Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Now that the monsoon season is just about over we are able to start our earthquake project.  Dave, our sponsor from New Zealand, and Ram, NEF Chairman, went to a village in Nuwakot that was badly hit by the earthquake.  Their school, Shree Chandeswory Higher Secondary, a school 36 classrooms suffered a complete loss of 25 classrooms which also included the library, science lab, office, toilets etc.  The remaining 11 rooms are damaged which makes them dangerous.  

This is what the school wrote to me:

The devastating earthquake that hit Nepal on Saturday 25 April has caused a great damage to Chandeswory Higher Secondary School. Many rooms of the school have been collapsed, turned into a pile of rubble. An office, an administrative room, a science lab, a computer room, a store room, 10 hostel rooms of blind, a blind research room, a library room and  27 class rooms  have been completely destroyed while a meeting hall, two toilets next to the administrative building and some computers have also been damaged. Similarly, six class rooms have been damaged partially. Thus the whole buildings of the school  have been damaged either completely or partially, with the estimated cost of the damage amounting to 7 crore of rupees.

If the villagers do a lot of the labour work themselves we should be able to build about 10 classrooms.  If the labour has to be hired we could only build 5 or 6.  We will see what happens but hopefully we can contribute 10 rooms to this school so it can carry the great work of educating so many students.

The work on this school will begin shortly and I will update on the progress.

Monday, May 4, 2015

Link for Donations to our Earthquake Fund


Food and basics being Distributed in Nepal

Our NEF team are busy every distributing aid to not only our sponsored families but others who have been badly affected by the quake.  We have not only distributed food, blankets, utensils to Hattiban but erected sturdy tents to them.  We have visited families in Kathmanu and given them food.  Right now Mann and the team are heading north of Kathmandu to a village in the Sinhupalchok area to distribute food.  This area has been very badly hit with most houses destroyed.  They are travelling by night as it is safer.  Below Asmita and her father in front of their destroyed home, there are nine children in this family.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Destruction at Hattiban

These photos show the terrible destruction in the village of Hattiban where we sponsor about 24 children, 14 lost their homes.  Today Mann takes supplies there to build 7 homes from bamboo and heavy plastic.  He has enough labour to help and get them up as quickly as possible as they are experiencing heavy rain.  This was a very beautiful village but the houses are constructed basically of stone and mud.  
Dave spent six hours yesterday with helpers Nira and Prakash buying supplies, loading a truck for Kathmandu.  Mann has those supplies today, the building materials, blankets, food and other basics.
There is just so much need it is hard to know where to start.  
Today in Pokhara Dave starts again loading a bigger truck with more supplies.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Reached Hattiban

First photos from Mann.  They spent about $400 yesterday for food for our families in Hattiban but he said they need much more.  So he is going back in a couple of days.  He will be able to get to the bank tomorrow too.  They need cooking pots etc as well as basic needs. 

For those that have lost homes who I will list again we can build temporary homes for $400.  These would be bamboo posts in cement covered with heavy plastic which can be used for months or more.  It is better than makeshift tents. 

It is night there now but tomorrow he is going to try to get around with a taxi and food and see our Kathmandu children.  Food is becoming scarce but he found a warehouse and is going to load up tomorrow and take home to distribute in the next few days.  Prices are rising drastically.  They priced out some plastic roof sheets but they were $45.  Dave has gone back to Pokhara and will buy them there.  He will return in about 3 days.  Dave was urging Mann to bring Sima and the children back to Pokhara with him immediately as he felt things were going to get so much worse in the next few days.  Mann said no he had to do his work in Ktm and see to all children.  

These children have lost homes so far:

Kabita Nargarcoti

Rasaila Nargarcoti    all different families, same caste

Rosi Nargarcoti

Prasila Tamang

Asmita Kuwar and Asha

Anjali and Nirmal Tamang

Asmita Panta

So that is nine children from Hattiban with mud homes

Hopefully we will fare better in Kathmandu.

I will phone Mann around supper time when it is early morning there. 

Thank you, Thank you for all your donations you are making a difference

Monday, April 27, 2015


As you all know by now about the terrible earthquake in Nepal and the huge crisis there.  We do not know at the present time if all our families are okay.  We know the ones in Pokhara, Hemza and Pumdi Bhumdi are fine but the worry is Kathmandu.  We have heard from some.  We know that two families have lost their homes in the village of Hattiban in the Kathmandu Valley but we do not know about others yet.
Dave, from New Zealand, who is still there and Mann are renting a 4 x 4 tomorrow and driving to Kathmandu with basic supplies like food, water purification tablets, tarps, blankets, ropes etc.  They are going straight to the village of Hattiban where we have about 25 children sponsored.  Asmita and Rose having lost their homes also.
Mann was on his way to Pokhara when the earthquake hit.  He was in a microbus at the time.
All our NEF staff are okay.  Mann's family is at a mushroom farm under their awning for the mushrooms.  Last night a house near our office collapsed and seven were killed.  So everyone has to sleep outside.
Water is at a critical state in Kathmandu with all water now contaminated.  I am having computer problems here and keep getting signed out of this blog.  I am pasting the Fundraiser link.  Please also see our Facebook page:  Nepal Education Fund.  Will update here later.


Monday, April 20, 2015

Back Home

I am now back at home in Duncan suffering from jet lag.  Today I gave a presentation to Duncan Rotary Club about my trip and the Rotary Project at Mahalaxmi School, Nakhipot, Kathmandu.
It was a very busy time in Nepal with all the children and schools to visit plus the filming with Nick.
Ed from Australia and Dave from New Zealand were a big help and we were quite a team.  My thanks to them both.  Ed intends to return in October and to continuing working with NEF.  He is a great addition to our team.  He just loves the work, loves visiting the children and families and helping out wherever he can.  I am very happy to have him assisting us, finally it is just not only me.  We have a back up person.  He is also very organized and can help with spreadsheets etc.
We also have a new manager at NEF, Nepal.  One with great experience who is teaching Mann to organize the charity is a much more efficient way.  All this is good.  Also we are all covered if someone is ill or unable to work.  So the charity is more stable and well organized now.

There were many highlights of this trip as I have already mentioned here in previous posts.  This year we lost a few children and some sponsors but some attrition always happens.  We have some new children and children who lost their sponsors had them replaced with new ones and we welcome and thank these new sponsors to our NEF family.

I have very fond memories of the Mahalaxmi, Nakhipot school and the wonderful Principal and teachers there.  They were so caring of the children a large percentage who were child labourers.  The new toilets are well on their way to completion and next will be the replacement roof and nursery room.  Hopefully this makes for a little light in the dark lives of these poor children.

Paros, the little deaf mute, boy will start his new school this week where he will learn sign language which will open up his life and give him a bright future.  His mother took a long journey with him last week back to their original district to get all the documents she needed for him to be able to start the new school.  This was a big undertaking for her as she does not read or write herself.  Fortunately Mann knew someone there who could assist her.

Many of our students took their School Leaving Certificate exams last month and will get the results in June.  Hopefully they will pass and will start two years college.  NEF will sponsors all students to class 12.

It is wonderful and very moving to see all the children that we have sponsored for so many years.  Some of them have been with NEF for ten years and they have grown into very respectable young men and women.  They have a purpose and want to do well in their future lives.  NEF has been part of this and it is very rewarding.  We hope to continue with helping children to better lives and hope for the future.

I will continue to update this blog weekly with news of the children and schools.

Photos:  Top Manu and his mother.  Manu's mother's have been badly burned so she is not able to work.  Manu started school very late so is in class 1 and aged 11.  He is a lovely child who rushes to meet me and throws his arms around me in a big hug.  Hopefully he continues his school for a few years.
Middle: Ed reading a letter to Rojina.
Next:  Sandip, who has just finished class 10, holding a photo of me with him and his brother and sister when I first sponsored them ten years ago.  They keep the photo on the wall.
Bottom:  Last week Ed and I walked up to the Peace Pagoda in Pokhara in the early morning.  We sat for an hour and enjoyed the view.  More importantly we embraced the peace and tranquility that we lose hold of when working amid the chaos and poverty of the cities.  It gave us a chance to refresh and remember what life is really all about, enjoying the moment.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Leavin for Home Soon

I have got a bit behind with this blog owing to internet difficulties.  Also I thought I was flying home last Monday but got to the airport only to find out I was booked on the previous day.  I remembered then that the flight was changed before I left home and I had the wrong itinerary.  So now I go home on Thursday at an extra cost of $940.  A very expensive mistake.  I felt terrible about it but there it is.  
Also the journey is now longer so nearly 40 hours now.  
I have lots of photos to post here and stories and will do it as time and Internet permit.
The photos today are of two days ago at the Nakhipot school.  We went to give teaching aids and the sanitary kits from Days For Girls charity in the US.  Also to check on the Rotary Project toilets.  The staff here are amazing.  The girls were so happy with kits and Ed bought cakes for everyone.
Ed has been amazing.  I will write about him later.  He is a wonderful addition to our charity.  Running shoes donated by Ceevacs running club in Duncan.

Friday, April 10, 2015

Women's Literacy

It is always a delight to visit the women's Literacy class.  There are approximately 22 women attending the class now.  They go to class 2 hours per day for six days per week.  Nick filmed them in class and he took a turn at being the teacher.  At the end they served us food and they played, sang and danced for us.  It was a delight.  Their writing in Nepali and English was excellent.  They told how much confidence they had now that they could read and write.  One lady said that her husband would now take her with him when documents needed to be signed.  They are very proud of their accomplishments.  A lot of the women needed glasses so we sent them today's to have their eyes checked and nine needed glasses.  Hopefully we can continue with this program.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Phumdi Bumdi

We started working at this school a few years ago providing a library and the Qatar donors provided computers.  Over the next couple of years we helped with painting and Carol and Keith helped with the new buildings.  This year $10,000 was donated by a Qatar mountaineer, Julian, which will pay for a new library and computers rooms.  A Japanese NGO have donated a large amount of money for the new the school building.  
This school is a total success.  This school is all poor and low caste children and they speak quite good English.  The children are amazing.  14 children are sponsored through NEF.  One little boy who received a book would not let go of it.  I asked him if I could see it but no chance.  Finally he let go of the letter so I could read it to him.  I think it must be the first gift he ever received and no way was he letting go of it.  Also a child with a photo of her sponsor.

NEF Children at Pumdi Bhumdi

Friday, April 3, 2015

Birthday Party for Mann and Ram

Last night we had a birthday party at the Laughing Buddha Restaurant for Mann age 36 and Ram, owner of the restaurant, age 48.  The Laughing Buddha has been like family for many years now.  Photos include Nira, Ram, Mann, Ed, Dave, Prem's and Tez who is from England.  Fun was had by all. Three of us bought birthday cakes so enough for two days I think.

New Toilets for Nakhipot School in Progress

The new toilets for Nakhipot school are in the progress of being built.  New toilets, repair to part of the school roof and refurbishing of a nursery classroom are being funded by donations from two Merritt Rotary clubs and Duncan Noontime Rotary Club.  The toilets should be finished before I leave Nepal.

We are back in Pokhara now ready to start filming with Nick again.  He and his wife are on a trek expecting to return to Pokhara today.  Carol and Keith from Qatar also arrive here in Pokhara tomorrow.  The filming this week will be mostly of them with their children and the work they have done at the Pumdi Bhumdi school.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Donated Medals for the Children

Yesterday we had ten NEF sponsored children visit us at our office.  I gave each of them a medal that were donated from my running friends back home in Duncan.  I let each child pick the medal that the liked.  There were marathon and half marathon medals and the most popular one was from the Seattle marathon.  It is the end of the school year so it was appropriate.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Photos Below Are

Ed buying cakes for the children, Samjhana with a photo of her Sponsor standing beside one of airplanes he flies for Air Canada, children Chalnakhel school with photos Ed took of them last fall, students at Chalnakhel school singing the national anthem for Nick to film and Sushant with a Tibetan scarf sent by his sponsor.  The scarf was 50 years old and has been carried from Tibet to India and to Canada and now has come back again.  It was a touching story.

Some of the Children we filmed with Nick

Monday, March 30, 2015


Sabitri, one of our vision impaired students who is in the first year of a Master's program, received a nice surprise today.  A donor, who wishes to remain annoyomous, bought her an iPad Air.  She needed a computer so that she can do all the reading necessary for her course, 21 books she said in the first term.  She has soft wear for the blind loaded on it.  She was very surprised and so grateful for this wonderful gift.  She came into town this morning on the bus and then it poured with rain so we sent her home in a taxi.  The donor felt this was a very good investment as she has such a positive attitude. She is an amazing young lady.  She is a great role model for other blind students.