Bezoek Rob & Rebecca aan Haripur, december 2023

Rob & Rebecca's Visit to Haripur, December 2023

In December 2023, my daughter and I made a trip to Nepal, something we both eagerly anticipated. For Rebecca, it was both thrilling and exciting, as she has been following and sponsoring 2 out of the 52 for years. The culture and customs of Nepal, as well as the developments in our village Haripur, have long held her interest.

For me as a father, it was wonderful to make this trip with my daughter. Sharing my feelings about Nepal and being able to show what we have achieved in Haripur in 7 years is an important aspect. But also imparting the deep feelings that my friends Wijtze, Marsha, and I have for the people, and especially the children, is something I really wanted to share with her.

In a nutshell, I would like to share what we have achieved so far and what we aim to work towards in the next five years.

The original aim in 2016 was to improve education and hygiene in the 9 hamlets (Wards) of Haripur. What began with the construction of a small school and a village building has, through various visits and collaboration with the local government, expanded to involvement in a kindergarten, 3 primary schools, and in 2022, the construction of a secondary school. This last achievement was very important; we aim for children to receive vocational education focused on becoming entrepreneurs, practicing a profession, and generating an income.

Regarding hygiene, we regularly distribute toothpaste, toothbrushes, and soap, have provided education on the importance of hygiene, have made COVID vaccines available, and ensure that the children receive regular health check-ups.  

During our visits in 2023, we also started working on the self-sufficiency of the population in the poorest Wards of Haripur. We initiated a chicken and goat farm and leased land where the parents of our school-going children can grow vegetables and fruits themselves, partly for sale and partly for their own use. Our social worker, Arbind, keeps a close watch and also maintains accurate records.

In addition to these activities, we also try to do something extra regularly. During our visits, we often give the kids a fun afternoon with a picnic, singing, and dancing (where we are not too proud to join in the dancing and take silly photos). We are also occasionally able to distribute second-hand laptops thanks to generous sponsors. For instance, during my recent visit, we gave one to a very intelligent and ambitious girl who wants to become a civil engineer. My daughter Rebecca also gave English lessons in a playful way during this trip, and the kids were treated to face painting and mini stroopwafels.

During my visit, I had extensive discussions with Arbind and the mayor, laying the groundwork for a 5-year plan. The focus is to completely eradicate illiteracy among the youth in Ward-7, start at least one primary school in all 9 Wards, improve the maternity clinic, and encourage the self-sufficiency of the residents. To support these initiatives, we plan to approach Wilde Ganzen, the Dutch organization that also helped finance the secondary school.

With a limited budget of around €12,000 and contributions from the local government and Wilde Ganzen, we manage to achieve a lot. Our annual wine package campaign usually brings in about €2,500, and fortunately, we have a number of loyal business and private donors who have been supporting us for some time. However, we still face limitations. Teachers are underpaid, and in three schools, we can hardly provide lunches and new school materials. Therefore, we continue to try to find new donors who are willing to make a monthly contribution. If you want to help on a regular basis, please click on