLC and college, training for nurse.
  13. Renu Yonyan, 23, SLC and college, studies pharmacy for three years.
  14. Goma Rai, 19, blind, passed SLC and college and is now a student of social welfare work.
  15. Devu Dahal, 23, SLC, college and BA, just starting his MA studies in tourist management.
  16. Raj K. Shrestha, 20, SLC, college and BA as computer engineer, continues studies for MA.
  17. Tenzing Norbu Lama, 22, SLC and college, just about to finish his third year in physiotherapy-study.
  18. Hari Magar, 19, SLC, just finishing his studies as a "health assistant", which allows him to work in remote villages as a medical doctor.
  19. Maya Sherpa, 24, SLC and college, works as a teacher.
  20. Pema Lama, 26, SLC and college, studied computer science and now works as an apprentice in a company for graphic design in Germany.
  21. Furgel Lama, 24, blind, has got a scholarship and makes his MA in geography.
  22. Giriraj Adhikari, 26, SLC and college as well as university degree, since he couldn't get a job so far, he studies for six more months at the aviation academy in Calcutta to become a flight attendant.

The following of our former students now completely live by themselves:

  1. Bikram Rana, 25, SLC and university, one year apprenticeship in various hotels in France, continues his studies there for another year at his own expense by working as a waiter.
  2. Dinesh Lopchan, SLC and college, works in India, married, one child.
  3. Krishna Yonjan, 27, SLC, works in an employment agency.
  4. Rajiv Shrestha, 28, SLC and college, he is the manager of the Duty-Free-Shop at the airport of Doha, Qatar.
  5. Bishnu Yonjan, 22, SLC, he now works as sales assistant in Saudi Arabia.
  6. Ram Pukhar Sharma, 24, SLC and college, studied computer science, teacher in a computer school, regularly helps us to maintain our computer system.
  7. Sangita Lama, 22, SLC, works as an elementary school teacher.
  8. Sabina Kharel, 22, SLC, concierge in a hotel.
  9. Sija Shrestha, 26, SLC and college, finished classes in social work, educational science and health care; she runs and directs our project in the slums of Kathmandu with great success.
  10. Shanta Rumba, 26, married, one child, since one year now works in a nursing home in Israel.
  11. Liza Shrestha, 22, works in the nursery school of our slum project.
  12. Rita Rai, 26, SLC, college, married, one child, teacher.
  13. Karma Bal Lama, 27, SLC and college, works as a karate teacher in India.
  14. Karma Yonjan, 21, SLC, works in a supermarket.
  15. Dhandu Yonjan, 24, SLC, sales assistant in Singapore.
  16. Bir Bahadur Lama, 27, SLC, married, one child, security officer.
  17. Baghat Tamang, 24, SLC and college, for four years now he has been laboriously working his way upwards in the Nepalese army.
  18. Kabita Rai, 24, married, two children, works at a nursery.
  19. Manju Bhattarai, 22, SLC and college, elementary school teacher.
  20. Muna Lama, 23, SLC and college, elementary school teacher.
  21. Sabitri Poudel, 16, blind, has been taken over by an organisation for the blind and continues her schooling.
  22. Dilip Chaudhary, 23, SLC and college, attends classes for computer hardware and lives together with friends.
  23. Umda Sharma, 22, SLC, nurse, she never got in touch with us again.
  24. Dipesh Lopchan, 17, left school and Children's World just before the SLC, lives with his sick mother, a sluggish fellow.
  25. Durga Chettri, 20, SLC, vanished completely from our sight.
  26. Rita Chettri, 23, married, two children, is said to live in Southern Nepal.
  27. Santosh Acharya, 21, began several professional trainings, unfortunately betook to drugs and is said to somehow "survive" in Goa, India.

In addition 10 of the 15 girls of our three years project for alphabetization und tailoring run a small repair shop in their village to make ends meet. Of the others we lost sight.

Except for: Nanu, 24, who completed high school and college on her own and now is assistant to a Swiss relief organisation that drills wells and builds a school in her village.

Quite for sure none of our "children" has become a VIP, but if we consider how underfed they were in their early childhood, we should rejoice, that all except for three have completed higher secondary school and most of them even college. Without your support many would have died, since the rate of childhood mortality remains high in Nepal. Our "children" may not be rich, but they can live a dignified life and - with three exceptions - they continue to keep heartfelt contact with Children's World and are full of gratitude towards us. We give the same opportunities to the younger generation that now lives in the house, but we will not accept any more children.

In future we shall focus on the slum work, where we already achieved quite a lot. It is a laborious work that pays off greatly, especially regarding the health of the 150 children. Since they get food rich in vitamins and minerals on a regular basis they are brighter at school and achieve better results now. Hygiene remains our biggest problem, but Sija and her aides regularly call the mothers for meetings and try to prevail on them in this regard. This time it was the nurse Sweccha who went to them and pointed out to them the most important items of daily hygiene. The women always listen most attentively, but seem to forget what they learnt immediately after. Sija feels that only regular and sensitive work in every single hut would bring about any change. Currently she is very concerned with a case of child abuse. An organisation specialised in this matter brought the case to court: The man, who has been violating his 12 year old daughter for months, is now in prison. The girl is very disturbed, badly hurt and will by no means leave her mother, who all these months has been her silent witness to the abuse. The child kept silent out of shame and the mother out of fear from her husband, who threatened to beat them both, in case they talked to outsiders about his crime. Sija is traumatized by the fact that one of her students suffered and kept silent for such a long time so that we had to comfort her and give her the strength to continue her work.

All children at Children's World, who enjoy such a good life, as well as the mothers and children of the slums have asked us to convey to you, who help them to lead a much better life than most other Nepalese, their warmest thanks. We also want to express our heartfelt thanks and wish you a Merry Christmas and a good and prosperous New Year 2007!

All our best wishes to you!

Elisabeth Montet