2021 : AN IMPROVISED TRIP TO NEPAL
On March 29 2021, an official document from the Nepalese government circulated on social networks announcing the end of the quarantine requirement upon arrival in Nepal. Even the offices of the Nepalese embassy in Geneva are not yet aware of this.
Motivated to leave, Claire, a new sponsor who found us thanks to our website, contacted me. Why not take advantage of this official decision to go to the country? We quickly decided to go on the trip, even if it would be short because of our respective professional obligations. With visas and negative PCR tests in hand, we flew to Kathmandu in mid-April. For my part, it had been three years since I had been back there.
What a joy to see all the children again, full of life and so welcoming! I came back from this trip with the renewed conviction that our action in their favor is deeply useful. A part of the Nepalese population is facing more complicated living conditions than ever, especially because of the drop in tourism. Financial support from abroad – donations or remittances from expatriate Nepalese workers – remains essential. To accompany the children in their schooling and training, our commitment remains indispensable in this troubled context.
We have “opened the way” – not the way to the Nepalese summits, but the way to Nepal! We hope that the trips will become more possible in the future, and that other visitors will finally be able to go there again to visit the centers. For the moment, Nepal is reconfirming itself because of a rise in the number of infections, but let’s hope that this will only be temporary.
(Text : Catherine Christ Revaz, committee member)
APRIL 2016 TRIP TO KATHMANDU
ELISE, STUDENT AT LA CHATAÎGNERAIE, SHARES HER IMPRESSIONS OF HER FIRST TRIP TO NEPAL :
Though long anticipated, our late afternoon arrival in Kathmandu was an immediate culture shock. Kathmandu is a place that is incessantly busy; the air is thick and you can constantly hear cars beeping or dogs barking. The cleanliness, order, and clean air of Switzerland offered a great contrast to our experience in Nepal. I was reminded of the privileged lifestyle I lead and how much I am sheltered.
In contrast, Kathmandu is a city that has suffered a lot. This was continually evident whether from the earthquake damage to the thick smog in the air or the lack of basic supplies. Despite all of this it is incredibly easy to love Kathmandu: the people are friendly; the building are brightly colored; prayer flags strung up between homes. Not only this but we had the luck to see it at a prime time: Holi day. This meant that we experienced an important and colorful part of Nepali culture which was shared so wholeheartedly with us.
The people at the SASS orphanage definitely left the greatest impression on me. They are incredibly welcoming and accommodating. They definitely taught me at least as much, if not more, than I taught any of the children. The children’s outlook on life and the positivity they showed was infectious and gave me a sense of perspective for my own life. They wanted you to experience their cultures and lives as well as learn about yours. I have gained a second family and people I will never forget. SASS is definitely an organisation I would love to work with again.
Though the trip was challenging and at times even testing, I wouldn’t change this. It made me more resilient as a person and I can only hope I was helpful to the Sagarmatha orphanage. I am determined that this will not be a once in a lifetime experience. A big thank you to the Sherpa family and to everyone who contributing to making this experience such a special opportunity for us.
Nepal trip April 2015
We return after a trip to Nepal accompanied by Cathy and Béatrice (sponsors). In particular, we:
- organised a two-day excursion with 15 young people to Shivapuri village resort
- donated shoes, toys and games thanks to the money raised by Cathy and Tara
- distributed gifts from sponsors in Switzerland
- welcomed two visitors from Switzerland, Christine and Sandra
- discussed the need to offer professional practical training for young people finishing school with Babu, manager of the Sagarmatha centre/SASS
- visited other projects for children: Disabled Service Association/for handicapped children & Punarbal Home/for children affected by HIV and AIDS
- visited a women’s monastery, the Kopan Monastery
- organised a large afternoon snack as well as a puja (religious ceremony) for the children and the team at the Sagarmatha centre
Go to the photos galleries
International school 2014 trip
To read the texts from International school of Geneva students, to read the texts
International School 2013 trip
In March 2013, a group of about 40 students and teachers from the International School of Geneva (La Châtaigneraie) went to Kathmandu for 10 days.
To discover the mission’s achievements
Nepal trip April 2012
The mission of April 2012 was made up of six individuals most of whom were going to Nepal for the first time. These people went to Kathmandu between 27 March and 10 April to meet the children of Sagarmatha and evaluate their needs.
Each visitor participated according to their abilities. Improvements have been made in the cooking area of the orphanage. Shelves were installed to stock supplies, rice and food. The old cooker whose toxic fumes from the kerosene it used was replaced by better quality equipment more suited to the needs of the children. The plans for the new dining hall and a new kitchen were also drawn up with Francis and the management team of the center. The first bricks of the construction were laid down in July.
The mission also enabled them to take care of other needs that were assessed on-site such as shoes and clothes, English books, supplies of vitamins and medicine, toys. The latter were particularly appreciated by the children!
It’s through all these projects and activities that close ties we created between the orphans and all the participants of the 2012 mission. This was so successful that they have already all booked their tickets back to Sagarmatha in 2013!
International School trip 2011
Twenty-eight students and four teachers from the International School of Geneva (La Châtaigneraie) went to Kathmandu from 8 to 20 April to meet the children of the orphanage and evaluate their needs.
Goals of the mission :
- Bring school supplies, bags, notebooks, pens and books to the children.
- Participate in managing the finances for the coming school year.
Ten laptops were brought for the children so that they can benefit from the most recent technology to increase their knowledge through use of the internet. Out of these ten computers, five were offered to the children of the orphanage and five others to another school in Solukhumbu, a remote region of Nepal.
Each student had the possibility of participating in one or more of the proposed projects. They could choose from work such as painting the front doors of the orphanage, the hall and the stairs of the house, repairing the basketball backboard, purchasing toiletry kits for all the children, organizing drawing sessions, musical lessons and games, purchasing a television and organizing a big party for the children.
The mission also evaluated other needs on-site and took care of getting things like shoes, clothes, individual lockers, supplies, vitamins and medicine. Strong bonds were created between the youth of Nepal and Switzerland. The visit was one that will remain unforgettable for all.