Sponsorship for helpless Himalayan children
Our very first, and main project is based on sponsorships to finance schooling for children from broken, orphaned or poor families, focusing on the Tibetan border regions of Dolpa, Mustang and Solukumbu. Due to the remoteness of these areas, basic education is unavailable. Nepal is one of the least developed countries in the world. The Majority of Nepalese live well below the poverty level. As with other underdeveloped countries, Nepal has great troubles with child malnutrition, illiteracy, poverty, child labour and other problems related to children. Inappropriate medical treatment is one of the major causes of low life expectancy. Nepal has a population of 22 million, 200 inhabitants per square kilometre, and only a bare 30% of adults are literate. Nepal is an independent country bordered by India to the east, south and west. Its northern frontier follows the Himalayan ridge with Tibet. Its total surface area is 147,181 km2.
Presently, MfH finances the schooling of 17 Nepali boys and 11 Nepali girls in a private school in Kathmandu. To achieve this we established joint cooperation with the Himalayan Children's Foundation established in Kathmandu. HCF is a non-political, non-profit making and non religious non-Government Organization (NGO), registered with the Government of Nepal and associated with the Social Welfare Council. This foundation was launched in 1997 by a group of young and active Nepali social workers with the objectives of improving education, health and living condition of helpless, poor and orphaned children from the mountain districts of Nepal. MfH believes that a good education for children is a major factor in achieving the long term sustainable development of the country.
Yearly sponsorship fee amounts to US$ 1,400 per child and includes the initial expenses of bringing him/her to Kathmandu. This amount also covers tuition in a private school in Kathmandu, food, boarding, books and stationary, lodging materials, uniforms, medical care, and private hostel charges during the school holidays.
MfH's principal concern is the constant follow-up of the progress and welfare of these children. At the end of each school term, HCF informs us of the general development and progress of each child sending personal assessment report cards to the sponsors. We strongly encourage correspondence between the godparent and godchild to get to know one another better and to enhance affective bonds.
MfH tries to make the godparents aware of the need to assist the child for a minimum of 6 years to guarantee the success of the scheme. If, for some reason a sponsorship should fall through MfH will try and find another, if not, we will personally take responsibility for the remaining fees.
The success of the sponsorships has over crowded the present hostel opened in 2002 by HCF with a capacity for 50 boys and girls. Our main aim for 2004 was to find a building to refurbish as a new hostel in Kathmandu for a maximum of 100 children and thus increase sponsorships to a further 50 needy children. This project was estimated at 18.000, of which MfH provided 9.000. On May 13th, the children and the HCF offices moved to a new Hostel.
The one major problem faced in Nepal has been finding adequate housing for 90+ children. The children have been forced to move from three previous rental buildings and were facing eviction as the owner planned on selling the latest hostel. After many months of searching, we found a beautiful area of land in the Gorkarna area of Kathmandu, in a quiet valley.
We opted for three separate buildings (service building, boys dorm and girls dorm) in a traditional Nepali architecture.
The new three buildings were inaugurated on the 27 th October 2007.