Namaste from Nepal! Due to the new visa regulations for Tibet, I was unable to accompany the rest of my group on that portion of the trip. Instead I remained in Kathmandu, Nepal at the Child Haven International children’s home. It has given me the opportunity to briefly live the life of a volunteer again and get to know the children and staff a little bit better.
Let us not be satisfied with just giving money. Money is not enough, money can be got, but they need your hearts to love them. So, spread your love everywhere you go. – Mother Teresa
I really like this quote. It sums up what I’ve always said of volunteers at Child Haven homes. They are there to give love. The basic needs of the children are already being met. They have shelter, food, clothing, and education, but they need that little bit of extra love and attention.
The Nepal home receives the most volunteers of all the Child Haven homes. This is partly due to the more comfortable weather and conveniences of a large tourist industry, but also because of the easy visa on entry system. This has been very good for the children here.
It has been a while since I volunteered for Child Haven in Kaliyampoondi and Hyderabad, and it took a little time to get the hang of it again. The smallest children demand the most attention and we have been spending the days playing games and walking around, singing songs and tickling one another. It is nice to interact with the staff and older children as well, having long conversations about topics that range from the current political unrest in Nepal to my grandparents diverse family. Their curiosity is refreshing and their hope for the future is inspiring.
This is a nice video of the Nepal Home. It goes through a typical day of the children, staff, and volunteers.
This is another short video that follows the rewards and frustrations of three volunteers at the Nepal home.
These videos were made quite a few years ago, since then there has been one major development. They built the Green Tara Child Haven School. This school educates the children of the home as well as the surrounding community up to Grade 8 and even has a Montessori program for the preschool and kindergarten children.
Here is a video about the school.
It was a usual kind of day here at the home today – with one exception. It was hair cutting day. The children, young and old, boys and girls, all lined up to get their regular hair cuts. For most it was a close crop, but some got to have a little fun.
Here are some photos of the day.
The days have been a bit long with no school for the children. The noise begins at 5am and doesn’t stop until 10pm. This is not enough sleep for me at night and I end up dozing off once or twice during the day. But I am getting some reading done and a bit of writing too with all this spare time. It has been a nice break from the constant travel schedule and I am actually pleased with the way the Tibet visa situation forced things to be.
Thanks for reading!