FRIENDS OF HIMALAYAN CHILDREN

Empowerment through education

"Our volunteer administration ensures nearly 95% of funds raised go directly to supporting disadvantaged children in regional Nepal."

SOME OF THE FRIENDLY FACES OF BATASE

Batase Village in Nepal is where a lot of the FHC work is undertaken, this includes Batase School and Batase Hostel. There’s lots of friendly faces you will see if you visit. Lots of people who have benefited and contribute to the ongoing success and activities of the FHC. We’ll introduce you to some of them, as well as the people who work hard in Australia to help fund the functions of the charity.

Please note: The name ‘Tamang’ will appear often throughout this website because it denotes an ethnic group of people. In Nepal, surnames reflect ethnicity. This is in contrast to western names, which relate to family lines along our fathers heritage. While Nepalese surnames connect them to their ethnicity, their first name (and sometimes a second name) connects them to their family. Most people in Batase and surrounding villages will carry the name ‘Tamang’.

ANIL TAMANG – FHC PRESIDENT IN NEPAL

Anil lives in Batase and has been involved with FHC for many years. He is the oldest of five children and FHC has helped all of them with their education. After finishing Grade 8 in 2012 at the Batase school (the educational limit of the school then) he moved to nearby Talamarang to complete Grade 9 and 10 with FHC support. FHC continued to support his Grade 11 and 12 studies in Kathmandu. He then returned to Batase to work as a trekking guide with the Take on Nepal trekking company.

Today Anil is very grateful for the chances given to him by FHC and has always been an active supporter of the kids in the FHC Hostel. He and other ex-FHC supported students continue to volunteer their time mentoring and supporting the current group of hostel kids.

FHC COMMITTEE IN NEPAL

PRESIDENT: Anil Tamang
VICE-PRESIDENT: Bhimmaya Tamang
SECRETARY: Dinesh Tamang
TREASURER: Budumai Tamang
MEMBER: BiJay Tamang
MEMBER: Sukuman Tamang
MEMBER: Rim Maya Tamang

All of these positions are voluntary.

SOM TAMANG – FHC PRESIDENT IN CAIRNS, AUSTRALIA

Som Tamang founded FHC in 2007. As a child working and living in Kathmandu, Som Tamang supported his family back in his home village of Batase. He saw education as a priority for his siblings and continued to support them after coming to Australia in 2003, but it was after a trip home to Nepal in 2006 that he felt compelled to help more widely. He was shocked by the poverty he saw and the lack of opportunities for young people in remote villages. Realising that many village children with potential were leaving Batase to work on the streets of Kathmandu, Som determined to create a better future for them.

FHC COMMITTEE IN CAIRNS, AUSTRALIA

PRESIDENT: Som Tamang
VICE-PRESIDENT: Peter Gaudron
SECRETARY: Fiona Sewell
TREASURER: Sue Lowth
MEMBER: Ivan Whittle
MEMBER: Gwen
MEMBER: Susan Devitt
MEMBER: Mary Frances DeJourdan
MEMBER: Jonathan Clayton
MEMBER: Ross Pulley
MEMBER: Angus McColl

All of these positions are voluntary.

BIJAY TAMANG – HOSTEL MANAGER

At just 25 years of age, Bijay has been working for Take On Nepal and FHC for three years.

Currently, Bijay is managing the children’s Hostel: co-ordinating activities for the children, including school work and daily presentations, as well as farm work. Bijay also helps Anil (FHC President) to procure food supplies for the Hostel from local sources – particularly meat, corn and millet, and keep track of Hostel maintenance and expenses. Having completed his senior school studies and trained in Business Management, he is well qualified for this role.

Bijay’s family, in Batase, comprises his parents, grandfather, two brothers and one sister-in-law, all of whom work on the family farm.

DINESH TAMANG – TOUR GUIDE EXTRAORDINAIRE

Dinesh is Som’s younger brother and now manages most of Take On Nepal’s affairs on the ground in Nepal. With Som’s help, he finished Grade 10 in Talamarang, his senior schooling in Kathmandu and then a two-year course in Tourism, also in Kathmandu. When Som established Take On Nepal, Dinesh was able to gain practical experience and on-the-job training in all aspects of the business, working for the company in ways that suited his study schedule. He has exceptional aptitude for his diverse roles in the company and is greatly appreciated by clients for his professionalism, competence and people skills. Professional connections that he has made along the way include the famous US mountaineer, Konrad Anker, who arranged mountaineering training for Dinesh in February 2019 and a place on a support team for an Everest summit shortly afterwards. Dinesh, inspired and inspiring, is a wonderful asset to Take On Nepal!

BIMMAYA – TREKKING GUIDE

Bimmaya was still at school when she successfully applied to Take On Nepal for a chance to train as a trekking guide. Her first trek, as a guide-in-training, was with the Women’s Everest Base Camp Trek in September 2018, when she proved herself capable and well-suited to the work. Previously, Bimmaya had shown exceptional talent as a long-distance runner, in the Run for Recovery events organised to lift morale and bring hope to young people in the aftermath of the 2015 earthquake. To further encourage Bimmaya, Som found sponsorship for her to compete in the Tenzing Hilary Everest Marathon in May 2017 – a 42km run from Everest Base Camp to Namche, which Bimmaya completed in around five hours. She is an inspirational young woman and a valuable role model for others. She is delighted to work for Take On Nepal as a guide on various trails in the Himalayas and the Langtang Ranges.

TOKMAYA – HOSTEL COOK

Tokmaya is one of a team of local women who cook for the hostel children. Her daily routine involves rising early and cutting grass to feed the buffalo, milking the buffalo, preparing a breakfast of chapati, beaten rice and milk tea for the children, helping with farmwork, catering for volunteers and visitors and checking on their amenities, preparing dinner for the 46 hostel residents. This is a new direction in life for Tokmaya. She had married at 21 and moved away from Batase to live with her husband’s family in a village 2 hours’ walk away. The marriage produced two wonderful children, but was very unhappy for Tokmaya. She endured years of domestic violence, before finally fleeing with her children to Kathmandu. Som supported her while she hid, even from her own family, for three years. When her husband had re-married and it was deemed safe, she and her children moved back to Batase, her home village. Now she is paid by Take On Nepal to look after the Volunteers quarters and cook for volunteers and visitors. Depending on numbers, many meals can be shared with the hostel children; if volunteer numbers are high, other available TON staff can cook for them. All who visit Batase, take away a lasting memory of Tokmaya’s warm welcome and kind hospitality.

HOSTEL COOKS

There are some people who are essential to the everyday functions of FHC on the ground in Batase. Indispensable. Saile Tamang (left), Urmila Tamang (middle) and Tok Maya Tamang are our cooks and they prepare the meals daily for the kids at the Hostel. But they are more than just cooks. They are mentors, role models and even mothers to children either orphaned or living away from their families.

COME VISIT US IN BATASE

You can visit and volunteer at Batase Village, with Take on Nepal. Som and Susan have developed a 14 day program, which is open to people of all ages and interests. You don’t need to have a specific skill set to participate, just a willingness to assist with various jobs around the village. Traditionally, it’s a two-week itinerary with placement in Batase Village, which is located in the Lower Himalayas. While in the village, you’ll assist with various jobs each day, such as helping at the local school, cooking meals for some of the orphans housed in the village and/or assisting the hostel children with homework. You would never be expected to perform any work you felt you were unsuited to, and you could expect a wide variety of tasks to be presented to you, working alongside villagers as they go about their daily lives. Our Nepal Village Volunteering program is tailored to groups and individuals. For more information on this once in a lifetime experience, please visit the Take on Nepal website.

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