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Annual report 2015

French version available on our website:

Swiss organization


Because every child deserves a future

Thank you for your support in 2015

We would like to extend our heartfelt thanks to:
individuals or groups who donated funds after the
earthquake that hit Nepal in April 2015:
• Lions Club Genève Cosmopolite
• Students and teachers from La Châtaigneraie
primary school
• Jeune Chambre internationale La Côte
• Fondation Gertrude Hirzel
• Hervé Ruffieux and his colleagues from
• Yoga La Côte
our volunteers and the members of our committee
for generously giving their time to the Sagarmatha
project: Nadine Barreiro, Patricia Bellotto, Deborah
Berlinck, Sonia Christ, Catherine Christ Revaz,
Cathy David-Raphoz, Véronique Fatio-Veuthey,
Mike Gorsky, Anne Kerisel, Christophe Al Kurdi,
Christine Krattinger Allaman, Myriam Krebs,
Francis Laune, Marianne Naegeli, Sylvie Nahum
(President), Sévane Pirkl, Andrea Plasschaert,
Olivier Revaz, Translators Without Borders;
our sponsors and donors, thanks to whom our
financial support for the Sagarmatha home
maintains its stable foundations;
the Lions Club Genève Cosmopolite for its
generous donation of a new vehicle for the
Sagarmatha home;
Association Foxymore for its fundraising
(scolarship of three children);

During our Easter 2015 trip

Mr Hervé Lamy, tenor, and Ms Patricia Heidsieck,
pianist, for their remarkable and much appreciated
performance at a concert that took place on March
20th, 2015 in aid of the Sagarmatha project; the
Arts Center at the International School of Geneva
- Anne-Laure Oberson and her team - for their
valued and effective work; Mrs Vicky Tuck, director
of the International School of Geneva for her
support and Mr David Woods for his attendance at
the concert; Mike Gorsky for the photos;
those who have made a donation or donations in
kind in 2015: Cathy David-Raphoz, Béatrice
Pothier, the Revaz family, the Nahum family, Linda
the pupils of the International School (La
Châtaigneraie) for the stalls they ran at their
school fete (June 2015) and at the Christmas
Market (December 2015) to raise money for the
April 2016 trip as well as all the International
School pupils who have started fundraising for
the management of the International School of
Geneva for their unfailing support, as well as the
Parent- Teacher Association (PTA) for their
“matching gifts”.

Message from the president

2015: A difficult year for Nepal
How to sum up a whole year in a few lines?
There is so much to say! After two relatively quiet
months apart from the unavoidable
administrative work (end-of-year financial
statements, tax returns, etc.), 2015 was devoted
mainly to raising our association’s profile with
the public.
On ‘French-Speaking Day’ (20th March), our
association had the privilege of using the
beautiful hall of the International School of
Geneva on the LGB campus to hold a charity
concert with the theme “The World of Childhood”.
Tenor Hervé Lamy and pianist Patricia Heidsieck
took a packed audience on a journey through the
world of children, with poems, songs and
nursery rhymes.
During Easter 2015, three members of the
Committee went to Kathmandu to meet the
management and be sure that all the children of
Sagarmatha Centre were well. At this time,
fourteen teenagers reached the end of their
schooling or had completed two years of
secondary school, the academic gateway to
university. They left the Centre, free of any
obligations. Many new arrivals, mostly young
children, came to join the group, including some
as a consequence of the tragedy that hit
Kathmandu. Since the earthquake, there have
been continuous new arrivals because demand
for accommodation at the Centre is high.

Major earthquake
On 25th April 2015 a series of earthquakes
began, with a devastating impact on Nepal,
continuing almost uninterrupted over several
days. We lived through several days of anguish.
But luckily no losses were reported and the
building we had just constructed to earthquake
tolerance standards resisted the quake without
major damage.
We received generous donations totalling more
than CHF 17,785. CHF 6,600 was invested,
under a decision of the Committee and in
agreement with our local partner, in emergency
aid (400 x 30 kg bags of rice and 200 tents). The
remaining CHF 11,185 is held on our account for
the repair of the first building (the oldest building,
built without the necessary reinforcement).

On 25th April 2015 a
series of earthquakes
began, with a devastating
impact on Nepal.

Swiss Organization Sagarmatha – Annual report 2015


Message from the president

This building housed the “little ones”. For safety
reasons, they were re-housed in the new
building. The daily routine was re-structured,
and the Centre even opened its doors to allow
neighbours to fetch drinking water, use the toilet
or take a shower. Distribution of clothes and
blankets was set up. Solidarity was the key note
during this time.
For us, the majority of the task remains. Nepal’s
Building Control Commission visited the Centre
to inspect the old building. The damage was
assessed as repairable, provided the structure
is strengthened. I wish to thank Yves Luthy, the
Nyon architect who helped us in preparing the
plans for the new building and was there to
support us in the refurbishment of the old one.
This will be our priority for 2016.
In June, we received a generous donation from
the Geneva Cosmopolitan Lions Club, of which I
am a founding member. The contribution was
used partly for emergency aid after the
earthquake, and partly in the purchase of a new
vehicle for the Sagarmatha centre. There was
still a major shortfall for procurement of the new
vehicle, but fortunately it was filled by a
generous donor and his family. The jeep
replaces the old Toyota, which was purchased in
2003 and expired after 165,000 kilometres
during an emergency task in remote
mountainous areas of Nepal.

A ‘thank you’ to the International
school of Geneva
In June, we saw a group of students actively
participate at the fair of the International School
(La Châtaigneraie campus), where our project
was presented on our stall, as well at St Nicolas
Market. The students used their contacts in two
major international organisations, WIPO and
UNHCR, to run pastries stands. Other students
also raised funds during the annual local Fête
de l’Escalade. As every year, those leaving at
Easter in 2016 will try to raise around CHF 500
each, which will pay the annual school fees of
Sagarmatha Centre children.

Thanks to the donations, 200 tents and 400 bags of 30 kilos of rice
were distributed in the days following the earthquake.

Deteriorating situation in Nepal
Following on from this good news we bring
information which is not so good. In September
the Centre’s director told us that overnight India
had blocked the India-Nepal border, leaving
Nepal deprived of essential goods. Traditional
religious holidays were marked by restrictions
but Nepalis still managed to make the best of a
bad job and the Tihar and Bhai Tika festivities
were celebrated in the traditional way.

Latest news
In 2015, thanks to several people, the sale of
pashminas boomed. We were able to take
about CHF 6,800. Thank you to all who
embarked on this adventure, without forgetting
our local supplier.
Finally, please note that the existence of the
website is beginning to bear fruit as we have
received sponsorship requests from people not
directly connected with our association. We
warmly thank all those who read our
communications and our wish is that our
commitment to everyone will continue under
optimum conditions.

Sylvie Nahum,

2 Swiss Organization Sagarmatha – Annual report 2015

2015 in a nutshell

Our commitment following the
By Catherine Christ Revaz, member of the
In April 2015, an earthquake with a magnitude of
7.8 hit Nepal. It was followed by several
aftershocks of varying intensity, including one
with a magnitude of 7.3. The earthquake left
thousands dead, over 23,000 injured and more
than 600,000 buildings destroyed or severely
As soon as this became known, we tried and
managed to phone Pasang (known as Babu)
Sherpa, head of the Sagarmatha Centre. We
were reassured to learn that all children and staff
at the Centre were safe. However, the Centre’s
old building - housing the youngest ones –
sustained cracks and was evacuated.
Fortunately, a few months earlier, we had
providentially completed construction of a second
building, largely compliant with earthquake
standards, and spacious enough to
accommodate everyone.

In terms of emergency relief, we received
donations totalling CHF 17,785.20. A sum of
CHF 6,600 was released for the first phase of
emergency aid, i.e. distribution of food (30 kg
bags of rice) to 400 families and supply of 200
tents, in the Dolakha, Kavre and Sindhupalchok
The balance of CHF 11,185.20 was earmarked
for restoration work to be carried out in 2016 in
the old building of the Sagarmatha Centre.
However, at the time of writing, Nepal is still a
victim of the embargo on imports from India. This
dramatic situation is paralysing the entire
Nepalese economy, especially in terms of the
high cost of gasoline/petrol. Nevertheless, we
aim to undertake rehabilitation of the Centre’s old
building in 2016.

The images from Nepal were terrible. Everything
immediately swung into action. During the days
following the earthquake, Pasang and his
network of friends were engaged in collecting
and distributing – with the jeep from the Centre or
by leasing trucks - food and essential items to the
affected districts of Dolakha, Sindhupalchok and
Kavre. The Sherpa family organised mutual
assistance for the inhabitants of the
neighbourhood and provided tents, blankets and
clean water to those in need.
As swiftly as possible, we had to reassure the
sponsors of Sagarmatha children that they were
safe, send information by e-mail and Facebook,
arrange transfers of funds, thank donors, etc, etc.
The fact that we already had a bank account in
Nepal - the Sagarmatha Centre account allowed us to bypass the Government directive
that froze funds in accounts opened after the

Minor damage to the Sagarmatha centre, but the old building
wil need to be reinforced.

Swiss Organization Sagarmatha – Annual report 2015


2015 in a nutshell

Five candles for our association
By Sylvie Nahum, President

Sagarmatha project I was touched by his
enthusiasm and decided to go with him to

Kathmandu is a place that I dreamt of visiting
when I was young. Destiny, however, had other
plans for me, and I finally only made my first trip
in 2008. It was love at first sight. First of all with
the city, which is indisputably overpopulated but
In 2002, the French organization, Assistance
Médicale Toit du Monde, of which Francis Laune which possesses an indescribable charm, and
then with the Sagarmatha home. My connection
was a member, opened a center for
with the Sherpa family and the young people
disadvantaged children in Kathmandu. This
who have been welcomed there became
home was managed by Phinzo Sherpa and his
completely natural to me. On our return, the
wife Beena. Here they cared for both orphans
precarious nature of Sagarmatha’s finances
and children from very disadvantaged families.
convinced Olivier Revaz, Francis Laune and
myself to create an association in Switzerland to
After having discovered the existence of this
raise money to ensure the future of this
orphanage, Olivier Revaz, a teacher at the
magnificent project.
International School of Geneva (La
Châtaigneraie) decided to take a group of
It was therefore on February 13th, 2011 that the
children to Nepal. This first trip, organised in
Swiss Sagarmatha Organization was born.
2006, was to be followed by several more. The
Since then, many things have been achieved.
objective of these visits to the home in
Our association is now recognized for its
Kathamndu was to introduce the children to a
charitable work and several people have joined
life that is completely different from the comfort
in which they grew up in the West, and to create our committee. Other people generously give
their time to help us and I would like to offer
friendships with children from such different
them our heartfelt thanks; we could not achieve
all we do without their indispensable and timely
Before every trip, the International School
students raised money to pay for, amongst other
I am longing to return to Nepal. This spring’s
things, the education of some 50 children from
earthquake has made the lives led by many of
the Sagarmatha home, at a school close to the
the people of Nepal even more precarious. But
it has not dented our enthusiasm! Here’s to our
tenth anniversary in five years’ time!
In 2008, Olivier and I organised a dinner on the
Châtaigneraie campus to inform the pupils’
parents about the school’s humanitarian
projects, including the work in Nepal. After
Francis Laune’s presentation about the
Last December, our association celebrated five
years of existence. Let’s mark this occasion by
looking back at our work.

Ecolint 2011 trip (photo
from the archives).

4 Swiss Organization Sagarmatha – Annual report 2015

2015 in a nutshell

The Sagarmatha centre offers the
children a chance of being fed,
cared for and educated.

A little piece of my heart
By Catherine Christ Revaz, member of the
I’ve often wondered about my attraction to
In spring 2012, I first set foot in the city, one of
the most polluted in the world. The extreme
poverty of Nepalese society, the opposite of
ours, continues to haunt me.
I discovered the Children of Sagarmatha
(SASS) Centre, a place providing
accommodation for disadvantaged children. It
houses about fifty children, young and old. They
are from all ethnic groups or castes, and many
have lost one of their parents. Sagarmatha
enables them all to receive schooling.
In spring 2015, with my family I made my third
trip there. I had the opportunity to witness two
new girls being welcomed: Nir Maya, from the
untouchables caste, and Razina. The day they
arrived, they were given a shower and dressed
in new clothes. Initially frightened by their new
surroundings, they were then quickly accepted
by the other children. The next day, we offered
them a doll, probably the first they had ever
received. Soon after, Nir Maya and Razina
started school. For the children who are
accommodated there, the Sagarmatha Centre is
the only chance to have enough to eat, be
looked after and attend school. Like all children
in the Centre, every year the two girls go back
and spend a month with their family for the
school holidays during the Dasain festival.

The Sagarmatha project seems to make sense
to me in a country marked by extreme poverty,
the inequalities of the caste system, violence
against women, corruption, poor access to
medical care and health systems for the very
poor, illiteracy, forced exile, etc. Only when
Nepal is able to school all children, will there be
no longer any reason for our support. Sadly, the
road ahead is still long.
Today, I no longer puzzle over why I am sure to
return to Kathmandu. The answer lies in chance
encounters with the people in the French
association Assistance Médicale Toit du Monde
– Henri, Evelyne, Francis – which set up the
Sagarmatha centre. The answer also lies hidden
in the invisible ties binding us with the family
managing the Centre – Phinzo, Beena and Babu
– and all these children we see growing up. And
lastly, it is the lessons of life we receive from
these people living in dignity, despite often very
difficult living conditions.
I do not know yet when I will return to
Kathmandu. But a little piece of my heart
remains in Nepal, with Razina, Nir Maya, and all
the children of the Sagarmatha Centre.
PS: A few weeks after we left, the mother of Nir
Maya came seeking her daughter, preferring to
have her with her rather than have her educated.
Although in principle a place at the Centre is
long-term, the family is free to fetch their child at
any time.

Swiss Organization Sagarmatha – Annual report 2015


2015 in a nutshell

Sagarmatha – my discovery
By Christine Krattinger, member of the
I was eager to get involved in sponsoring a
child, with whom I could develop special bonds
and not just send money. A childhood friend told
me about an association that might match my
wish. So I keyed in the address on my
computer. I read it all and straightaway sent off
a sponsorship application. Shortly after, I told
my friend of my delight at finding the association
I had been looking for. She didn’t understand. In
fact, I had contacted a completely different
organisation from the one she’d recommended!
A mystery of cyberspace – which worked out
wonderfully since I had found exactly what I had
dreamed of.

My commitment
Since December 2013, I have been sharing in
the life of Kalpana, a beautiful girl of 15 who, in
some ways, has the same characteristics as my
own daughter. Our exchanges are by email,
post or through other sponsors. Kalpana sends
me drawings and mandalas, and always has a
personal message for my daughter with whom
she shares some passions like fashion and
music. We send her photos of our region, and
games and make-up. My own mother fondly
calls her “her granddaughter on the other side of
the world” – a “granddaughter” whom I met last
April on my first trip to Nepal.

card! How good it was to be there, finally
reaching them after those long hours on the
plane, and arriving in the country I had dreamed
of so often.
How moving it was to see the children happily
living together in safety, even if their hearts hide
large scars. What a joy to see their pleasure in
just playing with little cars and blowing up
balloons, far removed from the technology
constantly surrounding us. What a joy to sink
regularly into those memories and share with my
family the effects this trip has had on me. My
stories have also generated some interest in
future sponsorships.
I hope I have the chance to return, this time with
my daughter and my partner, and be among the
children who have changed me. I do not know
exactly in what way or how, but I know I’m not
the same person since returning from the trip.
And the earthquake just ten days after my return
only confirmed the bonds I had immediately
formed with these people who are so poor and
yet so rich.
The impact of the disaster also really affected
those who know me, perhaps because I had only
recently returned from there. I felt and saw a
magnificent show of solidarity, befitting this
country and its inhabitants. I can only encourage
you to try this adventure for yourself, if you feel
you are ready to experience a change in
your life.

Impact of my experience
The impact has been positive on many levels. I
needed as soon as possible to meet the girl I
was thinking about daily, not out of any concern
about her real existence – I had no doubts
about the probity of the association – but driven
by a need to give reality to my commitment by
seeing and speaking to her.
The meeting was deeply moving. I was
overwhelmed as I opened the gate to her home.
And by all those children who came to meet us!
Kalpana took some minutes before daring to
come forward. The laughter, the smiles – I have
captured enough of them to fill my memory

Christine during her first visit to the Sagarmatha centre in April 2015.

6 Swiss Organization Sagarmatha – Annual report 2015

2015 in a nutshell

“It was meant to be”
Interview by Anne Kerisel
Germaine Barriquand is the sponsor of
Rachana, aged 9, a little girl who arrived in the
Sagarmatha home a few months ago. Here she
explains to us the reasons that led her to
become a sponsor.
“In 2006, whilst visiting Tibet, my husband and I
spent a few days in Kathmandu. We explored
the town and its surroundings at some length.
The poverty of the people and also their
unfailing kindness surprised and deeply touched
us. I remember a young lady who sold small
bags in Durban Square. She told me that she
had married an old man when she was very
young and that she had great difficulty providing
food for her child after his death. Her story
affected me greatly. After our trip, I retained an
interest in Nepal, and particularly in the troubles
affecting the country.

Rachana (second from left), one of the girls who joined the centre in 2015.

husband, he immediately agreed. It was all
In Asia there are many illiterate people, many of arranged incredibly quickly. It was a truly
heartfelt decision…
whom never had the opportunity of an
education. My husband and I discussed the
The process of sponsoring Rachana, a little girl
issue of sponsoring a child on more than one
occasion. We were thinking of India, a country who had recently arrived at Sagarmatha was
which we knew well and to which we felt close deeply emotional. My husband and I believe
ties. However, we never actually got round to it. that an underprivileged child must not be left by
When we heard about the earthquake which hit the wayside. Through our sponsorship, we are
able to provide her with a family atmosphere, a
Nepal we wanted to make a donation to the
country. As we didn’t know how to go about this, stable environment and a full education,
I asked my yoga teacher. Through luck or fate, equipping her to one day become a responsible
and independent adult. This is our dearest wish
she was able to put me in contact with her
for our little girl in Nepal.”
daughter, a member of the Sagarmatha
committee. The association was looking for
sponsors for the children who had recently
arrived... It seemed to me that this was meant to
be. I didn’t even need to discuss it with my

The poverty of the people and also their
unfailing kindness surprised and deeply
touched us.

Swiss Organization Sagarmatha – Annual report 2015


Accounts 2015

Bilan au 31 décembre 2015


Actif circulant


PostFinance 12-648345-6


UBS 228-108612.40N

Total de l’actif circulant


Actif immobilisé
Actif immobilisé

Total de l’actif immobilisé


Total de l’actif


Fonds étrangers
Passif transitoire

Total des fonds étrangers


Fonds propres

Total des fonds propres


Total du passif


Comptes de profits et pertes de l’exercice 2015

2015 (CHF)

2014 (CHF)

Ventes (Noel, etc.)












Produits financiers





Missions Népal



Frais bureau et admin.



Frais Postfinance, UBS





Bénéfice reporté



Bénéfice de l’exercice



Bénéfice à reporter



Total des produits
Aides et charges

Total des charges

Le bénéfice cumulé de 24’113.64 est reporté à l’an 2016

8 Swiss Organization Sagarmatha – Rapport annuel 2015

Accounts 2015

Swiss Organization Sagarmatha – Rapport annuel 2015


Message from the treasurer

A stable year
In 2015, we deposited 57’975 CHF into the budget of the
Children of Sagarmatha home, inclusive of a sum of 20’000 CHF
allocated in advance to the 2016 budget.
Thanks to two exceptional donations, one from Lions Club
Geneva Cosmopolite and the other from a benevolent family, we
have been able to finance the purchase of a new four-wheel
drive vehicle for the centre.
The Sagarmatha home’s accounts were balanced, thanks to the
stability of contributions from the home’s three partner
associations: Assistance Médicale Toit du monde (France),
Sagarmatha Aide aux Défavorisés (France) and Swiss
Organisation Sagarmatha. Our Swiss association is currently the
main contributor to the home’s budget.
It should be highlighted that since 2014, our sponsorship fee
(900 CHF per year) does not cover the total cost of a child’s care.
Not wanting to discourage and lose sponsors by increasing their
annual contribution, we have chosen to diversify our sources of
income. In addition to fundraising activities by International
school of Geneva students and foundation contributions, sources
of income now include the sale of pashminas in aid of the
Sagarmatha project.
As in every year, we have incurred some administrative costs
(bank charges, printing of the annual report, etc.) which we have
offset by making a donation to the association of an equivalent
amount. Because of this, all contributions made to our
association continue to be allocated to the Sagarmatha budget.
I would like to thank, in particular, the new sponsors who have
joined us this year. It is thanks to your donations that we have a
solid financial footing, without which our future in Nepal could not
be assured.

Olivier Revaz

10 Swiss Organization Sagarmatha – Annual report 2015

Accounts 2015

Aperçu des recettes et dépenses 2015 de
Children of Sagarmatha

Frais médicaux
NPR 148’284
CHF 1’440

Frais administratifs & travaux
NPR 215’323
CHF 2’090
Frais de nourriture
NPR 2’396’139
CHF 23’263

Frais divers
NPR 443’007
CHF 4’301

Frais bâtiment
NPR 805’742
CHF 7’823

Frais de scolarisation
NPR 1’678’391
CHF 16’295

Frais personnel
NPR 1’549’399
CHF 15’043
Taux de change 103 NPR pour 1 CHF

Contributions 2015 au budget ordinaire de Children of Sagarmatha*


Contribution Organisation Suisse Sagarmatha (Suisse)



Contribution Assistance Médicale Toit du Monde (France)


Contribution Association Sagarmatha Aide aux Défavorisés (France)


Total contributions à Children of Sagarmatha





Y compris 20’000 CHF pour le budget 2016
Solde positif (2015)


*déduction faite des frais bancaires<

Swiss Organization Sagarmatha – Annual report 2015


The children of Sagarmatha at 31.12.2015

12 Swiss Organization Sagarmatha – Annual report 2015

Members of the committee (board) of the Sagarmatha centre
First row (from left to right):
Sagun Sherpa, director,
Lakhpa Sherpa, member, And
Diku Sherpa, general
secretary, Ngwang Phinzo
Sherpa, president.
Second row (from left to right):
Dev Raj Nepal, treasurer,
Ngwang Tharchen Sherpa,
secretary, Surace K.C, legal
counsellor, Ang Tshiring Lama,
vice-president, Lama Pasang
Sherpa, treasurer.

Members of the committee at 31.12.2015









Marianne Naegeli
Patricia Bellotto, auditor

Development of the annual report 2015


Nadine Barreiro, Patricia Bellotto, Deborah
Berlinck, Sonia Christ, Catherine Christ Revaz,
Cathy David-Raphoz, Véronique Fatio-Veuthey,
Mike Gorsky, Anne Kerisel, Christophe Al Kurdi,
Christine Krattinger Allaman, Myriam Krebs,
Francis Laune, Marianne Naegeli, Sylvie Nahum
(présidente), Sévane Pirkl, Andrea Plasschaert,
Olivier Revaz, Traducteurs Sans Frontières

Layout: Andrea Plasschaert
Proofreading: Catherine Christ Revaz
Photo credits: Mike Gorsky, Catherine and Olivier Revaz

Swiss Organization Sagarmatha – Annual report 2015


Contact us

Sylvie Nahum
President of the Swiss Organization Sagarmatha
Chemin des Côtes 26
1297 Founex
079 219 42 84
Olivier and Catherine Revaz
Committee members
Grand Rue 23
1267 Vich
022 364 03 94 (home)
079 244 12 93 (mobile Catherine)

All donations
Account name: Organisation Suisse Sagarmatha
OSS, 1297 Founex
No compte Post Finance : 12-648345-6
IBAN : CH45 0900 0000 1264 83456

Thank you for your support!

Swiss organization


Because every child deserves a future