Les Elfes proudly continues its strong relationship with the Association Annapurna Nepal, working with mainly young girls either orphaned or with very little in the way of a supporting family.
In 2017 we sent 6 staff members to Nepal including Fabiana our staff member from La Tzoumaz who had some fond memories to share with us.
Fabiana Report September 2017:
At ANA- Association Annapurna Nepal- I had opportunity to spend time with a host, at that time in September, their were 13 girls and 2 boys.
The volunteering schedule was based on a visit twice a day. The first one in the morning, to help the children getting ready to school. The second visit in the evening, to help with homework, studies and recreational activities. Saturdays were different though, I could spend the whole day with them and full day of different activities.
It was exam time when I was there, therefore in the first week we were doing mostly studies. I was more related with the younger ones, since the older had already a well organized study method and it was in these moments I learned a lot, mostly about their culture and how life is so different to here in Europe. Furthermore, we had good laughs together about how different these “two worlds” are. As the time passed by I could see how hard working they are through good life habits, routines and studies. I am not used to seeing children who really like to study it was so impressive.
We were also near the time for the biggest festival celebrated in Nepal- Dashain & Tihar- which I would say is like our Christmas in Europe. Everyone gets home, from all over, to get the blessed “tika” (red dot in the forehead) from the elder relatives.
With this came a great invitation to attend at their celebration in school. The subject was “Talent show competition” for which the girls, in between studies, were practicing. The school was decorated and all the children were very excited. Once again I had the opportunity to get a bit deep into their culture through the performance of the children from this school and was amazed.
I sweetly remember at one point the teacher presenting the show asked two of our elder children to switch the language to English so I could understand.
After School Activities
When the school was completely over we had more time for some activities such as crafts, some necklace making, baking, playing traditional games from Europe, among others. Also I had the time to show them a presentation about my Island- San Jorge- Azores-Portugal- and along some of the dances from Portugal and Brazil. How great are the differences but how connected all the people are through singing and dancing. Continuing in the subject we also did one of the most famous après-ski activities from Les Elfes- the music video. This one consists in dancing and mimic-off a song that afterwards will be edited with some effects and mixtures. They were very excited with it.
As all the pleasant times fly by, my great time with these children was about to finished and nothing better for a perfect farewell than some ice cream to delight all the taste and a big “thank you” video to send to Les Elfes and all the supporters.
After this time the children went to their villages to visit some relatives or close neighbours and therefore get their blessings as well.
My journey in Nepal was not quite finished as I had the opportunity to explore a bit of the beautiful Annapurna’s mountains, the amazing Budist temples in Lumbini and finally the wild jungle in the Chitwan National Park.
This experience was one of the kind and it really took me out of my comfort zone to a beautiful place and to a beautiful home where so much values are being passed to these children who somehow lost the base of support at a very young age. But they are doing the most out of this opportunity at ANA and really prepare themselves for a bright future.
I can only finish by recommending to all the colleagues who feel somehow committed with doing some service out of their comfort zone, to join the family in Nepal and get ready for an enriching exchange.
To Philippe and to Les Elfes’ family (including staff, partners and supporters) as he proudly calls us, a big “Dhanbad” (thank you in Nepali) for the lovely opportunity that now I can share with others.