In Nepal, for over 20 years, the Association works mainly in the area of the capital, Kathmandu. One of the poorest countries in the world, with a daily income of less than a dollar, most people find themselves living on the threshold of extreme poverty.
The devastating earthquake of April 2015 caused a further blow to a very fragile economy; thousands of families lost their homes and possessions, and many villages, especially in the most mountainous regions, have still not yet received any help. The Kathmandu Valley, now more than ever, continues to attract thousands of poor people from the countryside who are in desperate need of work. But, as the economic situation of the country continues to worsen the numbers of unemployed and hungry grow; in the capital vast areas of degradation exist where the rising number of poor live in precarious homes that lack water, sanitation, electricity, food, mattresses, blankets.
In recent years the closure of many small carpet factories, has also resulted in more job losses and an increasing number of unemployed.
Life expectancy is low and the illiteracy rate is high, as school attendance is not free but involves payment of fees that too many families simply cannot afford: children are often sent to work at an early age.
Medical care is also not free, and for the poorest people it is often impossible for them to pay for the necessary treatment.
Sponsorship money is used to provide education in local schools for children from poor families. Many of the adopted children are placed in our Gangchen Samling School, located on the outskirts of Kathmandu, which welcomes about 450 children from some of the most needy families of the surrounding area. It presently offers education from nursery to class 10. Many of our sponsored children have already achieved diplomas and degrees after college and university studies.