ProNepal on field visit in Kathmandu and in the surrounding area again after four years.
5.000 € for an intensive care bed. We stand in a corridor in the basement of the Sheer Memorial Hospital in front of the intensive care unit and look inside. The hospital is in Banepa, a town 26 km east of Kathmandu. A plastic curtain separates us from the 5 patients. A 25-year-old woman died tonight. Suicide with poison. The doctor tells us that more beds are needed. ProNepal had donated two.
In the same town, we meet a very motivated nurse in a health station. With impressive commitment, she explains her area of responsibility to us. She also has a big request: an ultrasound machine. This would enable her to give the pregnant women the necessary medical support.
These are two of the many experiences we had in Nepal from 2-15 September 2022. We, that is 4 board members of ProNepal with our adult adopted children and a friend.
A lot has changed since our last visit 4 years ago. Most of the damage after the earthquake has been repaired. The city of Kathmandu has had a new mayor for a few months. The tangled cables of the electricity poles are gradually being removed, the streets are cleaner. There are only a few tourists in Thamel. The high season is just beginning.
There is hope in the air. But the cost of living is skyrocketing. The state is still conspicuous by its absence. That is the main reason why the people are dependent on foreign aid. New parliamentary elections are scheduled for November, and there, too, people hope for improvement.
It rains every day. The monsoon lasts longer this year. Riccardo, our president, has attracted 2 leeches while visiting a site for a new drinking water basin. After removing them, it bleeds.
In the home for children and young people with disabilities in Kavrepalanchok, we meet a small group of fellow residents, carers and home management. Some of the children are ill, either with Covid-19 or dengue fever. In one room, the children are making bracelets. They lovingly and joyfully put one on us. The house is big, it could be better used. But there is no money for transporting the children and young people to the home.
The children at the Sahayogi Samay orphanage welcome us a little more shyly. The letters from the godparents and the gifts are well received and the ice is broken. The children know that we will always come back, and a familiarity quickly develops. Aruna, the home’s director, tells us about the bureaucratic obstacles. On top of that, she says, she has to offer the children a better home. In Kathmandu, it is currently impossible to find halfway cheap accommodation. The authorities make demands, but contribute nothing financially.
In the Khusibun area, where women are being trained as knitters, the machines are rattling. Despite our presence, the women continue to work. They seem to enjoy it. They are making school uniforms. The order situation is good. This is now the third edition of this project. The first was in Sanga, and the last two in the capital.
We take an adventurous route via Chyamrangbensi to Ghinghe, about 50 km south-east of Kathmandu. After four hours of driving over impassable terrain shrouded in fog, we reach the village and the medical room and school that we have equipped. We eat a small meal with the children. We have potatoes and sweet, nutritious porridge.
The most festive and official part of our trip is definitely the inauguration of the drinking water project in Sanga. The whole village population is on its feet. The welcome is warm and overwhelming, and we walk to the square in front of the school to the sound of drums. This has been transformed into a fairground. For once, it does not rain. After the various speeches, we mingle with the people and enjoy the atmosphere.
Sanga has experienced a remarkable upswing after the construction of the first water pipeline and through this new deep well.
We received nice and meaningful fees from all 3 main public banks of South Tyrol. The T-shirts we received from the AVS, South Tyrol’s Mountain Club, were also well received. The equipment of the medical rooms, as well as the construction of the deep well and the equalisation basin in Sanga were financed in cooperation with the Autonomous Province of South Tyrol.
Our partners from the organisation SEO have accompanied us almost all the time. Ms Jaya and Mr Pradhan are immensely reliable and obliging. We have known them for almost 20 years and the bond with them is great. Our friends in Nepal thought of us when Covid-19 was there, they know that everything is getting more expensive here too, that the Ukraine war is very threatening and they hope with us that the situation will soon return to normal.
Everywhere we felt great gratitude and at the same time the desire not to be abandoned.
On our flyer there is a quote from Mother Theresa: we ourselves feel that what we do is only a drop in the ocean. But the sea would not be so rich without this drop.