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Annual report 2016

Version française sur le site

Swiss organization

SagarmathaBecause every child deserves a future
Acknowledgments for 2016

We would like to warmly thank:
The agency in Lausanne for graciously Volunteers and members of our committee for the
donating a new website to our association; time they devoted to the association*: Nadine
Barreiro, Patricia Bellotto, Anna Carolina and
Translators Without Borders (TWB); Deborah Berlinck, Frédéric Cazorla, Quentin
Choffat, Sonia Christ, Catherine Christ Revaz,
The Pictet Group Charitable Foundation; Cathy David-Raphoz, Vonlanthen-di Nenna family,
Luzia Dutruy, Patrick Gessant, Mikhail Gusarov,
Parents, students and other donors who donated Anne Kerisel, Christina Krattinger-Allaman, Myriam
or fund-raised during the 2016 International School Krebs, Francis Laune, Marianne Naegeli, Sylvie
of Geneva trip; Nahum, Andrea Plasschaert, Olivier Revaz,
Catherine Riegert, Christelle Riegert, Somaya
The management of the International School of Rezaei, Heyon-Ji Yun;
Geneva for its unwavering support, and the
Parent-Teacher Association (PTA) for its “matching A generous donor family in Switzerland;
Our sponsors, patrons and donors, who have
WIPO, which allowed us to host a stand on its allowed our financial commitment to the
premises: Sagarmatha Center to have some stability;

People who donated in kind during the 2016 trip: All the other people who are not mentioned here
International School of Geneva and in particular, but contributed, through a gift or purchase, to our
Cathy Lee-Markovitz (donation of underwear), the association in 2016.
Hosotte Family (donation of medicines), Maryse
Kalbfuss, Christiane Cavin & Brigitte Prélaz
(donation of knitwear), Vijay Srinivasan of Atos
Consulting (donation of 5 laptops), Patrick Gessant
(donation of medical equipment), Catherine Christ
Revaz and Sylvie Nahum (homeopathic remedies
and medicines);

Cathy and Somaya, our volunteers at the stand at the Market of Saint-Nicolas, La Châtaigneraie,
December 2016
Message from the President

A busy year
In this report, you will discover stories by the
students of the International School of Geneva,
and testimonials from two new members of our

Discovering Nepal in April 2016 was rewarding
for the students of the International School, even
though it was not always easy for our youths. But
the inconvenience caused by travel fatigue and
the pollution in Kathmandu has been largely
overshadowed by the amazing human adventure
experienced by these foreign visitors to Nepal.
This trip was the sixth organized by our
treasurer, Olivier Revaz, a teacher at Ecolint.

The year 2016 was marked by the release of the
film, “A Day with the Children of Sagarmatha.”
This 47-minute documentary recalls the life of
the children of the Sagarmatha Center and the
commitment of the people, in Nepal, Switzerland
and France, who make it possible for about 50
children to attend school and pursue an
education. The film can be seen online on our
website. Mikhail (Mike) Goussarov, the director,
and Béatrice Pothier, two volunteers who were
already very engaged with us, joined our
committee in 2016. Their testimony can be found Finally, a few lines to invite you to an innovative
in the following pages. event. On the initiative of Christine Krattinger-
Allaman, a member of our committee, we
I cannot end this brief overview without organized a supporting dinner on Saturday,
expressing my gratitude. I would like to June 10, 2017 in Etoy, Vaud. Visit our website
especially mention, the agency in for
Lausanne that gave our website a total more information. Thank you all.
“makeover,” free of charge. Our deepest
gratitude goes to our volunteers, patrons,
Yours sincerely,
sponsors and donors, who ensure that the
activities of the Sagarmatha Center continue
year after year.

Sylvie Nahum,
The year 2016 was marked President

by the release of the film,
“A Day with the Children
of Sagarmatha.”

Swiss Organization Sagarmatha – Annual report 2016 1
2016 at a glance

In addition, suitcases also containing sweatshirts
2016 visit by the Ecole were prepared for children in the orphanages in
internationale de Genève to Punarbal and Bungamati.
By Béatrice Pothier, Committee Member Ceremony at the children’s
The group, which set off to discover Nepal in On the first day of our arrival, the children at the
2016, consisted of fifteen young people, Sagarmatha Centre were very keen that we
students at the École internationale de Genève should visit their school, which was not far from
(Ecolint), La Châtaigneraie campus, and there. It was quite a surprise for us to discover
seven adults. that we were able to attend the every day
ceremony of the morning assembly. All the
Life at SASS children were gathered together, by class, in the
From the first day, the Ecolint students and the big courtyard, where they sang, recited prayers,
children at the Sagarmatha Centre found that listened to their peers, and then the teachers
they had common ground. English was the (male and female) and finally the principal, who
lingua franca with the older children at the dictated the instructions and encouragements for
centre, but friendship and human warmth the day. As not everyone could attend this
compensated for any lack of common language ceremony, we returned there the next day (the
amongst the younger ones. last school day for the older children).

The games that had been brought created links, Visits to Kathmandu
and although the older children preferred ball
games and playing football, the younger ones During this stay, the children of Ecolint and a
showed off their talents at hopscotch or with group young people from the Sagarmatha Centre
chalk drawing (which quickly covered the SASS visited some sites in the surrounding area of
courtyard), or with the skipping rope, or making Kathmandu, namely: Bhaktapur, Patan, and
origami paper folding art, etc. Relations Thamel, for example… It was poignant to visit
friendship and mutual support were immediately these various sites, so well known for their
effective, to such an extent that, during the visit, historical monuments and to see how much they
some of the Ecolint asked if they could sleep at had suffered in the last earthquake that took
the Sagarmatha Centre. Once permission was place in April 2015. The temples that were still
granted, they shared the everyday life of their standing were juxtaposed with the ruins all
friends for 24 hours. Getting up at 5:30 in the around them, and all the houses had collapsed;
morning, they took part in prayers and then in the props, installed to support some of the
gymnastics. For anyone looking on, it is always
astonishing and touching to see that the SASS
children share the gifts received (wherever
possible) with their comrades, as an entirely
natural reflex.

Another distribution took place: sweatshirts
donated by Ecolint. Each of the members of
SASS also received a sweatshirt and everyone
was smiling in the souvenir photo. We also
handed over jumpers, medicines, and 5 laptop
computers, generously donated by a company
based in Nyon.

The traditional group photo with the children from the Sagarmatha Centre, students,
and accompanying staff.

2 Swiss Organization Sagarmatha – Annual report 2016
2016 at a glance

buildings, themselves looked very precarious
and at risk of imminent collapse. The inhabitants
explained to us how entire sections of the street
had collapsed, thus preventing any attempt at
escape for the people that had survived … It is
a landscape in desolation, of sadness and of
many unanswered questions.

The young people of Ecolint had only been
barely aware of the drama that was unfolding
before their eyes, because they had never
before seen these mythical places. Their
comrades at Sagarmatha Centre, had for
their part, taken full stock of the extent of
their destruction …

Visit to Pashupatinat
Pashupatinat – a UNESCO world heritage site
– is one of the cremation places in Kathmandu.
The Ecolint pupils were naturally given the
option of whether or not to visit this site. All of
them wanted to see this site of historical
customs and practices. Some found the
ceremonies that all had the opportunity to attend
on the other side of the river, rather moving.
This custom is at the heart of Hindu practices
and we were very keen to understand the
principle of reincarnation and what it meant to
these devout followers. Death therefore
assumed a whole new meaning.

Another event of this day, was when the Ecolint A small gift for Razina brought in the group’s baggage.
pupils went to Sagarmatha, custom requires
observance of a “momos” day. This typically Walking around the Stupa, in accordance with
Nepalese food is made together, in the kitchen the obligatory direction for walking, the students
or in the dining room. A superb recipe that the also spent some time buying souvenirs.
young people of SASS were delighted to show
in a very “hands on” way, to their colleagues, It is always difficult to draw any specific
who will most definitely repeat the experience conclusion from such a visit. However, what
once they are back in Europe! struck us all was the osmosis between the
young people so far away from each other in so
Purchases in Bodnath many ways and aspects of life! The tears on our
It would have been impossible not to have departure, and the long moments of tenderness
visited this place of the legendary Stupa! It are ample evidence that such encounters are
suffered terribly in the earthquake and was in not in vain, between young people who belong
mid-reconstruction at the time of our visit. This to the generation that will be in charge of
was also the case for the Shechen monastery, tomorrow’s world.
and one can only admire the skill and minute
attention of the painters responsible for restoring The full report can be obtained on request from
the frescos of these monuments to their the Organisation Suisse Sagarmatha / Swiss
former glory. Organization Sagarmatha.

Swiss Organization Sagarmatha – Annual report 2016 3
2016 at a glance

An Innovative Renovation
By Catherine Christ Revaz, Committee

Rehabilitating a building to bring it into
compliance with anti-seismic standards? The
belting method for buildings is already known in
some countries. But in Nepal - to our knowledge
- it had never been used. Until our association
decided to use it.

In 2015, after the terrible earthquake that
devastated parts of Nepal, causing considerable
damage, we raised funds from people who had
been moved, here in Switzerland, by the disaster.
An amount of CHF 11,185 (2015 earthquake
donations), supplemented by a donation from a
generous donor family in Switzerland, was
allocated to this rehabilitation.

A Swiss architect, commissioned by the president
of the Swiss Sagarmatha Organization, worked The work, supplemented by masonry and
on the project to reinforce the old building of the painting, was completed in early 2017. This
Sagarmatha Center, which had been shaken and renovation certainly required significant financial
cracked by the tremors. Vertically, the building resources compared to the limited means usually
had held and the foundations were not available in Nepal for this type of renovation. But
deteriorating. But in order to prevent a possible this investment seemed justified to ensure the
collapse of the building in the event of a new safety of the children and staff of the Sagarmatha
strong earthquake, we opted for a belt. Center in the years to come, with the knowledge
that a new strong earthquake can never be ruled
An outer belt -made of interconnected metal out in this part of the world. Hence, the building
beams- was placed around the building at the can now withstand any potential new
floor level of each level. An inner belt was earthquakes of up to 8 on the Richter scale.
installed and attached to the outer belt and to the
floors. This binding and laying of belts compress
the walls together and hold the building
pressurized by the floors.

A Swiss architect worked on the project to
reinforce the old building of the Sagarmatha
Center, which had been shaken and cracked by
the tremors.

4 Swiss Organization Sagarmatha – Annual report 2016
2016 at a glance

We also grew aware of the terrible devastation
An experience which opened caused by the earthquake that had struck
my eyes Kathmandu the year before. Simply walking
By Timothy Marchant, Ecolint student through the streets was a worthwhile experience
- soaking up the foreign atmosphere, dodging
The humanitarian trip to Nepal I participated in the wild traffic, and circumventing the stray
during the Easter holidays was definitely one of cows and monkeys that dotted the pollution-
the most rewarding and eye-opening streaked roads.
experiences I’ve ever had. Having organised
In that sense, the trip was an excellent break
fundraising activities throughout the year, I felt a
real sense of anticipation before the journey to from the monotonous Geneva life, because it
see where the money I’d been raising was to be unveiled a completely new world, one I’d been
invested. as yet unfamiliar with. The sense of chaos was
extraordinary when compared to the ordered
Spending time at the orphanage, playing with cleanliness of Swiss life. But a sense of purpose
the younger children and setting up friendships was equally obvious. Everywhere I looked,
with the older ones, was the main humanitarian people were getting on with their lives, going to
aspect of the experience. I was amazed by how work, chatting, laying out their produce in the
cheerful and positive the children were, despite markets that lined the streets…etc. Despite the
their relatively simple life-styles and few chaos, this sense of animation and purpose was
belongings. They were always prepared to play refreshing, and something I felt lacking in
with us, show us affection, and make us feel Geneva upon my return.
welcome in their little corner of Kathmandu.
The trip was occasionally challenging, tiring and
One of the activities I did with them was an overwhelming, but these were often the
Easter egg hunt, having brought two bags worth conditions in which I earned my most
of chocolate eggs with me from Geneva. It was memorable experiences, and learned my most
all over in a frenzied 5 minutes of gleeful valuable lessons.
searching, but once they had found all the eggs
I was yet again impressed by the way they
shared them all out. It was moments like these
that helped me see them as a large family, who
always stuck together collectively, rather than as
individual orphans.

I learned a lot from them as well: not only
physical things such as magic tricks and a
hypnosis technique that didn’t work very well,
but also a fresh and invigorating way of looking
at the world. Their enthusiasm for their studies
for example, put my school life into perspective
– something I should keep in mind next time I
feel fed up with a difficult assignment. Their
friendliness and openness taught me to relax
and take things as they come.

The other aspect of the trip was the touristic
side of it, which was equally eye-opening. The
beautiful ancient temples and sculptures were
the polar opposite of European architecture,
which made them fascinatingly new to me.

Swiss Organization Sagarmatha – Annual report 2016 5
2016 at a glance

The people at the SASS orphanage definitely
April 2016 trip to Kathmandu left the greatest impression on me. They are
By Elise Wallbridge, Ecolint student incredibly welcoming and accommodating. They
definitely taught me at least as much, if not
Though long anticipated, our late afternoon more, than I taught any of the children. The
arrival in Kathmandu was an immediate culture children’s outlook on life and the positivity they
shock. Kathmandu is a place that is incessantly showed was infectious and gave me a sense of
busy; the air is thick and you can constantly perspective for my own life. They wanted you to
hear cars beeping or dogs barking. The experience their cultures and lives as well as
cleanliness, order, and clean air of Switzerland learn about yours. I have gained a second
offered a great contrast to our experience in family and people I will never forget. SASS is
Nepal. I was reminded of the privileged lifestyle definitely an organisation I would love to work
I lead and how much I am sheltered. with again.

In contrast, Kathmandu is a city that has Though the trip was challenging and at times
suffered a lot. This was continually evident even testing, I wouldn’t change this. It made me
whether from the earthquake damage to the more resilient as a person and I can only hope I
thick smog in the air or the lack of basic was helpful to the Sagarmatha orphanage. I am
supplies. Despite all of this it is incredibly easy determined that this will not be a once in a
to love Kathmandu: the people are friendly; the lifetime experience. A big thank you to the
building are brightly colored; prayer flags strung Sherpa family and to everyone who contributing
up between homes. Not only this but we had the to making this experience such a special
luck to see it at a prime time: Holi day. This opportunity for us.
meant that we experienced an important and Elise Wallbridge
colorful part of Nepali culture which was shared
so wholeheartedly with us.

6 Swiss Organization Sagarmatha – Annual report 2016
2016 at a glance

Why I got involved
By Béatrice Pothier, Committee Member
since 2016

I was told of the existence of the Sagarmatha
home by Olivier Revaz and immediately wanted
to know more. As I was passionate about the
subject, my interlocutor convinced me to
sponsor one of the young people from SASS.
Impossible to help a young girl of 13 without first
needing to meet her! So it was that the first visit
allowed us, Sanju and myself, to get to know
each other.

The Nepal bug has bitten and it seems not to
want to leave me! How can we not take to heart,
constantly, the laughing eyes of these children
who welcome us with so much pleasure and
joy? Every face is imprinted in our memories
and everything that touches them affects us!
What a lesson in life!

Our Nepalese friends do not have much to live
on, materially speaking, but they give us
everything! Incommensurable love, unfailing
friendship, reflection on the very meaning of life
… It is not for them to thank us, but for us to
extend to them an immense “THANK YOU!”

Why I got involved
By Mikhail Goussarov, Committee Member
since 2016

From my first visit to the Sagarmatha Centre in
Kathmandu in 2014, I was profoundly moved by
the devotion of the Sherpa family, but also by a
dozen unknown persons that contribute on a
daily basis to the future of these children. Their
involvement is not often directly visible, but the
result is on a gigantic scale. It has the effect of
giving meaning to the life of these orphans. It
has given me such enormous pleasure to be a
part of this project.

Swiss Organization Sagarmatha – Annual report 2016 7
Accounts 2016

Bilan au 31 décembre 2016
Actif 31.12.2016 (CHF) 31.12.2015 (CHF)
Actif circulant
Caisse 0.00 0.00
PostFinance 12-648345-6 40’377.73 24’091.44

UBS 228-108612.40N -17.70 22.20
Total de l’actif circulant 40’360.03 24’113.64
Actif immobilisé
Actif immobilisé 0.00 0.00
Total de l’actif immobilisé 0.00 0.00
Total de l’actif 40’360.03 24’113.64

Fonds étrangers
Passif transitoire 0.00 0.00
Total des fonds étrangers 0.00 0.00
Fonds propres
Capital 40’360.03 24’113.64
Total des fonds propres 40’360.03 24’113.64
Total du passif 40’360.03 24’113.64

Comptes de profits et pertes de l’exercice 2016
Produits 2016 (CHF) 2015 (CHF)
Ventes (Noel, etc.) 4’507.24 6’842.00
Dons 41’394.50 95’797.39
Parrainages 22’254.00 19’980.70
Cotisations 200.00 150.00
Produits financiers 0.00 2.15
Total des produits 68’355.74 122’772.24

Aides et charges
Missions Népal 51’185.20 114’602.18
Frais bureau et admin. 718.30 1’395.18
Frais Postfinance, UBS 205.85 258.40
Total des charges 52’109.35 116’255.76
Bénéfice reporté 24’113.64 17’597.16
Bénéfice de l’exercice 16’246.39 6’516.48
Bénéfice à reporter 40’360.03 24’113.64

Le bénéfice cumulé de 40’360.03 est reporté à l’an 2017

8 Swiss Organization Sagarmatha – Annual report 2016
Accounts 2016

Swiss Organization Sagarmatha – Annual report 2016 9
Message from the Treasurer

Volunteer Work That Has Proven its Worth
By Olivier Revaz, Treasurer

In 2016, the contribution made by our association to the budget
of the Sagarmatha Center amounted to CHF 33,000, including
donations raised by the students of the International School of
Geneva / La Châtaigneraie. This is in addition to the CHF 20,000
we had paid in advance for the 2016 budget of the center.

We also contributed to the renovation of the old building in the
amount of CHF 11,185.20, which was the balance of the amount
raised after the major earthquake that hit Nepal in 2015.

We end the year 2016 with the amount of CHF 40,300 in the
bank account. This amount includes donations and sponsorships
that will be used to cover expenses for the Sagarmatha Center in

While this is a welcome development, we should not forget that
in recent years, we have been working hard to find the funds
needed to run this project for the children in Nepal. Even though
sponsorships allow us to have a guarantee of some regular
revenue, we have to undertake other fundraising actions every
year. We calculated that the time dedicated by our twenty or so
volunteers represented more than 1,700 hours in 2016!

Every year, we have two or three stands for selling crafts. Last
year, sales of pashminas from Nepal amounted to CHF 5,080
(including amounts paid into the Ecolint donation account). In
addition, during the usual International School of Geneva trip,
the students raise funds before their departure. In 2016, it was
therefore possible to pay CHF 14,349 to the Sagarmatha Center
for the children’s education.

We now have the opportunity to count on people or institutions
who help us occasionally, such as the Saturnalia. This group of
students of the Faculty of Medicine of Geneva decided to support
us in 2016-2017 and organizes several events to raise funds for
various associations.

All this support is gratifying and encouraging to us. We would like
to warmly thank all our donors, large or small.

Olivier Revaz

10 Swiss Organization Sagarmatha – Annual report 2016
Accounts 2016

Aperçu des recettes et dépenses 2016 de
Children of Sagarmatha

Frais médicaux
NPR 190’739
Frais administratifs CHF 1’766
& travaux
NPR 401’836 Frais de nourriture
CHF 3’721 NPR 2’599’017
CHF 24’065
Frais divers
NPR 540’611
CHF 5’006

Frais bâtiment
NPR 1’052’819
CHF 9’748

Frais personnel
Frais de scolarisation NPR 1’938’967
NPR 1’654’725 CHF 17’953
CHF 15’322

Taux de change 108 NPR pour 1 CHF

Contributions 2016 au budget ordinaire de Children of Sagarmatha* CHF
Contribution Organisation Suisse Sagarmatha (Suisse) 53’000
Contribution Assistance Médicale Toit du Monde (France) 16’141
Contribution Association Sagarmatha Aide aux Défavorisés (France) 7’619
Autres 676
Total contributions à Children of Sagarmatha 77’436

Solde négatif (2016) -145

Taux de change 108 NPR pour 1 CHF

Swiss Organization Sagarmatha – Annual report 2016 11
The children of Sagarmatha as of 01.03.2017

12 Swiss Organization Sagarmatha – Annual report 2016
Committee members (board) of the Sagarmatha centre

1st row (from left to right) :
Sagun Sherpa, directeur,
Lakhpa Sherpa, membre, And
Diku Sherpa, secrétaire
général, Ngwang Phinzo
Sherpa, président.
2nd row (from left to right) :
Dev Raj Nepal, comptable,
Ngwang Tharchen Sherpa,
secrétaire, Surace K.C,
conseiller juridique, Ang
Tshiring Lama, vice-président,
Lama Pasang Sherpa,

Committee members as of 31.12.2016

Nadine Francis Olivier Béatrice
Barreiro Laune Revaz, Pothier

Catherine Sylvie Christine
Christ Nahum, Krattinger
Revaz admin

Anne Cathy Mikhail
Kerisel David- Goussarov

Marianne Naegeli, fiduciaire Naegeli à Coppet
Patricia Bellotto, Accounts checker

Annual report 2016 production
Graphic design and page layout: Andrea Plasschaert
Revision: Anne Kerisel
Photo credits: Catherine Christ Revaz, Cathy David-Raphoz, Mike Gorsky, Norbert Barthen

Swiss Organization Sagarmatha – Annual report 2016 13
To contact us

Sylvie Nahum For all donations or sponsorships
President of the Swiss Organization Sagarmatha Account holder: Organisation Suisse Sagarmatha
Chemin des Côtes 26 OSS, 1297 Founex
1297 Founex No compte Post Finance : 12-648345-6
079 219 42 84 IBAN : CH45 0900 0000 1264 83456 Code BIC : POFICHBEXXX

Olivier and Catherine Revaz
Committee Members
Grand Rue 23 Thanks for your support !
1267 Vich
022 364 03 94 (home)
079 244 12 93 (mobile Catherine)

Swiss organization

Sagarmatha Because every child deserves a future