Last April, the despot of Nepal, King Gyanendra, sent his armed army
and police against his people. After bloody street battles that left
the dead and many injured, including hundreds of children, the dictator
was forced to return power to the alliance of the country's various
parties under pressure from the troubled masses. Parliament, which it
had dissolved 4 years ago, has now come together again. The new government
is no longer called "His Majesty's Government" but "Government
of Nepal" and will in future decide on the monarch's budget, which
will pay taxes like any other citizen. The peace negotiations with the
Maoist rebels are now a priority. To this end, the fighters have agreed
to a three-month ceasefire, demanding the help of the UN, but foreign
powers such as India and the USA continue to pull their strings and,
according to Nepalese intellectuals, they are promoting the fragmentation
of the country's recently united political forces.
Only the capital Kathmandu
was able to protect the army and police at the end of the revolt. The
despot had enough provisions in its palace to endure a long storage.
For the people, on the other hand, hard to survive: Among other things,
there was no petrol, no gas, no salt, and finally everything began to
be lacking. Since the King of Nepal has been regarded since ancient
times as the reincarnation of the god Vishnu, (Vishnu - the creator
in contrast to Shiva - the destroyer), this revolution is a decisive
cut in the cultural and religious heritage of the country. The situation
remains uncertain, but optimism prevails for the time being, even if
a large part of the population is slowing down the reforms of the government.
There are still daily street demonstrations where people continue to
shout the slogan that has become famous in Nepal:"Gyanendra, Bandit,
get out of our country! So chaos continues to exist, but at least there
is no more blood, and the Nepalese people have gained self-confidence
through these events.
Our work in Kathmandu
continues. We had supplied the 50 people of Children's World with 3
months of supplies on time, because nobody knew how long the siege of
the city would last. When we told the mothers in the slum that they
should do the same for their families, we were immediately ashamed of
our embarrassing proposal, because of course they replied:"We can't,
we have, if at all, only enough money to eat today..."... We couldn't
take over the food for 3000 people, so we organized three months' supplies
for the children of the slum settlement. We have recruited more staff,
including three who live in the slum. Purna, who finished his college,
is happy about this opportunity to do something for his people and earn
money at the same time. He is an extremely nice and sensitive young
man who has often volunteered to support Sija, the director of the project.
There aren't many young people in the slum whose parents have worked
hard to send them to school, and we both want to do the same.
Include as much as possible in our work, so that there is a little self-esteem
among the people of the settlement. The place is still very poor, but
clean. Above the sewage pipes that we have laid, a playground has been
created, which the slum people themselves have decorated with plants
and bamboo. The women have it particularly difficult and we have equipped
their "Defense Command", which continues to patrol regularly
between 7 pm and 1 am, with raincoats for the rainy season. Since the
women have been protecting their sisters in this way, the violence of
men has fallen drastically. We would be willing to pay some young alcoholics
for a withdrawal cure (15,000 rupees = about 170 euros) but none of
them are willing to spend 3 months in a closed institution where the
addicts are forced into sports activities and guarded by the police.
There is no escape then...
Sija controls the project and now works more as a social worker because
she is constantly confronted with the problems of the slum. She knows
every shack, and all women trust her. Every day new difficulties arise
that she has to deal with. Now we are working even more closely together
between Kathmandu and Frankfurt, as the Internet telephone connects
us free of charge, and we can talk for hours about which measures are
to be taken in the slums or also about what is happening in Children's
World, which Deepak is leading with success in the new earthquake-prone
house. Sija lives with 12 other "big ones" in a flat-sharing
community in the city, but all of them meet every Saturday at 11 a.
m. for the general meeting, where problems are discussed and the much
sought-after money is distributed sparingly.
We are very saddened by the condition of our leukaemia affected pramod,
who has little chance of surviving his disease. The chemotherapy cycles
weaken his immune system so much that he gets new dangerous infections
every time and only skin and bones are left. Raj Kumar, who suffers
from muscular dystrophy, is completely paralyzed and has recently suffered
from pneumonia, one of which will surely lead to his death in the future.
Both boys are close to our hearts.
Many, many thanks to all who donated for the cell separator. Of course,
the EUR 8000 that we have received so far is still far from enough,
but we will go another way and we will not give up, because this device
is very important for Nepal. Pramod's doctor, Dr. Sudip, the country's
only cancerologist, offers us to make a contract to determine where
the device will be located, who will service and operate it. He even
suggests that one or two of our older children be trained to keep control
of the machine. In addition, the treaty would stipulate that only the
rich will pay for the platelets, while the poor will be supplied free
of charge. The Nepalese Red Cross actually runs Kathmandu's blood bank,
and the large number of brand-new air-conditioned cars driving through
the city with the famous red sign doesn't give us any reason to trust
this organization: You could buy a cell separator for a single car of
this kind, but as is often the case in third world countries, foreign
money flows into the pockets of people who, if their child suffers from
leukaemia, could easily send it to Europe or the USA. The poor, on the
other hand, have no chance because there is no health insurance in Nepal.
They'll die without any treatment anyway.
In Children's World, otherwise things are moving forward. It is learned
and studied. Nelson, now 2 years old, is quite bright and goes to the
Montessori kindergarten Kathmandu. Our employees are not getting younger
and our cook Mai suffers from severe diabetes. This disease affects
Nepalese people to a greater extent because they have been accustomed
to eating mountains of rice without any side dish since early childhood,
which was usually very poor. Even in the children's house, where a well-balanced
diet is served, children and adults can't stop eating lots of rice?
Otherwise they don't feel full, they say....
Thank you all for your faithful support! Anyone who has ever been to
Nepal knows how much your help means. We wish you health and all the
best and love and will be back in August - September.