Monday, March 21, 2016

On my Way Home

It has been a hectic three weeks in Nepal, my shortest visit to date.  When I booked the oil embargo was on and I thought getting around was going to be difficult but the embargo was over before I arrived.  Many days I worked eight to eight but 99% percent of the work was completed as of yesterday.  Krishna will finish up.  It has been a marathon but the children as always have been a delight and meeting with friends enjoyable.
Our new organization and board are doing well.  I have seen all the paperwork and we now have transparency and detailed records of all children.  Krishna is extremely efficient even though he is still learning all the children and schools.  He is a very fast learner.  Ram has put in hundreds of hours to achieve the correct paperwork for the government and also to learn all the children, their backgrounds and schools.  We are going to minimize the amount of schools we are using so that all children in one area go to the same school.  This will be much more efficient and mean that even government sponsored children will get a better education.  Below are some of our board members.  I will post more photos in the next few days.

TREASURER - Krishna Hari Basnet.  Krishna works as a night receptionist at the Kathmandu Guest House.  He coordinates all NEF children, visiting schools and families etc.  Past NEF student.
PRESIDENT -  Ram Hari Basnet.  Ram runs a cargo busniess in Kathamndu and also has built his own school in his village for poor children
VICE PRESIDENT - Rajendra Thakuri - Rajendra has worked for NEF for many years managing the Hattiban area children.  He has a job in guest relations at the Kathmandu Guest House.
MEMBER - Niroz new to NEF and is an IT Designer.
SECRETARY - Pradip Gandharba -  NEF student now in a master's program.
MEMBER - Bipana Ale Magar - NEF student now in a BA program.
Not shown are Shirjana Adhikari past NEF student now a bookkeeper at a college
and Sabitri Poudel blind NEF student.

Friday, March 18, 2016


'Manu is just starting class 1 at nine years old.  His mother is very poor and  has no useable hands as they have been badly burned.  She earns a meagre income begging at the tmple.  When we met Manu he was seven and really wanting to go to school so NEF sponsored him to go to Government school where he started in nusery class.  That is not what he wanted so he went to the High Mount which is private and refused to leave.  His sponsor agreed to pay the fee and he is happy and attending regularly.  I find Manu to be an extremely lovable child who has a lot of determination.  He is always delighted with his sponsor's letters, the first time I gave him one he tried to give it back to me, he could not believe someone would write to him.  I gave him this medal, donated by one of my running friends, and told him it was for his good work and attendance at school.  He was very happy.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016


This is my last day in Pokhara and a rest day, my only one this trip.  I have seen all the children here and it has been so enjoyable.  Pokhara itself has problems because of a lack of tourists.  Businesses in Lakeside are suffering badly, the stores are quiet and some already have closed.  Hotels mostly empty. To rent a store a years rent must be paid up front, the earthquake happened a year ago next month, so that years rent is almost gone.  After that I just do not see how they can pay these high rents with no tourists shopping in their stores.  I have a friend who is a jeweller and another who owns a gift shop both say the situation is terrible.  The only tourists here are young backpackers and they do mot spend money.  
At this time of year the sky is usually alive with coloured paragliders, there are very few now.  Everyone is suffering.  I also see kids sniffing glue on the street something I did not see before in Lakeside.  Things have changed due to a disasterous past year.  Hopefully tourism will pick up but it is going to take time which a lot of these businesses do not have.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Literacy Program Restarts Tomorrow

The Women's Literacy Program restarts tomorrow.  After the earthquake, some construction of the building and then the oil embargo the women seem keen to start again.  I met with them today and we had 14 who wanted to start tomorrow and I am sure more will come once they know the program is running again.  I felt 14 was enough to make it viable.  We then went and bought the books etc for them and will drop them off tomorrow.  I am happy that the women are keen to start again as they have done so well.

Monday, March 14, 2016

NEF Children in Pokhara

We have visited many children in the last three days, 48 in one day.  They are always a delight.  Here are a few.  Top Milan, Nikku a student with NEF for nine years, now in his last school year, Gagan a very sweet little boy, Dipika from Pumdi Bhumdi, Ganga, and a teacher reading Sohan his sponsor's letter.

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Supplies for Blind Students

A few days ago I mentioned the donation we received from the students in Georgia, USA.  They make unique jewellery which they sell so they can help underprivileged children.  They call themselves "Jewels for Jewels".  We found a special project for them in Nuwakot at the Chandaswory School where we have our earthquake project.  At this school there are 22 blind students ranging in age from 5 yrs to the early 20's.  They had no supplies at all especially since the earthquake.  We bought for them two computers with special software, a radio for each with an external drive so that they can listen to their books, braille supplies, white canes etc.  It was very rewarding delivering these supplies as they were so appreciative and happy.  We chatted with them and a little girl sang for us.  These kids were not only blind but also very poor and had lost their school in an earthquake but were so happy.  A lesson to be learned here.  Sabitri, our blind masters student, came with with us as she had helped us with advice on what the students needed.  She is hoping to get a job as a teacher at this school and it is looking very hopeful for her.  Many thanks to "Jewls for Jewels" for making this project possible.  I wish you all could have been there.

Friday, March 11, 2016

NEF Earthquake Project

Yesterday we visted Nuwakot and the village of Tupche (not sure of Spelling) this is a five room building plus five toilets.  The toilets have not been started yet but the school buildings are well on their way.  Now the fuel embargo is over it should be finished quickly.  It is a block building reinforced with iron, next it will be cemented and the roof material is being delivered this week.  The children are studying in tents at the present time.  There are 22 blind students here and tomorrow I will tell about them and our project for them.  I am very tired as we have been on the road all day and now we are in Pokhara.

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Tomorrow leaving for Nuwacot

Early tomorrow we leave for the mountain area of Nuwacot.  This is where we are building the school rooms with the earthquake money.  We will be there for two days and then travel to Pokhara to visit all the children there.  So no internet for a couple of days.  It will be nice to leave the dust, pollution and chaos of Kathmandu behind.  The fuel embargo is over and they are getting 70 percent of the fuel allotment from India.  Tourist numbers are down but it is still fairly busy. 

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Children needing Sponsors

We have quite a few students needing sponsors.  Most of them are older in the higher classes or college so the sponsorship will be short term.  If we do not get sponsors we have to pay for them out of the fund which is quite draining on our resources.  These children had sponsors but have lost them and some NEF has been paying for them for two or three years.  Some are here in Katmandu and some in Pokhara and I will going there in a couple of days.  These ones are in Kathmandu.

First is Shailindra in class nine, very bright student.  He will be starting class 10 next month, cost $125 for the year and the two years college at $ 350 per year.

Next is Bijaya Lama.  He has one year of college left at a cost of $350.  Bijaya has been with NEF for many years and is a good and regular student.

Binod class 8 at private school so cost is $350.00 per year, good student.

Prabu, from the first family ever sponsored by NEF.  Has two brothers and a sister all who have done well through NEF.  Private school $350 per year.  Class 9 so four years left.  

These boys are all good and regular students and we have to continuing helping them to finish their education.  Any help would be appreciated.

Monday, March 7, 2016

Stone Quarry

I am calling this the stone quarry children out of habit as the quarry has now gone.  Over the years the land has gradually been built on and the families have been sqeezed out of their dwellings.  I met most of them in a room one of them lives in.  These children have lived hard lives in very poor circumstances but they do so well in school and we have three in college and one that has graduated.  I have been coming to visit these families for so many years and it is always a pleasure to see them.  Photos 
Of Abeseka, Bijaya first year college and has mo sponsor now, Aaiseka, Sarita and Sanija.

Friday, March 4, 2016

Sabitri and City Academy

Yesterday we met with Sabitri, one of our blind students.  She is doing really well and she is helping us with a project in Chandaswori, Nuwakot. That is where we are building five school rooms and toilets.  We are supplying school supplies for the blind students including two computers with special software.  This project made possible by a group of students at a High School in Georgia, USA called Jewels for Jewels.  They make creatively distinctive jewelery which they sell at local markets to raise money tohelp others  less fortunate than themselves such as the children supported by NEF.  She is buying a lot of the supplies for us as she knows the suppliers and exactly what is needed.  She hopefully is going to be the teacher at this school.  Photos and details to follow after we deliver the supplies to the school.  This school was destroyed in the earthquake.
We also visited City Academy School where we have eight students, two who are in their last year and taking their School Leaving Certificate exams next month.

Photos:  Sabitri, Binod who has lost his sponsor, Jwala and Samjhana.

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Photos of some of the Children

Photos of children at Gyan Bigan School, Asmita ans Susmita Bhujel, Rajesh, Surabi, and Pinki.

Nakhipot Area Children

SYesterday we went to the Nakhipot schools and saw about 20 children.  As always it is a delight to see the children.  It has been a year since my last visit and many had grown a lot.  Some are in their teens and can converse in English.  Krishna, who himself was educated through NEF, was my guide and he has excellent English and is doing a great job recording all the children, school fees, telephone numbers etc.  
We also visited the Mahalaxmi School where we did the project last year of building toilets and making a nursery class.
Dave's idea of making up bags for every child is a great idea.  Their sponsor letter/gift goes in the bag and if there is no letter we put a small gift in the bag of clothing etc.  This way every child gets something.

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Arrived in Nepal

I arrived in Nepal late night after a 40 hour journey.  Dave and Krishna met me and it was good to see them.  Today has been a full packed day of work and just going to bed now at 10 pm.  Krishna, Dave and I spent hours planning for our visiting of children and schools.  We sorted all letters and gifts and made up gift bags for all the children that did not have anything.  Dave purchased fabric bags and we filled them.  Plastic bags are outlawed here.  Amazing a third world country and they are ahead of us on this one.  
Tomorrow we visit Nakhipot and the five schools there.  We also met with Ram for two hours tonight and I can say that I am very pleased at how the charity is being run by what I have see so far.
Now I must get some sleep.