Happy new year! By the way, did you know it is already 2076 in Nepal? *

We had a very busy last month and we are really amazed by how generous and supportive people have been!  The music event in Islip was a really fun evening with great music by the Old Blue Cats, Jim Condie and the Knights of Mentis.  And excellent Portuguese Street Food provided by Bruno from Santabifana.  Thank you everybody who offered their time to help out (Max, Tara, Jonathan, etc.).   We raised £1647!!  (£1400 already spent for the Pame kids’ uniforms when Diane and Su were there in November).  We then attended the Islip Christmas market where we sold ceramics made by Diane, Sirkku and Tina, as well as some Nepali made bags, scarves, pencil cases, etc.  There we made £135.  In Sweden Tina and Sirkku sold their handmade ceramics and wooden knives by Kenth at markets and made $770!  All materials they paid for, their artistic skills / time and holding the event they did for free. Not sure what else to say than a massive THANK YOU!!  We continued to sell the arts and crafts and beautiful friendship bracelets made by Rubie at a market in Streatley where we made £180.  And finally, a home market which collected as much as £297! 

In the meantime, the family mentioned before has had their broken walls repaired and leaking corrugated roof replaced, and been able to build another room to their house, as well as fit an electricity box.  We gave them £470 from the donated money for them in November.  With the electricity installed we have offered to pay for the wiring and bulbs (£80) and the monthly min. bill of approx. £2.  So we are giving them another £200 complete the project, e.g. to make a new stove in the kitchen, buy them utensils and 4 new thick blankets, and also a bit of food.  The father has worked really hard with the help of some local builders.  Krishna from Alliance Nepal has been buying the materials himself.  See pictures and keep checking our instagram too where there will be more frequent updates    https://www.instagram.com/handinhand_nepal/

Just some thoughts…we realise if you haven’t been somewhere, seen for yourself what it’s like, witnessed the kind of help that is needed, got to know the people, especially seeing the smiles of  gratitude from the children, it can be hard to relate to all this, it’s all just words from us.  This makes your generosity extra special.  It’s so heart-warming when people are interested, ask questions, and feel touched by our stories and seeing our pictures, and say “please, this is for the kids in Nepal…” or “we have more than enough…”.  Be assured, these notes and coins that you hand over at the recent events as well as what is donated through our go fund me site, will go straight to where it’s needed.  The people who receive don’t take it for granted, they appreciate this gesture enormously, even though they don’t quite understand how, why or where exactly it all comes from. The amount of money floating about in the West is incomprehensible to them.  When they are overwhelmed with gratitude to us, we always say, it’s not just from us, it’s from our friends.  All who are part of this.   A final note, we do realise help is needed in so many other parts of the world as well, and in so many ways.  It’s almost unbearable thinking about how many people seriously need help, and you wonder where do you start? what do you do?  What will make a direct, significant difference?  What will be sustainable?  Well, we ended up doing this in/for Nepal, where, thankfully there is peace now, but so many people live on less than the bare minimum and too many children don’t complete their education.  Here we can provide support directly, through our contacts, based on what we learn is most needed and will make difference.  That’s why Nepal.

* They go by the Bikram Sambat Nepali calendar, which is approx. 56 years and 8 and months ahead of the Gregorian Calendar or AD, the new year starts from the middle of April.