Monday, April 30, 2012


Last week Mann visited Pokhara and went to Kristi village.  We had a donation for cement for the building of the new rooms for the school.  They were just starting to demolish the last room of the old building which was the office.  We had a donation of children's books from Orca Books in Victoria but forgot to take them with us when I visited so Mann went to deliver them.  This school had no books so they were very happy and excited to receive these.  The photo was taken in the new room that NEF paid to have painted.  They are hoping to start the new building in the summer when they have rain which will supply water for the cement and they use the stone from the mountain.

Mann also went to Gunjara to see how the new roof was coming along.  Part of it is done and they are continuing to work to get it finished before the rain.
He was also busy finishing all the school registrations.  So the new school year has begun and all children are registered.  We just have two new sponsors to match which will complete this year's roster of children. 

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Children at Gauda Muni
Keith with a baby at Pumbi Bhumdi

Mann at Pumbi Bhumdi

New library at High Mount donated by the Wil Leather fund

Mrs Subedi and daughter Kabita

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Summary of My Trip to Nepal

Now I am in Vancouver Airport with a three hour wait so a good opportunity to write this before jet lag truly sets in.  The universe must be looking out for me today as I left my wallet with not much money in it but credit cards and other important things, at the airport check in desk in Hong Kong Train station.  I did not realize it was missing.  They announced my name at the airport and told me that it had been found there and was being sent on the next train and it was later brought to me. Then I was upgraded to business class, how nice was that.  An Australian man I met in Kathmandu years ago said that if you do good things they come back to you, today his words rang true!!

I will not go into the sadness of this trip as it involves more my personal emotions to the poverty that I deal with on a daily basis, the challenges and sometimes the disappointments.  More I want to deal with the successes of this trip.  Starting with the new Generator for the village of Chimkhola giving the village 24 hour power.  Thanks for this goes to Duncan Noontime Rotary as they funded this project.  Two dentistry programs, one in Kristi village and the other in Simpani, treating over 400 people young and old.  Thank you to Duncan Noontime Rotary again and to Sunrise Rotary.  Most of all thank you to Dag Waddell who did the fundraising for this in his Dad's memory.  Thanks to Craig for the eye clinic so people could see better.
The donation from a dear friend to improve the Gauda Muni school in Nani's memory.  Nani was Mann's brother and an incredible young man who dedicated his short life to children.  A wonderful and lasting tribute to him.  The school is very improved and we had a moving ceremoney there to commemorate it to Nani.
Another highlight was the visit of Susanne and Shay to visit their sponsored college student, Ranjita, and literacy lady Amir.  They have sponsored Ranjita for five years.  It was a wonderful meeting for them, a true success.  Susanne and Shay were extremely moved by this and also the poverty in Nepal.  We enjoyed having you Susanne and Shay. 
A new roof for the Gunjara village school, thanks to our Qatar sponsors Carol and Keith and their supporters.  The old roof has been torn off and the new one being put on this week.  This was a desperately needed and urgent project as the children could not go to school in the rain and the monsoon season is quickly approaching.  It is always good to have Carol and Keith join us for a few days.  Their friends Judy And Anouska sponsored two little girls, one very low caste and one with no parents.  Thanks to them.
The improvements to the Kristi school from a donation from my husband Bob and some from NEF.  They have done a great job.  Now we a have a donation for cement to start building new classrooms for this school.
All of our children are doing well, some have just taken their school leaving certificate exams.  Results will come in July.  Yes I saw them all.
We have our first sponsors from Singapore.  A young couple who visited Nepal recently and were so moved by what they saw that they said they would not be the same again.  Just how I felt 11 years ago.  They now sponsor a little girl in Kathmandu and say they are hoping to visit her in May.  It is always great to have young people involved in NEF.  We welcome them to the NEF family.
Personally for me I felt good about the little stray dog I saved from the street and who is recovering at the KAT centre.  I also arranged a dog adopton from there to a very good home.  The dog had been brought to KAT in terrible condition with puppies who all died.  Months later she is a beautiful dog with a caring new home.  Two days before I left we saw a puppy on the street in our neighbourhood missing a leg with all the flesh hanging out.  We stopped and talked to the owner who lived in a tin shack and she said it had been hit by a motorcycle.  Short of time I went to see the dog man who feeds the street dogs and took him to see it.  He said he would bring some medicince to stop infection.  I could not get it out of my mind and phoned him just before I left and told him I was worried.  By phone I contacted Mann from Hong Kong and told him to take the puppy to a vet.  He went and checked and said the wound was now fixed and sewn up properly.  Thanks so much to that compassionate dog man. I personally donated money so an orphanage could hire a bus and take the children to see the KAT Centre so they could learn how to treat, respect and take care of dogs and cats.  Only education will help end the suffering of the street dogs in Kathmandu.  Children and animals are the helpless victims of poverty and neglect.
Another case that touched me deeply was the little boy Sacchin and his family, getting a sponsor for him was a great relief and hope for his future and joy to his mother that her son would go to school.

I have to mention here the guys that work for me.  Mann is with me constantly on these trips.  He is loyal, honest and generous of spirit.  He is as emotional as I am and we are truly linked in the heart of NEF.  We both care about the work deeply and it all would not be possible without Mann.  His email address is now on the blog and I will add it to the website.  He has everyone's email addresses now so that he can update you if necessary.  He knows how to contribute to the blog.  His written English is not perfect but it has its own style and sincerity.  Jagat has been with me for 11 years now and although he cannot do the work that Mann does he is also loyal and always available when needed.  Both Mann and Jagat are extremely honest and in all these years I have never had to doubt them.  They are pure gold and my thanks go to them.  Must not forget Sima who cooks for me everyday and dearest little Liza who is a joy everyday.  I must also mention Rajendra who looks after the Hattiban children, gathers them all at his house when we visit, his wife makes tea while I sit in the sun and enjoy the children and we buy them pop and cookies which is a real treat for them.
Now I will soon be home and after a little rest I have to start thinking about fundraising for our administration costs which we must have to do all this work. Administration costs are $7000 per year.  I do not know what I am going to do yet but welcome any ideas.  Well this is long but I wanted to say all this.  I will add some photos tomorrow.

On My Way Home

I am sitting in Hong Kong airport waiting for my flight home.  As usual it was so hard to say goodbye to friends and mostly my Nepali family of Mann. Sima, Liza and Jagat, Puspa and their children.  It is such a huge transition to leave Nepal and arrive in Hong Kong and then Canada. 
It has been a trip of sadness and successes, some of both, and it truly seems the work we do is merely a drop in the ocean, as they say.  The poor of Nepal seem to grow poorer and our work becomes harder.  Rest assured though I will never give up helping to educate the poor in Nepal and will continue to help with improvements to schools and wherever else I can help I will such as the dogs I find in need.  My resources are limited but I will keep working on behalf of our sponsors and donors.  Tomorrow I will talk about what we accomplished on this trip but now my flight will soon be boarding. I also want to add more photos here so check back later for more.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

School Near Hattiban

Last week we visited Hattiban again to see some children that we missed.  Rajendra who helps monitor the children there asked me to visited another school up above the village.  This is a government school that is quite old so the government gave $3000 three years ago to rebuild some of the school.  As this was not nearly enough money the teachers cut back on their salary and money was collected from the village to help finish the project but again they could not raise enough.  So the school sits partly finished, the new part is on top of the old as a second floor but there is no railing and as they are using some of the unfinished rooms it is a hazard to the children.  One child has fallen off and broken an arm and he was lucky as it is a long drop down. New latrines also sit partly finished.  Three years ago Beam Life Foundation, Nepal gave money for a library and they have done a good job with this and it is well maintained.

Second floor without railing

Second floor that has not been finished for three years but they use the rooms anyway out of necessity

Unfinished Latrines

They explained to me that they are starting English medium classes now which means that they are adding English language to the curiculum.  Their students are very poor children from the surrounding village but their aim is to make this a good school for them and they seemed very dedicated in their mission.  We went back a few days later and sponsored one little girl here.  Any new government sponsored children we will sponsor here as I liked the attitude of the board and their dedication.  I told them that later we may be able to at least help with the railing and next year a little more hopefully.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Birthday Party

Sunil with happy with his birthday gifts

Getting ready to blow out the candles

Oh the cake is so good!

Jagat, who works for NEF, and his family
Yesterday it was Puja, who is Jagat's daughter, 13th birthday and Sunil, who is Samjhana's brother from downstairs, 4th birthday.  It was also my triplet's 45th birthday back in Canada.  We had a birthday cake for Puja and Sunil.  I think it was the first time that Sunil had ever had a cake and candles.  He is a very poor child and his family could not afford this.  It was so cute to watch him blow the candles out.  I gave him a book and Mann and Sima gave him some rupees and he was delighted.  We sung happy birthday to each of them.  It was fun to see a little boy experience his first birthday cake and presents. 

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Visually Impaired Students

Sabitri our blind university student

Sushant another blind student in class 8
Sabitri has been with us 3 or 4 years now and she is in 2nd university BA course.  She speaks excellent English which she taught herself by listening to BBC radio.  She has a scholarship so her sponsor pays for books, supplies, uniform etc. 
Sushant has been with us about six years and is also an excellent student.  He is in a boarding school that teaches blind children but integrates them with seeing eye children.  Both these students work in braille.  Sushant's home is in the village of Hattiban where this photo was taken.  He is quiet spoken and a very nice young man.  He has some very limited vision.  This year he lost about a month of school because he was in the hospital having more surgery on his eyes.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Women's Literacy

Khim Maya


Our women's literacy program is doing well.  Some of the women starting this session have been in the program for three years and others are just starting.  They all enjoy not only the instruction but also the comadradrie they get from being with other women.  Most of these women's lives are quite isolating.  They often live away from their families who are back in the village and their time is spent working and looking after the family so it leaves little time for socializing.  Coming to class for one hour every day is a break for them and also they love to learn.  I always find them to be a delight and enjoying visiting with them.  Matching and photographing them all takes a long time as sometimes not every woman is there every day.  Sometimes family illness or other problems means that they miss some days and this is more than understandable.  Most of them have written letters to their sponsors and these are written from the heart. 

Monday, April 2, 2012

Two Stories

Our NEF office is in Nakhipot which lies south of the Ring Road so just south of Kathmandu.  This is a nice area but still has its population of stray dogs.  I was out for a run yesterday morning when I met the man who feeds stray dogs.  I had heard about him from Mann.  The man, Dhana, told me he feeds 24 to 25 stray dogs every day and has 5 at his house.  This particularly morning he was concerned about one female dog who would not eat. He feeds them different kinds of meat, rice, biscuits etc.  I saw him again this morning and he told me that today he was having the vet come to check them out.  He also has the vet inject the female dogs with a birth control drug so they cannot have puppies and it lasts 6 months.  This all costs him approx $300 per month.
He has been doing this since he lost his wife about 6 years ago.  He said this "You can take nothing with you when you leave this world so it is best to do good while you are here, I feel so good after I have fed the dogs every morning."  He knew each one and really cared about them.  This made my heart glad as I feel so sorry for the dogs that roam the streets here.  I felt truly grateful to him. There really are some wonderful people in this world.
Dhana, the man who cares for street dogs

Ten year old whose life is selling fruit

His older brother
This afternoon we were in the fruit and veg market and a young boy came up to me and pointed to his fruit stand so we bought some oranges from his. I asked how old he was and he said 10, then I asked if he went to school and he said no and that he had never been to school.  He and his 14 year old brother run the fruit stand.  The owner provides shelter and food and they work for him seven days a week, morning to night and earn 2000 rupees each (about $25) per month. Their family and home is in the Terai in the very south of Nepal.  How sad is this and what future do they have?  As I walked away I could not help look back at him and he was watching me and smiled.  I had given him a little tip when I paid and Mann took the note and put it in the little boy's pocket and he looked truly grateful.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Busy in Kathmandu

Now that we are back in Kathmandu we are busy visiting children and schools and starting registrations. 
The government schools are closed for the holidays but the private schools are always open.  Over the years I have made good connections with some of the principals especially the women.  So it is a pleasure to visit.  At City Academy the principal is a woman with a big heart who helps a lot of poor families and I try to help her out by sponsoring children here.  I so much enjoy visiting here and having some tea and a good chat.  Her son is a Nepali champion swimmer and will be going to the Olympics this summer.  She particularly helps little girls and has taken two in as her own family to save them from very bad situations, in one case the child was going to be sold to a brothel in India by the father. 
We have another two sponsors visiting here in May, different families, it will be exciting for the children.
Today we had two of the Rotary team from Duncan come and visit our office and this afternoon we visited children here in Nakhipot.  Tomorrow it is back to the village of Hattiban to visit the children there.

Rheka, Nira, Ram and Dipak at the Laughing Buddha Restaurant.  Rheka is sponsored by NEF. This family looks after me extremely well even bringing me food and medicine to my hotel room when I was sick. 

Kiersma and her daughter Niruta.  Kiersma is our only full time woman student studying in the same class as her daughter.

Kathmandu NEF students Sushil and Pabitra outside their home