Last november, during my 3-weeks-stay in Pokhara (Nepal) when i was waiting for my spareparts from germany, Justin Gambill went into my life and i liked him from the first moment on. He started talking to me in front of our hotel, because he saw my bike. He, himself tried to cycle from Lisboa to St. Petersburg and ended up in Berlin with is bike, named Ms. Jamis. But this is a special story, you can read on his website.
A few days after our first contact, he told me about a children home, runned by a non governmental, non religious volunteer organisation named "forum for the welfare of himalayan children".
So the next day we cycled to that place at the other end of Phewa Lake.
The children that lives in that home come from the families of poor villagers who can't afford them, families that were displaced during the earthquakes, or parents who have just abandon them. They're basically street kids who've lived on their own until they were found by local governments and brought to FWHC.
The village educates the children up to 16. They provide clothes, meals, housing, medical care, and love. FWHC instills a work ethic, discipline, and a set of rules that must be followed.
It's the responsibility of each student to wash their clothes, make their bed, work in the garden, and help prepare meals.
The village also has its own set of rules. It's agreed that the village must generate at least 25% of the expenses in order for the organization to keep its funding. They come up with some pretty creative ways to do this:
- Gardening, which supplies them with fresh fruits and vegetables that they don't have to buy.
- Solar water heater to reduce energy costs.
They sell arts and crafts to generate income.
They a Guesthouse that they rent out to tourists
Local farmers supply them with manure which is converted into methane gas and burned for their stoves. The pictures below shows how it works:
Before we went into the area, Justin looked for one of the housemothers. After he found her she guided us from house to house and from place to place in a very cordially way.
They've created such a warm and loving environment. You feel it as soon as you walk through the doors. You could see the smiles on the faces that the kids were genuinely happy.
It's heart breaking to imagine what would happen to these kids without the village. The Forum for the Welfare of Himalayan Children gives them hope. Life hasn't been fair to these children but with the love of a village, these kids can grow and excel in life. So i decided to make a donation collected from my friends and my customers (NEPAL4SURVIVE).
When we get off the administration building the children showed us her "dhanyabad" by offering us flowers. What an emotional moment.