How it all began… (November 2011)
For many years I have had the wish to carry out some voluntary work enabling me to help disadvantaged people. I did, however, have my doubts as to what help I could possibly be, offer or that I could carry out, as I am sure some of you feel when considering carrying out voluntary work. I am not an engineer, Doctor, teacher, social worker, technician… So what could I possibly give to others?
One day though, I cast aside my doubts and bit the bullet taking the first step to become involved in something. That experience in itself was wonderful being able to surprise even yourself in that way. From that point on everything just seemed to fall into place, you will do the right things and meet the right people along your way. I decided on Nepal as destination, one of the poorest countries on this planet. I wanted to help the most innocent of them, I wanted to do something for the children…
No guide book could prepare me for the reality… (January 2012)
Whilst I had read a lot about the situation in Nepal, nothing could prepare me for the reality. This wasn’t a tourist experience. I was living with the local people and children I encountered along the way and who sometimes haven’t seen a western face in weeks.
The conditions some of the families are living in are sometimes devastating. The first month of my stay I lived in an orphanage with 15 children and inside the house it was so cold we could see our own breath in the air. No electricity, most of the time no water and the only food we were able to have was rice with a few vegetables. Morning and evening, day after day.
And when I thought I had seen the worst…
The children in the orphanage did live in poor conditions, but at least they were looked after. They had a place to stay, some food and they could go to school. But there are many children who don’t even have that opportunity.
One of the beautiful things for the visitors eyes in Nepal is it’s Hindu culture. The temples, the dresses, the ceremonies. But it’s this strong link to their religion which is the misfortune for so many. Especially the women. Marriage is very important for the Nepali, but when a woman becomes widowed or is abandoned by her husband it is a real misery. Without a husband a woman is on her own and no Nepali man will marry her again. And without a husband she has nobody to support her and her children. Even if she is abandoned there is no law which forces the father to support his children. When this happens many women disappear or commit suicide, leaving the children behind.
But if we want we can make things better… (April 2012)
I met two mothers and their children in a rural area of Nepal who had been abandoned by their husbands. Kalpana and Sangita are struggling to earn enough money to buy food for themselves and their children. No hope of being able to send them to school and so giving them the chance of a better future. Imagine the look in their faces when I came and told them that I wanted to help them.
Kalpana is 22 years old and is occasionally cleaning in a little local hotel. While she has nobody to look after her eight years old son Amit when she is working, she is lucky enough that the owner of the establishment doesn’t mind her bringing him to work. But she does not have time for him during this time and there are no other children around so the little boy is left on his own for the entire day. You can get to know Kalpana and Amit’ better by reading their story on my blog.
An even more difficult case is that of 24 years old Sangita. She has three children to look after. The two brothers Rohan (8) and Roshan (4) and their sister Roju (6). Working on a construction site, carrying baskets full of bricks on her back to the builders, she also has nobody who can look after the children and so they have to spend the whole day with her on the construction site. You can hardly imagine their childhood. There is also a post on my blog if you would like to know more about Sangita, Rohan, Roju and Roshan.
Let’s send the children to school!
The government schools in Nepal are far from perfect, in some cases one book is shared between as many as 30 children and the teachers who are trying their best to teach these children English are, unfortunately, not very knowledgeable in the language themselves.
With this in mind, I began my search for a suitable private school for the children. After an extensive quest, checking numerous individual schools for, amongst other things, teaching ability, facilities and class room sizes, I finally selected a school which I felt suitable for the children to attend.
But education is only meaningful if it is continuous
That’s the point. While it is wonderful what I have achieved for the children this year it is absolutely imperative to continue with the help in the coming year. If I can’t sponsor them next year through school too all the work done so far would have been in vain.
This is where I need your help
Thanks to family, friends and readers of my blog I did raise some donations for the children in Nepal before I left to this humanitarian adventure. With the money I was able to do some wonderful things and if you haven’t done so yet please read the following articles I wrote during may stay in Nepal:
- Saving a life with 60 Euros
- Helping orphanage children in Nepal
- You can’t change the world but you can change someones world
- Giving a future to Amit
During my first fund raising action I have found that there are so many people who want to help somehow, somewhere, but many have their doubts as to where the money goes and if it really arrives where it is intended. At this point I felt very honoured as many gave me their donations saying that they did so because it’s me and that they believed that I would send the money where it’s most necessary. Once again thank you for the trust that you had in me. These lines are the result of our work done together. I write this now because every one of you gave your help to make the life of some less fortunate children a little better. Although it was me actually there in Nepal doing the field work, I could not have done all this without your help.
For those of you who have been unaware of what has been happening so far, and who would like to be part of this little project of mine and help Amit, Rohan, Roju and Roshan to continue their education. Every donation, be it little, can make a huge difference to their lives.
My promise to you
Rest assured that every cent I do collect for this project will go in its integrity towards the education of the four children. In any circumstance I will not use donations for my own expenses. I hope I’ll be able, just like this year, to go back to Nepal to see the children and pay the money directly to the school, go and buy books and uniforms with them etc. The expenses for this trip I will be paying out of my own pocket. Whenever possible I’ll send you an update on the children, how they are, how they are doing at school and maybe a photo every now and then when I get them.
Here is how you can help: Donate, Share, Get Informed
- I have set up a bank account to collect donations throughout the year. You can make a bank transfer to this account in order to pay part of Amit’s, Roshan’s, Roju’s and Rohan’s education.
Please contact me if you would like to do a transfer to this account so I can send you the details.
(Most banks offer free transfers in between European countries accounts up to a certain amount.)
- You can make a donation by using your credit card via Paypal. You don´t need to have a a Paypal account. Just click the “Donation” button and follow the procedure.
(However be aware that Paypal is charging a commission on this transaction, so not all the money you donate is going towards the children.)
- Can’t make a donation right now? You still can help us to spread the word. Please share this page with your family and friends.
- Download the PDF with a breakdown of the costs for the children’s education. School fees, uniforms, books etc. and see for yourself that with only a little money you can be a big help in the life of those children.