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Newsletter from Nepal - Summer 2015

The Pegasus Happy Home - surviving disaster

Pegasus Childrens Project provides a caring home for street
children, orphans and kids from extremely poor backgrounds in
Kathmandu, Nepal. With around 80 children under their care, the
dedicated staff all live on site in a close-knit community.
The hostel is located in a peaceful countryside setting on the
outskirts of Kathmandu right next to the beautiful Sunderijal
forest. It has been purpose built around the needs of the children
with safety and security, study and play, as well as health and wellbeing at its heart.
The Pegasus Childrens Project charity here in the UK provides
regular funds to the hostel. We are committed to supporting the
day to day running costs of the hostel and supporting each of the
children as they grow up within the community.
This UK registered charity is run by a small group of volunteers.
We visit the hostel when we can to check on things. Regular
donors and sponsors enable us to send a contribution out to the
hostel every month to meet the hostel and schooling overheads.
This years newsletter is focusing mainly on the aftermath of the
terrible earthquake that hit Nepal on 25th April 2015, and brings
you updates on the current situation at the hostel and news on
how we have responded so far.
Emergency response from our supporters has been amazing, and
yet we still have an awful lot to do. There will be a long-lasting
effect from such a major disaster, and we need your support.

We still urgently need new sponsors; you can help

to turn around a childs life, and give them an
opportunity to be all that they can be.
Individuals, families, schools and businesses are
helping us to provide many children with a better
start in life. To find out how you can help, please
visit our website:
And keep up to date with all the latest news on our
Facebook page:

Earthquake aftermath - a story of contrasts

The April 2015 earthquake killed more than
9,000 people in Nepal and injured more
than 23,000.
At magnitude 7.8, its
epicentre was east of the district of
Lamjung. It was the worst natural disaster
to strike Nepal since 1934.
Hundreds of thousands were made
homeless with entire villages flattened.
Aftershocks continued for many weeks
afterwards causing further damage and
widespread fear amongst the population.
Traditional building structures suffered
terribly (see picture left), and vast numbers
of people are now surviving the monsoon
under canvas.
Our earth-domes survived pretty well
(picture right) - read more inside.

Newsletter from Nepal - Summer 2015

Living through a major earthquake
- a first-hand experience
Since the terrible earthquake in
April this year, we have been in
frequent, regular contact with
Kinley D Lama, our Project
Director at the Pegasus Project
and School. We asked him to
share with us, nearly 3 months on, how life in Nepal is now.
Here is what he told us:
To be honest, it is quite difficult to think clearly or make
proper plans at the moment. We have so much to do, but
the system and climate are conspiring against us. I think it
will be several years before Nepal finds its feet again.
Your generous financial support in the immediate
aftermath of the earthquake has meant that we were able
to do perhaps more than most before the monsoon,
making sure all our children and staff have dry and
reasonably comfortable accommodation.
The boys have moved back into the large domes that are
all replastered and waterproofed, with better ventilation.
So they are very happy and comfortable.
The girls, however, are not so lucky yet. Their dormitory
was in the 3-storey brick building and that needs major
repairs - the addition of support pillars and some sections
of walls need completely rebuilding. So the girls are
squeezed into some domes that were previously being
used as stores.
It is wonderful how well the domes survived the
earthquake, and we feel really lucky to have this amount
of accommodation. But we are really missing our 3-storey
building, which was not only the girls dormitory, but also
the dining and study hall.
But then, when we compare ourselves with the masses of
people who are still living in tents, under tarpaulin shelters
and other makeshift arrangements, we realise our good
fortune; especially now the monsoon is upon us.
As we travel from our
hostel, down through
the local village, and on
to the school, we see
how deeply affected
people are. In the city
centre, every available
bit of space is occupied
by tents. Imagine how
dreadful it is to live like
monsoon season; its
either so hot that they
cant stay inside, or

raining so they have to huddle inside because most of the

tents arent waterproof.
In our village, many houses were utterly destroyed, and a
few people were killed. Quite a few of our neighbours
have managed to dismantle their fallen or cracked houses
and, using the rubble, have managed to build temporary
shelters. But it is certainly not a permanent solution.
Soon after the earthquake, we distributed food parcels to
our neighbours, using some of the emergency money that
you sent us from the UK. This was a welcome relief in
those first few desperate days.
Another side effect of the terrible situation here is the
costs of commodities have gone up.
Since the
government has no control or monitoring set up, it looks
like this is the way it will stay for the foreseeable future. So
our overheads have risen considerably at the hostel,
putting quite a big strain on our finances.
I am trying to be especially watchful to see what the
psychological impact is going to be on our children. So
far, all the children seem to be coping incredibly well eating, sleeping and playing normally, and now back into
the swing of things at school.
Our children are quite lucky because, although they all
experienced the huge, long shaking of the earth, and the
many aftershocks, they didnt witness any terrible
destruction first-hand.
However this is not the case for so many Nepali children.
We are starting to come under pressure to take in more
children. The Education Department and local village
development committees have already sent us 4 new girls
and 3 new boys., aged between 6 and 12.
All of them have been made homeless and/or orphaned in
the earthquake. They have been brought to the city from
the remote regions, and are having a tough time coming
to terms with their sudden change of circumstances.
All of these new children urgently need sponsors.

News from our hostel

Naintenance & RepairsTrustees Report
This time last year, we launched our Capital Repair Fund to
make sure we were able to provide a long-term
maintenance and repair programme for our 40 iconic
earth-domes. Eight years on from their construction, it
was clear that some refurbishment was necessary, as well
as some technical improvements to the ventilation
arrangements and drainage to enable them to perform
well in the wetter and hotter times of the year.
In February 2015 (just 2 months before the earthquake),
our trustee and chair of our maintenance committee paid
a visit to the project to carry out a detailed assessment of
the repairs required and prepared a comprehensive report
on this as well as a full financial and skills review.
Just as we were about to launch a major fund-raising
campaign to fund the refurbishment priorities, the
earthquake struck. At first, we feared that we would be
right back at square one. But as communications were
gradually reconnected, we started to get the news that, in
fact, the earth domes had done exactly what they were
designed to do - they were intact, and no-one was hurt.
What a huge relief.
The conical design and absence of weak points is intended
to give the building good earthquake resistance - but this
is their first real test, anywhere in the world. And this has
led to a huge amount of international interest in their
performance and discussion about their suitability for the
huge rebuilding programme that Nepal now needs.
They werent in perfect shape however. The integral
structure was sound, but some of the wall render had
cracked. Some floors had developed cracks as the ground
shifted under the domes. And most worryingly, some of
the terraces had slipped and shifted, leaving us with the

risk of significant erosion and further damage in the

monsoon rains.
So we embarked on an urgent fund raising campaign
immediately after the earthquake, and so far, thanks to an
excellent response from our supporters, we have been able
to send an extra 5,000 to the hostel to pay for emergency
repairs, and an extra 2,500 for emergency stocks of food
and supplies for both the hostel and the local village.
With a hastily assembled
workforce, and supplies of
sand, cement and rocks, we
retaining walls, improving
the waterproofing between
the backs of the domes and
the terraces, replastering,
crack-fixing and painting.
There is quite a lot more to
be done, and we havent
even started on our brick
dormitory building yet - by
far the biggest project.
We estimate that we need to spend a further 20,000
on the remaining repairs. We have already raised
c. 7,000 of this amount, but still some way to go to hit
that target. For information on how to help this
campaign, please see our facebook page.

Relief Nissions - a little help to those less fortunate

A number of charitable organisations approached us in the
weeks following the earthquake and asked us to organise
some relief missions into the hardest hit, remote areas of
Nepal. With funding for food parcels, the hostel playground
became a food packing zone. We hired a bus, and a number of
the older children and some of the staff set off for targeted
villages in the countryside.
On the first trip, Kinley described what he saw as a very tragic
sight with houses looking like they had been destroyed by a
huge hammer falling from the sky, rather than shaking ground.
Since its earliest days, Pegasus has had a motto of giving
back, with children taught that it is not just about taking hand
-outs for themselves. This is our motto in action.
One student, Chandan, told us that it felt very good to be able
to volunteer, but they had seen some truly tragic scenes.

Pegasus Childrens Project Ltd

UK Registered Charity No 1110469
For further information or funding enquiries, please contact us at

New bedding for everyone

A fond farewell to Didi

Since the very start of Pegasus
Childrens Hostel, Champa Didi has
been our wonderful head cook. She
has run our small kitchen and
produced huge quantities of great food
for all the children every day. She is
truly a miracle worker.
Her four children are all grown up and
now it is their turn to look after their
So with enormous gratitude, we are bidding Champa Didi
farewell as she starts her well-earned retirement. Kinley
and Karma hosted a farewell dinner for her in July with all
the staff.

Long overdue, we have replaced all the bedding at the

hostel. Thanks to the generosity of our funders over the
last few months, we have been able to significantly
improve the comfort and cleanliness of the bedrooms.

Another great
academic Year!
The Student Leaving Certificate
(SLC) is the key stepping stone for
Nepali youngsters - equivalent to
our GCSEs.
All our school-age
children attend the Pegasus English
School in Jorpati, a 30 minute bus ride from the hostel.
Kinley, our director also runs the school.
The SLC exams took place just before the earthquake and
the results were published on 17 June. Out of the 41
Pegasus school students that sat the exam, 7 passed with
Distinction (+80%) and the rest all achieved 1st Division
This is a stunning achievement for the children and staff.
In the country as a whole, the pass rate is only 48%,
which means that over half the 547,000 children in Nepal
didnt even achieve this critical stepping stone.
We are very proud of the
Pegasus academic record, and
send out our thanks to the staff.
School is more or less back to
normal now, except that we had
to remove the top floor of
classrooms due to bad cracks in
the walls. So we are badly short
of space - yet another project!

So many thank yous!

This year we hardly know where to start with our thank
yous. You have all been so wonderful, and the children
and staff all want you to know just how much they
appreciate your support.
So many of you have been astoundingly generous, and
there have been some fantastic fund-raising events and
sponsored challenges. Follow us on Facebook to see news
from our fundraisers and progress on our campaigns.

How to
support a
Pegasus child
We always need new, regular sponsors as well as one-off
gifts to help us to maintain our critical support to the
hostel. Any amount given regularly by standing order is
always hugely welcome - this year more than ever before.
Please do get in touch with us if you would like to sponsor
a child or fund raise for us.
One-off donations can be made into our Paypal or bank
account - details on our website:
Email us at for a donation pack
or fund raising support.
Keep up to date with all the latest news on our facebook
page: PegasusChildrensProject