During my short visit in April (just before the earthquake), I met some of Uma ‘s volunteers who were interested in KIKN’S work. They came on some home visits with us, and saw at first hand the dire home conditions the local children were living in. Some of them then became interested in our work. Denny M was working in the boys Orphanage @ Parapokar. He went on to sponsor Deepok an 11 year old boy through KIKN. His friend Alex, also went on to sponsor a child at Parapokar. KIKN has supporters from across the globe, but they are our first sponsors from outside of UK. They both live in Hamburg in Germany.
Parapokar is the oldest orphanage established in Kathmandu by philanthropy. It has its schools in its own ground. The boys’ quarter was first set up in its original building followed by the girls’ much later. They are strictly run as 2 separate entities, with a fence dividing the schools as well. Only male volunteers are allowed to work in the boys side and similarly for the girls.
During the earthquake, the old buildings on the boys side were badly damaged. It was not habitable. So they had to move lock, stock and barrel to the outskirt of Kathmandu, a remote village called Durrkot. That included the teachers, and all the resident staff. Uma and I saw many children, but have no idea the number involved.
KIKN sponsor 5 girls from Parapokar. I was able to meet them and hand over their sponsors’ letters/ cards/treats etc to them personally soon after my arrival. Time was marching on. With the petrol crisis, it was impossible for Parapokar staff to bring Deepok to meet me at Uma’s. Having done the journey, I appreciate the difficulty they have to fund the journey. In the event we took one of their sick boys to a hospital in Kathmandu on our return journey .
Deepok is a small 11 year old orphan. He is soft spoken, and is self contained.He seems to be a happy child. He was delighted to see us. It was totally unexpected. His face said it all. Denny sent a big parcel to me before I left UK. There was a football t-shirt, always a boy’s favourite plus post cards, photos, giant artist chalks and others. It was so touching to see him standing there holding this pile of gifts that reminded him of their times together in April. He was overwhelmed. We were too…..
Before we left, we asked him ‘ do you have any message you want us to tell Denny? He lifted his eyes, burning bright and said softly ‘ how is he? when is he coming to see me again?