Namaste dear readers.
A little bit over a month ago I visited the beautiful country of Nepal. I stayed in Nepal for a month – I went trekking in the Annapurna region, I visited the religious sites, shared Dal Bhat with locals, celebrated the colourful Holi Festival with thousands at Durbar Square, visited a few more sites, climbed a few more stairs and I went to a small orphanage.
The visit to Horac Orphanage was never part of my travel plan, but as a solo traveller you meet other travellers and before you know it you get a new travel plan.
One moment I said “yes” to a fellow traveller from Taiwan and the next moment I was in a taxi on a bumpy ride with cars coming from all directions, in the middle of Kathmandu, on my way to Horac Orphanage.
The kids at Horac Orphanage welcomed us with choreographed dances. What seemed like “a special performance for the visitors” at first, quickly turned into something that opened the door to the joyous hearts of these Nepali kids; they were not putting on a show, they danced because they LOVED to dance. The dancing never stopped. Young and old joined in. At one point they tried to teach us a few moves and at another point we were just jumping up and down.
The room overflowed with joy and I’ve never experienced so much joy in such a short time.
I’ve never seen kids, with so little, so happy.
I’ve never been so humbled.
But then the earthquake hit Nepal.
And I can’t help to wonder. Are they still smiling? Are they still happy? Do they still dance?
These kids were once homeless and now they are homeless again.
News from Horac Orphanage
After receiving news from the orphanage, I’m happy to say that no one got hurt. But they are sleeping outside in a make shift tent because the house is not safe. They need a new home. They don’t know how long their food will last. There are still aftershocks. The kids are scared. They need basic materials. They need help.
Travelling has brought so much magic into my live that I feel the need to give something back and spread awareness. I’m sure those who have travelled and those who have been touch by a country understand this kind of “magic”.
I’m only one person. Maybe one donation to Horac Orphange will buy them food for a few more days. But with another donation they might have food for a whole week. And with a few more donations they will be okay for longer and they’ll be able to live in a home again and they’ll be safe.
Horac Orphange has never been funded by the Government and they rely solely on the financial and physical support of volunteers and people in their community. Even the tiniest donation will make a big difference to the lives of these children.
I stayed in Nepal for a month. The sites I once visited are now just piles of rubble. The temples and old royal cities are gone. The things that generated an income disappeared. The villages can’t be reached. The strangers that became friends are barely making it through the day. The whereabouts of some is still unknown. The kids that were once happily dancing are now scarily sleeping outside.
The details or Horac Orphanage can be found at www.horac.org (donations can be made via PayPal to Horac).
The tiniest donation might make the biggest difference.
A shocking truth is also present during Nepal’s time of need. It’s the perfect time for human traffickers (also known as stupid people) to be stupid and exploit the orphans of Nepal.
Read the following from outbounding.org, written by Sallie from the award-winning volunteer organisation People and Places.
Many volunteer sending organisations will be offering this opportunity right now – it will be so tempting – but it’s virtually impossible to know if orphanages are reputable and not businesses set up to exploit the “orphans” of the earthquake.
Martin Punaks of Next Generation Nepal (an NGO on the ground in Nepal that works to reunite trafficked children with their families) warns: