A 19 year old Umbrella youth, Sushil, from the Western district of Surkhet, has been working with Indian immigrant families the last year and a half along the banks of the filthy Bagmati river and in Thamel, the tourist area of Kathmandu. The older boys in these families spend 6-8 hours in the evening and night, every day, collecting plastic and rubbish and selling it on. Along with Doc, an Irish volunteer, and many others, they have managed to admit 23 of the younger children to a local school and are in the process of setting up classes for the older boys and girls, women and non-school going children. On Saturday 9th of May, we ran a health camp for the school going kids, they received a full medical check-up, along with their younger baby siblings. Doctor Suresh administered all the checks and provided us with any needed prescriptions and preventative measures in ensuring their health in the coming months and years. To see a bunch of children run off to school for the first time was a joyous experience for them, us and their families. Many thanks to all involved, for providing assistance as we endeavour to reach out to those in need.
Through Doc’s NGO, Nagarhope, we are in the process of finding sponsors for these kids to ensure that they have the option to have a complete primary and secondary education.
Miniland, the local school where the kids now attend have been very accommodating in supporting these children, they have all of them in a line holding hands ready for us when we pick them up from school. Derian, another Umbrella volunteer, and Divya, a Nepali girl, have also been instrumental in assisting this small project. Divya is now a full time teacher with Nagarhope, and will be running classes in Nepali, English and other subjects in two small rented rooms converted into classrooms. Derian is a nurse-type, and has stocked a small medicine kit with guidelines in these rooms. The doctor obliged us by coming to us, which saved a gang of 50 women and children walking across this dusty polluted city.
Sushil is the first Umbrella child to leave and go out on his own making his own life for himself. When you have been spoonfed, you need strong will to go out there, make your dreams and ambitions come true. The dreams of many of these children will be fulfilled thanks to Sushil’s commitment. Where there is Sushil, there is light, where there is light, there is hope.
One of the founders of Umbrella, Dave Cutler made a generous donation to assist Sushil and Nagarhope, which enabled us to furnish the rooms with shelves, lino, curtains etc… A gang of about fifteen people took five days to paint the rooms. Nepali and Enghlish alphabets adorn the walls, whiteboards, cushions and tables are in place, as is the teacher. Classes are to begin soon. It has been a concerted effort to get this far, and many children and families have benefited already.
Dave’s donation also enabled us to supply 160 schoolbags, which are being used by Umbrella and the Kalimati children as we speak.