Thursday, November 13, 2014

Sponsors Visit Nepal and Meet their Sponsored Children

We have had three sponsors visit Nepal in the last month, two from Vancouver Island and one from Australia.  They all have really enjoyed their visits and loved meeting the children that they sponsor.
Ed from Australia has been in Nepal for six weeks mostly spending time with the children.  He sponsors three children himself and also visited many of our NEF children.  Melanie also has three sponsored children and one lady in the literacy program.  She is just leaving Nepal for India today and will not be home for a couple of weeks.  It will be interesting to hear all about her visit when she returns home.
Photos of Ed with his sponsored child Bipana and her friends who are also sponsored by NEF.  Melanie with her child and neighbours who again are sponsored by NEF.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Marathon Fundraiser

Unfortunately I have not been updating this blog for personal reasons.  My mother passed away last month and so I had to travel to England for her funeral and to help with her affairs.  After returning I had a very sore leg and although I was all trained to run the Portland marathon on October 7th I had to pull out as their was no way I could run on my leg.  This was a fundraiser for NEF.  One of our sponsors said that she would be willing to run the Victoria Marathon a week later for NEF even though she was not really trained.  This was a wonderful gesture on her part.  I was at the finish line when she came in and it was very emotional for both of us.  Margaret had a very tough run but she said it was the thought of the Nepali children that kept her going.  Many, many thanks Margaret for doing this for NEF.  The marathon raised over $4,000 dollars.  The money will be used for some administration but a large part will be donated to help teenaged girls in Nepal.  After we lost Mann's sister last month so tragically we would like to do something to help girls in their teens to cope more effectively.  When I am there in March I will look into this further.  We are thinking about yoga and meditation and counselling.  We will talk to the girls and get their ideas as well.  More on this later.
Here is a little video of Margaret after she finished the race.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Donation from Nor'Wester Rotary & the Mahalaxmi School

Nor'Wester Rotary located in Port Angeles, Washington, USA very kindly donated $500 US to help the project at Mahalaxmi School in Nakhipot, Kathmandu.  We have just completed a library and science laboratory at this school.  The $500 was added to the $2,500 from Duncan Daybreak Rotary Club in Duncan, BC and to the $3000 from the Interac Club at Dwight International School, Shawnigan Lake, BC for a total of $6000.  This has provide the necessary funds to make these facilities at the school.  The library will still need more books but we have made a good start and the students and faculty here are delighted.  Photo of cheque presentation from Nor'Wester Rotary by Duncan Daybreak Rotary last month.  We visited Nor'Wester Rotary two weeks ago and gave a slide presentation of the project which was a pleasure.
Cheque Presentation
The Students in the new Science Lab.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Mountaineer Climbs and Supports an NEF Project

A mountaineer from Dubai, named Julian "Jules" Phillips, has just finished a climb in Nepal.  For this climb he asked for sponsors so that he could raise money for a project through NEF.  He is presently living and working in Dubai but used to live in Qatar and is friends through rugby with Carol and Keith who visit us in Nepal every year.  On their recommendation he decided to use the money he was raising to help the Pumbi Bhumdi school finish their construction of the new classrooms.  He is in the process of collecting the money he was pledged which totals $10,000 US.

This is a wonderful gesture on his part and is a lasting contribution and legacy.  The village school at Pumbi Bhumdi benefits poor, low caste children and will be a model school and with this donation the construction will soon be completed.  We have helped this school grow over the years and have seen its improvement year by year.

Thank you Jules for a wonderful and lasting contribution to the children of Pumbi Bhumdi.

Jules' Nepal Experience 

Well after 3 years of planning the climb is over and it all seems like a million years ago as so much has happened in the last 20 days.

It started off badly as the approach to Singu Chuli was blocked due to heavy snows and this year nobody has been successful in even getting to the base camp let alone climb it, so after five days we agreed to abandon the attempt and find a new summit to attack.  I have never been so wet, cold and down right miserable as I was for those five days, so lesson learnt:  check the weather and realistically this mountain can only be climbed by a large group because of the dangers of the glacier route to get to the base of the climb.

As we had already lost five days we flew to the Kumber Valley with the aim of climbing to Ama Dhablam base camp and then on to the Island Peak Summit at 6150 m.  On Friday morning at 8 am, after 7 hours climbing from advance base camp we summited to a beautiful, if cold morning and attached are two photos of our success.
Now started the 5 day extraction trek to Lukla airport which I was not looking forward to but had no choice as it was the only way out.  That is until a friendly helicopter pilot agreed to fly me back to Kathmandu as part of his cargo shipment from Everest Base camp.  The best news/trip I have had in ages as it meant that I was back in Kathmandu and a shower in 90 minutes instead of 5 days.

All in all a great trip and I am very happy to have summited without any altitude sickness and associated illness and whilst not the difficulty of Singu Chuli it did pose some massive problems of its own for us to overcome and thankfully we did.

My own note is that Jules involved a good cause into his mission and that must have brought him good luck or better still Good Karma.  Also called Karma Yoga.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Dwight School Interact Club Donation

Today I was presented with a cheque for NEF from the Interact Club at Dwight International School Canada.  It was the graduation ceremony for the grade 12 graduates.  This group of young people in the Interact Club raised $3000 for a poor school in Nepal and will provide the school with a basic library and science lab.  The school has 250 children from nursery to class 8 and does not have any facilities for a science program and no books.  The science teacher is teaching science to 8 classes with no practical equipment.  The school has a storage room which is being divided and made into a science lab and a library with a partition down the middle.  The school has an all female teaching contingent and Principal, a rarity in Nepal.  The students and teachers are very excited about this donation and the opportunity to have this facility.  I am so touched that the students from Dwight reached out to help the students in this school in Nakhipot, Nepal.  Young people helping other young people half a world away, what could be better.
Many, many thanks Interact Club, you touched my heart and gave the students of Mahalaxmi School a facility that will give them a better education.  Very well done!!  I will post photos of the completed project as soon as it is finished.

The Presentation with members of the Interact Club
The students at Mahalaxmi School

The proposed science lab and library

Mahalaxmi School

The Staff and Principal in pink

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Umesh a Lot Better

Umesh has had his check up at the hospital and the doctor says he is 80% better.  He will have to be careful with what he eats, he needs plenty of vegetable and fibre.  He is back at school and very keen to pick up where he left off and make up for the time he has lost.


Puspa has been sponsored by NEF for about nine years.  She has just graduated as a teacher and has a teaching position at a private school.  Her family lost their home and all their belongings in a landslide in their mountain village about ten years ago.  NEF helped by sponsoring Puspa, her sister Priska and brother Rubin to go to school.
Puspa is our first student to become a teacher and we are very proud of her.  Her sponsor lives in Costa Rica and she said this:
I can't even tell you how this whole beautiful happy thing makes me feel, to have been lucky enough to be able to help her (with so little money), and that help making such a huge difference in her life. What a gift to me. All thanks to NEF.
Hopefully Puspa is the first of many to graduate to a profession, we hope so. 
Puspa now

Puspa as a Student

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Umesh Has Had His Surgery

Umesh had his surgery last weekend and he spent one night in the hospital and was then sent home.  He has to come back in one week for a check up and hopefully he will be recovered and pain free.
He is anxious to get back to school.  We managed to get the surgery a little cheaper so there was money left for some extra vegetables and fruit and transportation for him by taxi home from the hospital.  He lives a long way from the hospital.  He also asked for some extra school books and I think there will be some money left for those.
We are so grateful to the two donors who paid for this.  It will make a huge difference to Umesh's life.
Thank you.

Umesh with the doctor just before the surgery.

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Update on Umesh

I am very happy to say that we have the money for Umesh's surgery as outlined down further on this blog.  They have been to the hospital twice now and are waiting for the surgery.  It is suppose to take place on either Sunday or Monday.  Umesh is so HAPPY.  He keeps phoning Mann to thank him and tells him that he will work very hard in school once he is well again.  Many thanks to the two donors who are paying for the surgery.  This story reminds me of Pradip's also outlined below and who I have written about many times.  Hopefully Umesh goes on to have the same success.  I will update here after the surgery.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

I am now on my way home from Nepal. I am writing this in Hong Kong. As usual it was very sad to say goodbye. I love these people.
It has been both a difficult trip and a rewarding one. The first three weeks weeks were difficult owing to my high stress level. For the last two years people have been questioning my age and asking what I am going to do about planning for the charity after I am gone. I had never thought I was old before. But this has been wearing me down. In Nepal they honour my age. After spending time at the retreat with Dr. Chintamani I realized I had to let this go. His words to me before I left were "you are going to live for thirty years, you are fit, you walk fast and your mother is still fit at 90 and you have to live for today. Besides no one is jumping up saying they want to take NEF over. I have a wealth of experience working in Nepal, I understand and love the people, I know the customs and some of the language. My age gives me wisdom and a compassion that I would not have had at a younger age. I want to state that I have no intention of giving up NEF. So please to the doubters out there remember this "tomorrow is promised to no one". When I do pass on I will have helped countless people to a better life and I cannot ask for more than that. My thanks to those who helped me through this difficult transition especially Dr. Chintamani and my dear and faithful Mann who put up with my irritability and tears and without him NEF would not run. Also to his wife Sima who waits on me hand and foot and of course to my husband Bob whose understanding and support I could not do without. I move on to a new chapter in a positive frame of mind and I will dedicate my life to NEF for as long as possible. Photo of Mann and Sima.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Sunita. What an improvement!

This is the young lady I was taken to see last year who was in such a bad way.  She looked like a child bride and indeed had been one.  When I went to her room she was frightened and had sad eyes that told her story.  She had a tiny baby and a four year old son.  Her family lived many hours away.  She had no food, had never paid the rent, and could not send Rajesh to school.  To put her at ease I asked to hold her baby and sat with her in my arms admiring the tiny daughter.  The house owner has a little grocery shop so we bought groceries for her but she could not bring them home for fear her husband would return, as he did every couple of months, and he would take them and sell them.  So she went and got them as needed. She had a kerosene burner but no fuel for it so we bought her some.  I put the story on this blog and someone offered to help her with some money for food and he also found a sponsor for Rajesh.
I visited here yesterday and what a change.  She was looking relaxed and happy.  She has a cleaning job every day for six hours earning about $35 per month but she is managing.  She has a two burner gas stove now and a cupboard and Rajesh has just finished his first year of school.  I felt so satisfied to see her so much improved.  I just wanted to sit and savour the moment.  I took them clothes and the hat that baby Rita is wearing was my granddaughters. 
Very often when we give hope it lights a fire and the situation improves greatly as has happened here.  It is so heart warming to see.

Medal for Rabin

Just before I left home for Nepal I was at a road race. One of my friends won a medal and said he did not want it so I asked him if I could take it to Nepal.  I have been waiting for the right child and occasion to give it away.  A few days ago I visited Rabin and he showed me his school report.  He had placed first inclass 3 with 96%.  Yesterday he came to the office with his father to pick up a gift that his sponsor had asked me to buy for him.  I decided this was the child that really deserved it.  They are extremely poor but it had not deterred Rabin.  I placed the medal around his neck and he was so happy.  Unfortunately he has his eyes closed in the photo and I did not notice at the time.  Also a photo of him with his gift of books and a football and playing with Mann's children in our compound.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Many Thanks to a Kind Sponsor

Within hours of posting the last entry about Umesh a sponsor in Australia offered to pay for his surgery.  We appreciate this so much and Umesh and his family are so happy.  They are going to the hospital tomorrow to make the arrangements.  Today is New Year's Day so this will be a great start to their new year 2071.  
I will post more here later today.

Friday, April 11, 2014


Umesh, his brother Rupesh and their mother came to see me this morning.  They live very far out on the other side of Kathmandu.  They are a very poor family who we have sponsored for many years.  The mother cannot work because of bad arthritis and the father is unreliable. Poor Umesh has had a problem with haemorrhoids for a long time probably four or five years but the problem has got steadily worse.  He has now failed two years in school because of pain and bleeding and he eats very little.  The family can seldom afford vegetables and never fruit.  Even sitting is painful for him now as the haemorrhoids have become so large.  The doctor says only an operation will cure the problem but they cannot afford that.  The mother did not even ask how much the operation would cost as she knew they did not have the money for it.  Imagine your child having to suffer like that and not being able to help him.  I have asked her to find out the cost but it is going to be in the range of $400 to $500.  Mann knows someone who just had the same operation and it was this much.  So if anyone would like to make a donation to this cause we would be very grateful.  Photos of Umesh and his brother at our office today.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Mamdira now Sponsored

Mamdira is now sponsored to go to the same school as her sister.  Thank you to everyone who responded.  We really appreciate it.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Mamdira Needs a Sponsor

This morning I visited the home of Indira and Mamdira.  Very poor family that has been waiting over a year for a sponsor.  Father, Naran, works in an iron shop making 5000 rupees per month ($60) and mother does labour work making about 2000 rupees a month ($23) and their rent is 2,500 per month (30) so this only leaves $53 for food and other necessities.  Plus there is no free medical here or education and no food banks.  It is a tough life.  When I go to a home with only one sponsor left I always pick the youngest girl.  It is a little hard on the heart as one watches while the other holds the sign and is photographed.  I always take the whole families photo but they know what is going on.  So Mamdira does not have a sponsor.  Indira has a private school sponsor but even if we could get a government school sponsor for her it would as sometimes we can get a deal at the school where we register many children.  That costs $125.00 per year or half private school would be $175.00.  This would help us get both girls in the same school.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Some of Our Children

Some photos of our children visited today.  Top is Liza, Mann's daughter.  Mann is President of NEF.  Liza is starting class 1.  Sunita, in red festival costume, she is in second year of a Bachelor's program. Sunita has been with NEF since 2005. Kirin, who was taken in by a Government employee and is sponsored by a Nepali living in the US.  Kirin is starting class ten.  Bottom is Delisha and Bilisha, sisters from a very poor family.  Bottom is Rabin.  Rabin is a very smart boy who came first in his class this year with 95.36%.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Carol & Keith from Qatar

Carol and Keith are donors and sponsors from Qatar and they come out to visit all their children every March.  It is always a great pleasure to see them and spend a few days together.  They and their friends sponsor 15 or 16 children here.  They also have helped Pumbi Bhumdi and Gunjara schools with rebuilding.  They also have provided two library's and a science lab to schools.  They are continuing to help fund the Pumbi Bhumdi School new improvements.  They raise money in Qatar with their Pinky Fund, named after one of their sponsored children.  Also from the Qatar Wooden Spooners rugby club and other friends.  We thank them for their continued support.  All the red shirts have also been donated from Qatar.  They are school uniforms from schools that no longer need them and most are brand new.  We will look forward to seeing them again next year.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Yoga Retreat in lovely Setting

How peaceful it is here.  Yesterday it rained most of the day but this morning dawned bright and sunny.  We went for a walk up the hill, everything is always up here, to the oldest temple in Nepal.  The views were beautiful.  I was near here, at Nargarcot, when I first came to Nepal in 2001 with my daughter, and this takes me back to that first time.  This was the Nepal I first fell in love with. The yoga and meditation is so healing for me along with the spirituality of this place and the quiet.  Sometimes we need time to refresh and re energize and I am glad I have taken the time for this.  It will be hard to leave but now I will just enjoy the day.  Everyone keeps commentating on my advanced age so I had this photo taken with a 72 year old man we met on the toad this morning.  Funny that I never ever thought I was old until people kept telling me I am.  I always thought age was a state of mind.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Yoga Retreat

I am taking a few days break at a yoga retreat outside of Kathmandu in the green Himalayan foothills.  I am the only one here so it is very peaceful and quiet.  The noise where we live on Kathmandu is unbelievably bad.  Two little dogs that are kept very cruelly on chains in a very small cement compound  cry and bark constantly night and day.  We have complained to no avail.  They are so lonely and bored and the crying is too much too much to bare.  So I am here for a few days and then if the situation has not improved I will have to move to a hotel.  I know a good cheap one in Thamel and I can finish my work from there.  There are no laws here to protect animals or noise by laws so there is nothing we can do.  Children and animals are so vulnerable here.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Visiting the Second Family Sponsored many Years Ago.

The family of Pradip, Sandeep, Parmila and Prabu were the second family I sponsored back in 2005.  They have had many hardships and setbacks over the years.  The father is not often around which is a good thing as he is drunk most of the time.  Pradip, our success story, as we saved him from drugs and the street. He is now in second year college.  Sandeep left school and home and was living on the street and diving in the river at the cremation site to find gold teeth and jewellery which might have been missed before the body was cremated.  He has been back at home and school for at least three years now and is starting class ten.  Parmila and brother Prabu are also doing well. Pradip keeps the family going by working at a warehouse every day from 11 am to 8 pm earning $60 per month and he goes to college from 6 am to 10 am.  He loves to play his guitar.  I am so proud of this family.  If I want to make myself feel good I come to visit this family and then I can see and feel that NEF and our sponsors have made a huge difference.  I wonder what would have become of this family if we had not been there for them.  Pradip has been a role model for his brothers and sister, they are all admirable young people.  Pradip has a maturity beyond his years and a dedication to provide for his family, he is a kind and sensitive young man.  I know every year I write about him and I will continue to because he is a shining example of what NEF is all about.  Prabu missing from the picture as he was taking an exam.