Life in the Hostel
The hostel is in an idyllic setting just outside a village on the outskirts of Kathmandu, with the magnificent Sunderijal forest adjacent. The hostel management team have made a huge effort to integrate with the local villagers and have been accepted as part of the community.
There is a team of staff who all live on site, some with their own families, to give the community a family feel. There is enough land to grow some crops for the hostel, and many of the children help on the land through the Agricultural Club, learning key life skills.
The children live in dormitories, learning to share and support each other. Older children are encouraged to help the younger ones, just as siblings would in a normal Nepali family. The boys and the girls each have dedicated support staff that help them with their specific needs.
There is a kitchen on site, and the dedicated cooks prepare fresh food for all the children morning and night every day. A lot of effort goes into making sure the children get a balanced diet.
The hostel is affiliated to the Pegasus English School in Jorpati, Kathmandu and all the children attend school 6 days a week. Many of our children will have missed years of school when they join us, and they are very carefully re-introduced into the school system, and given time and encouragement to catch up. The all-critical SLC exam is usually taken by children at the age of 16, and is the ticket into further education. So far the hostel children have done really well, and we now haves several children at college as well. There is a study hall and library in the hostel and the children have a very structured day even after they come home from school.
The children all receive medical attention as necessary. Every year the children are checked out by the Belgian charity funded Sechen Clinic, to ensure they are all growing and healthy and then any particular health concerns can be addressed. Routine medical support is provided at the local hospital as well if necessary. The annual monsoons create living conditions which mean that bugs and infections can spread very quickly, so a lot of attention is given to keeping the environment of the hostel clean and healthy.
On site are an array of outdoor play facilities, with football, basketball, and table tennis all provided. Dancing and singing are a regular feature of Nepali childhood, and the children love to put on shows for visitors.
Sponsor money helps to pay for all of this support for the children – the schooling, uniforms and books, medical attention, food, transportation costs, clothes and shoes, general supplies for the laundry and bathroom etc, and of course the excellent staff.