“To light one candle is better than to sit in the dark complaining”
In fall 2004 I travelled to Nepal for three months to work as international volunteer. I lived with a local family and taught English at a governmental primary school. That way I got to know the problems and needs of Nepal, one of the poorest countries in the world, and initiated a few little projects during my voluntary service.
For example it was possible to have 35 uniforms made for the most needy students of my school and to buy 122 pens and exercise books for all students with a donation of 105 Euros from Germany – a material investment that also helps the students to identify more with their school and the meaning of education in general.
I also could distribute clothes, collected from many people in Germany, among the poorest children of my village. But this kind of help is very doubtful since one package from Germany to Nepal takes 80 Euros – a lot of money which could be spend more effectively. During a trip through the country I got to know Keshab Khanal and the “Child Welfare Organization”. Keshab is the owner of a small tourist office in Sauraha and uses 30 to 35 percent of his income to support poor families. With the financial help of Keshab poor parents can send their children to school instead of having them work on the fields of wealthier farmers. He also supports those families to develop themselves by giving them a cow, a goat or a small piece of land. I had a very close look at the project and even went out with him in the country to meet some of the children and their families. I was impressed by Keshab´s commitment. He told me about his idea of building an educational training center for poor people and I promised to help him with donations from Germany and elsewhere.
Now Keshab has found a house of which the cost runs up to about 6000 Euros. Keshab is calling up on our help and now we are trying to realize that idea of a training center bit by bit. In the training center the people are suppossed to learn to supply and develop themselves, so that one day they are able to send their children to school on their own. The center is also suppossed to be a meeting point for the children to exchange their experiences and knowledge from school.
In June of this year some of my friends and me were founding the “Initiative Nepal” to support the efforts of the “Child Welfare Organization” and we are trying our best to make the idea of the educational training center come true.