Newsletter no 2 2015
St. Petersburg Florida in Mars 2015
Newsletter no. 2 2015 from KMCH Support Group
Hello, Tashi Delek and Namaste
In this newsletter we reflect on the past year, are pleased with the result but at the same time a little bit worried about 2015. Most interesting, I think is to read about Chembals parents and their lives.
Losar, Monlam and the Day of miracles
The Tibetan New Year Losar was this year on February 19th. The year is number 2142 in the Tibetan chronology and it is called the “wood- sheep” year. At Losar all Tibetans are celebrating their birthday. Then friends and families rejoice and pray for peace and prosperity in the new year. Losar is followed by Monlam Chenmo, the great Prayer Festival which extends beyond Losar for 15 days. The 15th and last day of this period is called the Day of Miracles was this year on March 5th.
The Monlam Chenmo tradition was established in 1409 by the great Lama Tsongkhapa. He is the founder of the school of Tibetan Buddhism, known as Gelupka for which the Dalai Lama is the head. The current Dalai Lama is the 14th in order.
According to the myths Sakayamuni Buddha had been challenged by six rival teachers for many years to prove his miraculous powers. The Buddha finally accepted the challenge and began on Losar. He then displayed miracle after miracle for 15 days, finishing on the Day of Miracles. Good deeds and prayers during this period is said to have a very positive effect on ones karma. (Mostly taken from a newsletter by Lama Yeshe Wisdom Archive.)
The annual report for 2014 is completed and revised (but only in Swedish)
The annual report for 2014 is now completed and revised. KMCH Support Group was founded in May 2007 so it is the eighth year of operation which now is completed. KMCH in Nepal started a few months earlier the same year. It has been a wonderful "journey" with KMCH. It has been made possible by all of you who have helped us with support in various forms. We (= the Board's five male representatives) have under this “journey” made three real trips to Nepal to visit the children.
|The roof of the new house leaked this summer, so we had to pitch the tents indoors.|
Our first visit was, just after the start, in July 2007. Then the school home was in Kathmandu. There lived twelve children from Humla. Year 2010 KMCH moved to the village of Yangar in Humla. The unrest in the country had ceased and the school in the village of Yalwang was good and running again. Our next visit was in July 2011. Then KMCH was still renting a house in the village of Yangar. There were then 33 children. We pitched our tent on a site above the village which had been set aside to KMCH by the village council of Yangar to build a new school home. There we planted trees with the children and hauled rocks for the buildings to come.
The third visit was last summer. In the latest newsletters, you have been able to read about how it now looks like with two large houses with bedrooms, teaching rooms, storage and office. There now live 47 children, our two teachers, our site manager with family and our storage and transport manager. In all our visits we have been struck by the children's openness, joy, and interpersonal skills. All the meetings have been very moving.
THANKS - once again - all of you who in various ways contributed to make this possible.
Now back to year 2014. It was a great year for KMCH, not only because of our trip to Humla and the meeting with the children, but mostly because of the fact that KMCH SG has never been able to send over as much money for activities as this year, 274 000 SEK for operational expenses and 360 000 SEK for investments. Most of this we have one person to thank for. The strong Swedish currency (SEK) this year has made it become a lot in Nepali rupee (NPR).
|The children were often with us and "talked" and played.|
However, business and life goes on. We are happy for the outcome of 2014, but we now are looking forward to year
2015,that seems to be pretty tough. In January 2014, the Swedish Krona (SEK) was unusually strong compared to the dollar, which is the currency used in our transfers to Nepal. The Krona weakened gradually during the year. The exchange rate is now about 20% lower than the average for our transfers to Nepal in year 2014. The deterioration has struck through in a similar way for the Nepalese currency (NPR). This means that in order to get the same amount of NPR that we got for 100 SEK in year 2014, we need as it looks now, in the beginning of 2015, to have 120 SEK. A weak Krona is good for the Swedish export industry but not for the "aid industry" who gives the gifts with the Swedish Krona (SEK) as the base.
That we could get 20% more in gifts this year to compensate for the currency loss, we can just hope. However, we will in different ways try to get more donors. Tips and support in these efforts are greatly appreciated by all of us in the Board or on . Do you know any forum that can be interested of a speech about Nepal and of our activities there or any companies with or without relations with Nepal that could possibly help us?
Chembals parents' life in brief
During this summer's trip to Nepal we met for the first time Chembals parents Woshak and Pon Dakpa. Some hours before we flew from Kathmandu to Nepalgunj we had momos in Chembals little flat in Boudha outside Kathmandu. Woshak lived during a period in Kathmandu to get medical treatment that she could not get in Humla. Now a half year later, we know that Woshaks health is better and she has left Kathmandu and returned to Humla and to the village of Yangar.
Woshak told us that she was not older than 16 years when she moved from her parental home in Kermi a neighbouring village to Yangar. There was, of course, Pon Dakpa, Chembals father. It takes around 5 to 6 hours to go between the villages. Now more than fifty years later she laughed heartily, and maybe a little embarrassed, when we asked if love had brought her to Pon Dakpa. Even today arranged marriages are common in Nepal. Chembal told us that when his grandfather and grandmother had got five daughters, they turned to a holy man and hoped that they through his prayers will let them have a son. The prayers were answered and Pon Dakpa, Chembals father, was born.
|This way Chembals dad wandered between Tibet and southern Nepal in 25 years. Many families had to combine trading and agriculture to survive.|
During our stay in Yangar and the school home Chembals father Pon Dakpa came down from the "Grasslands", on an altitude of around thousand metres higher up in the mountains. It is up to the Grasslands they each summer take their animals for summer grazing. It was a weathered face we met, and like Woshaks, so friendly and open. Together with Chembal, his brother Lapka and dad Pon Dakpa, we had an unforgetteble night in the provisional kitchen of the school home. Pon Dakpa is about 70 years of age. It is , a high age in Humla. It has been a hard life as we understood from what we heard from both Woshak and Pon Dakpas. They had many children to take care of and it was extra tough for Woshak and the children when Pon Dakpa several months a year were away from the family on trading tours. He went to Tibet with his horses and sheeps and bought salt. He then went to the south of Nepal where the salt could be exchanged for rice and grain. Chembal remembers how happy they all were when dad returned from his trading tours. “Dad is back! Now we can have rice again.“
Pon Dakpa told us during the evening of the life in Yangar, he praised the potential of the cellphone, and not least that they have electricity in Yangar. He told us about the Yeti, he told how the Snow Leopard seems to more and more come down from the high mountains, but that the Tiger seems to turn the other way now. We asked if he could see any large change of the ordinary life of Yangar. He laughed and said that Yes, it was changed and perhaps easier in many ways, but ... the people now-a-days seemed sostressed... life had become more busy than before.
Namkhyung Charity Clinic – NCC
|Kitchen stove model Humla.|
Our small health clinic has one room in the nearby monastery. In year 2014, it was 4 199 visits to the clinic. 55% of the visits were of men and 45% of women. The predominance of men may perhaps have something to do with the fact that we have a male nurse? 20% of the visits were for stomach problems such as intestinal worms, dysentery, etc. An equal proportion of the visits were related to problems in the upper respiratory tract and urinary tract.
Respiratory problems have decreased in the 21st century. It is due to that the last 10-15 years, people have gradually installed so-called smoke-less stoves and thus ceased to cook food over open flames indoors. I'm guessing, however, that the families still mostly are sleeping in one room and in addition to that, if it is not always so easy to take care of the personal hygiene, infections spread easy.
Visit to the monastery this summer
When we visited the monastery in 2011 we lost a match in volleyball against the monks. Last summer we had taken with us reinforcement so we hoped to play better and maybe even win a set. But it was not the case. It was a festival at the monastery and the monks were fully occupied by various ritual dances in fantastic costumes.
Greetings from KMCH Support Group
KMCH Support Group www.kmchumla.se E-mail:
Org.nr. 802437-1810 Bankgiro: 5604-4019
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