Mountain Trust Nepal
For the last 10 years, Your Home On Crete has been supporting the Mountain Trust, an organization that began ten years ago by building schools, child care centres, orphanages and community centres in Nepal.
We began at first with friends and family but after a while people heard about our work, made contact and offered to help. It is like a stone in a pond - at first the ripple is very small but grows larger as the word spreads.
Nepal is an ancient society of mainly Hindu and Buddhist peoples. Despite being one of the gentlest and most hospitable peoples, Nepalis have deep-set problems.
The huge scale of inequality between castes, regions, ethnic groups, genders and other groups combined with the Nepali state being the 3rd most corrupt in the world had fuelled a civil war which claimed over 13,000 lives and countless injuries, abductions and murders between 1996 and 2006. Hundreds of thousands were obliged to flee their villages for refuge in the larger and more anonymous cities.
Of all 25.2 million Nepali, no less than 31% (that is 7.8 million individuals) have to survive on under 0.73 Euros a day. But not just for a day - every day, all year round and year on year. Imagine the impact of a birth, marriage or other medical events on your finances were you in their shoes. Over half must sell land or cattle to pay for childbirth. According to the World Bank, 80% of Nepali live on fewer than € 1.45 a day. Although there are massive chasms between the high caste, educated and wealthy rich and the majority low caste, poor agricultural workers, the average GDP per person is a mere 190 Euros a year. (That's about the cost of one hour's work by a computer programmer in the UK.) No wonder around 15% of the population has left the country to find decently paid work abroad and send funds back to keep their families fed.
Life for most is very harsh. Average life expectancy is a mere 60.2 years and the average rate of literacy in the population aged 15 yeas or older is only 56% (in the remote areas, literacy can be as low as 10%). On average if you are Nepali and below the age of five you have a 50% chance of being mal-nourished. If you are a Mum, best not choose to give birth in Nepal because it is one of the deadliest countries in which to have a child. Every 90 minutes, a mother dies in child birth in Nepal - which is between 5,000 and 6,000 a year. One in four of Nepal's newly borns are under weight (at less than 2.5 kg). According to the Red Cross, each year 30,000 babies die less than one month old and 50,000 are lost before reaching one year of age. That is one every 20 minutes.
And you think that's bad? Well, imagine some of the other pressures too - such as 5,000 a year succumbing to Tuberculosis, landslides in the rainy season or one of the unsafest road networks in the word. Around 30% of children spend their childhoods crushing stones on the riverbeds for a living, making and carrying sand for building construction. Their parents depend on the meagre income their children generate and cannot afford to send them to school. They begin learning how to crush stones at around two years old.
Your Home On Crete now sponsors around 100 Nepali Students who would otherwise be excluded from access to education. Our sponsors have literally changed lives. We enable sponsors to help the neediest Nepali children to attend school. These include orphans and children born into riverbed families (who without outside help are condemned to crushing stones for building sand and gravel instead of attending school - from the age of 18 months), as well as the poorest and most deprived families.