History

Above all, Happy Home Nepal is a story of following our hearts!

1991: During a trip to Nepal with our family, we visite Boudhanath, the religious centre for Nepal’s considerable population of Tibetan refugees, located east of Kathmandu. On our way to a lunch of rice we notice, like a cry for help, a small Happy School poster. We visit the boarding school, where we meet with the principal and the children. Above all else, we realize how poor these children are.

After our return journey, since we want to stay in touch, a regular exchange of letters is born. Giving their financial situation, we also decide to support Happy School with donations.

1993: Following a misuse of funds, the school director is fired and replaced by Lhakpa Dhondup Shersta, a Tibetan and secretary of the Educational Foundation Relief Nepal (EFREN). Lhakpa is appointed by the Tibetan Education and Relief Association (TERA) to be the new school secretary and take care of Happy School/Happy Home.

1994: André Graber, a friend and Happy School donor, visits the school during a trip to Nepal. His very enthousiastic report convinces us to continue our support.

1995:
During a autumnal trek, we meet again our Tibetan friends and the new school principal with the conviction that we need to help them as much as possible. We meet them several times to better understand the organization of the boarding school and define its needs. Although we previously ensured the education of two children with our friends, after these meetings we decide to found a group whose members promise to give money to allow children to attend Happy School and/or Happy Home.

A financial committment of CHF 40 per month ensures that a child -- whether orphan or poor -- can access education and a better standard of living. We are not talking about “sponsoring”; the idea is to share the money raised amongst different children, rather than creating a personal relationship between a donor and a child

Differents meetings and discussions with the people in charge of Happy School/Happy Home as well as our four years of friendship, have demonstrated that the money is entirely used for the children. On our side, we promise to send the entirety of the money raised and administer the group on a voluntary basis.

1996: Thanks to roughly ten donors it is possible to support the education of twelve very poor children, most of whom are orphans or half-orphan.

1998:
Many families have moved closer to Kathmandu and fewer and fewer children are sleeping at the boarding school. Moreover, the principal decides to transfer the children into a different school, the Active Ideal Model School (AIMS). Happy School/Happy Home is permanently closed.

Our first thought was to found a new school but we abandon this idea, choosing to directly support the children. We therefore decide to continue our support, and nominate Lhakpa as our local representative to defend the interests of the children who are now distributed between different schools based on geographical and quality criteria. His role is to look after the children, contact their families and watch closely the quality of the education they receive.

2004: We create an emergency fund (to help some of the poorest inhabitants of Kathmandu), in addition to our ongoing support for the children. Our structure continues to work well, year after year.

2006: Lhakpa and his wife Rita travel to Europe. They spend a few days with the members of TERA in England and come to visit us in Switzerland for Christmas. As always, it was a precious and emotional time.

2008: During the summer, we spend three weeks in Nepal where we meet with the new children we support and see the older ones once again.

2009: In September, our daughter Céline spends two weeks in Kathmandu at Rita’s and Lhakpa’s home. As many children have returned to visit their families for the summer vacation, Céline only meets Arun, Dikiy and Tenzin. She also has a very touching meeting with Tenzin’s parents at their home.