Dec 15, 2016

Supporting Students in Nepal in Times of Need

Empowerment through education and skills training
Empowerment through education and skills training

Namaste friends,

2016 has been a very trying but also a very productive year for the people we serve in the remote mountain villages of Tipling, Shertung, Lapa, Jharlang and Ree in Nepal’s Northern Dhading District. 

As you are aware, the devastation caused by a 7.8 magnitude earthquake in April 2015 affected millions of people in Nepal. More than 8,000 people lost their lives and hundreds of thousands lost homes, schools, livestock and the means to live. 

The trauma of the quake and its hundreds of aftershocks still haunts me and my family, but the generosity and compassion of each of you is far beyond and bigger than that. I want to thank you for helping us help the people we love and serve in my country. 

I want to share with you one story in particular of a young woman from the village of Ree named Mamita whose education is currently being sponsored by Himalayan HealthCare (HHC):

I am the first born of my parents. There are 7 people in our family, including grandparents. No one had been educated in our family before… and I couldn’t go to school in the beginning of my life. My childhood was spent looking after goats. 

When I was 8 or 9 years old, my parents saw other kids going to school, and they put me into a school called Pasang Chowki… I am the first literate member of the family.

After the earthquake, our home was destroyed. There was no safe place to hide from the rain or the sun. There was rubble everywhere. We didn’t know where to live or what to eat… Whatever we’d had in our home was buried in rubble.

Then the HHC scholarship results came in, and I got a chance to study science. I had decided to pursue this topic because there was a shortage of science teachers in the villages so I wanted to study science and return to my village to teach.

Because of my economic condition, HHC offered to support me in my studies and I was very happy to hear it. I’ll finish my science studies and will go to my village and help, and will give education to those who need it. I want to thank from my heart HHC for giving me a chance to fulfill my wish to study science.

Stories like Mamita’s are all too common in Northern Dhading, where the everyday struggles of living in poverty were compounded by the devastation of the earthquake. 

We are grateful to have had the opportunity, thanks to donors like you, to not only provide shelter, food, clean water, medical relief and other long-term support to families like Mamita’s, but to continue our support of promising students and health workers dedicated to improving quality of life in their villages. 

During the 2015-16 academic year, HHC has sponsored 14 students, providing comprehensive support for technical and other studies. This continues an HHC tradition since 1992, under which we have supported students, which particular emphasis on ethnic minorities, as health assistants, auxiliary health workers, nurse midwives, hospital managers, teachers, doctors, nurses, veterinary technicians and more. And it is a tradition we are committed to continuing. 

Our work is only possible because of the incredible generosity and outpouring of kindness from donors like you, many of whom have accompanied us on medical treks to the villages and seen the impact of our work firsthand, and many of you whom we’ve never met who nonetheless have stepped up to help us out of pure compassion for fellow human beings in duress. I cannot tell you how this has touched me and changed me in so many ways. 

Your kindness and blessings have saved hundreds of lives and continue to serve those who are deeply in need.

Thank you from Nepal and happy holidays to you and your loved ones,

Anil Parajuli

Mamita arrives in Kathmandu for her studies
Mamita arrives in Kathmandu for her studies
Students supported by Himalayan HealthCare
Students supported by Himalayan HealthCare

Links:

Nov 29, 2016

Supporting Students in Rural Nepal in Times of Need

HHC has supported education in Nepal since 1992
HHC has supported education in Nepal since 1992

Namaste friends,

2016 has been a very trying but also a very productive year for the people we serve in remote mountain villages of Tipling, Shertung, Lapa, Jharlang and Ree in Nepal’s Northern Dhading District. 

As you are aware, the devastation caused by a 7.8 magnitude earthquake in April 2015 affected millions of people in Nepal. More than 8,000 people lost their lives and hundreds of thousands lost homes, schools, livestock and the means to live. 

The trauma of the quake and its hundreds of aftershocks still haunts me and my family, but the generosity and compassion of each of you is far beyond and bigger than that. I want to thank you for helping us help the people we love and serve in my country. 

I want to share with you one story in particular of a young woman from the village of Ree named Mamita whose education is currently being sponsored by Himalayan HealthCare (HHC):

I am the first born of my parents. There are 7 people in our family, including grandparents. No one had been educated in our family before… and I couldn’t go to school in the beginning of my life. My childhood was spent looking after goats. 

When I was 8 or 9 years old, my parents saw other kids going to school, and they put me into a school called Pasang Chowki… I am the first literate member of the family.

After the earthquake, our home was destroyed. There was no safe place to hide from the rain or the sun. There was rubble everywhere. We didn’t know where to live or what to eat… Whatever we’d had in our home was buried in rubble.

Then the HHC scholarship results came in, and I got a chance to study science. I had decided to pursue this topic because there was a shortage of science teachers in the villages so I wanted to study science and return to my village to teach.

Because of my economic condition, HHC offered to support me in my studies and I was very happy to hear it. I’ll finish my science studies and will go to my village and help, and will give education to those who need it. I want to thank from my heart HHC for giving me a chance to fulfill my wish to study science.

Stories like Mamita’s are all too common in Northern Dhading, where the everyday struggles of living in poverty were compounded by the devastation of the earthquake. 

We are grateful to have had the opportunity, thanks to donors like you, to not only provide shelter, food, clean water, medical relief and other long-term support to families like Mamita’s, but to continue our support of promising students and health workers dedicated to improving quality of life in their villages. 

During the 2015-16 academic year, HHC has sponsored 14 students, providing comprehensive support for technical and other studies. This continues an HHC tradition since 1992, under which we have supported students, which particular emphasis on ethnic minorities, as health assistants, auxiliary health workers, nurse midwives, hospital managers, teachers, doctors, nurses, veterinary technicians and more. And it is a tradition we are committed to continuing. 

This #GivingTuesday, donations made to Himalayan HealthCare through GlobalGiving will be matched with generous support from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. For those of you who are able to donate at this time, your donations—in any amount—will contribute to supporting more students like Mamita in the coming academic year. 

Our work is only possible because of the incredible generosity and outpouring of kindness from donors like you, many of whom have accompanied us on medical treks to the villages and seen the impact of our work firsthand, and many of you whom we’ve never met who nonetheless have stepped up to help us out of pure compassion for fellow human beings in duress. I cannot tell you how this has touched me and changed me in so many ways. 

Your kindness and blessings have saved hundreds of lives and continue to serve those who are deeply in need.

Thank you from Nepal and happy holidays to you and your loved ones,

Anil Parajuli

Mamita arrives in Kathmandu for her studies
Mamita arrives in Kathmandu for her studies
Empowerment through education and skills training
Empowerment through education and skills training
Education = Hope
Education = Hope
Sep 15, 2016

Stories of Hope from Ilam, Nepal

HHC health staff, Phedorje, works with Chitra
HHC health staff, Phedorje, works with Chitra

Himalayan HealthCare's construction supervisor returned from Nepal's Ilam District last month where our community hospital has been undergoing repairs for damage caused by last year's earthquake. Cracks in the roof are being repaired, the foundation and retaining walls are being reinforced and the building overall is being made more earthquake resistant. 

Himalayan HealthCare's presence in Ilam is extremely important to the surrounding villages who, prior to our involvement in the region, had only one doctor to serve the entire population of 250,000. Stories like Chitra's reinforce how meaningful our community hospital and medical camps have been.

Sixteen years ago, Chitra was brought to Himalayan HealthCare's Mabu Village Medical Camp in Ilam, carried in a makeshift stretcher led by his grandmother. He was 13 years old, cadaverous and in agony with every movement. His joints, especially his knees, were inflamed and had ballooned, making walking impossible. He was immediately assessed by the Himalayan HealthCare team, given a provisional diagnosis of juvenile rheumatoid arthritis and put on medications including steroids. 

This was the first chance Chitra had to seek medical care for his condition. Although the medical team believed Chitra probably would not live, given the state he was in, Chitra's condition improved significantly in just a few days after arriving at the Himalayan HealthCare medical camp. 

Chitra stayed with the Himalayan HealthCare medical team for the duration of the medical trek in Ilam. He was carried in the stretcher through the Ilam hills and brought to Kathmandu for a better assessment, where a diagnosis of juvenile rheumatoid arthritis was confirmed. Thus began a long and arduous treatment.

Once Chitra was stable and released from the hospital, Himalayan HealthCare was in a quandary. Chitra's mother had passed away and his only remaining family--a frail grandmother and uncle with little means who had looked after him faithfully for years--were in no position to care for someone with his physical needs. Sending Chitra back to Ilam would be sending him back to die. 

Himalayan HealthCare made the decision to help look after Chitra long-term. Our founder, Anil, located an orphanage, St. Xavier's Social Service Center, close to the Himalayan HealthCare office in Kathmandu where Chitra could stay and where his progress could be regularly monitored. Chitra continued to live here for the next fifteen years. 

During Chitra's first year in Kathmandu, the late Som Raj, Himalayan HealthCare health staff, worked as Chitra's physical therapist and through these long, intense sessions Chitra progressed from being bedridden to being able to sit in a wheelchair. The orphanage, with Himalayan HealthCare's support, then sent Chitra to school. 

After a year of attending classes, it became evident that Chitra's condition, which, with his growing body, made for increased joint and postural deformities and discomfort, made it difficult for Chitra to regularly attend classes. The powerful immunosuppressant medications also made him prone to other deadly diseases, not to mention side effects. 

As the years progressed, however, both the medications and the medical services in Kathmandu improved. A rheumatologist began helping Himalayan HealthCare with Chitra's care and although he would often be quite ill for extended periods at a time, he managed high spirits and did his best, through vocational training, to become more independent.

Finding a vocational center that could help individuals with debilitating deformaties who needed a regular chaperone and were often ill was not an easy task. Under our own vocational training programs, Himalayan HealthCare tried Chitra at tailoring, which he enjoyed, but his hands and feet were too deformed to operate a sewing machine and he unfortunately had to give this up after a few months. Finally, he began working with Himalayan HealthCare's artisanal crafts line, JeevanKala. 

Chitra worked diligently, traveling 15 minutes every working day to the Himalayan HealthCare office to do his utmost, weaving recycled snack wrappers into colorful bowls and baskets. He received a small salary and stipend for his work. 

After much research and a visit to a hospital in New Delhi, Himalayan HealthCare's founder, Anil, had the chance to meet with severely physically challenged patients who were helped to walk after decades of incapacity by a local surgeon. This gave Himalayan HealthCare greater hope for Chitra's condition. In 2013, Chitra traveled with his aide to New Delhi and underwent two twelve-hour surgeries. The first replaced his left knee and hip; the next his right knee and hip. The surgeries, totaling $10,000, were funded by a generous donation from the Jean-Abraham Py Memorial Foundation. 

Due to his disease and years of disuse, Chitra's bones were brittle and his muscles atrophied, but he was able--for short periods--to stand on his legs and, with continued physical therapy, to move more freely with a walker. Chitra then underwent a third surgery, spinal osteotomy, to straighten his spine so that he could look straight ahead while walking. 

After his long struggle with this severely crippling arthritic disease and with Himalayan HealthCare's long-term support, Chitra went from a bed to a wheelchair to now being able to walk on his own using crutches. He restarted school after his multiple surgeries and recovery last year. 

This past April, Chitra sat for the national level 10th Grade School Leaving Certificate exams, which he passed with flying colors. He began 11th grade at Patan High School and will be restarting his training in tailoring with Himalayan HealthCare's support. He will continue to live at St. Xavier's at least until he finishes 12th grade. 

Stories like Chitra's are only possible with the dedication of Himalayan HealthCare's staff and international medical volunteers, as well as the generous support provided by donors like you. We thank you for helping us keep our community hospital going and for allowing Himalayan HealthCare to continue supporting so many other stories of hope. 

Sincerely, 
Rob

Dr. Robert McKersie
President, Himalayan HealthCare

Repairing HHC's community hospital in Ilam
Repairing HHC's community hospital in Ilam
Chitra working on JeevanKala crafts
Chitra working on JeevanKala crafts
Chitra recovering from multiple surgeries
Chitra recovering from multiple surgeries
Chitra walks on his own with crutches
Chitra walks on his own with crutches
HHC's Community Hospital in Ilam
HHC's Community Hospital in Ilam

Links:

 
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