Category Archives: Volunteers

The better to see you with

Written by Vanessa Martínez, volunteer of Bhimphedi Children’s Home.

As we did last year, we checked the vision of all girls and boys of Balmandir. Three of them showed some visual problems so we took them for a complete examination with the ophtalmologist and the optometrist in the Hetauda Community Eye Hospital.

We found that Sumit needs new glasses because his prescription increased a bit, and Purnima should start wearing glasses as well. For now it seems that Binita doesn’t need any glasses.

Both Sumit and Purnima have convergence problems, so we started a visual therapy to solve also the issue and finish with their reading problems.

Purnima with her new glasses!
Sumit with his new glasses!


River and fishing!!

Writed by Vanessa Martínez Lozano at the children’s home

It was 20 years since the last municipal elections in Bhimphedi, and for this reason there was one week of official holidays. We took the opportunity that we had holidays again and that it was very hot to go to the river many days!

While small kids enjoy the river and learn how to swim, some of the big boys are fishing.

After a while, by the river, a bit of sun to get warm.

Ready for fishing!!

We use the walks to the river to take pictures of the plants and later look for information about them. The kids know a lot about local plants properties and they love to search for new plants.

When we return to Balmandir everybody works together on cleaning and cooking the fish.

Sumit, Basu, Bisu y Kush are working toguether on cleaning the fish.
Sushil is in charge of cooking today!!


New school year, more kids!

Written by Pau R. E.

In Nepal the new school year begins in May. This new year also comes with new additions to the center. We go to the Nepal Children’s Organization coordination center in Kathmandu with a new volunteer that arrived recently. Once in the coordination center, we ask to pick up the children, but they are not ready yet. After almost 4 hours of paperwork, finally 2 boys and 2 girls are assigned to us.

With the letters prepared, we first go to pick up the girls, who are in Naxal children’s home. Just arriving many children recognize Dani and they start shouting that they also want to go to Bhimphedi, all of them very excited.

While they finish preparing the girls, the children of the center are put to play with us making a circle around us. Once the girls are ready, we get so surprised by their age, they are very young (6 and 4 years old)! And they are sisters too! We continue our trip to pick up the 2 boys in the Siphal children’s home. Once there, the boys are already ready; but they are even smaller than the girls (4 and 3 years old)! What a surprise!

So now we have everything ready to continue by taxi to Balco, where we take a Jeep towards Bhimphedi. We are assigned the 4 back seats for the 6 of us (2 volunteers and 4 children). Just before riding the older girl begins to cry. She has recently arrived in Naxal, so we can’t imagine how she felt. After trying to reassure her without any success we decide that she will eventually accept the situation, so we proceed to get on the Jeep where her crying persists and seems to start passing into her younger sister. The rest of the Jeep passengers (6 more people) start to be bothered by the crying. But luckily soon the two sisters fall asleep, leaving only the two boys awake. The older boy gets along very well all the time, and the younger one doesn’t stop eating cookies and playing with curiosity with the window of the Jeep.

The first half of the journey takes place with a lot of traffic, mainly caused by the amount of mud left by the rain of the last days. The Jeeps, despite having four-wheel traction, they slip and have a hard time making some of the hills. All this makes us arrive much later than planned at the break point, in the middle of the journey. In this places they offer food and/or cleaning of the Jeep to the driver, because they all end up full of mud, all in exchange to bring the travelers as customers.

Once at the stop we awaken the smallest girl, the oldest one had been awake for some time now. We try to get everyone out to stretch their legs and go to the bathroom. The major girl does not want to leave the Jeep and we let her rest quietly inside the vehicle; she neither wants to eat or go to the bathroom. Meanwhile the rest of the passagengers of the Jeep ask curious about the gender of the children, since the boys dress more pink and the girls more blue.

After all the others kids have stretched their legs and have gone to the bathroom we continue with the journey, this time much less calm. The older girl starts to vomit as soon as the jeep continues. Despite asking for a plastic bag, it didn’t arrive in time and her vomit stain her side of the Jeep. The young girl takes little time to want to imitate her sister. We try to distract her and with the ventilation of the vehicle, and this helps her to not be the next one. After a while, the older one throws up again, but fortunately we are about to reach Bhimphedi.

Once in Bhimpedi it is night already, and we call other volunteers to help us carry our bags and the children to Balmandir Children’s Home. We walked slowly through the streets of Bhimphedi, now really dark. When we arrived all the children of the center received us with great enthusiasm, since they were waiting with impatience, and the Didis even more. They are very tired and go to bed early.

The next day we discover how the oldest boy is not a calm one at all, he is the most active in the whole children’s home: wanting to discover all the corners and do as many activities as he can. Who would think that seeing him being so calm in the Jeep! The younger boy is the favorite of both girls and Didis. The new girls need one more day, but they end up playing together with other kids and with a very big smile. It is hard to imagine she is the same girl full of tears inside the Jeep.

The next day we go to buy new shoes for the younger girl and they all go together to take pictures wearing the uniform to enroll in school. So everything is set to start the new course.

The place where you can not go from

Written by Joana Alsina, volunteer of Bhimphedi Children’s Home from 4th May of 2016 to 30th August 2016

There is a place in the world that few mortals know and where only the privileged have been reached. The mountains guarding as it was a fortress are gray and inhospitable during the dry season, offering a lethargic panorama to anyone who walks there. Suddenly the sky becomes a party, and as a noisy alarm relives the mountains and fields, spreading slowly across a blanket of water. Within few days gray and brown turn to bright green, the streams begin to revive, fields of corn growing unstoppable inch per day and buds of the old caterpillars hatch to butterflies so spectacular that they might be confused with mythological animal.

Joana foto 04

There is a place in the world where there parsimony and improvisation, where timetables and plannings lose all validity, forcing outsiders to develop a sense of patience to a professional level. Ke garné!

In this place of bright colors, the hours pass peacefully and often too fast between tea and tea, surrounded by bollywoodians rhythms that flow from the radio at full sound and the smell of incense every morning to honor the infinite deities that take care of maintaining the harmony of the place.

Joana foto 07

Always with wet feet you walk through the fields or up the street among strong small men pushing heavy carts and goats that seem horses. The bus that carries the milk reaches and distributes its cargo to the women of the town, using the opportunity to chat about the news about other villagers, laughing and shouting with their characteristic endearing and stridency. On the other side of the street starts a parade of dozens of uniformed lads with miraculous white clothes way to school, and dozens of uniformed youth also carefully disheveled way to college.

There is a place in the world where teachers play truant more often than students and where every little event is reason for celebration. In the afternoon the students return home undoing their ties and pulling their shirts out of the clamp trousers. It’s time to go back with family. In this corner of the world there is the most numerous of all, a family where brothers and sisters are counted by dozens. His home is a temple in the middle of the valley, although you should not expect to find the mysticism and peace of a sacred place… nothing further from reality! When you enter this temple, often you can see some of the its young inhabitants hanging over ten meters high trees taking the tasty spring fruits or on roofs next to the water tank that needs a simple and temporary reparation. Yes, there is a place in the world where children run and jump and climb without the help of any adult and without any soft surface where to land safely on. They fall, and sometimes they get a scratch or hound, but nothing happens, on the contrary, because these young men and women adore everything that can be found in a simple medicine kit and the shock of the moment immediately becomes excitement with the first drop of Betadine and the smell of hand sanitizer.

Joana foto 01

Joana foto 05

Joana foto 03

Between laughter and shouts, brothers and sisters take care of each other with delicate words… or with a slap! Their relentless sincerity and spontaneity will make you feel the most special person in the universe or sink you into the cruelest misery. Nothing eludes these little beings!

Joana foto 06

You can find them all over the temple playing guitar, rehearsing the choreography of the latest megahit, practicing complicated magic tricks, cooking wild plants, planting pumpkins, helping to bring to the world small goats or building any new (and when I say any is any) device. The members of this particular family have infinite abilities. You can also see them with bored face in the study room, memorizing and repeating like parrots the lesson or in the most critical moments, laying on the floor with the head on the notebook sleeping. But if you really want to make sure to find them, look for a screen! Computers, phones, televisions… screen addition is the strongest of the pathologies that suffer these kids.

Joana foto 02

After much excitement it’s time to sleep. The amazing and loving mothers check that no clever kid goes to sleep without washing teeth, while elder boys gather with absolute secrecy to discuss which the most charming girl in school is. Then, very early, they fall asleep, in pairs, in threes under the fans of the hot room of the temple. Peace reign again for a few hours under the stunning starry sky of this village.

There is a place in the world that has a strange magic that prevents you from leaving it. A place where the emptiness that you feel when you are going from, can be only filled when one day, months later, you wake up and realize that all the memories are real, you were one of the few mortals who had the privilege of reaching Balmandir, Bhimphedi.

Behind the curtains

Written by Daniel Roig, coordinator of the Bhimphedi Children’s Home

This blog is a stage where you can see some of the things that Amics del Nepal does in this village in a lost valley of Nepal. But behind the curtains there are many people working to make possible that all these, initially, disadvantaged boys and girls can have a happy childhood and the opportunity to learn a lot in Bhimphedi Children’s Home.

Together with the support of the sponsors of the Bhimphedi project, it is essential the work of many people who in an imaginative, altruistic and supportive way organize activities to raise money for Bhimphedi Children’s Home.

In this post I will explain some of these magnificent initiatives that have been carried out in recent months!

Marina Viñas has been organizing for 4th time a type of Christmas Bingo: the Nepali Quinto with the association el Ciervo de Sabadell.

But in addition, last November el Ciervo de Sabadell went even further, because his theater company, coordinated with Ateneu del Món, organized a play in Sant Quirze in favor of Balmandir: A great evening of theater of the always surprising Agatha Christie.

The students of the sixth grade of the school Joan Blanquer of Castellar organized a solidarity market, among other activities where all students participated to bring the reality of Nepal near to all of them.

Tonyo Fibla is already the third time he has collaborated with us (especially with the group Cetrill of Benicarló). This time he has organized a workshop of Nepalese cuisine.

The most tireless collaborators are Ricardo and Jorge, who have spent years with the “Taper Nepal” project with dozens of events, presentations, sale markets of Nepalese handicrafts and solidarity yoga sessions.

We also have new collaborators, such as Ester and Xipi from the Códi 0 egg farm of Lleida, who have organized a solidarity snack a few days before coming to visit the Children’s Home with their four children (who have been a sensation in the village with their golden hair).

Imagination, altruism and solidarity in power, to put our grain of sand for a better world. Thank you very much! Let’s keep it up!

La veu de Benicarló

Article written by Tony Fibla (volunteer of Bhimphedi Children’s Home) published in three back covers of the magazine in Catalan: La Veu de Benicarló


First Part

After finishing the story of Manaslu now, as I promised you, I will explain the experience I had as a volunteer in an orphanage in Nepal, precisely in Bhimphedi Balmandir. “Balmandir” literally means temple of children, and is used sometimes in Nepal for the Children’s Homes or orphanages.

Bhimphedi is a small town 60 km south of Kathmandu, we could almost say it’s a village-street in the old way linking Kathmandu with India. After building the new road, far from the old path, this town is not living the brightest of its times.

The way to the capital town is not easy. Only jeeps dare to go through the dangerous road. When I was there another problem was added: the lack of petrol and gas. It turns out that because of political problems as a result of the new constitution in Nepal, India closed borders and fuel and gas supply was almost inexistent. The price of the fuel increased dramatically and the number of running vehicles dropped to almost zero. Queues to get some liters of petrol were very long, not to mention the huge queues to obtain a gas cylinder.

Lluc and I met with Dani, Catalan coordinator of Balmandir and Anna, in charge of the volunteers of the Association Amics del Nepal in Barcelona, who by chance was at that time also in Kathmandu. We took a reserved jeep where we traveled 8 volunteers, including parents Dani who had come to meet their son.

The journey takes three hours to cover the sixty kilometers. There are two possible tracks, one bad and the other one worse. On the way I had the time to explain to them my relationship with Nepal and the reason of my involvement as a volunteer in Amics del Nepal in Barcelona.

All of us we settled in a guest house near the Balmandir. There is a kitchen, a large living room and four nice rooms. All was good but Nepal we had no gas to cook. What do we have to do?

After leaving all our packs and choose our rooms we went to Balmandir where we were welcomed with a simple and beautiful welcome ceremony. Then we had the first contact with the children. There are thirty students of which four were girls. Were ages ranged from six to eighteen.

All children attend school. The elementary students attend to the community school where classes are taught in English. The secondary students attend to the public school, there is no other option for secondary in within Bhimphedi.

That time, between Dashain and Tihar festivals (the most important festivals of Nepal that we have discussed on other occasions), it was also holidays for the students



Dani told us that this year the studies were pretty bad because of all the national problems generated by the earthquake and blockade.

In the Children’s Home the earthquake had left a mark on the older building, but the other buildings are in good condition.

Luckily when the first earthquake happened, kids and staff of the children’s home were in the opening of the basketball court, outdoors with no buildings around. No, no one was hurt but all of them were scared by the big event.



Second Part

The schedule of the orphanage may be a little bit surprising for you: children get up at 6 in the morning, drink tea and study for an hour. At nine they eat rice (dalbhat they call it), we have talked enough about this meal in the stories of trekking. At 10 they attend to school. At noon again they come to the center eat something and go back to school until 4. They play for a while and about six and a half they eat the second plate of dalbhat. Then they study for another hour and at 9:30 all go to sleep.

During their stay, volunteers make all kinds of activities with kids: Help with the study time, games, trips, jobs, baths in the river, works of all kinds… But of course, in Nepal, time doesn’t flow at the same speed than here.

The orphanage has lands six buildings: one holds the dining room and kitchen, two blocks have the bedrooms, another the showers and services, still another for the library with a computer and finally the old building that currently is used only as a workshop because of the damages made by the earthquake. There is another structure with roof where kids can clean and dry their clothes (each child has to wash his own clothes, no washing machine here).

When cooking the dalbhat, there is always someone helping didis (“didi” means literally “elder sister”), who are women who are always ready: cooking, serving, helping on anything and often they play the role of mother, always with a smile.

In the rest of the compound we can see a football pitch (made by the kids: they took out the stones, leveled it, put the goals…).



There is also a farmyard with chickens, rabbits, ducks, goats and a buffalo that gives milk for all kids. Kush is the responsible for the animals, a charming 14 years boy. If he has some free time, he goes running and singing to watch the goats or buffaloes.

His twin brother, Lov, is a handyman. Always with a hammer and four nails in hand or with a saw or doing some carpentry works. Before finishing one work, he has already planed the next two.

When you start doing something, immediately you have three or four kids around kind to help.



Third Part

At that time they were making a fence to protect the kitchen garden from the goats. The doors had to be done. There Kul comes, a 18 years-old boy, serious, hard-working and good person, ready to do all the works. His head, at that time, was focused in the pond for ducks, though finally we have use it to make compost.

The kids also help to take care of the kitchen garden of the children’s home: onions, beans, spinach, beans, fodder for animals… it’s wonderful to eat what you grow!

Everything about drawing and decoration is work of our artist Ramesh. For magic tricks Rojan, a wonderful kid always ready to help. These are two very special kids, like many other in the home. I feel bad not being able to name them all for their qualities.

There are those who do not stop and are always asking you for something. Often you have to say no, but they never get tired of begging. It’s normal, they are kids.

Toys? What toys? They build their toys themselves. First they think what they want, then they build it, and finally they play. Simple. Three activities are much better than any toy. Cutting paperboard, using some plastic bottles, four pieces of wood, two bamboos, four pieces of paper… Their brain and hands never stop.

You could say, looking with our occidental eyes, that there is material scarcity. But seing the human quality of these kids, it makes you reconsider you much of what we do here, how we educate and how little value we give to things.

Problems? Of course there are. But everything is solved by good faith and understanding with each other.

We must also emphasize the solidarity between the elder and younger kids. How they help each other!



From these lines I want to thank all the children of Balmandir Bhimphedi: Jay, Anuj, Arati (Irati, tireless) Ashish, Ashok, Basu, Binita, Bipana, Bishnu, Bishwa, Kamal, Kiran, Manuj (the little mouse), Sushil, Raju (nonstop), Ramraj (Tiago), Ramesh II, Sanu, Saran, Sita, Som, Sujan, Sumit (always elegant) and the ones mentioned earlier. To all, thank you.

When I go there again, some will be already in other places and new small kids will be there. Life doesn’t stop.

I also want to thank everyone who helped somehow with Balmandir Bhimphedi through me: The schools Francesc Català of Benicarló and Jaime Sanz of Peníscola, Caixa Rural of Benicarló, Penya Setrill and many of my friends… Oh! And everyone who attended to the wedding of the century (Marta-Gyan) that came to Nepal loaded with clothes for the orphanage till we filled a jeep.

In October I will return to Nepal if anyone has any laptop that you are ready to donate, contact me.


You’ve always thought about it

Written by Nerea Gezuraga and Mikel Zubiaga, volunteers of Bhimphedi Children’s Home.

It’s hard to get up one day and decide it. You’re going to take off your seat belt and travel, for example, on the roof of a bus. You’ll go to some corner of the world where you can begin to change the world.

Soon you realize that this is just a nice idea. That the work you are going to do in Nepal is really a great personal experience, but – at least for the time being – you are not going to change the world.


We arrived at Bhimphedi having traveled the 60 kilometers of “road” from Kathmandu in four hours. We are in a lost village in a lost valley surrounded by mountains, in a lost country of the world that we know. We have trouble adjusting to the poor hygiene. We have trouble adapting to eating the same Dalbhat twice a day for three months. We are in Nepal but no one says that we are not the same rich Europeans any more. Here there is no cinema, there are no hamburgers and there are no night bars, every time before drinking water you think it twice, toilet paper is scarce, here there is no place to see a rock concert, here there are no big clothing stores, nor even “our football”.

For three months we worked every day to make the environment of the 28 children of Bhimphedi’s Children’s Home more welcoming. We work as farmers in the kitchen garden and farm, repairing things, building a place to put a buffalo we want to bring, with our knowledge of architecture we contribute so thefuture buildings are more resistant to earthquakes, we work as carpenters in the structure of one of the building of the Children’s Home. We help the kids with their education; we help them everyday with their homework, in addition we try to make them learn something more than lessons by heart, we do activities to improve their level of English…


Three months later Som and Anoj have in their house a buffalo from which they drink milk every morning, we like to believe that now they will know more closely the farming life that most of their countrymen live, perhaps it will be useful for them when they grow up. Raju and Sumit are improving their level of English above average, which will hopefully open the doors to them when they are older, perhaps with this they can make a difference with respect to others. Rojan knows how to use a program to create and edit videos from the thousands of photos and videos that he loves to take with our cameras. We imagine that maybe we have helped him to become in future a director of Bollywood.

We feel that we have helped this group of kids to make their lives richer, just as poor, but richer. This is what we feel. We are the ones who have got more of all from this adventure.

And then there is that other thing, to change the world. Shit. We have not done it.

In the absence of gas, during the last month we cut wood to make fire and cook. In this poor country full of rich people this can happen. Suddenly the borders close and for months it becomes impossible to obtain supplies of gas and oil. Oh! there was an earthquake as well. The grubby but cozy Sumitra’s teahouse has now also a huge crack.

Her milk tea is still awesome.