Nepal has many needs that their own government and local enterprise are not able to meet. This has been the case even before the earthquakes of 2015. Because of this the cities of Kathmandu and Pokhara are home to many offices of NGOs and INGOs, and foreign aid workers, and there is a constant stream of short term volunteers arriving to bolster the ailing tourism industry in these days of post-earthquake recovery. At the forefront of this work is the Christian church. In a country that looks for spiritual solutions for daily needs – at the shrine or temple, at a festival, or from a witch doctor (‘traditional methods’) – the rapidly growing church is becoming respected as a significant contributor of solutions in ailing communities. As I may have mentioned elsewhere I have observed local churches as a source of healing, the provision of homes and water supply, a pioneer of new agricultural techniques, a champion for equality of opportunity in education, and providing support of widows, widowers, orphans and the disabled, refugees, and creating livelihoods for many who otherwise would be neglected or without hope.
In my travels around Nepal I have encountered many wonderful people (not only Christians) who are seeking to bring change where they live or leverage support for more remote areas. I cannot mention them all here but please see the footnote below.
Here I list just 15 causes! I will be commending them to my local community in Westdene for consideration. In each case the provider is mentioned, but projects 6-13 would be provided through Bethsaida Church in Kathmandu. I trust that we will be able to pick up a few of these as some money has already been pledged. They are in no particular order.
- School Education for 20 Kids: Fledgling and fast growing Omega Anglican Church in Kathamndu (founded in February 2016) already has 20 children attending and they would like to support the families by paying for every child to attend a local English speaking school. Cost £10 per child/month. Annual £2,400.
- Church Rent & Meals: Omega church is growing and seeks £50 a month to be able to rent the second half of their meeting premises and £20 a week to provide a simple meal for everyone. Annual £600 + £1,040.
- Pokhara View Point Primary School Rebuilding: After the earthquake the head teacher of this government school paid from personal funds to fix the broken buildings and continue the excellent education provided under his leadership. Please see my report for more details. Cost £2300. As a result of my trip we have already donated £200 towards this.
- House Building Project by The Leprosy Mission (TLM): Following a house-building training programme TLM is now seeking to build 120 houses at £3000 each, for the most vulnerable and at need. Please see my report.
- Church and School Complex in Masel: Pastor Assok has identified a good plot of land (cost £5,500) to provide a community centre (church and school costing £110,000) in this Himalayan village near the Gorkha earthquake epicentre. Please see my report.
- Schooling Support Program in Remote Areas: Helping orphaned and helpless children by providing education opportunities in central region and Tibet border some villages with little outside contact. In partnership with local churches this could have the benefit of opening up communities to support and opportunities. £120 a child/year (target 64 children).
- Health & Hygiene Seminar: Run two three-day training courses in essential health and hygiene awareness for women in remote villages where there are no health facilities with the aim that they then transfer this knowledge to their community. One near the Tibet border for hilly Tamang communities and one near the Indian border for the so called ‘slave people group’ the Tharu community. £13 for each delegate (aim to train 585 delegates).
- Gospel Sharing Training & Church Planting: One three-day evangelist training seminar in each of the 5 regions of Nepal for 200 participants on each occasion. Nepal has the fastest growing church in the world. This training helps every believer share their faith and provides trained workers for regional churches bringing the gospel to new communities. £7.50 per delegate (£1,500 per seminar).
- Ministry Sustainability with Income-Generation: One time support for pastors or church workers to help them continue the work and be self-sustaining. £190 one off gift for 10 goats or 10 piglets or 410 chicks to each family.
- Livelihood Support for Helpless: Providing living support for helpless leprosy affected people and widows. £13 per person monthly (23 people target support = £3588 annually). Please see my report.
- Desks and Benches Support: Helping local remote schools by providing seating and desks for children by using local wood supplies and carpenters. £3800 for 120 desk/bench sets.
- Building Construction Support Project: Helping local churches, schools, health centre clinics, community centres etc to upgrade facilities where there are local volunteers but not the funds for materials. £11,000 for 5 buildings.
- Youth Link Ministry: Serving struggling teens and youth in Kathmandu area with holistic approach (physical, social, spiritual, emotional and socio economic prospects) and help them meet Christ to have hope, peace, salvation and prosperity in life and learn to support others. £5,000 for salaries, costs and activities annually to directly support 60 youth a month and 720 in a year.
- Five14Adventures Homestay House-Building Project: Interserve are building metal framed buildings in partnership with holiday makers and villagers to create new tourist accessible areas in the Himalayas and provide essential housing. Recipients of a homestay live there and ‘pay it back’ by hosting trekkers. This brings income to whole communities. It is possible to sponsor a house build and/or take a group on a volunteer expedition. £2300 to build a house or £38 a day for an adventure.
- Goat for a Girl: Interserve are helping to eradicate the female sex trade in the far west by providing a simple living. £80+ to provide goats.
**** Footnote: Some other worthy agencies working in Nepal that I came across.
All Hands leading teams to clear rubble, set up emergency shelter distribute aid and suport childrens development.
International Nepal Fellowship one of the longest working NGOs, specialises in health and development work. As INGOs (International Charities) are not allowed to work directly in Nepal they work through INF and UMN among others.
United Mission to Nepal pursuing justice and peace, the causes and effects of poverty and making Christ known in word and deed.
Human Development & Community Services with a project called ABBS they serve 100 children with disabilities through day care centers at three places one of which I visited in Kathmandu. These centers help the children by teaching them daily living activities and try to develop them physically and mentally through different therapies. The focus of the project is to help children with physical and learning disabilities to develop learning skills that will make them independent and self-sufficient to integrate with the community.
New Life Minisries is a network of churches that run a bible school, training, orphanages, church planting and also known as Feet Ministries. They trained and continue to support the pastor who serves in Masel at number 5 above.