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‘Namaste Nepal & Korea’: Compassionate Outreach in Nepal
Followed by the Outreach Programs of Sri Lanka in 2011 and Vietnam in 2012, the Maha Council for Supporting Migrants (The Jogye Order affiliated organization: Standing Representative, Ven. Do-je) carried out a Nepal International Volunteer Services from October 3~12, 2013.
Total of forty five cooperative members participated this year, including Dongguk University Hospital: Gyeongju Branch and Korea YBA (Young Buddhist Association Korea), sponsored by the Safety Administration of Korea.
The volunteers arrived in Kathmandu Nepal encircled by beautiful Himalayan Mountains, a boundless nature best known as the birth place of the Sakyamuni Buddha. After travelling for over six hours on a mountainous path, approximately 120 km away from the capital city of Kathmandu, the group finally arrived in Mudhe village positioned 2600m above the sea level.
Having Shree Nigale High School as its base, a variety of medical services were offered along with school facility renovations and maintenance of town facilities. Free medical treatment was a very rare and much appreciated opportunity for the villagers, especially as they barely receive hospital treatment once a year. With unbelievable flow of patients rushing in with limited time for treatment, medical volunteers felt heartbroken near the end with realization that they could not offer any more treatments due to shortage in medical supplies.
This year’s program did not end just with medical treatments. Various cultural events and activities were also offered, such as making of lotus flowers which was most popular among young students, and face painting and origami paper works which added to the fun. Moreover, projects to help the environment were carefully selected and implemented through continuous networking with the local residents; vigilantly reflecting the needs of the villagers. The construction of new toilets, computer donations, and sewage maintenance projects were considered some of the most important among many.
Construction of clean toilet for the junior students of Shree Nigale High School was of highest priority. Since villagers were suffering from water shortage for more than a year, 19 water pipelines which supports 42 households and 200 people were repaired in Budhhapeda village, located almost a half a day away on unpaved road from the Mudhe village.
With great sigh and relief felt by the villagers, 6 doors and 42 windows were installed at the village primary school for safer learning environment for the students and teachers. Another high school from Tulodading village, located in between the Buddhapeda and Mudhe, also received 5 computer donation from Ms. Yun Dongnyeon, one of the volunteers from the program. This invaluable donation created new educational opportunities for over 300 students in Tulodading High School.
After successful completion of volunteer works at Mudhe village, various other medical services and maintenance of public village toilets were also offered to Kathmandu Awareness Center, a pristine environment created to support Buddhist practice.
All the hard work and enthusiasm from this year’s volunteer program beautifully came together to provide medical services for over 2,000 residents.
While clean public washrooms were created and repaired, and beautiful lotus blossom were painted on the walls to warm the hearts of the villagers, the untainted smile of Nepalaese still remain in our hearts like sweet fragrance of a lotus flower.