My two-month experience at the Children Home Nepal by Daniel Rohn.
The Internet is filled with dubious offers or agencies who primarily want to enrich them-selves and show no social aid for non-profit organizations. For this reason I left out the very expensive step through agencies and started my own research of needy organizations in Nepal. It´s easy to search for private organizations as the Children Home Nepal on Facebook for example. Also you can easily classify whether this is a serious offer or not. You can save a lot of money by going on your own. This money can be used to improve the situation in the family later. Moreover it is an advantage for private organizations if they can communicate with the volunteers directly and not through agencies. In this case 100% of the money for food and accommodation, airport pick-up etc. goes to the institution and not in the pocket of profit-motivated agencies.
I've learned a lot from other volunteers who came to Nepal by agencies and paid a lot of money for their stay. They have basically paid almost three times more than I did, but the private organization is only able to cover one third of their costs, because the agencies took more than half of the money in their own pockets. Therefore the helpfulness of the volunteers as well as the need for the private organizations got lost. My advice: Make your own way to search for private and needy organizations and contact them directly without detours through the agencies. This ensures that your money get to people who need it most.
My contact to the Children Home Nepal occurred exactly like that. Sujan was the first who replied to my messages via Facebook. In addition, he was nice from the be-ginning, courteous and with a lot of passion. He as a young student who has to run a children home with 11 children, makes an incredible job. He is not only responsible for the welfare of them kids, also for the long-term continuation of the organization.
He regulates financial matters such as payments of volunteers, donations or other money input via western union. He is also responsible for the children’s school education, he has to organize them school places, buy teaching materials and pay school fees. And by the way he is still an engineering student who also has dreams that he wants to realize in the future.
But now to my experience in the Children Home Nepal:
I was welcomed very warmly by the whole family, so I could immediately feel home. Especially the children look forward to each new face which entering the doorstep and brings them a small gift. The children are very cheerful and friendly, they laugh insanely much and they are very lively. The days with the family flew by and were dominated by making children ready for school, trying to pack 11 school bags completely (which by the way is an impossible task) and bringing the kids to school. On the way home you can buy purchases for the family, talk to the locals or just rest.
Following you have a lot of leisure, which you can use to explore the surroundings or plan your future travel. I personally spent my time with Sujan, went sightseeing, visited other organizations or helped with domestic work. We built a rabbit hutch out of bam-boo, wire and clay and several pieces of furniture made out of wood. When the children are coming back from school first they want to play with you, then you have to check their homework and play again. In their leisure we went to the local "pool" or tried to teach them German or Chinese for example. Meals were simple but always delicious. You will get rice three times a day and a side dish. Either there was Curry or just the classic Dhal Bhat. That´s the reason why rice and I are not good friends anymore :) Here I can give one piece of advice again: try everything of the local delicacies, because you don´t know when you have the chance to try them again.
To summarize, it can be said that a stay in a private local family is essential to get a detailed insight into the work of such an organization. And you will meet an amazing warm-hearted family and 11 wonderful and happy kids.
Here are a few points which might be important for you:
1. Nepal is safe
2. Nepal is one of the poorest country on earth, but also the country with the most happiest people worldwide
3. Nepal is partly very dirty, especially for Westerners. Idea for a project in Nepal: Re-cover the awareness for nature which existing from birth. Taking forward the sustaina-ble protection of nature.
4. Arrive with as less as possible expectations, because anyway it will be differently than you think
5. Search for private organizations and not for profit motivated agencies
6. Enter help where it´s needed. So rather go to smaller facilities and offer help
7. Collect donations prior to your departure and use this money locally for necessities
8. Don’t worry about hygiene, diseases or other typical fears
9. Do not try to change the people there and imposition-them the western life style. Rather live according to their standards
10. Eat no rice as long as possible before your departure. You'll get enough rice for the rest of your life
11. Get in contact with non-profit organizations and also offer your help
12. Don´t schedule everything for your stay in Nepal. Just be spontaneous, book your flight and see what awaits you there…
Oct 14, 2015
I am a volunteer from England and was delighted when I came across Children Home Nepal, a truly inspiring nurturing environment, run by Sujan director along with his mother and father and younger sister. I was impressed to meet one so young who thinks and lives consciously , compassionate choices, this mentality is so rare in an Asian country , Sujan is utterly devoted to the welfare and positive development of these children, he is doing a splendid job in raising each one to be independent , compassionate, caring, rounded and educated individuals and he aims to help many more. His mission is admirable, these children have been given the best start in life, their home life is joyous and privileged, they are encouraged in music and creativity/sports and various fields of learning, have a diverse and a broad spectrum of interests and have thus aquired many skills, all the children are well spoken, have excellent reading skills, seem to excell at school and I was impressed to see how particularly the older children can communicate in English! They play cricket and badminton superbly also! Sujan also has to balances his role in supporting such a big family with studying engineering , he is truly a bright and highly educated talented and ethically sound young man, with great potential , has an interest also in Eco building and sustainability, is environmentally conscious and in favour of organic agriculture, there is an allotment just next door where we enjoy lending and hand and pick fresh organic produce. The family cook traditional Nepali wholesome and generally vegetarian food. Sujan wishes to get involved with other inspiring projects particularly raising awareness and encouraging women empowerment. He aspires to expand his learning social initiatives, establish another ten over time. Inspire the next generation to continue to his work to further improve the lives of underprivileged children give them hope of a bright and beautiful future.
On arrival at their home i was greeted so warmly by all 11 children, , welcomed me as fellow sister and were excited to share and get acquainted with me. I was amazed by their level of English , understanding and good manners , most well behaved and all so kind natured , was truly a joy each day to experience their laughter and loving kindness, their smiling faces and exuberance! as they delight in dance , play and reading etc. No matter the weather these children are endless bundles of sunshine joy! Was enjoyable to help with practicing their reading skills and playing educational games and outdoor activities. Never met such a well behaved bunch! They are also very independent , As Soon as they come home they get started with their homework before considering playing or wanting television , was also a wonder to see children who can actually sit still and attempt to meditate! Sujan leads meditation during the evening and it was wonderful to join them in bhajan circle , chanting devotional krishna mantras.
I felt most a home here, i love their cooperation and How ever body gets on happily and participates with daily life activities, sharing caring in the true sense of family and how they radiate such love , make you feel part of the clan, In the short time I have been here i have grown rather attached, will miss the children greatly, I fond each and every one of them so endearing, mother too she is an inspiration! How she Fulfills there every need and keeps everyone smiling..
I didn’t want to leave! i would gladly stay longterm were my visa not an issue, I hope to return for a atleast 6 months and support Sujan with his upcoming projects, I throughly enjoyed each and every moment, I couldn’t recommend more highly , staying with such a beautiful Nepali family, a most delightful and rewarding experience
Oct 14, 2015
To my dear family at the “Children Home Nepal”,
Wow, what a beautiful 9 days I have experienced here…from the moment I turned down the narrow laneway heading for the centre, and was met with a love-crush of little people calling me brother, I felt at ease and very much at home in this peaceful part of the sprawling Kathmandu Valley. It’s certainly a special place…and I’m sure I’m not the first volunteer to say I wish I could have stayed-on longer!
To Sujan and the family- you’ve certainly created a terrific place here..you’re doing wonders, providing such a warm, friendly environment for eleven beautiful (and no doubt very lucky) kids. From the nourishing vegetarian staple of dal bhat (in which I certainly ate my fair share), the group meditation and mantra chanting in the evenings, the camaraderie between and respect for each other,the sing songs, creativity and artwork, endless smiles and laughter, fun and games etc…it just seems so right…you’re onto something special here, that’s for sure!
As you can see this place has left a pretty big impression on me…I’ve never spent time volunteering in an environment like this and I must admit, I was nervous to begin with but this soon disappeared and its become one of the most rewarding experiences I’ve certainly shared on my year of travel (and indeed in my 26 years of existence!).
To top it off, you’ve also provided many options not only just to help out in the home and with the kids, but to also experience farm life in the Kathmandu Valley, work in medical institutions, stays in monasteries, volunteer in schools etc. One of my real passions and reasons for travel has been to deepen my knowledge of and hands-on experience in organic farming, and low-and-behold I was able to satisfy this during my stay here too, where I spent much of my time during daylight hours working with two wonderful Nepali men, Jasman and Dewan and their families on the organic market garden that lies within 100 metres from the centre. Not unlike the centre, it’s a green utopia within the urban sprawl of the Kathmandu Valley. I was fortunate enough to work alongside them to help cultivate their livelihoods growing crops like tomatoes, beans, coriander, spring onions, beets etc. I’ve made good friends with these great people too, and wish them all the very best in growing the future!
So it’s all good here at the Children Home Nepal…I will endeavor to spread the word amongst fellow travelers…hopefully many volunteers will pass through your doors leaving with good memories that will stay with them for life.
Although for now it’s see you later…I’m pretty sure that one day I’ll be back for another stay! So thank you again all of you wonderful people for an amazing experience. It sounds a little cheesy yes, but you’re all in my heart. Lots of love from your Australian Brother.