Trip Update: Fay's visit to Nepal
Our Nepal Manager Fay coordinates our work in Nepal from our UK office. She visits Nepal a couple of times a year to support our staff and see the progress of our two projects. Best of all, she gets to spend time with our amazing kids and see them grow. This year she took a group of supporters to visit our Hetauda project to meet their sponsored children. She stayed on a little longer, taking the journey up to Khairang where our Bethany School is located. She shares with us a summary of her trip and just a few highlights of her time with our kids:
A team of sponsors made the remarkable journey to Hetauda in February to meet their sponsor children. The children are always asking me if I know their sponsors and it was wonderful to be able introduce some of them to people who have loved them from afar, some for many, many years. The children value their relationships with their sponsors and say amazing things about how they have been helped by prayers and by the knowledge that someone miles away truly cares about them. One of our team, Angela, had a special joy in meeting a young man called Kephas, who she sponsored all the way through his schooling. Kephas, now an engineer, came especially to meet Angela and thank her in person for her love and faithful provision. It is so rewarding to see children flourish in these special moments and one little boy was especially encouraged by meeting Anne and Ken; turning from a quiet, shy child into a happy, confident little boy in a matter of days. After Anne and Ken had gone home it was encouraging to see the new Ayush continue to show his new found confidence.
Our Khairang Bethany mountain school continues to thrive, with children now divided into three classes, taught between the two teachers. The latest excitement has been the provision of classroom furniture for the school, all made by local parents, and received with enthusiasm by the children. No more lessons on the floor, but the chance to get accustomed to sitting and working at a table. Most of our children live in homes where there is no furniture; they sit on the floor and sleep on piles of corn cobs. We believe in doing all we can to prepare our children for transition to the local government school and so being comfortable with furniture is just one aspect of this.
For me, one of the highlights of the trip was 50 children playing parachute games for the very first time with delighted screeches of joy. There was such a riot of colour with all the children in their bright new Stand by Me T-shirts, and their stamina for moving the parachute up and down was astounding! Two hours later they had to be persuaded to come and have their lunch!
We are delighted that, since we started the Bethany School, eleven of our children have transferred to the local government school to join Babitra, our first ever student to make this move. This is testimony to what access to an education in these remote hills can achieve. Our children come from a culture that puts little value on some because of the family they are born into, but a confidence building early education is making a difference to the opportunities that the children can enjoy as they grow up.
The work has enabled children to look forward to changing school with heads held high, confident they have the academic skills to join a new class and the self confidence to know they are valued and loved. For a people described by many as ‘being unable to love’, I am so heartened by the warmth that our children now show, being greeted with smiles instead of faces being hidden away and with giggles as we enjoy simple games together and they make fun of my Nepali.