At school with Tenzin Norbu

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We had been in Kathmandu for a few days and had finally managed to organize a meeting with one of the directors of the Manasarovar Eduational Foundation, Miss Tsultrim Sangmo, when we heard the news at the hotel that the Maoists had imposed a curfew for the entire day throughout the city.

The more time that went by with different pieces of news, the more angry and distrustful I became. I received confirmation from the director about the truthfulness of the information and we reorganized our meeting and finally, after a lot of waiting, we managed to reach the Manasarovar school.

Finally after a long journey by taxi we saw a lady on the road who was waiting outside a school building: it was Tsultrim Sangmo. You can’t imagine how happy I was to greet her after days of telephone calls and various obstacles.

When we went into the building, little Tenzin, the child I have sponsored for more than a year at the Manasarovar primary school was waiting for us at the door: handsome, very thin and with shining eyes.

After the introductions and some questions to the director, I started to get to know the children and to visit the different classes. It was a surprise to hear them all speak in perfect English, even the smallest.

I had lunch with them and it was wonderful to see how the bigger children helped the smaller children to eat and how orderly they were sitting in rows and getting up at the end of the meal to give their places to others.

Since there are 250 students there and the spaces are very small, they have to eat in turns. Their meal was based on rice with soup and lentils and was quite good considering that food in Nepal is not only poor in protein and vitamins but usually is insufficient seeing that poverty and malnutrition have now grown to the maximum level.

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When they finished their bowls of rice they went to sit in the courtyard and play before going back to their lessons. At that point I called them to tell them that we would play a game that children play in Italy.

The only game I knew that could be played in a small space with lots of children is called “steal the handkerchief”. The children had so much fun that they all asked me to call their numbers.

But the voice of the little three-year-old boy on my right who tugged at my trousers and said “please call my number” will always remain in my mind. They were so joyful, I had never seen so many children so happy together!

The eyes of both big and small communicated joy but I suffered a lot by coming into contact with such a hard and difficult situation. I hope I will return to see them soon and to increase the number of sponsors to help the children of the Manasarovar Education Foundation School as much as possible.

Barbara Bettelli

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Nepal: ricostruiamo le scuole

ASIA è sul posto dai primi giorni dopo il terremoto. E passata l’emergenza, non se n’è andata. È rimasta per dare una mano a ricostruire il futuro di molti bambini, a partire dalle scuole.

Fai un gesto che farà scuola

NEPAL Rebuild the schools

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