Renee, one of our trustees, has been in Nepal for a couple of months. She visited Purna today and writes about her visit:
I went to see Purna and found her in bed, cold and complaining of back pain. Purna burst into tears, so it was not a good start to the visit. Purna is not alone in being cold. The winter is the coldest for five years and yesterday the newspaper reported 41 deaths alone in Kathmandu. Many people stay in bed huddled in blankets. It makes us sad as there is nothing we can do.
On a good note, Purnas son was there. I have not met him until now. His name is Mana (very nice name I thought— as Manna from heaven) He is kind and attentive to Purna. He helps her with washing and toileting (I don’t think she gets undressed) the toilet, shared between three families is immaculate. Water is carried to the room. Mana made us a drink of tea and produced some biscuits. Very welcome.
Purna’s sponsor family photo is on the wall, smiling down into the room. We talked about them and Purna brightened up which pleased me no end. Purna opened the gifts and especially liked the bracelets. WWR also give each lady a Christmas gift.
The people from Church visit Purna often so that brightens her day. We prayed together and she prays for her sponsors daily.
I feel sure Purna will be better once the weather warms up and she can get out—just a few more weeks.
Renée, one of our trustees, and her husband Terry recently returned from a trip to Nepal. Renée writes:-
It was good to be back in Nepal again, this time based mainly in Kathmandu. At the best of times, general day to day living is not easy for the Nepali people and currently there is electric for only eight hours out of a twenty four hour period (2x4hr stretches) This is due to a lack of rain to feed the hydro electric plants. The electric frequently comes on at midnight or four in the morning! As it it dark around 6.30pm, people have to cook the main meal of the day (rice & lentils) by candlelight and spend the rest of the evening in the dark. There is no-one who is not affected. Shops (open till late) can hardly see what they are selling. Tailors (of which there are many) cannot see to sew at night and cannot use their sewing machines by day. Offices cannot function and so it goes on …..
We spent a good deal of time visiting the ladies supported by Women Without Roofs (WWR). All are so very grateful for thehelp given to them by WWR, which has of course, come from you, our supporters. The ladies have tragic stories to tell. One lady had fallen into a fire as a child and never received treatment. Eventually she was given away in an arranged marriage, her husband then left her because of her deformed body. A second lady cares for her disabled husband, who cannot move, due to a fall from a high scaffolding. He lies in bed almost all of the time. Everything is done for him. They live in a small sparse room which works as a kitchen, bedroom and place to sit.
The rooms WWR provide are basic with limited facilities. I have to be honest about that. We ensure the women have the essential items i.e. a bed, blankets, gas stove, a bag of rice, saucepans and other essential items. By standards here in the Western world, it is poor. In reality, it is the level of how most Nepalis live. I have to remind myself of this over and over again. I would love to be able to pick all the ladies up and transform their lives completely, but I know, as you do, that is not possible.
Laxmi - preparing food in her room
How then, can I continue to help these women? I will continue working hard on their behalf, throw myself into fundraising, keep in touch via our assistant, Bina, in Kathmandu, try to inspire people in our country. An article in a womens magazine is soon to be published. Many of us still have so much in spite of our “credit crunch”; that’s not wrong, its how it is here in the UK. I feel sure if you were able to experience life in a third world country you also would be stirred.
So finally, may I express my heartfelt thanks to all our supporters. Without you there would be no WWR and many people would be living on the streets or under plastic sheeting. God Bless you all for your love and care. Please get back to me if you would like more first hand information.
Last week the trustees of WWR met together in the stunning Devon town of Lynton for 24 hours. As a result of the meeting they have a combined total of 49 actions to achieve and will be very busy for the next while!
Some of the main points you might be interested in are:
Renee will (hopefully) be visiting Nepal during February and March and will be assessing each of the women we support and ensuring they have a basic standard of living. She will be checking to see that they at least own the following items:
Salt & Rice
Large Water Container
Metal Crockery inc Beaker
School Uniform for children
Saucepan/Stir fry pot
Stove & Gas
If you sponsor one of the women and would like to know what their needs are and what we will be buying for them, then please let us know.
Our income has crossed the £5,000/annum threshold and consequently we will be fully registering with the Charity Commission (at the moment we are registered with HMRC only for tax purposes).
Once Renee returns from Nepal we will be putting together a DVD to demonstrate the work we do and the plight of the women we support – we will let you know when it is completed so you can see it.
If you’d like to know what the other 45 action points are then get in contact and we’d be happy to send you a copy of the minutes…..!