THE BIRTH: Nepali Childrens Trust was set up in 2005 by Fran McGowan.
THE MISSION: To enable children and young people with a disability in Nepal to be independent, to overcome discrimination and have value within their families and communities.
THE OBJECTIVE: Primary objective of helping DNC (Disabled Newlife Centre), a small home for physically disabled children in Kathmandu. They are actively involved in supporting children when they leave the centre (usually school year 10) in further education or in training so that they can eventually lead independent lives. NCT encourage volunteering at the centre.
WHAT IS DISABLED NEWLIFE CENTRE: Children who come to DNC in Kathmandu are offered a medical consultation and if necessary they receive corrective surgery and rehabilitation and they are all enrolled in local schools alongside able-bodied children. Their families are usually extremely poor and may live many days journey away from Kathmandu. They may not be able to visit their children often, or in some cases at all.
The centre provides a home and family atmosphere for the children as well as education and medical care. Financially this is a big responsibility and the home relies on the donations and generosity of individuals and organizations to help fund its work. Whilst New Life offers the children opportunities and a way of life that they would otherwise never have access to, there is still an enormous amount needed to improve quality of care and opportunities for the future.
VOLUNTEERING: According to the website some volunteers have had specific skills, such as physiotherapy, counselling, teaching, craft work etc. but one of the most useful things that volunteers do is just to be around for the children. The staff are great but they do not have much spare time to play or sit and talk to the children. Speaking English with the children is always very useful.
The volunteers quarters are self contained and have 3 small single bedrooms, 2 bathrooms (with gas heated shower), a communal sitting/eating area and basic cooking facilities with a fridge. There is a large balcony outside with nice views. There is a basic backup lighting system when there is no power. There is a small charge (to DNC) for staying there, £4-5 per person per night including meals shared with the children. WiFi is available.
Some volunteers may want to stay in Thamel or near Bouddhanath Temple (which is closer to DNC) for some or all of the time. These areas have many guest houses and restaurants catering for westerners.
DNC is about 8 miles from Thamel and this can mean a journey time of 30 mins to 1 hour by taxi from the city depending on traffic. Travelling by bus is cheaper but may take longer.
PS. NCT comes across as a wonderful organisation but they could seriously do with a facelift for the official website and better photos as well… anyhow – hope the brilliant work continues.
Video from 2008 – Tells the story well.
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