Another busy day in the CGLF office – when two women knocked on the door with a publicity sheet and a collecting tin. The interruption turned out to be a fruitful one! We learnt about the Disabled Rehabilitation Center and were so happy to share with them T-shirts, jackets, bed sheets, biscuits and noodles sent to us from Malaysia.
When we visited on July 29th the 55 children living at DRC had returned from school and were doing their homework with the help of local Nepali and international volunteers. (Watch the children and our team here)
We met Gita who is 18 years old and has very short limbs. Since she was a baby her ‘boss’ used her to beg for money, to be spent on alcohol for himself. These days Gita enjoys singing and dancing during traditional Tihar festival performances.
Gita is just one resident of DRC. Not all have disabilities, as Tshering Sherpa explained “we combine disabled children and children from extremely poor families, orphaned, abandoned, or simply in need of care and schooling, because they can understand each other and help each other.”
After the earthquake everybody was in distress and afraid, the children waking up in the middle of the night in tears.
DRC accepted two children who were victims injured during the earthquake. One of them, 8 year old Tenzin, was with has family in Langtang. He was lucky to survive, but all his family members died under the avalanche which destroyed the whole village. Like all the children, Tenzin is now slowly coming back to normal.
Most children come to DRC below the age of 10 and stay until they reach 16, when they receive their SLC (School Leaving Certificate). There is a waiting list for the centre, and each vacancy is immediately filled.
The center was established in 2002 by Tanka Tibari (Founder President) and his wife, in collaboration with Kipa Sherpa (Chairman) – all three are disabled. The treasurer of DRC, Tendy Sherpa, runs a trekking agency and through it attracts sponsors, mainly from Holland.
All nine staff work for a minimal salary, except for a professional physiotherapist, recently engaged. “We can already see amazing results in the progress of how children are moving” said Tanka.
DRC aims to provide good quality education and rehabilitation so that children can find their place in society once they leave DRC. On the terrace on the first floor there are sewing machines, and a computer class for those who are interested. Recently, construction of a new building began nearby, to house their own residential school and more children.
Funding comes from sponsors from abroad and door-to-door collection by local volunteers. Tshering admits that after the earthquake they have difficulties with raising funds door-to-door, as now people need money to support their own families and rebuilding. Expenses are of course salaries, school fees, medical expenses and treatment, along with building materials for the construction of the new school building.
Tshering Sherpa, administrator, who has worked here since 2007, sums up; “In my own life sometimes there are problems and hard times, but when I see these children, I understand, that what I’m facing myself are not problems at all compared to their situations. And still they are able to remain happy and joyful and smiling. We who work here learn a lot from them”.
To learn more about DRC and the ways you can help – please visit the official website – www.drcnepal.com