All posts by volunteer

Inauguration of Khelkud Griha, House of Sports


On the third Saturday of the month of April three years ago, there was big celebration in Bhimphedi: the Sports Ground was inaugurated. Many people attended this event hosted by 3E Project: villagers, the village’s authorities, political personalities, representative of Bhimphedi Project, Rotary Club of Kantipur members and Amics del Nepal volunteers. Balmandir Children organized a basketball match that everybody was very happy to watch. It was a very important day. But, unfortunately, it also turned out to be a date nobody else could ever forget: at the end of the celebration, a 7.8 earthquake hit Nepal.

Fortunately there were no victims in Bhimphedi VDC, but many people lost relatives and friends living in other districts and many others were left without a home. Moreover, the psychological effects of the earthquake were devastating: sadness and fear took over Nepal. People were not feeling safe anymore, they feared going inside the houses, in case an aftershock would happen. For many months, people were living in temporary shelters…

Amics del Nepal received many help-requests from Bhimphedi villagers, as well as many help-offerings from different entities in Barcelona. Finally three organizations decided to embark together in a joint venture: Amics del Nepal, Base-A and CCD-UPC. Their common program was named Awasuka, after the nepali words: Aawas Sudhar Karyakram (Habitat Improvement Program). Later on this program was also joined by Agragaami Krishak Krishi Sahakari and Rotary Club of Kantipur, as local partners. During the first Awasuka trip to Nepal, the team met with 3E Project members to share their concerns about Bhimphedi community. The outcome of that meeting was to build an earthquake-resistant building to teach improved traditional construction techniques and also to house dressing rooms and showers for the ground.


On the third Saturday of the month of April this year, there has been a big celebration in Bhimphedi: the Khelkud Griha (House of Sports), also called Dhunga-Mato (Stone and Mud) Prototype, has been inaugurated. Many people have attended this event, again hosted by 3E Project: villagers, members of Gaupalika (municipal authority recently created), Speaker of Region 3, representative of Ayuda Nepal, Rotary Club of Kantipur and Inner Wheel members, Bhimphedi Guys leaders, Amics del Nepal volunteers and Awasuka cooperators. Balmandir children have organized a short football match and when finished, they have been able to use the sports facilities for the first time: they have enjoyed a fresh shower and have got dressed in the new changing rooms. After this, they have also enjoyed the gifts distributed by the Inner Wheel members. During the ceremony there have been many speeches, but a very special one has been done by Mahen Shrestha, founding member of 3E Project. He has talked about the history of Bhimphedi and about how this village should preserve its heritage and natural environment. (We have asked Mahen his speech, so we will be able to post it in our blog site nextly).

The ceremony has been very moving for everybody, especially for those who attended the 2015 inauguration, as they could not help their minds going back to the sad memories of the earthquake… However, these first emotions have been quickly replaced by the positive feeling of having overcome such a bad situation and having been able to create a new beautiful building out of the blue: a building for the enjoyment of the Community, especially for all children and youths in Bhimphedi.
From Amics del Nepal we are very happy to have been able to lead the construction of this new building for Bhimphedi through Awasuka Program. We hope it will foster the good practice of sports activities in proper hygienic conditions, as well as it will also help create awareness about the importance of having a clean environment. And most importantly: we hope it will make people happy, as beauty is something that produces joy in our lives.

The inauguration has been particularly special for Awasuka team members, as it has meant the “official ending” of an important part of the Program. The three prototypes in Bhimphedi have already been finished and the construction of Supin houses will be ended very soon. Only retrofitted houses will be left, probably to be finished after monsoon.
Awasuka Program has been a long and exciting trip. It has been a challenging adventure of relationships among the collaborating entities, the local partners, the funders, the young cooperators on site and the local beneficiaries… There have been very good moments, but there have also been some tensions from time to time; sometimes due to differences in criteria, some other times due to cultural and language problems… but we have all overcome the difficulties by sharing a common goal: providing better habitat conditions for the people in Bhimphedi, specially the most needy ones. We are also well aware of the high expectancies placed in this program by the villagers, and we are not sure to have fulfilled them all… Although we tried our best, we have to understand that our organizations are small, modest and limited. Moreover, many unexpected difficulties aroused during the construction process, which we’ve had to overcome by keeping our team in a constant state of change and adaptation…
…but we’ve all held on to our dream and we are happy to have achieved most of the goals we set ourselves in the first visit to Nepal. And now, we are especially happy to see the “Dhunga Mato” totally finished, officially inaugurated and eventually used by the people. Children and adults walking all around, enjoying it and saying how “ramro” (nice) it was.

For all the persones involved in a construction process, once it is finished, we experience a very speciall moment of bliss and emotion. And so we all felt last Saturday.

Now, the keys of the Khelkud Griha have been handed out to Bhimphedi village. Our work has ended. Bhim Aadhar School, Gaupalika and Balmandir have agreed to organize sports activities in this place. Time will tell whether this building will eventyally be used as sports facilities, as a store-house, as a small sports resort, as a celebration place, or maybe even as a tourism office…. who knows? The use of buildings in the future can never be forecasted… But two things we are sure about are: firstly, it will always be useful as an earthquake-resistant model-house, and secondly, the most important thing: this building will always have a special place in our hearts.

Inauguration Ceremony Attendees

Chief Guest: Sanu Kumar Shrestha (Province no. 3 Parliament Chair Person)
Special Guest: Juanjo Rodriguez (Bhimphedi Project)
Inauguration Program Chair Person: Mahen Shrestha (3E Project President)
Bhimphedi Gaupalika guests: Hidam Lama (President), Jahar Singh Lama (Ward no. 5 President) and Sitaram Thapa (Ward no. 6 President)
3E Project: Mahen Shrestha (president), Bhupendra Man Pradhan and Surendra Thike (manager)
Bhim Aadhar School: Maya Siwakoti (principal), Kamala Shrestha (co-principal), Binita Poudel Ohlinka Gurung, Sangita Bhujel, Kiran Gupta and Barsa Shrestha (teachers)
Rotary Club of Kantipur: Arun Pokharel (president), Chintamani Bhattarai, Prabhat Yonzon (service project director), Bhupendra Man Pradhan and Hari Bhattarai (legal advisor)
Inner Wheel of Kantipur: Arpana Pokharel and Neelam Yonzon
Parents Association Central Community Treasurer: Laxman Karki
Lions Club of Kathmadu Grand Senate Chairperson: Surja Babu Shrestha
Agragaami Krishak Krishi Sahakaari Sastaa: Niranjan Pudassainee and Devraj Devkota
Bhimphedi Guys: Nirmal Lama and Mithun Lama
Balmandir Children Home: Ashish Balak, Ramraj Shahi, Santa Jirel, Samir Singh, Raju Thapa, Sarita Tamang, Purnima Singh, Binita Karki, Kushal Nepali, Manoj Balak, Bishwo Rai, Santamaya Didi (caretaker), Julia Yuste, Ester Daura (long-term volunteers) and Guillem Pujol (Balmandir coordinator)
Awasuka Program: Arnau Montoya, Irina Berdonces, Irene Gudel (junior architects) and Monica Sans (Program Director)
And many more villagers, workers and drivers from whom we do not know the names…

News in the Balmandir garden

Written by Ester Daura, volunteer of Children Home of Bhimphedi

Map of the kitchen garden


The Balmandir garden follows its cycle and we continue with its tasks. These last days we have been harvesting beans and many potatoes. Carrots have been planted and the nursery of the crops of the warmest season is already underway: tomatoes, peppers, eggplants …

We also wanted to introduce in Balmandir two new projects:
The first one was Vermicompost. It is always important to take care of the land and ensure that there is no lack of nutrients so that all our crops can grow in good condition. That is why a good compost in the garden can not be lacking.

Working in vermicomposter

The project consists of using the residues of the kitchen and the garden and transforming them by worms into a compost of very good quality. To do this we have been building with the stones of Balmandir a structure divided into three spaces by nets where we will be depositing the wastes, and waiting for the worms to do their job (digest organic matter) and the compost will mature. It has been a good job where all the children have collaborated, either collecting stones from the garden or when assembling them. The structure is ready and Júlia and Ester went to look for the worms in Kathmandu. Soon we will start it!

Babus experiences with worms
Ekendra with a worm


The second novelty of the orchard is mushrooms, namely oyster mushrooms. They are a food with many beneficial and rich properties at the nutritional level. So we decided that it might be interesting to make a mushroom production. They are also easy to produce and it is interesting to see how the whole process is developed.

The first step was to go for roast straw in Suping, a village near Bhimphedi, cut it into small pieces, soak it for a whole night and the next day we boiled it to sterilize it.

Collecting beans

Then, in plastic bags we put straw and inoculum in different layers. Inoculum we went to look for Kathmandu. We finally hung it on the loft of Casa Rana, there they have the optimal temperature and the darkness necessary to grow. We were glad to see how in a few days the inoculum was quickly colonizing the whole straw. We hope to have the mushrooms come soon.

Welcome to Balmandir home!

Written by Guillem Pujol, volunteer of Children Home of Bhimphedi

Yesterday it was a special day. In Nepal almost every day is an adventure but today, 6 children have become part of the family of Balmandir Bhimphedi. Yesterday morning, the center’s director, Surendra, went to look for these 6 children at the NCO in Kathmandu and yesterday evening they got to the childreen home where they received their new brothers and sisters. We also have to thank  too two Kathmandu youths as they helped Surendra in this hard job , which is to bring 6 children to Bhimphedi.  Understanding that it is a three to four hour for one trip.

Having fun in the jeep

Ram,  Sisir,  Basanta,  Rabi,  Sandeep and  Laxman – all between 4 and 6 years. They have come to revolutionize the house once more, with the little time they bring here, but they are already well adapted and they are going through it better. Whether investigating the house itself as being related to their new friends. We believe and know that they will be very well at Balmandir, we will take care of them and their needs.

Sisir and Ram

Understanding that maybe it is a delicate moment of their little lives, although the big ones of the house already know how this experience works and what they have to do to create a comfortable and cozy atmosphere from the first moment that new children put one foot at home. Already we will keep informed of the new adventures that happen to us in Balmandir.

Waiting for come to Balmandir


Written by Guillem Pujol, volunteer of Children Home of Bhimphedi

Happy Holy to everyone!

Before yesterday we were celebrating the famous and spectacular Holy festival! As you know it or not, this holiday comes from the Hindu religion, although in recent years it has become popular and it is beginning to be celebrated all over the world. Although typically only in India and Nepal, among other countries with a Hindu tradition.

Playing with water

So, it’s about throwing colors and water at each other, doing this we celebrate  the beginning of spring, this is a party that is related to love and friendship as well.

Bishnu, Ram Raj, Ashish, Arjun and Ramesh celebrating Holy

By pulling the color poles, we refer to releasing all the errors you made during the year, so that you can start over again. As you can see in the pictures, we had a great time and we finished well colored and wet! It all started on Thursday 1 in the morning when just after the Dhalbhat the boys and girls already started throwing water balloons,

Throwing water to Surendra

When we were already well wet, the Surendra took everything from colored bags, both small and large they took part and they had a great time!

Photo of group

Then we left Balmandir to take a tour of the town, where there was a lot of atmosphere and generosity!

The hands of Binita

David, Hector and Daylí leave us

Written by Guillem Pujol, volunteer in Balmandir

Time has passed and a couple of weeks ago, the two volunteers from the kitchen garden, Hector and David left. It was sad but beautiful farewell at the same time, both spent about six months here at Balmandir, and in the end, the small kids and big boys love and appreciated them.

Going to Suppin with the kids of the house

Since they arrived they were involved both in the reception house and in the garden, doing daily activities in the “kitchen garden”, teaching the smallest of the house how to take care of the garden, in what moments should be harvested according to what, how to remove weeds or how to detect pests. As well as they participated in many of the activities that we have done during these six months. How can it be excursions, workshops, meetings and a long list.

Hector and Ram Raj working in kitchen garden

The days have gone by and their volunteering has come to an end, we were sorry to say goodbye but two new volunteers arrived to be able to relieve the project of the orchard, companions Julia and Ester. That they get full of motivation and energy to carry out certain tasks or improvements, such as making a Vibrator with the young people of the house to make a composite of higher quality, or a greenhouse to make mushrooms, among many Other ideas and the proper maintenance of the kitchen garden.

Small kids are planting new vegetables

The days have gone by and their volunteer term has come to an end, we were sorry to say goodbye but two new volunteers arrived to be able to relieve the project of the kitchen garden, companions Julia and Ester. That they get full of motivation and energy to carry out certain tasks or improvements, such as making a Vermicomposter with the young people of the house to make a composite of higher quality, or a greenhouse to make mushrooms, among many other ideas and the proper maintenance of the kitchen garden.

Julia, Ester and Samir building the Vermicompostador

Another volunteer who has left us now for a week or so is Dayli, having done a short-term volunteer, she been eager to return and she will do it. However, we could also help a lot, be it caring for the little ones in the house as reading and creating the book of the Nabina that we read in the evening one day yes one no.

Daylí also came when we went to Atisure

Even so, everything is going forward and we can not fall asleep, we must continue working day by day with the children and young people of the house! Creating a cozy and ideal environment where you can grow, learn and live.

Kamal and Ram Raj show us how they dance

Written by Ram Raj and Kamal, youth of Balmandir 

Hello we are Balmandir children and we  are making a
small video first but now we are improving and this is our
thirth video but we don´t know if you like this video or not
if you like this video you can tell us and we will make more video
for you.

Our name is kamal,manish,ramraj.we make this video for funny
for that we work a lot. we practise for one week for that video and
first we shoot and markhu and inside our village and we start to edit
we finish inside two day and now a day lot of people say we are good
and they are asking for another videos for that we need your help
maka a like . if you help us and we will be very happy and you will
get your another video. quickly THANK YOU.


We celebrate Christmas

Written by Guillem Puol, volunteer in Balmandir

It’s been a few days since Christmas arrived at Balmandir, understanding that it is not so important for the boys and girls of Bhimphedi and the children of Nepal in general, the celebration was a bit different from the one we are used to in Catalonia, then use it count We are sorry for the delay in this blog, but as you know in Balmandir, there is always work to do!

Understanding that Christianity is not their religion, what we did is the great Catalan tradition of “cagar el tió”! In the daily activity with the smallest ones we built it, for a few days we have been feeding it until it’s time to crash it! Taking advantage of the fact that in Nepal on December 25th it is festive, we made the crap tonch that day, before but we were doing some activities with small and large!


Giving food to tió

The big moment came and we started to practice the song of the caga tió, luckily many of them  were known, since it was not the first time they “cagaven”, they had done it the previous year with the Dani! And they were doing very well.

With tió

They were so excited as they shook him,  getting gifts for each one, a bag with chocolate, candy, a cane, shampoos, etc. The pity was that while we were stuck with the collective force they broke the thorium, but it was worth it and there was a feeling of childhood and youth enthusiasm.

On behalf of all the boys, girls, volunteers, director Surendra, didis, and all the people that we get involved in using Balmandir want to wish for Good Christmas and Good New Year! That’s why we leave a video that was made by the volunteer Ainoa, where all the people who walk Balmandir appear and use good parties

Pilar experiences in Bhimphedi

Written by  Pilar Puigdomènech  exvolunteer from the school of  Bhimphedi

It was going to be a very short volunteering, 4 weeks in July, too short perhaps? Definitely!!! My son Adrià and I got to Bhimpedhi and knowing we were there fleetingly, settled in our room and got to meet the kids, Surendra, the Didis, the teachers of the boarding school and  the other volunteers straight away… and for 21 days we went to our rooms just to sleep. What a wonder!!!!

Journeys were long and light at the same time, from early morning, half past six, to late evening, 9 o´clock… You may wonder why children in the orphanage get up so early… the answer, unbelievable to our European way of living is simple: to study. Children in Balmandir study for an hour and a half in the morning, after having a glass of milk and before breakfast and for another hour and a half in the evening, after their dinner… and this is not the most shocking fact. Despite having been told in advance, it is quite striking to see young children memorizing their lessons by heart, all their lessons, from all subjects. And as they attend a school in which all subjects are taught in English, it is easy for any volunteer to end up, reciting
their lessons too…

Teachers team

I can still hear their voices, their Nepali accents and their singsong. By the way, I haven’t said that children in Balmandir are happy and cheerful kids, and remembering Balmandir is a children’s home, it is more than clear that Amics de Nepal is doing an excellent job there. I wish we had that sort of kids filling up our classrooms, strong and healthy, both physically and psychologically.

I must admit that as a European teacher used to pedagogies which undervalue memorising any sort of information, during their study time, I insisted on making questions related to what they were memorizing to make sure they understood what they were repeating. I soon learned what I now see as obvious; kids who had trouble in memorizing were the same who couldn’t answer the questions testing their comprehension, so helping them to understand what they had to memorize was a very effective way to give them a hand; seen from the distance, it is blatant again!

One of the reasons why we had been accepted as volunteers for such a short period of time was that Amics de Nepal realised the importance of helping teachers at the boarding school improve their English and I have a long experience as a teacher of English as a second language. Except for the subject of Nepali language, the rest of subjects are taught in English, so one may assume that the teachers have an advanced level of English, reasonable at least!
Well, I’m afraid that in the boarding school in Bhimpedhi, this is not always the case, and from what I learned, a lot of the teachers working in the different rural boarding schools throughout
Nepal, are in the same situation. So, how do they manage? It is not difficult to guess, they do exactly the same as they ask their pupils to do, repeat what is in their books…. Welcome to the Boarding School in Bhimpedhi.

Working in class

Traditionally, a boarding school provides education as well as lodging and meals. However, in Nepal, boarding schools are those which use English as the language of instruction. Are they called boarding because they are supposed to be and Elite educational option? I still wonder. Teaching English to the teachers of the school was a privilege, one of the nicest you can experience. A group of young teachers with different levels of English and interests but all
willing to learn. It was far too short, at least for me. I would have enjoyed staying longer and seeing their progress go forward.

I remember so many unforgettable moments… One day while practising ways to give advice and instructions I asked them to imagine that their soul had gone far away on holiday, to the
nicest place they could think of, and my soul had set into their bodies, to cover up. They had to give me instructions on what to do at home so that nobody would notice anything weird was
going on. I told them to talk directly to me and tell me how to behave with their husbands, kids, parents, neighbours. I gave them a few silly examples like: when you wake up, say hello to
my husband and give him a good morning kiss; you mustn’t drink milk as I never do, you should wake my children up once breakfast is ready. I told them, they could make up whatever
they wanted and that the important was to have fun and enjoy while they were writing… I still remember the way they looked at me. It took me a few minutes to make myself understood, but once they started, it was magic! They enjoyed and I amused myself seeing their sparkling eyes and hearing their giggling. I expected some entertaining, carefree essays, but, once again, I was wrong. What they wrote was, in general, far more intimate than I could have ever
imagined, talking about the relationships with their husbands and kids, their feelings, their desires, their hopes… and, as you can imagine, they all wished me to do my best to enjoy my day in their bodies and take care of their beloved ones.

A pleasure to meet them all and to know that shortly after my departure a young English teacher was going there for a much longer period of time. My son and I will always be grateful to the children in Balmandir, Sir Surendra, the Didis, the teachers, Josep, Joan and the rest of the volunteers and to Amics de Nepal for allowing us to take part in such an admirable project.

Lets go for a picnic

Written for Guillem Pujol,volunteer at Bhimphedi Children Home’s

This December we had a stellar activity in our lives! We have gone with the family of Balmandir to Picnic !! Yeah yeah! Now a month ago, Kamal (the young boy from the house) suggested that we leave with all the boys and girls to make picnic.  And so we have done it …

This past Saturday 9th we went to visit the C.G Temple, in the Chitwan region. The day before twe were so nerveous , we were blossomed. We started cooking the night before, a special Dalbat, because it was spicy and coconut, we also cook papad, shrimp bread, and a long etcetera. On the same day 9 we took off very early to finish making all the preparations, then take a bus, which was all for us alone!

The bus with advise.

Also volunteers came, Didis, the Ram the cook, the Prabat, teacher  of children and young people from Kathmandu too! It was a long bus trip, but it was definitely worth it! Upon arrival, we went around the outskirts of the temple, looking at the new environment where we were. It was very hot, More than what we are used to here in Bhimphedi! Since we were very close to India!

The time had come to eat, and how tasty it was all! mmm!

Finally we were entering the temple, it was very different from the temples that we are accustomed to here in Nepal! Since its construction was relatively new, so new that they are still building it now! Very pale and bright colors, with very characteristic and different shapes. Then you can see a few pictures, of that strange but beautiful temple.

C.G. Temple

In addition, we were also able to go into Nepali history, thanks to a museum that was under the temple. We both entered into small children and we learned new things, which we did not imagine. The time went by very quickly and it was time to return, but Rohit (Kathmandu’s young person) gathered to tell us that we had a mission to do among all!

And it was to clean the entrance to the temple, which was very dirty and , as we left home we wanted to do social action to help improve our environment. The material was obtained thanks to the contacts that the young people of Kathmandu have with Clean Up Nepal, since it is not the first time they work with them.

Just després de netejar

After this cleaning, we took the return bus. This time but after the long day we fell asleep a few. When we arrived at Balmandir, we had dinner quickly and go  to sleep! That the next day we had school. It was a very nice and full day, where we enjoyed this great excursion and picnic.

The following link use will be sent to a video where you can see all the photos of the output:

We hope to repeat an experience like this one soon!

Hands on the work

The days have passed and as you know, in Balmandir there is always work to do and things to repair. One more year Tonyo’s visit has allowed us to do a whole lot of improvements. The floor of the study room has been renovated, the whole gazebo has been painted, the slide and swings have been fixed and painted. Thanks to all these painting sessions we have achieved that Balmandir is prettier than ever.

Painting the slide

The mosquito net fabrics of all the windows that have been torn apart from their use have also been repaired. They have purchased metal baskets, office supplies, cleaning materials, light bulbs, care materials to equip the bottle, As you can see we have done a recharge of basic things in general, which is always good.

This was more to plant potatoes, with the help of agronomic students, Hector, David and also Tonyo, it was decided to make a larger plantation of potatoes. Both small and large participated in this plantation, be it in the daily sessions of “kitchen garden” as the “extra work” on Saturdays

Tonyo working in the potatos field

Now the problem is to water this great field of potatoes. That is why we had to buy a new water tank (1000l), new hoses, taps and 4 sprinklers. But we also need more power, that is why Xavi has made us come up with a majestic and powerful water pump that gives us a lot of work.

Paint and brushes have been purchased to paint the entire porch we use from a stencil to the clothes of a dark green color that makes it cleaner and more bucolic. It has been a week of work, first we had to wash and then paint. We have been doing it little by little with the collaboration of the children.

Final result
ANna and Tonyo painting
Ashish working

They were the youth of the house that took the paintbrushes and the paint we had left and painted everything they could, until the painting was finished. Now Balamdir reigns in the dark green color, it’s really good!

Xavi also visited us for two weeks. It has helped us in these jobs and has done more! Since for a week he has done electronic sessions with the children of the house. They were motivated !! We have also fixed one of the latrine pipes that had a water leak, we have been advised by Dayli, the new volunteer of the Awasuka project specializing in latrines.

Electronic session with Xavi

Thank you one more year, to Friend Tonyo, to the Friends of Benicarló and “penya del Setrill”  that they support! Obviously also thank Xavi for all the work done and the motivation he has given us.