Annual Report 2017 (English version)

The year 2017 was a successful, intensive and emotional one for HOPE.
Already in January we received a request from the roman catholique Kirchenpflege (authority of the church) to make a presentation of our association and projects. I am happy to say that they enjoyed my talk and soon after we received the message that the Kirchenpflege will support us with 5,000 Swiss Francs. Many thanks to the entire team and especially to Mr. Vogel who initiated the contact.
Also in January we received a generous donation from a birthday celebration, in which guests were requested to make a donation instead of giving a present.  This was a gift for our children and young adults in Nepal. 
We received another generous donation after a birthday celebration during the month of May. Many thanks to both families, Scheidegger and Simon and friends for their valuable contributions.
At the beginning of 2017 I also submitted a financial proposal to Basaid Foundation in Basel. Basaid already supported us in previous years and after the completion of the construction of the school in Pokhara we were in need of funding for the infrastructure. On the occasion of their general meeting, 22,000 Swiss Francs were awarded to us. A hearty thank you to all Basaid team members, especially to Marianne Schenk and Sasank Mohanty for their trust and support.
During the spring time I met Yvonne Koch, a lady whom I met in Nepal for the first time and who is also running projects. After our discussion about our vocational school she was really interested in supporting us. During the conversation I mentioned that we would like to offer sewing courses for women, but are looking for financial support. Some days later we received 3,500 Swiss Francs, for the purchase of the machines as well for the cost of the first training. Many thanks to Yvonne Koch. 
Madeleine Sunier organized a cake sale with her students at the Freies Gymnasium Basel. Also Mylène, in turn, took part in the traditional Christmas market in Embrach with her class during our Christmas season. Many thanks to the two organizers and the students. 
Also, the sale of the pashmina shawls in the two shops of Happy Feet in Basel and Zürich brought a remarkable profit. Many thanks to both teams for their great cooperation. 
Mona Kohler, chairman of helpnepal.ch was in Pokhara during the month of October. On that occasion she visited our vocational school. Before leaving we had a discussion regarding possible support on the planned expansion of our agricultural school. Our coordinator showed her the intended land for lease and being satisfied helpnepal.ch decided to support the leasing cost, including the boundary fence with 5,000 Swiss Francs. Our thanks go to Mona and the board of helpnepal.
Christmas time is always a good time to raise donations. We can see this every year during Mylène’s Christmas market. Also the PC Laborsysteme GmbH every year donates 2,000 Swiss Francs on the occasion of the upcoming Christmas festivities. Instead of gifting their customers they use the money for our projects. Many thanks to Marco Petraglio for his gratitude and trust in our work.
We would also like to thank all those who donated children clothes which have been distributed among our kids in Aasha Preschool and children from remote areas. 
When I travelled to Nepal in November I also carried with me corrective children’s glasses which we received from an optician in Wetzikon. Many thanks to Andreas Kelch.
I enjoyed special and wonderful moments during my two travels in May and November. The highlight of my first journey was definitely the opening of our vocational school in Pokhara. The ceremony was very emotional and during my short speech I also mentioned you, my dear donors. Without you all this would have never happened. It filled me with joy and satisfaction to open the doors of Asha Vocational School and Training Center. I am sure that in the coming years we can give a bright future and knowhow to all our students. An immense thank you goes to the entire team, especially to Narayan Baral. Through his competent and thoughtful way, he is a great inspiration to all involved. During both visits I also went through the account books and I could determine that the funding have been carefully and wisely spent. All receipts are available and everything correctly booked.
Also, every time I am delighted to see the progress of our children at Aasha Preschool as well as at Mount View School. The care in both places is wonderful and the teams are very motivated to give a good education and life to our children. The school principals in Mount View School keep a special eye on our “special” kids and the teachers told me that almost all are very eager to give their best and are hard workers.
Unfortunately, in November I got the message from our Kindergarten principal, Miss Sony, that she wants to leave the institution by the end of the school year in April 2018. Miss Sony has had three miscarriages in the last two years and does not feel strong enough to lead the preschool. This was definitely a shock for me but in the meantime I had to think about the future and immediately had to make the best decisions. 
Already some time before I have had my worries with our house owner. Our five year rent contract expired in January 2018 and he only wanted to prolong it for two years with double monthly rent. We quickly realized that we would not accept that. With Miss Sony’s notice we decided to close the Kindergarten at the end of the school year and to shift all children, also the preschool ones, to Mount View School. There they also teach in the Montessory teaching system and have qualified and experienced teachers. Miss Rabina will be integrated in the team and for the rest of the staff we proposed assisting the in their search for a new employment.
Well, an era is coming to an end, but we carry this decision with the best of our conscience. Our children will always remain our Aasha children. We will be always involved in their care and development. The location changes, but not our mission.
Here, I also want to emphasize once more that all our travel expenses are completely covered by ourselves and no costs go to the NGO account.
An eventful year is over. We have engaged in our work with full dedication and joy. You all gave us the power and motivation and it’s good to feel that our work is most appreciated. 
We don’t stop here. Our work continues. 
Inspired from the great course of our actions we hope to soon receive financial commitments to start with the planned construction of our agriculture school. It would be an honor for us to close this gap of education as well.
Some events are planned in 2018. Hopefully you could also help us to inspire your friends and family members for our projects. Why not encourage a birthday donation instead of a birthday gift? I am also always available to make a presentation for you or your group.
A hearty thank you for your time.
My thanks go to the board of HOPE, Julien, Mylène, Madeleine and Carina, who are always available to support me in my work. Sad that Carina is no more accompany us from now on. 
Thanks to the audit team Caroline Steiner and Katharina Rigassi
Thanks to our coordinators in Nepal, Narayan Baral, Meena and Rajkumar Maharjan, Amrit, Mukesh, Krishna Acharya and Sony Gurung. Without them, the transparency and the necessary commitment in Nepal would not be possible.
A big thank you to my Tibetan friend Karma for the delicious momos.
Thanks to those who helped to make this evening so beautiful.
And last but not least an immense thank you to all!
Together we can!

Magden, 16th March 2018
Barbara Roniger-Knecht
HOPE4Children/4312 Magden/Switzerland

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