Annual Report of the Charity for the year ending 31st March 2022

Membership: The Charity has 63 members of which all are full members as per the definition of “members” in the constitution. Membership shows a net decrease of 11. Sadly 4 sponsors died during the year. 3 sponsors told us why they were giving up and the others just stopped sending money. We also have a number of sponsors who live in Nepal.
Sponsored Children: There are currently 87 children being sponsored; this is an increase of 4 compared to last year. Only 2 children left the Charity as they moved away from our working area.
Financial report: A full copy of the accounts is available to any member who wishes to request a copy. If any member wishes to inspect the actual account books, please contact Kevin, the Treasurer or the Secretary to arrange suitable organisational details.
1. Summary of accounts: Income = £24,251.00 (this includes £5412.00 reclaimed under the Gift Aid scheme) Money sent to Nepal = £24722.00. Charity expenses were £195.00 for bank transfer fees; this is met from the Gift Aid reclaim money
2. Notes about money sent to Nepal and Expenditure in Nepal
a. Every penny donated by every individual sponsor continues to be passed on to their sponsored child either directly in cash, or by Laxmi, our manager paying school fees and expenses for school directly. Laxmi uses her discretion as to whether she gives the family cash directly or whether she pays fees on behalf of children. This judgement is based on the family circumstances and is usually associated with the possible misuse of funds by parents. If you would like precise details of how your money is passed on to your child, please contact Laxmi by email for a copy of her accounts for your child.
b. Office costs in Nepal continue to be paid for by donations by the Secretary and Treasurer... This is our way of ensuring that a grandparent and Laxmi get the money they need without it being a gift; it is earned from renting a room in the family home and by Laxmi working for the Charity.
c. Over £700 from the Gift Aid Tax Reclaim money was used to continue the sponsorship of four children unlucky enough to lose their sponsors during the year.
d. £2,106 of the funds from the Gift Aid reclaim have been used during the year to help with the continued rebuilding of homes lost in the 2015 earthquakes. This is the last year money will be used in this way.
e. All other Gift Aid money and Charity reserves were used to help children and the primary carer who needed small grants for medical issues
f. Thank you to those members who have been able to add a pound or two each month to their donation to their child. This has greatly helped in the struggle to meet the rising costs of education.
Management and Direction of the Charity
• Kevin has made a comeback! He has taken on the Treasurer’s job as he has more knowledge of the HMRC Gift Aid Scheme as well as spreadsheets we use for passing information to Laxmi and to the Bank for transferring money to Nepal
• Laxmi and Kiran’s shop has taken off and is making good profits. The shop started when we needed to buy food in to distribute to help families during the pandemic. Laxmi continued to make wholesale purchases and sells the produce at cost price to Charity families (even delivering free of charge to some who lived a long way away) and making a small profit when selling to non-Charity families. The profits have been used to sponsor FOUR children for education this year with a fifth just about to be recruited!
• The education system in Nepal is different in how they label the school year groups. The two reception classes are called LKG and UKG. The primary stage starts at year 1 (our year 2) and goes up to year 5 (our year 6). The secondary stage are years 6 to 10. In year 10 the pupils take what used to be called the School Leaving Certificate or SLC. This has just changed to SEE and we will let you know what this means when we find out! They refer to the sixth form years as either year 11 and 12 or the +2 years. Quite a few of our children and young people then go onto college or university to study a Bachelor’s degree, which in Nepal is a 4 year course. At the bottom of this page is a synopsis of where your child(ren) is in terms of their education.
• Like many schools in the UK, during lockdown times teachers put school work online, although the free state schools did not…they produced handout sheets to be collected. This online work was really unfair for the majority of our children and FE students! Firstly only a very lucky few in our Charity actually have a computer and secondly these devices require broadband which has to be paid for and which is about the same price as in the UK. For a family to find about £16 a month for this broadband was a big ask when there were very few casual or unskilled, temporary jobs available! Those who had mobile phones, and Laxmi tells me this is actually a significant number nowadays, life was a little easier but in miniature! The phones require charging and electricity was rationed into 4 hours slots. Some of our children still only have light bulbs and no sockets in their homes!
• A large number of schools and most universities and colleges actually cancelled last year in terms of education and are asking pupils and students to do the year again. This has delayed a problem we are about to face and that is about the age of a large number of children / young adults who are sponsored. Many will finish their education this year. As a Charity, we have made a policy that we do not generally ask sponsor to continue helping the family beyond this point. This is actually so that the young people will actively seek to get jobs and become independent. Consequently, we may be contacting you to see if you would like to sponsor a new, younger child or to give up being a sponsor altogether.
• Only 2 children left the Charity as they moved away from our operating area…that is where Laxmi can get to see them and pay or give out their money. This is the lowest number for some time and we are left to assume that the movement of people away from the Kathmandu valley back to the more rural areas is just about over now there is no Maoist threat and the Government, although generally open to offers, is much better so there is less open corruption!
• After the 2015 earthquakes, we started sending out newsletters to let people know where the extra money many of you gave was being spent. We have to stop sending out so many newsletters as the postage has become just too expensive. We hope you will understand and will look at our Facebook page for news.

Annual Report of the Charity for the year ending 31st March 2021
Membership: The Charity has 74 members of which all are full members as per the definition of “members” in the constitution. Membership shows a net increase of 12. Sadly 2 sponsors died during the year but members of their family took over the sponsorships and other family members also joined and sponsored children. A Nepalese Nurse moved to the UK and became a sponsor. She was sponsored by the Charity in Kirtipur from the age of 7!
Sponsored Children: There are currently 83 children being sponsored; this is an increase of 12 compared to last year. 2 children were deemed to have changed circumstances which meant they no longer needed the Charity’s help. 11 children were passed on to the FE Charity. An incredible 23 new children were added to our list of sponsored children.
Financial report: A full copy of the accounts is available to any member who wishes to request a copy. If any member wishes to inspect the actual account books, please contact Raji, the Treasurer/Secretary to arrange suitable organisational details.
1. Summary of accounts: Income = £24,830.94 (this includes £5303.94 reclaimed under the Gift Aid scheme) Money sent to Nepal = £26,274.79. Charity expenses were £302.16 for stamps and £195.00for bank transfer fees.
2. Notes about money sent to Nepal and Expenditure in Nepal
a. Every penny donated by every individual sponsor continues to be passed on to their sponsored child either directly in cash, or by Laxmi, our manager paying school fees and expenses for school directly. Laxmi uses her discretion as to whether she gives the family cash directly or whether she pays fees on behalf of children. This judgement is based on the family circumstances and is usually associated with the possible misuse of funds by parents. If you would like precise details of how your money is passed on to your child, please contact Laxmi by email for a copy of her accounts for your child.
b. Office costs in Nepal continue to be paid for by donations by the Secretary and Treasurer... This is our way of ensuring that a grandparent and Laxmi get the money they need without it being a gift; it is earned from renting a room in the family home and by Laxmi working for the Charity.
c. Over £800 from the Gift Aid Tax Reclaim money was used to continue the sponsorship of those children unlucky enough to lose their sponsors during the year.
d. £2,550 of the funds from the Gift Aid reclaim have been used during the year to help with the continued rebuilding of homes lost in the 2015 earthquakes
e. All other Gift Aid money and Charity reserves were used to help children and the primary carer who needed small grants for medical issues
f. Thank you to those members who were able to add a pound each month to their donation to their child. This has greatly helped in the struggle to meet the rising costs of education.
Management and Direction of the Charity
• The biggest decision we made this year was to use some extra donations and some of the Gift Aid money to help all the Charity families during the Covid Pandemic. Local lockdowns were rigorously enforced which meant no movement outside the immediate neighbourhood. This instantly put an end to casual labouring, most building work and most employment opportunities from farming. At first we gave permission for Laxmi to use the education money you so kindly donate, to be used to buy food. We then had a number of donations and decided to use this money to buy every family a sack of rice and some daal; enough for about one month of basic food. This was exceptionally well received by the families and a very special thank you goes out to those who made the initial unexpected donations and those who subsequently gave some extra to help this work.
• A knock on effect of the purchase of so much rice and daal was that Laxmi became known to the wholesalers who were happy to provide her with stock. Laxmi and husband Kieran asked if they could open a small shop from their home. They buy rice and daal from the wholesalers and sell this at actual cost price to any of our Charity families who want to buy it from them. It is about £1.20 cheaper per sack than from other sources and the families are happy to walk up to 4 miles with a sack of rice at this price. The shop is also open to locals who live near Laxmi and Kieran. For them the price is about 50 rupees (30p) more expensive and the “profits” are used to increase the range of the stock from just rice and daal and which now includes some spices.
• Julie from Troutbeck had previously sent out a whole load of pharmaceuticals and these were used in the aftermath of the earthquakes and the time of temporary tent dwelling. She made the excellent suggestion that we include some basic medicines in the shop. I am pleased to say that we gave Laxmi permission to use some of the general fund money (money from the Gift Aid reclaim) to buy these goods. Laxmi found a wholesaler and get some basic stock. Laxmi and Kieran again sell these things at cost price to our Charity families and at a small extra cost for other customers. Kieran and Laxmi have also bought in a stock of school supplies such as exercise books, pencils and pens. These are sold on the same terms as the other things in our shop!
• During the school closures and lockdowns in Kirtipur, most of the schools put lessons online and some even used zoom and teams for lessons. Most of our children could not access these lessons as they did not have internet or phones, laptops/iPads. We had to make the very difficult decision that we could not ask sponsors to help with these costs as we simply could not organise the logistics in Nepal. More than two-thirds of all pupils at the schools our children attend also could not access these lessons!
• Our FE Charity has organised the sponsorship of a total of 11 nurses. 9 of these nurses now sponsor children in Kirtipur, not through our Charity but personally through Laxmi. 3 of these nurses are married and in Australia and 1 is married and in the UK. Shahista, the first girl sponsored by the Charity is just finishing her internship in Dentistry in the Philippines. She will return home to Nepal in August and has said that she will give her services free to our Charity children. Our policy of helping people to help themselves is clearly working!
• We have to welcome our new treasurer to the Charity. She is Rustina Maharjan, the Nepalese nurse who is married to the son of an ex-Gurkha. Rustina was sponsored by a Sarah from the age of 7 and by her sponsor and the FE Charity to become a nurse.
• You may have noticed that Raji’s name is in the box as Secretary of the Charity. I have decided to semi-retire after 21 years, as I just cannot keep up will all the day to day decisions to be made in Nepal in the ever changing circumstances there. Raji and Rustina are best placed to do this. I will continue as a sort of “secret secretary”; writing letters and doing some of the necessary paperwork! Please contact Raji via my email address or on our phone number if you need anything. Once she gets established she will switch to her own email address. Thank you to all who have helped me run the Charity and I hope you will give Raji the same enthusiasm and fun and motivation you gave me.
Kevin Smith
Secretary


October 2020 Newsletter to replace letters and Christmas cards from the Children
Sadly it has not been possible for Laxmi to organise the writing of letters from the children or to collect any written letters from them. Kirtipur is under strict area lockdowns because of the Covid 19 infections. These lockdowns in villages and town area of the Kirtipur Municipality are enforced by local committees of citizens who use all manner of methods (including force) to make sure they work! Laxmi is not permitted to leave her area (Panga) and travel the 5 or 6 miles to the other areas of the Municipality where other sponsored children live (Itagol, Kirtipur, Thowkel, Naya Bazaar, and other hamlets and roads). We do not expect there to be any cards or letters at Christmas either, but will keep you informed.
The Covid situation in Nepal is very unclear. To be tested you either have to pay (about £30) or benefit from some of the Charities set up specifically for this purpose. Unfortunately there are no such charities operating in the Kirtipur Municipality area and people are not allowed to travel into the city to visit these Charities! Even to visit a doctor or hospital costs money and this cost is beyond most people in the municipality. Laxmi does have some money from the yearly Gift Aid reclaim in the general fund to pay for medical aid to the sponsored child or a carer (usually the mother) but luckily so far no one has contacted her to say they need a Covid Test. We could cover the cost of about 30 tests if we need to but would prefer to keep the money for other emergencies.
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The Municipality of Kirtipur was formed in 1997. It is about 7 miles long and 2 miles wide and stretches along the SW ridge of the Kathmandu Valley about 5 miles from the city centre. Originally when I first went there about 40 years ago it was a separate large village with lots of very small villages near to Kirtipur(sometimes called Hill Town) itself. Today it is really part of the greater conurbation of Kathmandu with hardly any agricultural land between it and the city centre. The Municipality is made up of about 20 thousand households separated into 10 roughly equal wards (Kirtipur is about 3 ½ thousand homes). The population is now around 65 thousand people, the vast majority being from the Newar Caste or tribe and about 2 out of every 3 people have the family name Maharjan; this being a sub-cast of the Newars. During the civil disturbance years when the so called Maoists were fighting for land equality and freedom from land slavery, many people who had left Kirtipur returned, taking the population up to nearly 100 thousand. Most of these returners had to rent rooms or build shantis and it was at the beginning of this period (1998) that our Charity started. Most of these people have returned to the more remote areas and many children have been lost to the charity because simply we can no longer contact them (no phones, post service where they live).
Today the poverty in Kirtipur occurs for a variety of reasons: the Government of Nepal made compulsory purchases of vast amounts of land to build the cities first university (Tribhuvan University) which is within the Municipality. A lot of families were paid very small amounts for their tiny traditional fields leaving them unable to buy other pieces of land. Lots of families also sold off agricultural land (small fields about the size of a tennis court is the norm) so new houses could be built for the university staff and students. The money from these sales has long since been used up and the former owners have had to find jobs to earn the money to buy food, pay for electricity and to pay for education. Kirtipur used to be known as the bread basket for Kathmandu and there was (until 2006) an aerial runway from Kirtipur down into Kathmandu to carry produce (rice, wheat and vegetables). What was once an agricultural area has become little more than a suburb of the city and the amount of land and associated labouring jobs in agriculture have been greatly reduced making job opportunities for illiterate people even more difficult to find.
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The population of Kirtipur, as I said, are mostly Newars from the Mongolian level caste. This group are traditionally the skilled worker classes with goldsmiths and silversmith as well as iron workers amongst their ranks. There are no big employers in Kirtipur but there are lots of people employed making craft items for the tourist and temple industries, quite a few carpet weaving factories (employing about 10 people each), paper makers. The Municipality has plenty of private schools where they charge what we would call small amounts for education (it costs about £30 a month and the average wage in Nepal is about £28 a month). There are only 4 government schools in the area where education is free even though it is compulsory up to the age of 14 years! Most children these days stay on until their school leaving certificate (the same year as our GCSE’s) aged about 16. The more able will go onto further education which they call +2 education (2 years about the same as our A levels). This is quite expensive and can be up to £60 a month depending on the course. Our FE Charity helps with some of these costs.
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As I write, the majority of schools in the Municipality are closed because of Covid lockdowns. All of the schools our children attend have put work online to help while they are closed. How this helps the majority of their students (Laxmi estimates about 4/5) who do not have laptops or iPads and cannot afford to have internet (about £15 a month) nor printers, is beyond me! The children we have sponsored in the main do not have these although the numbers are increasing slightly if we count second hand phones! To counteract this, Laxmi has organised a number of older pupils to run homework classes in the various village locations. We are very grateful for these older pupils who give Laxmi their time so willingly.
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Because of the lockdown there has been very little daily or hourly work available for labourers and porters. This, together with the absence of any land to try to grow some food for the family has meant that many families are really struggling to have enough food. Laxmi asked, and the trustees agreed that during this very difficult time, if she could allow some of the worst hit families to use the “education money” to buy food essentials such as rice and daal. Usually in situations like this Laxmi would go out and bulk buy at cheaper prices and so save the Charity some money, but because of the lockdown in her area she is not able to get out and about. Families have had to break their lockdown rules and come to Laxmi for help when they should not be anywhere near her home or our office room in the main Kirtipur village.
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Alongside our main Images of Nepal Charity where you are a member and sponsor an individual (or some individual children) we have a second Charity called Images of Nepal FE. This was founded because some sponsors, when their child completed their education, did not wish to take on another child but also it was too expensive to fund further education for their individual child. The FE charity pools money to help to pay for FE and in the past it was the vehicle for teaching handbag making; the best of these bags being sent to the UK for me to sell on the Keswick and other markets and the not so good sold in Kathmandu to tourist shops. Since the 2015 earthquakes we have been unable to find any rooms to continue the bag making and I have also retired from market trading because I am a wimp who can no longer stand the cold in winter! We have had to conclude that we can no longer continue with the bag making but are making plans to try to train a few young people in motor cycle repairs and maintenance. This would have to be self-financing after the initial cash outlay but at the moment it is only a plan! The FE Charity has 3 nurses in training, 1 radiographer and 2 pharmacists in university and college courses. These are also on hold at the moment because of the Covid virus
Please accept our most sincere apologies for the fact that there will be no letters or cards up to Christmas…this really is beyond our control! However, please could we encourage you to write to your child(ren) and enclose a photo of you and your family. If you are planning to send some extra money for a Christmas gift may I suggest this year it is for food or medicines and may I also remind you that to get the money to the children in time for Christmas, it should be in Images of Nepal bank no later than 25th November.
Kevin Smith
Secretary of the Charity Trustees
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Annual Report of the Charity for the year ending 31st March 2020


Membership: The Charity has 62 members of which all are full members as per the definition of “members” in the constitution. Membership shows a net decrease of 7. Two of these sponsors who were with the Charity for over 10 years gave notification of their decision to leave, but no specific reasons for leaving were given. 4 sponsors gave up sponsoring after their child finished school. 1 Sponsor just disappeared. No new sponsors came forward.

Sponsored Children: There are currently 72 children being sponsored; this is a decrease of 20 compared to last year. 11children left the Charity through age or through locating to areas of Nepal we cannot access for logistical reasons. 4 children were deemed to have changed circumstances which meant they no longer needed the Charity’s help. 5 children were passed onto the FE Charity

Financial report: A full copy of the accounts is available to any member who wishes to request a copy. If any member wishes to inspect the actual account books, please contact Raji, the Treasurer to arrange suitable organisational details.
1. Summary of accounts: Income = £26688.18 (this includes £5396.57 reclaimed under the Gift Aid scheme) Money sent to Nepal = £23822.24. Charity expenses were £207.24 for stamps and £195.00 for bank transfer fees. The remaining £2463.70 will be sent next month.
2. Notes about money sent to Nepal and Expenditure in Nepal
a. Every penny donated by every individual sponsor continues to be passed on to their sponsored child either directly in cash, or by Laxmi, our manager paying school fees and expenses for school directly. Laxmi uses her discretion as to whether she gives the family cash directly or whether she pays fees on behalf of children. This judgement is based on the family circumstances and is usually associated with the possible misuse of funds by parents. If you would like precise details of how your money is passed on to your child, please contact Laxmi for a copy of her accounts for your child.
b. The staff salaries and Office costs in Nepal continue to be paid for by donations by the Secretary and Treasurer... This is our way of ensuring that grandparents and Laxmi get the money they need without it being a gift; it is earned from renting a room in our family home and by Laxmi working for the Charity.
c. Over £1000 from the Gift Aid Tax Reclaim money was used to continue the sponsorship of those children unlucky enough to lose their sponsors during the year.
d. £2,700 of the funds from the Gift Aid reclaim have been used during the year to help with the continued rebuilding of homes lost in the 2015 earthquakes
e. All other Gift Aid money and Charity reserves were used to help children and the primary carer who needed small grants for medical issues
f. Thank you to those members who were able to add a pound each month to their donation to their child. This has greatly helped in the struggle to meet the rising costs of education.
Management and Direction of the Charity:
• Laxmi has had yet another really difficult year. A close family member still needs dialysis twice a week and has had to be admitted to hospital several times during the year. Her father-in-law suffered a stroke and needs constant care. Her husband only has occasional part-time jobs. We can only apologise for the time it takes Laxmi to gather and send letters.
• There has been a huge exodus of working age adults from Nepal, many going to the Middle East while there are also jobs on offer in India, Malaysia and Korea. It is estimated that over 1 million Nepalese are now working abroad! Some of the children who left the Charity because of age appear to have followed this foreign route into employment and others left to fill jobs vacated in Kathmandu by the departing migrants.
• Kirtipur, in terms of population is now a much more settled place; there are not as many rural people coming to live in the Municipality and those who came since the Maoist troubles and the earthquakes of 2015 have mostly returned to their villages. Kirtipur is fairly stable politically but the country as a whole appears to be slowly descending into greater mis-management and there is even talk of the King being returned to the Throne!
• The biggest difference for ordinary people in Kirtipur is the enormous inflation. Daily wage rates are up from less than £1 a day 2 years ago for labourers to about £1.80 today. Another example is that teachers and nurses now earn on average £103 per month, about double in 3 years. The cost of food and fuel has also rocked. A 4 stone sack of rice in the UK costs about £24. It is nearly £18 in Nepal and it will only feed a family of 4 for about 1 month. The gas to cook it with had risen to about £17 a bottle and this lasts about a month. All other foods have risen in price.
• The costs of education have gone up from about £10 a month for a year 6 pupil in 2005 to £30 on average a month now. All associated costs have gone up; uniforms, exams and the extras they charge for sports and science. Laxmi has managed to keep costs down by paying in advance (using Gift Aid money from the general funds) and by grouping fees together and negotiating hard with the school. She has achieved some discounts of nearly 30% this way but it does take a lot of her time having to meet with school committees.
• A good trend that has continued is that 5 young people who qualified as nurses, a teacher and as a radiographer are continuing or have started to sponsor a child for education…and not just a child from their immediate family, but through Laxmi and based on the child’s need. Well done to Rustina, Manju, Lisa, Monika and Sajesh. They have come from very poor backgrounds, do not yet earn big salaries but give the equivalent of £10 a month to sponsor their child; a truly wonderful example to others. Sadly I can’t get Gift Aid on these donations!
• We have counted the number of sponsors who have visited Nepal since they joined the Charity. The number is 36! Some of these have visited more than once. Laxmi always asks if they would like to inspect her books and a few have taken advantage of this opportunity. We are pleased they have been satisfied with what they saw and also pleased that the Nepalese Government Department for Communities who audit the Charity books in Nepal have also given Laxmi praise for how she keeps the money safe…even if they have doubled their price for the cost of this required audit!
• A few children who were sponsored have had to be left to find their own way in life after the school leaving certificate at about 16 years of age. They did not get high enough marks to have a realistic chance of getting into a good FE establishment without greatly inflated fees which are, quite frankly, beyond the FE Charity. We had to close the handbag and tailoring classes after the earthquakes, as we could not find premises and cannot reopen these classes as others in Kathmandu have now copied our ideas and taken our markets. I cannot import the bags and sell them on the markets “like what I used to”! This is very sad but at least the children can all read and write and speak some English… most now have jobs even if they are lowly paid.
• Please ask all your friends to view and like our Facebook page, Images of Nepal Charity. We need to find up to 15 new sponsors as Laxmi knows a lot of children who need help. If we can get to 1000 “likes” (we are currently at 410) we can get some free advertising and this can only help us to get the new sponsors.

Kevin Smith / Secretary / 28th March 2020



Annual Report of the Charity for the year ending 31st March 2019

Membership: The Charity has 69 members of which all are full members as per the definition of “members” in the constitution. Membership shows a net decrease of 2. Two of these sponsors who were with the Charity for over 10 years gave notification of their decision to leave, but no specific reasons for leaving were given. 2 sponsors gave up sponsoring after their child finished school. 2 new sponsors came forward.

Sponsored Children: There are currently 92 children being sponsored; this is an increase of 2 compared to last year. Four children left the Charity through age or through locating to areas of Nepal we cannot access for logistical reasons. Three children were deemed to have changed circumstances which meant they no longer needed the Charity’s help. One girl ran away to get married! Nine new children were brought into the Charity.

Financial report: A full copy of the accounts is available to any member who wishes to request a copy. If any member wishes to inspect the actual account books, please contact Raji, the Treasurer to arrange suitable organisational details.
1. Summary of accounts: Income = £24,668.35 (this includes £4,312.45 reclaimed under the Gift Aid scheme) Money sent to Nepal = £24,750.00. All Charity expenses, including bank charges were paid by the Secretary and Treasurer.
2. Notes about money sent to Nepal and Expenditure in Nepal
a. Every penny donated by every individual sponsor continues to be passed on to their sponsored child either directly in cash, or by Laxmi, our manager paying school fees and expenses for school directly. Laxmi uses her discretion as to whether she gives the family cash directly or whether she pays fees on behalf of children. This judgement is based on the family circumstances and is usually associated with the possible misuse of funds by parents. If you would like precise details of how your money is passed on to your child, please contact Laxmi for a copy of her accounts for your child.
b. The staff salaries and Office costs continue to be paid for by donations by the Secretary and Treasurer... This is our way of ensuring that grandparents and Laxmi get the money they need without it being a gift; it is earned from renting a room in our family home and by Laxmi working for the Charity.
c. Over £2000 of the funds from the Gift Aid reclaim have been used to help the rebuilding of homes lost in the 2015 earthquakes
d. All other Gift Aid money and Charity reserves were used to help children and the primary carer who needed small grants for medical issues
e. Thank you to those members who were able to add a pound each month to their donation to their child. This has greatly helped in the struggle to meet the rising costs of education.

Management and Direction of the Charity:
• Laxmi has had another really difficult year. A close family member needs dialysis twice a week and has had to be admitted to hospital several times during the year. Her father-in-law suffered a stroke and needs constant care. Her husband has also lost a lot of his work from America, transcribing doctors’ notes. We can only apologise for the time it takes Laxmi to gather and send letters.
• The Charity has experienced some new trends which we hope will not become annual trends! One girl ran away from home without finishing her +2 (A level) course; She is now married at just 17 years old and expecting a child. Three girls gave up education at or just before their school leaving certificates. Two of the girls joined their mothers in making popcorn for sale at ceremonies and in temples. They buy a sack of corn and can just about double their money by heating it over wood fires to make the popcorn. Laxmi tried her best to advise them to finish their basic education but failed! The third girl did her SLC and said she knew she wasn’t clever enough to go on so she too started her popcorn business.
• The Charity Trustees need to caution members that we have dealt with three separate occasions where “children” have contacted sponsors directly via email or other social media asking for extra help (they meant money) for various things such as illness, renovating their home or for extra equipment for their school work. In two of these cases, there was an adult behind the requests and the money, as Laxmi found out, was not for the purpose they said when requesting it! The third case a child said she needed money for an operation. She did not need an operation; she needed money to compete with a friend from a wealthier family. The Charity, thanks to Laxmi’s vigilance, was lucky to avoid money being sent for fraudulent requests. If a child contacts you directly asking for extra help and if you are thinking of sending money, please contact either Raji in the UK on our phone number above or email Laxmi to have it checked out.
• On a much more positive note, the young people who sat their school leaving certificates achieved some of the best results we have seen and Laxmi has managed to get them all into good +2 colleges. She has negotiated excellent discounts by paying in bulk and in advance by using Gift Aid money and then replacing this money from monthly donations from sponsors.
• Another trend we really hope will continue is that some of the original children who were sponsored have good quality jobs (even if they are not paid very well yet) and have started to help the Charity as sponsors themselves! Four boys (young men now) Rusesh, Sajesh, Binesh and Sikesh have joined together to help children with a homework type club and to sponsor a child. They have also physically helped to rebuild the ground floor of three houses (so far!) Two girls who trained as nurses, Rustina and Monika are also sponsoring a little girl for her education. If you are thinking of travelling to Nepal, Rusesh could help you get a good deal in the hotel where he is a trainee manager. We hope other ex-beneficiaries of the Charity will think about adopting these ideas!
• During the last year, Raji and husband Shiva have had a house built in Itagol, in the Kirtipur municipality. They wanted to do this because the house where they usually stay in Kirtipur was damaged in the 2015 earthquakes and I want to have more European comforts when we and their children visit! The bottom two floors of this house are just about complete and Raji and Shiva have decided to make these rooms into a bed and breakfast (called Homestead in Nepal). The house has been built by paying parents of Charity children to do the various jobs. Raji and Shiva will also employ two Charity parents to work at the Homestead and say any profit made will be donated to our Charity. If anyone from the UK would like to stay at this house, please contact us.
• Gurkha Spicy Takeaway in Carlisle (run by Raji’s husband, Shiva) has donated 5% of its annual profit to our FE Charity…this is sponsoring one nurse and one engineer in training
• It is our intention to stop sending out a newsletter every time we send out letters. We started this during the aftermath of the earthquakes and feel that the news as we get is better sent to the individual sponsor(s) or distributed via our Facebook page.

Kevin Smith, Secretary
3rd July 2019



October 2018 Newsletter
Letters from Children
The children have virtually no experience of writing letters…the only letters they are likely to have received will be from you, their sponsor. This lack of experience of letter writing is because there is no real postal delivery service in Nepal. To receive letters in Nepal you have to have a post box at a main post office. This is relatively expensive to keep and in our case, it is in the middle of Kathmandu. Laxmi goes once a week to collect mail and small parcels; please also note that it is often not secure as things do get stolen! In an effort to encourage the children to write letters containing more information about themselves and their life, I will be producing some “stencils” which they can use to answer questions and hopefully give out a bit more information. Please accept my apologies if letters seem a bit the same for the next year.

Cost of Living in Nepal
Inflation in Nepal is greatly increasing food and building costs. For example, rice has gone up 390% in the last 2 years and the cost of a labourer for a day has gone up from Rs100 (about 70p) a day to Rs950 (£6.65) a day. This is undoubtedly good for families who have both parents to earn but the cost of food outstrips the wages when there is only a single parent. The cost of education has also rocketed but because of a favorable exchange rate, we can continue to keep things the same for how we provide funding towards the cost of this: please note we now do not claim the sponsor pays for all the costs of education, we just ensure it is a sizable contribution towards these costs.

Medical supplies
Laxmi has done a fabulous job since the many problems caused by the earthquakes occurred. She has just completed replenishing our stock of basic medicines and water purification tablets. These have been purchased from the Gift Aid money and extra donations from sponsors and it is a great credit to Laxmi that she has the foresight to keep a good stock and range of medicines. We have had people from our charity suffer from dysentery but thankfully nobody had had to be hospitalized because of it!
Kevin Smith, Secretary.


Newsletter July 2018

Arpita Maharjan: Arpita is the little girl who needed two operations on her heart. She had the first procedure last year and then had to wait until this year for the second and main procedure because of chest infections. I am very pleased to report that the operations were successful and that Arpita is up and back at school. Thanks to those who sponsored Arpita directly and also to those who sponsored Julie and Steve Brockbank in the Great North Run about two years ago.

Wells: One well in Panga village is now operational. The other well in Thowkel village has been dug to about 25 feet and will be completed in the dry season near to Christmas. Thanks to all Julie & Steve’s sponsors in last year’s Great North Run.

Rebuilding work after the 2015 Earthquakes: 22 children out of 86 lost their homes in these dreadful earthquakes and most of the rest had homes damaged to some degree…some seriously and others badly cracked. Our plan was to rebuild a base and first floor pillars for all destroyed houses. 14 such houses have been completed up to the first floor and the occupants have since re-used the bricks and wood to complete the ground floor and sometimes more. 4 houses have been rebuilt with brick pillars and brick walls and these are completed to first floor level. 3 families have opted to stay in their emergency tin homes. These families are all in Gamcha where they are on land which belongs to the government…they have lived there for many years but they cannot get permission to build a full house. These families have built brick entrances and have reinforced the walls and rooves. Just one family is still in partial limbo…the 3 brothers who owned the house could not agree what to do. Thanks to the help of her sponsor, one of the uncles has been bought out and the other will soon be bought out. Then we can help the family start to build. In addition to the money raised by the Charity (just over £1000 per family), the Nepalese Government has made a grant of about £1200 for rebuilding. The cost of building 2 rooms per floor and 2 floors in concrete and brick is about £5400 at current prices but most families have managed at least somewhere secure to live. Laxmi has given grants of up to £400 to various other families for repairs to homes and so all of the money raised has been spent. A big thank you to all who helped directly or who raised money in the many and varied ways; we have succeeded in our goal.

Further Education: Our FE Charity has 21 sponsors who give either an annual sum or a monthly donation. This money is used entirely to help to fund pupils who have progressed into FE. We cannot afford to pay the FE costs for all (a BSC in Business costs about £860 a year for example and a nurse about £1450 a year). Laxmi has to make the very difficult choice that we can only sponsor those who get the equivalent of 3 x “A’s”…they call it a distinction. Sadly a BSC is not really worth much in Nepal so they have to study for a master’s degree (about the same as our basic degree here and so some children have to seek work to fund themselves. Anyone with less than a distinction at the equivalent of our GCSE’s can get onto courses but the colleges and universities only use them to get funding and they have less classes than others!

Health: Laxmi has ensured that all children have had the relevant injections…most of these can be done by other charities in Kathmandu but she arranges to take the children and parents and she gets the relevant paperwork. This year she has also had every child boosted for tetanus. Thanks to Gift Aid tax reclaims!

Kevin Smith / Secretary

"What lies behind us, and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what within us" 

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