Friday, 16 October 2009

Images of Balmandir

The Balmandir is also called Nepal Children Organisation. It is a very grand old building, palatial in size and appearance, but somewhat run down. It was home to Prime Ministers of the yester years, the golden age of Nepali monarchs and rulers. The building was bequeathed by the late queen to the orphanage. There are at least 3 inner courtyards , a large walled garden and a big front drive with room big enough for a football pitch.
There are beautiful ornate carved bannisters inside the main hall, all the way from ground level right up to the first floor . The office and waiting area for the chair on the first floor is the only part of the building in good repair.The rest of the building is being used as offices , living and sleeping quarters for the 300 orphans residing there. The building is in desperate need of a good coat of paint. Cost again !!!
The orphanage is a square building connected by very long corridors on 4 sides, each leading into smaller courtyards etc.Two of the courtyards have lovely wall murals done by volunteer artists over the years. Unfortunately, the ground for the nursery area is in such poor repair that the toddlers are not allowed to play outside. There are many evidence of buildings donated by generous sponsors , like the dinning room was built by a german couple way back in the early 90s.
Following my initial experience of being in the staff toilet, I noticed that a sanitory health project was started by a sponsor. The idea apparently was to help to promote the importance of hand washing and general hygiene issues.It was obvious that a sponsor had given some money to the management team, to assist them in raising awareness and hopefully the standard of hygiene at Balmandir !

Images of Children

The pictures were taken outside the toddlers' room and in the sleeping room upstairs. 3 teenagers with ? learning difficulties/ ? cerebral palsy were cared for on their backs . John brought 2 bean bags at their reqest to try and sit them up.
Home safety is obviously not an issue here . I did not witness any accident , like falling downstairs etc all the time I was there. I was also reassured that the children do not have accidents !
When there is a staff shortage, children just have to look after themselves at feeding time, and stay in the cots most of the time.......

The Big Spend at Balmandir, Kathmandu

We bought :
102 pairs of knickers and bras for older girls(large)
40 pairs of knickers for younger girls (medium)
50 pairs of boys pants and vests (medium)
10 pairs of boys pants and vests (large)
100 bed sheets (single )
1oo towels
In addition we gave US$ 200 to the orphanage towards their milk bill (receipted )
It also included the additional spent in the toddlers room: -
10 pillow cases, 3 mattress covers , 3 large winter blankets , 2 large towels and the toys etc
The total spent was US$ 900 which = £600 approx
I have receipts for most of them
The photos on the left showed my first meeting with the Chair and Uma to discuss their needs. The other is the handover of 10 bags of stuff to the Director, again in the presence of the Chair.

Wednesday, 14 October 2009

The children in the Toddlers Room, Balmandir

The new cushion covers and mattress covers sre shown against the old blue ones in the photos on the left hand side.
The toddlers room is a large room, with ample space for the children to run and cycle around. The room has wall murals with Disney World cartoon characters which were done by various volunteers in the past.
A couple of photo showed them sitting round the table for elevenses- milk and fruit. Lunch is served sitting on the floor for the younger ones
Mendira is pretty good with the play dough. The children were fascinated by the fruit she was able to make - bananas, chillies apples etc
Aren't they beautiful kids ? And they are the lucky ones to be able to come to this room. Many more got left outside........

Tuesday, 13 October 2009

Uma's Orphanage and the expenditure incurred

The photos displayed above showed some of the things bought with the donations from
The Friends of Nepal
Things purchased:-
Bunkbed (being built ) 10,000
Website-annual Fee 7000
Dining Table (being built ) 3500
Tracksuit x8 8000
Kitchen Eqpt 12850
(toaster, blender , sandwich toaster)
Water & Tiffin carrier 4000
Globe for Geography 550
Battery for Invertor 16,750
Grocery for 3 months 16,000
Outings x2 12000
Plumber 4000
Total 94,650 NR
Exchange rate @122 = £775.80
The remainder of the £800 ie £25 went on numerous taxis rides and withdrawal fees at my bank. I have receipts for the big items. The fee for the website, as well as the cost for building the bunk beds and dinning table were given to Uma to pay whoever.Unfortunately I have no receipts for them.
The reason for an additional bunkbed is that the latest government ruling states that every orphanage is required to have a minimum of 10 children from next February, in order to stay registered. Uma has already increased her number from 6 to 8 children this April. I have found personally that 8 is becoming quite a big group this time round. Uma does not have a choice. Hence the additional bunkbed and dinning table.
When I first arrived, the taps and toilet in the downstairs bathroom were not working. They had no water pressure to do anything- flushing toilet or washing or showering.I had to go upstairs to do all that. The washer in the tap has gone, so they were using stop cock to turn water on and off under the sink ! Frustrating to say the least. I asked Uma to get a plumber in to sort out it out, hence the plumber 's cost
The kitchen equipments were needed for catering for volunteers who stay there, a source of Uma's irregular income. We bought the invertor with battery last year because of the daily power cut. A spare battery was purchased in case the first one gives up for ghost
The grocery purchased includes 210 kilos of rice, 30kilos of lentils, mixed beans each ,10 litres of cooking oil,10 kilos of flour (for chapati ), sugar, soap etc. It should last 3 months. It never fails to amaze me how much rice the children consume at each meal time. Uma says that they use approximately 2 kilos a day. That is almost 4.5 lbs of uncooked rice ! Its mind boggling if you watch them eating during their meal times. Maybe its emotional hunger ? But they are growing up well. So......
Last but not least, the Primark t-shirt from UK and the tracksuite which was paid from the donation. It was amazing how they match up , by coincidence.
So thank you one and all from Uma , the children and me