Continuation of various projects

Direct aid on site in India and Nepal

Tue, August 11, 2018 - 7:15, written by Alexandra, published by Frank

In July and August Alexandra spent five weeks in India and Nepal for FriendCircle WorldHelp.

It is not easy to put on paper all the experiences that would be worth writing down.
This time, however, we will put emphasize on the emotion and gratitude of the people who have been receiving support. For people in crisis situations, every little help is something special and very appreciated.  
Over several weeks, various places and states in India were visited. In many schools with children below the poverty line, children received the necessary school materials and fruit, allowing their parents to save a lot of money.
This time the children were allowed to choose a pencil case with a picture of their choice on it, which was a great pleasure, as this is by no means common in India.
The school uniform, which has been compulsory in India since British colonial rule, is usually provided by the government once a year. 
Mosquito nets against dengue fever and malaria were distributed in large poverty-stricken areas with many thousands of people. For information: a double mosquito net to protect two persons and a child, costs approx. 1.30€. In addition, toothbrushes, toothpaste and other hygiene products were distributed to the children. Many diseases develop and thrive especially when very many people live in confined spaces under unhygienic conditions, which is the rule in slums.
In addition to high-calorie biscuits, also fruit was handed over, which is a rarity especially for people in need, since fruit is comparatively expensive and less nutritious than rice. As a consequence, particularly children as well as old and sick people often lack the necessary vitamins.
Many huts were visited and inspected personally, and seriously ill people who could not pay their bills were given a medical allowance, which is an enormous relief for very poor families.
In between change of location by flight to Nepal.
The metal workshop in Nepal is diligently used to contribute to the family maintenance. The sewing workshop for women, built and furnished by friends help friends, is also regularly used. During the next stay, we will also buy weaving machines to expand the range of products sold on the local market.
Solar panels were also installed for 42 houses. The tiny light bulbs in the huts until then only worked for a maximum of one to two hours a day, due to the usual daily electricity short-cuts. 
From about 6 p.m. in the evening it is often already pitch-dark in the huts, which usually have only small holes as "windows" to protect the inside e.g. from wild animals.
In the evening, school children could no longer read or write - solar panels will improve the situation and life after 6 o'clock in the evening will now continue...
In many regions of the Himalayan mountains of Nepal and India, women are gathering in groups committed to promote education and the progress of their village community. With hard field work and the sale of some vegetables on the market, they are saving rupee for rupee on a common account with each woman contributing 10 to 100 rupees (approx. 10 cents to 1.30 euros) per month to the savings. Microloans are then granted from this account to women who want to buy a goat, need a water hose or have a family illness, for example. Thus, a certain degree of security is guaranteed by the community. 
Friends help friends supports the women's groups in order to allow them to intensify this valuable work.
This time we could convince ourselves intensively of the special sustainability of the support given by friends help friends:
Virtually any support, such as water pipes, pumps, solar panels, which have been provided since the severe earthquakes of 2015 in Nepal, are still functioning perfectly. Mingmar happily reports that he keeps getting calls from people who tell him that they will never forget the support and that they still benefit from it.
People regularly send "their blessing" to the many friends who make this help possible with their donations.
Very often they express their gratitude by saying: "We pray for you and all those who have done so much good to us!"
Find more impressions of the journey in the gallery, which is structured like a picture story...



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An apple is something special for the children.
There is great joy and/or amazement about the content!
Distribution of fruits, biscuits, mosquito nets, toothbrushes etc. in poor areas of India.
Enjoying it right away ...
For the elderly, the unexpected support and a few words of affection are a special joy.
The 'shower' near a hut looks almost surreal.
Due to the rains during the monsoon season the clay huts often collapse.
Nepal, near Banepa: Mingmar connects the solar panels for 42 huts (one each for three or four houses).
This is how the solar panel installation on a roof looks like.
Old people get hardly any support for life. A pension is often very small, e.g. 5 to 15€ per month.
This time, this granny is given a lot of food and a ton so that she can store her food in it in a "rat and mouse safe" way.
A poor family can't pay the hospital bills for their daughter. The girl was suffering of high fever for over two weeks. Friends help friends pays for treatment and medicine. Meanwhile the child is healthy again with his family.
In a slum, a boy with a burned foot was discovered.
A doctor was called immediately and first aid was given (wound disinfection, wound ointment). For further care he is accommodated in a nearby hospital  (since hygienic wound care cannot be guaranteed in the slum).
... THANKS to ALL friends! Without your valuable support all this would not have been possible!!


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