For the past 11 years, we have had the great privilege of partnering with Aspen Insurance. Each year, staff members from Aspen offices across the globe visit Adara’s projects on the ground to see firsthand the impact of this partnership. Until 2017 this visit was to Kiwoko Hospital in Uganda. This year, for the first time ever, a group of seven staff visited Adara’s Nepal projects!
As always, they left inspired by the incredible experience and invigorated by the knowledge that so much of this work has been made possible by Aspen’s support. They have been kind enough to share some of their stories with us.
By Andrew Parker
Today all the Ambassadors have awoken with some sadness as it’s our last day in Ghyangfedi and we will be saying goodbye to our fabulous host, the families and the wonderful children of Ghyangfedi.
The day begins with us being greeted by an absolutely spectacular sunrise shining on the enormous mountains that surround us and with children and their mothers happily playing outside of our homestay…Maria and Domonique in particular seem very comfortable playing with the babies.
We head inside for another great meal – a hearty breakfast of chickpeas and a spicy potato curry. Some of us, however, are deeply disappointed as we thought we’d be losing a few kilos in Ghyangfedi, but we all very quickly put any thoughts of a diet on hold as the food has been fantastic during our stay. All of us thought that last night’s homemade fried chicken was the best we’ve ever eaten!
After breakfast, the Child Club and other children of the Shree Ghyangfedi school greet us and we say our goodbyes to our new friends. It’s a very touching moment as a number of the children become visibly tearful because one of their teachers is leaving and the bond the children have forged with their teacher is obvious to us all.
After our farewells we set off on our 90km, 6 hour and very bumpy ride back to Kathmandu on roads that seem almost impassable at times, especially when a bus is coming the other way!
Each monsoon seasons the roads to Ghyangfedi are washed away and it was only two weeks ago it became possible to drive all the way to Ghyangfedi. However, all of the Ambassadors are in agreement that it’s a four-wheel driving experience like no other. Sophie and I seemed to have all the luck on the road trip, firstly nearly being crushed under a bus a few days earlier and then today our car breaking down! Thankfully our skillful drivers also happen to be expert mechanics and we are soon on our way. This was quite a relief as we were still several hours drive from Kathmandu, the other cars were full, and Martin and Paul were suggesting another hike in the sweltering heat wouldn’t do Sophie and I any harm. Shortly after getting on our way again we witnessed the harsh realities of travelling on Nepali roads as we came across people on the other side of the river trying to rescue people from a bus that had just rolled down the mountainside. We later learnt that three people died in the bus and that Ghyangfedi School’s Assistant Principal was on the bus. He has been taken to hospital with his injuries but will be ok.
While in Ghyangfedi we learnt from Pralhad, the incredibly dedicated and passionate leader of Adara in Nepal, that Ghyangfedi has a long and sad history of child trafficking and it remains the epicentre of trafficking young girls within Nepal with almost every household being impacted in some way. However, through the Adara education development programme and with the support of Aspen, more and more children are receiving quality education every day and the rate of child trafficking is slowing dramatically.
In the words of Pralhad, by establishing the school at Ghyangfedi and by continuing to support it, the child trafficking trade is being shaken at its foundations! Long held practices are now being questioned and in some circumstances attempts at trafficking have been thwarted all together.
All the children of Ghyangfedi can now look forward as they now dare to have hopes and dreams of a brighter future via the power of education, which has been made possible by Adara and its supporters such as Aspen.
By being privileged enough to have spent time in Ghyangfedi and seeing firsthand how the Adara / Aspen partnership is fundamentally changing people’s lives for the better, all the Ambassadors felt the past few days spent with the families and the amazing children of Ghyangfedi was a once in a lifetime experience and will leave us with incredible memories and moments that will last a lifetime.