Dear friends of NAG – Namaste!

The year 2021 started very well, because the school, after having to remain closed for several months due to the corona virus, was finally able to open its doors again. The situation has also calmed down nationwide. Unfortunately, the joy was short-lived; on April 29, 2021, the government again imposed a lockdown. The number of corona cases rose rapidly, oxygen was scarce in all hospitals and the school was closed again for all day students and the teachers were no longer allowed to go to the NAG.

In the weeks that followed, the mobile clinic was in constant use for the many corona patients in and around Kathmandu. Patient transport was organized to the isolation centres, oxygen cylinders were filled and distributed to the needy, medicines and materials were given to isolation centres and remote hospitals, and almost 4,000 food parcels were distributed to families who had no income at the time and were struggling to survive. In addition, the tailors in the NAG made “isolation kits” filled with a thermometer, masks and disinfectants, which were then given to those affected.

Switching the school back to remote learning was no longer a big issue, because the teachers and students still knew exactly what had to be done. Fortunately, many day students who were no longer allowed to attend classes were able to follow the classes from home and, above all, had all the teaching materials with them. NAG provided some of these students with cell phones and rechargeable SIM cards so they could follow the lessons. The school did not open its doors again until November for face-to-face classes for everyone.

The corona pandemic has shown us that a lot can also be done online. Because the NAG teachers taught their day students online for months during the lockdown, the idea of our new additional project came up: the Remote Village Classroom. Like our day students, children in the remote villages should also be taught virtually. The teachers in the villages can also be trained online. School education takes place where it was insufficient or not possible until now. Nicole started the pilot project last year and it is now to be expanded.

Nicole and her team have been dealing with the fate of the Rohingya refugees, a Muslim minority originally from Myanmar, since October. They have been systematically expelled from there since the 1950s and are trying to find refuge in Nepal. Around 300 displaced people live in very precarious circumstances in the refugee camp near Kathmandu. NAG provided medical care to the local people, brought them food and set up a small library for the children. Also, Nicole managed to stay with them for a year to secure the property, otherwise they would have become homeless again. So these undocumented people have a place to be, at least, for the next year. Ideas about how NAG can support the people in Nepal and further develop its work are not running out – there is still a lot to tackle!

Despite the more difficult conditions, the north school building was finally completed and, to the great delight of all, we could move into it! In addition to distance learning, school has also changed in other areas. In order not only to encourage the children academically, there are now no lessons in the classic sense on Sundays, but workshops. In the workshops, the young people and children should, in addition to the compulsory subjects, also gain insights into various areas such as cooking, handicrafts, music, climbing, filmmaking and acting.

Another year with Corona is behind us. Despite all the restrictions in Switzerland and Nepal, a lot has happened here. At the beginning of August, the “Badi Dachsen” convened for a whole week with concerts and an information stand for the NAG; our NAG event could once again take place “live” in the GZ Heuried. A big thank you to all loyal visitors, who came in such large numbers to the new location and celebrated with us. A heartfelt thank you also to everyone else who has generously supported the NAG throughout the year. Without your support none of this would be possible!

On behalf of Nicole, all NAG employees and the Board of Trustees, we wish everyone a happy and successful year.

Important: our traditional NAG event will take place this year on November 20, 2022 at GZ Heuried in Zurich. You will receive the invitation and the program in due course.

On behalf of the NAG Foundation

Nicole Thakuri-Wick – Foundress NAG

Sophie Winkler – President of the foundation NAG