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with Stefan Nestler

Nepalhilfe Beilngries: A successful family

“Family meeting” in Beilngries

An aid organization like a family – the Nepalhilfe Beilngries celebrated its 25th birthday yesterday evening with a festive event in the small Bavarian town. “I am proud that I have been part of the Nepalhilfe family since it was founded,” said Sunil Shrestha in his speech, bravely delivered in German. The 57-year-old has been coordinating the aid projects of the organization in the Himalayan state for a quarter of a century. Sunil and Shyam Pandit, also an important liaison man, had traveled, along with their wifes, from Kathmandu to Beilngries to celebrate with their German and Austrian friends. “The family should be proud of what we have achieved,” Shrestha said.

Date

19. March 2017 | 14:54

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“School up!”: Second floor plate almost finished

Plate of the second floor

The relatively dry winter in the Nepalese district Sindhupalchowk has played into the hands of our aid project “School up!”. The construction work for the new school in the village of Thulosirubari, about 70 kilometers east of Kathmandu, could be continued almost without interruption. Meanwhile, the plate of the second floor is practically finished. The goal of completing the construction work (except for the painting) before the monsoon starts in summer seems realistic. The constructors of the new large Berlin airport who have not come to an end for years could take an example of such effectiveness (in Nepal!). Here are some more pictures:

Date

10. March 2017 | 14:20

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Construction site with heart

The ceiling of the first floor is concreted

The ceiling of the first floor is concreted

Four are standing around and discussing, one is working. This image is known from public construction sites in Germany. The situation is quite different in Thulosirubari, a small village about 70 kilometers east of Kathmandu. There the new school is being built with great enthusiasm – made possible by your donations for our aid projekt “School up!”. “All villagers are happy to be able to help with the work,” says Shyam Pandit, liaison man of the German aid organization “Nepalhilfe Beilngries” in the Himalayan state. Devi Dulal, head of the local school committee, is also delighted: “This will be a unique building for us. The work on this is very satisfactory for us.” The old school had been so badly damaged by the devastating earthquake at the end of April 2015 that it had had to be demolished. At the end of June 2015, I had launched – along with the extreme climbers Gerlinde Kaltenbrunner and Ralf Dujmovits“School up!” to rebuild the school as quickly as possible. In the meantime, the ceiling of the first floor has been concreted. Here are some impressions of the construction site from the past weeks:

Date

31. January 2017 | 15:38

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“School up!”: Investment in the future

The building is taking shape

The building is taking shape

It is certainly no mistake to start a new year with good news: the construction work at the new school in Thulosirubari continues to progress at a high rate. “The contractor’s target is to handover the new finishing of this new school building of Thulosirubari (Gerlinde and Ralf School) by the end of April 2017,“ writes Sunil Krishna Shrestha, the liaison man of the German aid organization “Nepalhilfe Beilngries” in Kathmandu. If the “speedy work” continues, the entrepreneur will fulfill his contractual obligations, says Sunil. Until now, the goal was to complete the construction work on the building (without painting) of the new “Gerlinde and Ralf School” at the latest until the beginning of the monsoon in summer. In this slideshow you can follow the construction progress since early December:

Date

4. January 2017 | 15:35

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“School up!”: Construction work continues even in winter

Foundation work almost finished

Foundation work almost finished

“We are so happy seeing the re-construction – and that the building is designed to resist earthquakes,” says Hari Bikram, the 43-year-old headteacher of Thulosirubari. The construction work in the small mountain village 70 kilometers east of the Nepali capital Kathmandu continues at high speed. “The plinth work has almost been finished,” Shyam Pandit, Nepalese liaison of the German relief organization “Nepalhilfe Beilngries”, writes to me. I wanted to know from him whether the work will be stopped in winter. “No stop. I will continue construction work,” the contractor replied, says Shyam. However, it’s going to be a little slower in the cold season than now.

Date

19. December 2016 | 14:09

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“School up!” A new school is built

Week by week, I get pictures which show that the construction works for the new school in Thulosirubari really proceed. The old school in the small village, 70 kilometers east of the Nepali capital Kathmandu, had been damaged so badly by the earthquake on 25 April 2015 that it had had to be demolished. Even if we have not yet reached our target – without your donations for our aid project “School up!” we would not be where we are now. See for yourselves!

Date

1. December 2016 | 17:09

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“School up!” – They are really moving on

Excavation for the foundations

Excavation for the foundations

“School up!” is no longer just a donation campaign, but a project that is realized. Thanks to your donations, the first building of the new school is being constructed in the small village of Thulosirubari, some 70 kilometers east of the Nepalese capital Kathmandu. “Digging foundation has been started. Construction materials have been dropped on site,” Shyam Pandit wrote to me these days. Shyam is the liaison man of the German aid organization “Nepalhilfe Beilngries” in Nepal. “I was on-site and talked to the contractor. He said and committed, the building would be finished before the next raining season June/July 2017, except painting. They are really moving on.”

Date

21. November 2016 | 10:35

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The first stone is lying

The cornerstone was set

The cornerstone was set

Yesterday, Sunday, was a very special day for the people of Thulosirubari. One who made a mark for the future, a sign of hope. In the small village in Sindhupalchowk District, about 70 kilometers east of the Nepalese capital Kathmandu, the cornerstone for a new school was set. The old “Gerlinde and Ralf School” of the German aid organization Nepalhilfe Beilngries (NHB) had been so badly damaged by the devastating earthquake on 25 April 2015 that it later had to be demolished. In the summer of 2015, I had initiated, along with the professional climbers Ralf Dujmovits and Gerlinde Kaltenbrunner, the donation campaign “School up!”, with the goal to rebuild the school in Thulosirubari as soon as possible. Therefore yesterday was for us three a special day too – and also for all of you who have donated for “School up!”: Without your support, no foundation would have been laid yesterday.

Date

26. September 2016 | 19:24

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On your mark, ready, …

Schoolchildren in Thulosirubari

Schoolchildren in Thulosirubari

… go! Not only Olympic athletes are currently waiting for this call. People in Thulosirubari are in the starting blocks too. Hopefully we are only few days away from the start of the construction of the new school at this small village in Sindhupalchowk District in Nepal. According to the German aid organization “Nepalhilfe Beilngries” finally all bureaucratic barriers have been broken down so that the school for 700 children and adolescents in Thulosirubari can be rebuilt. That has been and will be the goal of the aid project “School up!” that I had launched along with the professional climbers Gerlinde Kaltenbrunner from Austria and Ralf Dujmovits from Germany a year ago. The “Gerlinde and Ralf School”, which had been inaugurated only in 2009, was so badly damaged by the devastating earthquake in Nepal on 25 April 2015 that it had to be demolished.

Date

9. August 2016 | 15:20

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Minute of silence in Everest Base Camp

The avalanche from Pumori on 25 April 2015

The avalanche from Pumori on 25 April 2015

At 11:56 a.m. all hell broke loose. Exactly a year ago today, a magnitude 7,8 earthquake struck Nepal. About 9,000 people were killed, 23,000 were injured. However, these were only the victims registered by the government, it was probably more. Also on Mount Everest many people died on 25 April 2015. The quake triggered a huge avalanche on the nearby seven-thousander Pumori. It hit Everest Base Camp, 19 people lost their lives. On this anniversary of the disaster, climbers and the staff of the infirmary “Everest ER” gathered at the foot of the highest mountain on earth for a minute of silence – at 11:56 a.m.

Date

25. April 2016 | 15:25

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“We are ready” in Thulosirubari

Children play "Hot Potato"

Children play “Hot Potato”

“They lost their houses and all their property, but they didn’t lose their plans,” says Arjun Gatraj about the people of his native village Thulosirubari. “There is still hope.” Not only for better times for themselves, but also for their children. “They feel that education is important for their children. They sent them directly after the earthquake as soon as we started the school again.” Arjun is the chairman of the school committee of Thulosirubari, a small mountain village, about 70 kilometers from the Nepalese capital Kathmandu. Almost every family has been affected by the earthquake. “75 people died, among them eight of our students”, Arjun tells me during my visit in Thulosirubari. “About 1800 houses were destroyed, only 30 to 40 are still intact.”

Date

14. March 2016 | 18:52

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Heavely aching muscles after “Power pilgrimage for Nepal”

Wet finisher

Wet finisher

Slowly, very slowly. My feet feel as if they were twice as thick. My legs are a rock-hard muscle package that hurts with every step. I’ve never taken part in a marathon, but I suppose I am feeling like a 42-kilometer-runner on the day after the race – with the difference that more than two marathon distances stick in my bones, literally. From Wednesday, 8 a.m. to Thursday, 7.55 p.m. I hiked 96 kilometers. And I have reached my goal: from Cologne Cathedral on the Way of St. James to Aachen Cathedral within 36 hours, including an overnight stay. Five minutes before the time that I had set before I reached the gate of Aachen Cathedral. The mission “Power pilgrimage for Nepal” was accomplished.

Date

20. November 2015 | 18:13

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Let’s hike! Power pilgrimage for Nepal

I will start at Cologne Cathedral ...

I will start at Cologne Cathedral …

Every kilometer counts. On Wednesday, I will set off for my „Power pilgrimage for Nepal“. The starting point of my sponsored hike on the Way of St James is Cologne Cathedral at 8 a.m. MEZ. My aim is to reach Aachen Cathedral, which is about 100 kilometers away, within 36 hours, including an overnight stay halfway. Meanwhile, the donations for each kilometer that I’ll hike have mounted up to seven euros – due to the information I’ve got directly from you. Maybe the sum will be even higher. Of course more sponsors are always welcome, even after I will have got footsore. 😉 I am pleased with every cent for our aid project „School up!“ which is aimed to rebuild the school of Thulosirubari in Nepal as soon as possible. The “Ralf and Gerlinde School” in the mountains, 40 kilometers as the crow flies from Kathmandu, had been damaged so badly by the 25 April earthquake that it had to be demolished.

Storm and rain showers

The Archbishop of Cologne, Cardinal Rainer Maria Woelki, has wished me “fine weather and above all many sponsors” for my “Power pilgrimage for Nepal”. The latter has already come true, but I’m less optimistic for the former.

Date

17. November 2015 | 12:18

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Power pilgrimage for Nepal

The site where the school was located

The site where the school was located

“We feel very sad to see ‘Ground zero’ of this huge school building”, says Sunil Krishna Shrestha, representative of the German aid organization “Nepalhilfe Beilngries” in Nepal. As reported before, the devastating 25 April earthquake had damaged the “Gerlinde and Ralf School” in the small mountain village of Thulosirubari so badly that it had to be demolished. The ruins had posed a danger to the children who had continued to play there after the quake. Meanwhile, the destroyed school building, where about 700 students from the region around the village had been taught before the quake, was leveled to the ground. “We were able to recover windows, doors and a few school desks and boards from the rubble”, Arjun Gatraj, the chairman of the school management committee at Thulosirubari, writes to me, adding that the old bricks could not be saved because the IOM (International Organization for Migration) had used heavy machinery to demolish the building.

Date

4. November 2015 | 17:19

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Demolition of school has begun

The school in Thulosirubari has to be demolished

The school in Thulosirubari is going to be demolished

It was simply too dangerous. In the village of Thulosirubari in the Nepalese earthquake zone, residents and helpers of the International Organization for Migration (IOM) have begun to remove the debris of the school. The building that was heavily damaged by the quake on 25 April “stands dangerously on the side of the ground where children use to play”, Arjun Gatraj, chairman of the School Management Committee, writes to me. As reported, the ground floor of the “Gerlinde and Ralf School” had collapsed, the building cannot be maintained. “These days, we have the big problem on how to destroy the main building and how to clear the rubble”, says Arjun. “We have no money for that ant the Government of Nepal is also not able to support us.”

Date

8. September 2015 | 14:07

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