Who we are

Nepal House Society

Nepal House Society is a not for profit society whose aims are to provide therapeutic support to the children of Nepal. The Society was established in 2007 in British Columbia and in that same year a similar organization was established in Pokhara, Nepal, (Kaski District). The organization in Nepal will provide direct service to children in the form of art, play, talk and skill or asset building therapy. The goals of Nepal House Society of BC are to provide support to the organization in Nepal in the form of financial, moral, educational and therapeutic support.

Nepal House also seeks to train students coming out of University or College in Nepal who are interested in working with and supporting children who are under the influence of trauma, abuse, neglect, violence and poverty. At present there is no infrastructure in Nepal to provide internships and supervision to those interested in doing therapeutic work with children. Nepal House Society of BC will aim to provide training and supervise students as they acquire the skills to work directly with children.

History

In 2005 a play therapy room was set up in Bhakunde; a small village outside of Pokhara. This play therapy room was utilized by the children of the local orphanage. A therapist from Vancouver was invited by a German NGO that ran this orphanage to support some of their children. A Nepali teacher and a health practitioner who worked with the children at the orphanage became interested in how art, play and therapy could be used to support and promote healing in children. These two men became the first students in Nepal to learn how to use the play therapy room and provide opportunities for children to engage with this modality. This blossomed into many fruitful dialogues and eventually to the establishment of Nepal House Kaski (in Nepal) and Nepal House Society (in B.C.) in 2007.

UPDATES

SPRING 2011

The work that was started in 2007 continues to develop. After much planning and hard work, the Nepal House Kaski school for girls will open in May 2011. The school will provide opportunities for young girls who might not otherwise have the ability to attend school and receive therapeutic support. The school will work hand in hand with the caregivers or parents of these precious children. The plan will be to start will a kindergarten in the first year and then to add a new grade each year. With the start of the school, our Nepal House family continues to grow with the addition of a teacher and classroom assistant.

While these changes have been happening in Nepal, there have been changes and growth in North America. Nepal House USA has gone from idea to reality. Based in Atlanta, Georgia, the team in Atlanta will be a key player in the success and the long term development of the Nepal House project and in particular the school for girls.

SUMMER 2010

We now have four counsellors and one support staff working in our facility in Pokhara. At present, close to 40 children are receiving counselling and support services each week. We continue to provide support and training to roughly 15 other agencies and orphanages in the region and have recently been approached by the local government to provide training to teachers.

In addition, we recently opened a second office in North Pokhara to support children who are living with HIV and AIDS and a third office in an outlying area of Pokhara where there are many young at-risk children.

We are also in the beginning stages of starting up a girl’s school in 2011 with the opening of a Kindergarten class and then adding grades in subsequent years.

December 2007

This past December, Nepal House Kaski, our partner organization in Pokhara opened the doors to their counselling center in Malepatan. November was busy with many days and hours spent painting and getting the house ready. Many friends came on a daily basis to help us clean and paint and in general prepare the house.

On December 11th, we had a house blessing ceremony (Puja) which was attended by Board Members, friends and family members of the counsellors and many children. In Nepali culture a house blessing is seen as instrumental before moving into a home, or in our case, before opening our counselling center for children. After the ceremony everyone shared in food, including other families in the neighborhood.

On December 26th we had our Grand Opening. Along with friends and family, numerous other organizations were in attendance. They were given a chance to view the play therapy, art therapy and counselling rooms. They were also given a chance to view the children's rooms which will open in the summer of 2008, which will allow children from outside the Pokhara Valley to receive care and support while staying in a safe and supportive environment.

Summer 2007

Nepal House Society (Canada) and its partner organization Nepal House Kaski (Pokhara, Nepal), have been able to rent a large enough house that can be used for therapy rooms, classroom, kitchen and bedrooms. The goal is to have one room be used for play therapy, another room for both art therapy and talk therapy. Bedrooms will be for children staying for short term therapy who are from out of town, and rooms for house mother's who will look after the needs of these children can also be accomodated in this space. As well space will be available to use as a classroom to teach Nepali students who are interested in acquiring therapy and counselling skills.

Nepal recently experienced some severe rain storms which led to widespread flooding and landslides. In the Kaski district which includes Pokhara, many homes were destroyed and lives were lost. Throughout Nepal 33 districts were impacted, and food and water shortages had been reported. Nepal, like many of their neighbors in Asia are familiar with annual monsoon deluges, however, this year was one of the worst on record. The children's village in Bhakunde (Site of our first therapy room) had to be evacuated and the children moved to Pokhara as heavy rain and landslides made the site dangerous and uninhabitable for 10 days.