A young Cahir man recently travelled to Nepal to volunteer with the Umbrella Foundation and worked with some of the most deprived children in that country.
Mikey Reidy left for Nepal last January to help out in a group of children’s homes in Katmandu
In the past 20 years Nepal has gone through many changes, including a ten year civil war. Thousands of children were left living on the streets or in children’s homes and orphanages.
The Umbrella Foundation set up a children’s home in 2005 and with the help of the Nepali Social Welfare Board, closed down a corrupt orphanage, rescued 48 malnourished and uneducated children, and placed them in their newly founded home, where they continue to live today.
The Umbrella Foundation is an NGO set up by northern Irish women named Viva Bell in 2005, to rescue, house and educate trafficked and destitute children, now with 325 children, living in eight houses. Umbrella tries to reunite children with their families or, when it’s not possible, provide them the education and vocational skills they need to find employment as adults.
Mikey says his time with Umbrella was “amazing.”
“The kids are incredible, they are so full of life, determination and happiness. These kids have been through pain I cant even imagine - some have lost their families, been trafficked, abandoned, left to starve, sold into slavery, run away from abuse and forced labour, but despite all this they carry on with a surprisingly positive attitude and unbeatable sprit. The only thing these kids want is to know someone cares about them that they are not forgotten.
“While in Nepal I acted as a big brother, someone to listen to the kids, play games with them, help them and just be there for them.
“We also helped open up a new children’s home outside of Kathmandu in a region called Rosawa, where the kids are from away from the pollution of the city. We opened up a health post in Gurje, a very poor village 20km north of Kathmandu, that had no facilities before.”
While in Nepal Mikey also taught English in a local school, was part of the first St Paddy’s Day in Nepal, organised the annual Umbrella talent show, painted a local government school, organised computer classes for the kids and raised funds while in Kathmandu by holding table quizzes in the centre of the city Theamel,
“Thank you to everybody who helped me rise money for the Umbrella Foundation: Supervalu for helping me with my raffle, The Hill bar for letting me have my table quiz there and Seanie Lonergan for being quizmaster. Thanks to all the businesses who provided spot prizes for the night - the generosity you have shown has made a difference and shown these kids that there are good people in this world who want to help their fellow man .”
You can sponsor a child or make a donation visit www.umbrellanepal.org .