How the journey began
The charity started with one person’s desire to ‘put something back’ having had a reasonable life. This is the founder Lai See Chew. Read her blog at www.volunteeringorwhat.blogspot.com to find out how her journey began. It was a personal crusade to try to make a small difference to the lives of the children she comes across in Kathmandu.
Lai See started the journey in 2008 following her retirement. She raised over a thousand pounds with generous donations from friends, colleagues and family members.
Lai See stayed at the ‘Save Lives foundation’ Orphanage during her first visit and every visit since. With the help of the host mother Uma Mathema, Lai See was able to identify the unmet needs facing the Orphanage and Teku Hospital. In the first instance, winter clothing and warm bedding were purchased for the orphanage as well as a mini generator with battery, to help with the frequent power cuts. Emergency equipment for the Casualty department at the Teku Hospital where Lai See worked as a HIV/AIDS nurse was purchased. No cash was ever handed over thereby ensuring that the money was used for what it was intended.
A warm and trusting relationship has been established between Uma Mathema and Lai See over the years. Lai See recognised that she cannot save the world, but can help those she has come into contact with. As a result, she returned each year with funds raised through friends and family. The yearly trip to Nepal has become a mission and the voices of the children tug at her heartstrings following her return to UK each year.
Lai See says ‘ I feel so alive whenever I am in Nepal. It’s like a drug, an addiction I have no control over. ‘
The sponsorship programme was started in 2009 for the orphans at ‘Save Lives Foundation’. With the sponsorship programme, reports on the progress of the children’s study are regularly fed back to the sponsors. In 2010 additional children were identified for the sponsorship programme. Currently there are 29 sponsored children. Amazingly, KIKN has sent its first university student in June 2014. Everyone involved is over the moon by KIKN’s achievement.
In 2010 Shree Neel Barahi Secondary School (700+ pupils) was added to KIKN’s list of projects. It is a big school with multiple needs. Lai See recognised that in order to help the school, more and bigger funding streams would be needed in the future.
It is against this background that Kids in Kathmandu Nepal Ltd was registered as an Ltd Company on 4th February 2011 and became a registered charity (1142150) in May 2011 with the Charity Commission for England and Wales.