Since the Nepalese rupee is pegged to the Indian rupee, it lost 23% of its value against the dollar within a few months. Not only the investors are staying away from the country more than ever, but the major projects to build the national infrastructure and rebuild the country after the earthquake are getting into big trouble and many are suddenly on a standstill because of the constant price increases. Despite this unpleasant situation, Nepal's development is progressing slowly. Almost every family, even in the slums of Kathmandu, has at least one member who lives under difficult conditions in the Emirates or Korea and sends his laboriously saved money home.
Apart from sporadic famines in remote regions of the Himalayas, it can be said that most Nepalese children no longer have to starve. But they are not well fed either. "Dhal Bhat", rice with a watery lentil soup, is the basic food of all Nepalese. More affluent people eat vegetables and meat with it, but most children remain undernourished because the nutritional value of rice and too few vegetables is not sufficient to ensure normal growth. We can clearly see this in our work in the slums of Kathmandu. The distribution of our milk paste enriched with all the necessary vitamins and minerals, which we distribute to about 400 children, has become very expensive, but it certainly remains the most important part of the support that Kinderhilfe Nepal reads in Kathmandu.
Especially in the slum of THAPATHALI, one can see how much more important it is for parents to buy their children clothes than to provide them with balanced meals. It is extremely difficult to convince them that rice, in particular, is only a stomach filler and that their diet should be completely rethought. However, they have finally understood what the drinking water that we supply to the 1500 people in their settlement three times a week means for them because they realize that not only the children but also all of them do not get ill as often anymore and they need less money for medical costs.
The slum of BANSHIGAT has also been hit this summer by major floods, but all the inhabitants accept these inconveniences because they would have to pay high rent elsewhere. As a result of the earthquake of 2015 and the landslides that devour entire villages every year during the monsoon season, the population of this already densely built-up slum has almost doubled. Through our years of work in the kindergarten and the health post, the inhabitants of this overpopulated community have become very aware of hygiene, and only because of this, diseases can be avoided. In contrast to Thapathali, this slum is also a place of genuine solidarity between the inhabitants.
Community spirit and cohesion are always present in the camp of our
settled MAUTE nomads. Most of them go begging during the day, others
sell various miracle ointments and "medical" oils on the street
to bonafide people. The tolls immediately spend the money they earn
during the day on food in the evening: Alternately there is only rice,
or one sees them downright feasting, depending on how productive the
day was. That's why our milk porridge here in the tent camp is so important
for the children. The four-month rainy season is a particularly difficult
time for our employees Muna and Sushma, who work there every day. The
community then lives in mud mixed with excrement and sewage, the disgusting
smell of which does not disturb the toll people at all.
We tried to place the toll children in other toll schools, but everyone refused to accept them because they were too dirty and too irrepressible. So we built a "tent school" where Muna and Sushma alternate mornings and afternoons, teaching the children not only reading and arithmetic, but also personal hygiene and "behavior"... Not an easy job because discipline is a real foreign word for these happy children! After all, they show themselves to be eager and willing to learn: They appeared a bit cleaner on the second day of school because they knew that otherwise they would be washed by the teachers themselves at the entrance of the class, or sent directly to the water pump. Our "toll friends" always live in the here and now and don't worry about what tomorrow might be. They are being pushed further and further out of the construction site where they camp, but nobody would worry about that!
In the village of MUDHKU, where we built twenty earthquake-proof houses
after the 2015 catastrophe, all the inhabitants were very grateful when
one of our long-time donors came up with the costs of installing a two-kilometer-long
water pipe. Now all 80 houses in the village can be supplied with water,
and people no longer have to carry water pots in a long way. Their now
more dignified living conditions are influencing the community: the
people of Mudkhu have slowly realized that their village floor was covered
with litter and they were ready to tackle the problem. We have provided
them with plastic containers so that they can learn to separate plastic
from paper, the paper is now being burned plastic is being disposed
of in Kathmandu. It is a learning process that goes much faster here
than in the slums of the capital because even if they are poor, the
villages live on their own little piece of land and they are therefore
more willing to take care of their surroundings.