“Friend for Nepal Himalayan Development Aid” an Austrian INGO has been working in Nepal since 2009. With a strong belief and motivation towards providing free education and assisting the people of Nepal in development work, Friends for Nepal with its strong community back in Austria and even stronger community bonding in Nepal is committed to long-term development with education and livelihood programs.
The organization was founded by Thomas Stuppner, an Austrian citizen, who also acts as the chairperson. Thomas came to Nepal in search of a place called “Lama Gaun”. It is a small village near the marketplace of Pharping. During his visit, he met Suresh Basnet and Dayan Culter, founders of the Nepali NGO Himalayan Joy Force. They had shifted to this village to engage in development work with the community. With a partnership with them, Tom started their first project of building a school according to anthroposophical criteria and named it Dolphin Magic School.
Free education is their primary focus and it is their belief that education brings more opportunities to people. When children are educated they can start their own business or get better jobs. For the educational project, they have been working on the construction of Dolphin Magic School, building schools in Chaling and Orphanage Bird Nest.
Teachers teach students, not in a listen-write pattern but, they encourage learning by playing. Children are allowed to be creative, play and learn. They call this schooling system as an anthroposophic system. The children enjoy going to school as much as the teachers enjoy teaching. They believe that with this teaching method the holistic development of children is possible. Orphanage Bird Nest is a hostel for orphaned children or for those children whose parents for different reasons can not take care of their children.
Besides education, they also support communities in basic health sector, clean water, and employment. In the health sector, they have rebuilt a nearly collapsed health post in the neighborhood of Pharping. The health post is regularly attended by a health assistant, a nurse, and a cleaner. And health services provided in the health post is free.
The earthquake of 2015 which was the worst one to occur in the last 80 years left the area with a lot of destruction behind. People were living in tents without much support and help. People had to survive on whatever food was available and the level of sanitation was low. They handed over 3000 people directly with food, tarpaulins, dome tents, large-scale tents, bamboo huts, and even 5 5x4m houses.
The access to clean drinking water was a problem since the natural water streams changed its direction and dried up after the earthquake. Friends for Nepal started to build a water supply chain for the community by collecting three spring water in huge tanks in the middle of the village and pump it to the mountain areas. From that area the water is now distributed to 900 households, benefitting over 4500 people with clean and freshwater.
Another area of focus for “Friends of Nepal” is creating jobs, currently either through their school or health post. Any position that is created has been filled by people from the local community.
Friend for Nepal Himalayan Development Aid has been supporting the community of Pharping in many ways. They have been able to make the life of the people better without selfish motives. Their contribution to Nepal and its people us praiseworthy.