LONG DISTANCE ADOPTIONS
For the school year 2018-2019, approximately 365 sponsors offered financial support to school children in Nepal. The children accepted into this project are from families who are not able to support their education. Most of the parents are factory workers, weavers, beggars, cleaners or labourers working long hours on building sites or road construction. After paying room rent and buying daily necessities, these families have no spare money to pay school fees. These children would not be able to attend school without the help of a sponsor. Many of the families experience incredible difficulties – some have incurred debts to be able to enrol their children in school and they go forward making daily sacrifices in the hope that their child will eventually find a sponsor. To stay in school and have a chance of a better
future these children rely upon the generosity of others. School reports, letters and photos have been regularly collected and sent to sponsors.
The long distance adoptions project has also supported young monks, a number of elderly persons and disabled children. Thanks to the kindness of their sponsors a further 81 students are presently studying in Further Education.
Since some years we have been distributing stationary in a number of village schools. This is always a happy and highly anticipated event for the children, their parents, teachers and volunteers alike. In these villages the source of income is almost exclusively from farming – this means there is little money for buying ‘luxury’ items such as stationary for school. To encourage families to send their children to school and to offer the children the advantage of having pens, pencils, notebooks and other stationary supplies for their study we are extremely dedicated to continuing and extending this project. The younger children were very excited this year to receive coloured pencils!
This year we gifted stationary to children from Mahendra Rastrya Adharbhoot School, Ghan Jyoti Adharbhat School and Shree Bagh Bhairab Secondary School.
Once again benefitting from our Stationary Distribution programme were also the 26 children living in the Jorpati Orphanage, the 14 children living in the small group home of Hope Foundation and the 55 young monks of Sed Gyued Monastery. This year we were also able to provide stationary to the young monks of Serpom School in South India.
Office stationary supplies and board games were also supplied to each structure.
We are very happy to finance once again the annual running costs of the Shree Jana Bhuwana Primary School in Shikharpur Village for the academic year 2018-19. The school needs funds for paying teachers, general running costs, books, stationary and so on in order to guarantee the education of 70 pupils from local villages.
GANGCHEN SAMLING SCHOOL
New School Building
The students of Gangchen Samling School started their academic year (from April 2018) in a new school building. The old building was no longer able to house the growing number of students and was in need of repair so a larger nearby property was modified in order to create a new school. The new building provides an extra 12 classrooms, a bigger outdoor play area, including a stage for performances, there is also a kitchen, music room, science lab, computer room and numerous bathroom facilities! This will allow the school to increase the number of students to around 650. There will also be enough space to start vocational training classes in the future, most probably for electricians and plumbers.
An opening and blessing ceremony was carried out by Lama Gangchen during his visit and as usual the children enthusiastically offered a cultural performance of song and dance for all the visitors.
The school is attracting an increasing number of pupils due to the high quality of the education and the good reputation it has in the local area.
This year 22 students from the school sat the Secondary Education Exam and they all obtained very high grades with one student receiving a very hard to obtain distinction! All these students will be going on to further education.
The youngest children are educated using the Montessori method, and in all classes close attention is given not only to the quality of the teaching but also to the personal development of each child. Many families living in the area near the school, in the outskirts of Kathmandu, where income is very low, are asking for their children to be admitted – also in the hope that their child will find a sponsor!
Funds have also been made available this year to install solar panels at the school. This means the school will be independent of the unstable electricity supply of Kathmandu but above all the school is happy to have a clean-green source of energy.
Music and dance
For the academic year 2018/19 the School will continue to make available music and dance classes for any child, of whatever age, wishing to participate. The classes take place before the school day begins. The children are really enthusiastic about the classes and put a lot of effort into preparing performances. It is wonderful to see the pure enjoyment they get – moments of fun and creativity. A space in the new school building has been dedicated as a music room.
Every year the number of students staying in further education is growing. This academic year we are supporting 81 students who are studying in college (classes 11 and 12) and university. Most of them have chosen to study subjects that are most likely to help them to find work: hotel management, business studies, accounting, teaching and social work are all very popular. We are very proud of what these students accomplish for example Deepa Karki, who we have supported since she started school, received her degree this year and has now found employment working in the offices of a national newspaper!
We were able to help the small health post in Mawakanpur District by providing a supply of much needed medicine. This health post is responsible for the primary health care needs of about 8,000 people. During the rainy season these people are often completely cut off from other medical services. The help of the Association in providing medical supplies to this health post is essential to them as they serve the local community. This year we provided: antibiotics, pain relief medication, antiseptic, cough medicine, vitamins… We would like to thank our friends from Serpom Monastery who transported and delivered the medicine to the health post, in the presence of local council officials, during a programme organised by them.
Distribution of Blankets
In March the Association was able to distribute 700 quilted winter blankets to 2 villages: Thöse and Gaushala in the Mahottai District. Blankets, produced by Gangchen Drupkhang, were given to elderly, sick and disabled people and to those families living in the worst conditions. The people in this part of the Terai Region earn a living from farming sugar cane and are extremely poor and in need of even the most basic necessities. We are very grateful to our friend and supporter Thonla Sonam who undertook the long and uncomfortable journey to ensure the help was delivered to those most in need. The conditions in these villages are some of the worst we have seen so we are happy to have brought at least a little comfort to these people.
We are very grateful for the contributions to our Emergency Fund, that allow us to immediately help elderly, disabled and sick people! The money is used to make sure very vulnerable people have a safe place to sleep, food to eat and medical care if they need it. We have many requests to the Emergency Fund from people who are experiencing extreme difficulties with day to day survival or who have specific needs such as an operation or nowhere to live. The Fund is very important as it gives us the possibility to offer immediate help to those most in need. For example: Dhan Bhadur, the father of one of our students, who is having dialysis in a Kathmandu hospital needed help with travel expenses; Ishwori has just arrived in Kathmandu with her disabled daughter and needed support for very basic living expenses…
This year we were able to give small donations to the Hope Foundation and Jorpati Orphanage. Hope Foundation is a small group home for 14 street children and Jorpati Orphanage is home to 26 children (between the ages of 4-16).
HELP TO MONASTERIES
Sed Gyued Monastery
The monastery which is presently home to 59 young monks (under the age of 16) faces many difficulties as they rely entirely on donations for the running and upkeep of the monastery. Many of the young monks arrive in the monastery because their families are unable to look after them and so entrust their children to be fed, educated and cared for within the monastic structure. The increasing number of young monks puts a great strain on the available financial resources. Since years the Association has been supporting this monastery and, as well as finding sponsors to support the young monks, is currently financing teachers and an assistant (to help with the general care of the youngest monks and cleaning). We also supply the monastery every year with stationary supplies to ensure that they have the best possible conditions to study. This year the children living in the monastery have also been provided with new mattresses, sheets and winter blankets! The new dining hall is also finally ready and furnished which means the monks will have space to sit and eat indoors during the cold and monsoon weather.
NEW PROJECT 2018-19
The purpose of the project is the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) n. 6 “Ensuring water and sanitary conditions for everyone in view of a sustainable world” through the implementation of a collection, accumulation and revitalisation system of water resources from a source to the village of Chapakhori in the Bagmati region, south-east of Kathmandu. Currently the population of the Village lives without immediate availability of water resources necessary for human consumption (drinking water, supply for schools, etc.), sanitary, hygiene and animal needs. The supply of water in the area suffered a further impoverishment due to the earthquake of 2015. Currently 400 families live in the village (about 2000 people); the houses do not have direct water connection and the supply points in the village (fountains) are dry. Every day, sometimes several times a day, the people of the village have to walk a long way downstream, along a steep valley incision, to be able to reach water.
A first site inspection was carried out by Italian engineer Matteo Greggio in February this year with a further geological inspection in May by Claudio Galli. A detailed project, in two phases, on how water could be accessed, channelled and stored in the village for both domestic and farming use has been drawn-up. A further field trip in November was made, together with staff from a Nepalese drilling company, to ensure that the specialised machines necessary to do the work could be transported and used at the site. Other technical details were also clarified. During this visit the local people – who are extremely happy – offered flower garlands to the volunteers of Help in Action! It is planned that the project will begin in April 2019.