|Childrens´s World - Newsletter
In December the evening temperatures
in Katmandu valley suddenly fall from 20 to zero degrees centigrade.
Even at sunset, most people struggle against the cold by huddling together,
they eat the little rice with a thin lentil soup, that their parents
have earned during the day, and when the day was successful, a few vegetables.
The population has long become accustomed to the Electricity shortages,
and even though the whole of Katmandu Valley at the moment suffers from
14 hours a day without electricity, most can not afford to pay the bill
anyway. Factories and small businesses must therefore close and there
are even more unemployed. The newspapers report that the waters of the
Himalayas were frozen glaciers this year, but the new government knows
that there are quite different reasons for the electricity shortages
as well as the lack of clean water. The hope that was created 5 months
ago following after the appointment of the ex-rebel Maoist leader Prachanda
as Prime Minister, has very quickly dissipated. The Maoists do not have
a majority in Parliament and therefore there can be no real politics.
Due to inflation, prices in Nepal
have increased by 30% within a week.
Alcohol may now only be bought with a permit and of course only in expensive
This is a truly "brilliant" law against alcoholism, seeing
that the poor do not visit those shops anyway and brew their own rice
liquor, even though it is banned! In our slum liquor is openly illegally
produced. Sija and her team still go about their work in a very capable
way. Sometimes she even manages to persuade the women not to drink anymore.
A donor had offered to pay for the withdrawal treatment of a women,
but Sila said that she was a hopeless case and that the money would
only be wasted.
The Maoist party is divided, after
twelve years of bitter fighting in the jungles of the country their
Leaders now seem to be enjoying the luxury of their new status, while
Opposition is doing everything to prevent any sensible reforms. They
drive in expensive cars and because their names have now been removed
from the international
Terrorist list, they travel around the world at every opportunity.
The energetic cooperation with
the Maoists', which until a few months ago was very active
in the settlement has stopped. The women, who were particularly effective
were instructed from an higher authority, to return to their cooking
pots. Now they just sit around again and have to be motivated once again.
Most of the Project Workers, especially the assistants come from the
slum. In the team, which is supported by us, this does not occur, and
the work goes on uninterrupted. The children receive medical care, food,
water and get a school education. So that they can survive the winter
without catching a cold or getting a lung infection we have again supplied
all the kids with anoraks. Many of them still had them from last December,
but they were mostly in a wretched condition, since they had been worn
day and night. In addition, the quality of Chinese products that are
sold in Nepal, are especially unsatisfactory.
Sija is the most important support
person for all the mothers and helps everywhere where she can. Through
the medical care, which she daily administers, many diseases and otherwise
necessary hospital visits can be avoided. Amir lives in a neighboring
slum. Two months ago he fell from the roof. Since his parents don't
have any money he was not taken to hospital. A nasty infection beset
the multiple fracture of his arm, and when the mother finally went to
Sija with him he had to be twice operated on and had to spend 6 weeks
in the hospital so that he could recover from the infection: that he
still alive is due to Sila. A lot of people in Nepal die because they
don't have the money to go to the doctors in time and leave their lives
simply to fate.
Sijas energy is contagious. and
our slum remains " the best" in the whole of Kathmandu! Drinking
water, which is paid for and brought by us to the middle of the settlement
is distributed daily. The elderly do not need to be called by Sija when
the vitamin-and mineral-rich milk porridge is distributed to the children.
Suddenly they are all there and waiting patiently with their bowls to
receive their ration. There are but a few elderly, and one wonders how
they still cling on to life with their eating habits.
Sometimes there is even meat and vegetables, and in those days one might
think that a great festival is taking place in the slum. It is not easy
for us "Westerners", to deal with this level of poverty, and
to accept it as normal like the Nepalese do. There is the constant struggle
against the dust, lice, fleas and other vermin. You have to protect
yourself against the rats must by keeping nothing edible in the room
and by closing the door punctually before dark.Even in "Children
's World ", which is just as clean as our homes in Germany, it
is not uncommon to hear the girls screaming because a rat has just run
across their Bedspread at night. Because you can be sure that one or
the other of them has a few biscuits hidden somewhere! The 25 children
and adolescents, who live there
,are coming along well in the school and their studies well advanced.
The older ones often go in the slum, when they have holidays, and make
special activities with the children.
Although most of our Nepalese friends
not know exactly what Christmas means, they know very well that it is
for us the biggest celebration of the year. The many American Christian
communities of differing denominations also ensure that an increasing
number of Nepalese in the Katmandu Valley know what a church is. Many
become Christians reject alcohol and their frivolous lifestyle because
they believe that it is is Jesus' work in the slum, a vast majority
of people have let themselves already be converted to Christianity.
Nobody misses the weekly worship service. But it doesn't prevent them
from following and celebrating their Hindu and Buddhist religious traditions
in a big way.
The children from the slums and
from "Children's World" wish you all a
Merry Christmas and thank you for your assistance in improving their
living conditions. Also we would like to express to you our best wishes.
Unfortunately sometimes these good wishes are not always fulfilled:
This year, we have regrettably had 2 cases of grief within a single
first our faithful benefactor Eike Schmidt, and a few months later,
her daughter Sabine passed away. Both had expressed the wish that at
their funeral services, a donation in remembrance of them should be
given to help the children of Nepal instead of flowers and wreaths.
We would like to express our warmest thanks to them, their relatives
and friends very.
There were happy events too, were supporters were fortunately enough
to celebrate different events and where donations were generously given
to our project.
Thank you all for your loyal and
Merry Christmas and a Healthy
New Year for 2009!