PUSHPA KAMAL DAHAL, aka "Prachanda": "the Fighter", has once again been prime minister of Nepal for four months. Rather surprisingly, he is not paying much to China, but India instead. The only success that he can be accredited with is that he has thus calmed down and negotiated with the Madhesis, who have been rebelling at the Southern boarder to India. Last October, he mandated a national holiday on the occasion of the Indian president PRANAB MUKHERJE, so that the streets of the capital could be vacant for the honoured guest. Nepal already boasts more national holidays than it does workdays and many protested in the streets. However, most agreed that, once again it was quite nice to stay at home.
The biggest annual scandal of the Himalaya-state should be mentioned here, because it is symbolic of the circumstances that are ruling the nation: In the spring the press disclosed that hundreds of doctors throughout the country had been practicing without the necessary licenses or even graduate degrees. The private doctor of the previous prime minister Sushil Koirala, who died from cancer last February was even amongst these charlatans. Thirty-six wrongful doctors were arrested in Kathmandu. Everyone in Nepal knows, that the jails are overcrowded in the capital and that the convicted do not remain in detainment for long. The media moved on to different subjects rather quickly, but the patients continue to be unsettled. Private clinics are emerging in Kathmandu like mushrooms grow from the ground, and doctors are truly hard to come across, because most of them prefer to earn decent money abroad.
Even though the quality of life in Nepal is by far not to be compared to our European standard- costs of survival are nearly as high as ours. It is becoming more and more difficult for Kinderhilfe Nepal to provide support, especially when it comes to the medical care for children. One children, that was on the boarder of life and death due to blood poisoning, could only be saved by us after we paid € 3,500 for its treatment. Many children that are stationed in the ICU of the paediatric clinic die, because their parents cannot afford the expensive medication that would be necessary to save them. The catastrophic hygiene in the hospitals does not exactly support the recovery process of the patients. In the ICU of the well-known Kathmandu "Patan Hospital", the nurses enjoy their meals close to the beds of their unconscious patients. For cost concerns, many people are hesitant to go to the hospital in time for the treatment to be effective. Thus, many arrive too late or them to be healed. If a person is diagnosed with cancer, the entire family is sorrow-stricken. Those, who managed to own a house, then sell these in order to be able to afford the expensive therapies. And because they see the doctor too late in their disease, they oftentimes do not only lose their beloved person, but also everything they own.
In the last few years, "Kinderhilfe Nepal" was able to finance many eye-, kidney- and heart surgeries as well as orthopaedic intervention for young patients. Today, this proves to be very difficult, which is why we have introduced preventative efforts more then ever. We thoroughly examine children regularly and even offer their mothers physiotherapeutic sessions. TENZING and SMITA from the former "Children's World" have returned from India with a masters degree in physiotherapy in paediatrics and neurobiology. They now support our efforts voluntarily every Saturday. We provide the children of the slums with disinfectants, medication for worms and plasters for the accommodation of small wounds that oftentimes cause larger infections. Our vitamin and mineral right milk pudding is available on a daily basis. However, the constant price increases have also forced us to no longer provide children up to the age of 15 with this and solely children up to the age of 10 instead.
In the village of MUDHKU, twenty families are enjoying their lives in the new earthquake safe houses. Even there, the parents will only be able to feed their children with corn mush or rice and a little bit of lentil soup as soon as fall approaches, because the gardens and fields will be empty by then. For this reason, we have provided the children of Mudhku with multivitamin supplements to get them through the winter.
In October, the 20 houses that we built after the earthquake were successfully taken over by a freelancing architect. These families are aware that they were very lucky that fate sent us to them, because most of the survivors of the earthquake will spend another winter under plastic canvasses and corrugated metal. The media rarely reports about the reconstruction of the country anymore. The students of Mudhku are still being taught in the temporary school that we built for them. Another tragic consequence of the earthquake is the condition of the worsening streets of Nepal. No day goes by on which the media does not report about the horrific, lethal accidents on overcrowded busses.
On the occasion of the Dasain Festival in October, most of the residents of Kathmandu take an annual trip to their birthplace. This year, many stayed home out of fear to end up dead in a canyon of the Himalayas. Following our work, the slum of BANSHIGAT is the most advanced of its kind. Nevertheless, the children are fed equally as bad there as the children in the THAPATALI slum, where they live under plastic canvasses. Most of the children from these slum communities have remained relatively healthy upon the consumption of our nutritious milk pudding as well as the frequent medical check ups we have been undertaking.
"Our" MAUTE Nomads offer their children better food, even though they are much poorer than the people in the other two slums. They live without worries and are unattached, but when they earn money by working or begging, they do not just waste it on alcohol or cigarettes. They also buy meat and vegetables. However, they never go to the doctor's and if they do, it is when the situation of a child is merely hopeless. SUSHMA and MUNA spend a lot of time with them to enlighten them and in order to teach their children how to maintain at least a minimum of hygiene. We have decided to focus on a community of about thirty families from now on. We have clarified that we will provide them with permanent support if they accept our suggestions. We have received a mobile phone number from them and will stay in touch with them after they move to warmer regions for the long winter.
The MAUTE are either Hindu or Muslim. By living the nomad lifestyle, they avoid the influence of the countless Christian cults that pay the poor in Kathmandu for turning Christian. Saturday is the official holiday in Nepal. The slums are empty on those days, because the people spend their whole day in the "church". They worship, get financial support and free food.
In line with its financial contingencies, Kinderhilfe Nepal does its best to fulfil its duty to improve the living standards of the Nepalese children, that it oversees. Our employees in Kathmandu do not forget that you are the ones who make this assistance possible.
Together with them, we thank you dearly for your loyalty and wish you a Merry Christmas and a healthy and happy new year of 2017!