Hi there dear readers,

Hope you are doing well and are feeling good today. I would like to tell you all about my voluntary work at the children home, but where to begin? My gosh its’ been truly a special experience and it might be hard to put it into words, but I’ll give it a try:)

I arrived at the Stupa (temple) of Chabahil to meet up with Lies, the founder of the children home. Turned out I happened to be at the wrong Stupa, so we started on the wrong foot. After an hour of calling and figuring out, I found my way to the Tiom Laura Marinka Home – a children home in the area of Bouddhanath – Kathmandu. A bright yellow mansion is in front of me and when I enter the porch, many children are playing around. Gerda, a volunteer from the Netherlands, offers me a tour around the house and I got to see such a well-working and comfortable household. It’s fun to see how many Dutch habits and patterns are included in the house. I am very impressed by the way they manage to raise, educate and foster about 90 children here up to the age of 19. It’s truly amazing!

The Tiom Laura Marinka Home

The house is newly build after the earthquake in 2015 and has three floors plus a rooftop. On the ground floor you’ll find the office, the kitchen and a classroom. The first floor is the ‘boys-floor’ and the second floor is ‘girls-floor.’ These floors both include multiple sleeping rooms, bathrooms and a clothing room. On the third floor you find a tv-room, a room to do crafts, a library, a music-room, storage, a computer room, and a place where two women have their sewing workshop. They work independently but provide the household with a lot of textiles. On the rooftop there’s a laundry area, where all clothing and bedding is washed.

To provide 90 children with a warm and save home, is such an incredible job. To be able to do this the Tiom Laura Marinka Home has employed a fulltime cook, teachers, observers and housekeepers. Next to that the elderly children help out a lot. Many of the employed workers live in the house permanently or close by. The employees are loving and caring people who feel like a family to the children.

The children

The children here come from the streets and have several backgrounds. Some lost their parents during the earthquake in 2015, many children were abused as their parents had a drinking problem, some had a parent that’s been unable to raise them and some children were living on the streets. One little boy has been ‘delivered’ right after birth as his mother didn’t want the society to know about her unplanned pregnancy.

These kids have a background which includes a lot of sadness and trouble, but as I spoke to many of them during my stay – they are truly happy here. They get to be a child: going to school, playing after school, having +80 brothers and sisters and the’ve been taking good care of. An unbelievable achievement of the team at Tiom Laura Marinka and its’ volunteers. Each child will live here until they are fully grown up and would like to live independently. The Tiom Laura Marinka Home is able to provide all children with education (at good English school), tutoring at home and practical training to build up a future. Children who have left the house to live alone, realized afterwards how beautiful life is within the Tiom Laura Marinka Home.

What I did here

As a volunteer I visited the Tiom Laura Marinka Home in Kathmandu for two days. During my two days I were named ‘Didi Eva’ which means bigger sister in Nepali. The first day I got a tour around the house and was able to do a crafting lesson I prepared for the kids. We’ve been crafting and having fun for over an hour, they were all so sweet and patiently crafting. Then dinner started. I joined two shifts of dinner with the kids and afterwards I helped out at homework class – one hour at night. The next morning I made sure to be at the Tiom Laura Marinka Home at 7AM, helping the younger children with another hour of homework class – as they prepared for their exams. After class we had a breakfast all together and we played outside for a while. At 9AM I brought many of the children to school, just on the opposite side of the streets. They showed me around their classrooms, I got to meet their friends from school and we played around. After school started, I went back into the house to meet the older children, have a tea and hand out my gifts (financial donations and little toys for the kids).

The organization

The organization Streetchildren of Kathmandu has started in 2006 to provide shelter and education for children. Lies, the founder of the organization, started this charity after traveling in Nepal. Back then they provided 6 children with a home, followed by a second home in 2011 hosting 24 children. Today they provide home for 90 children in one house. An amazing achievement!

In order to be able to operate on a daily basis and provide the children with all needs, the organization estimates € 100.000 yearly spent. The organization realizes this with financial donations from local companies in Castricum. Next to that, a lot of supplies are donated from these local organizations and it’s possible to sponsor a child individually.

The Tiom Laura Marinka Home welcomes volunteers with dedication to help out. If you are interested in volunteering long term (2 months or longer), have a look here to apply. Be sure to arrange your VOG in advance.

My personal experience

I am truly amazed by this incredible loving home and all the sweet children. It’s hard to realize these children all faced such difficulties in their past, as they are truly loving angels here. And they all looked so adorable. The house is able to provide a caring, motivational and save environment for the children which is an unbelievable good job! I am impressed by the dedication to provide the children with everything they could wish for and the sustainable support in education.

All children were loving and happy, proudly showing their skills and life to me. They’ve been cuddling, holding my hand and hanging around my neck as if I was a true sister. I feel very lucky to be able to see what they do at Tiom Laura Marinka home and I continuously support their great work.

If you have a chance to support this incredible organization, please do so.

Watch the Nepal vlog to get a live tour around the Tiom Laura Marinka Home

Thank you for having me and I hope to come back sometime!

For more information, news or interest in volunteer: please check the website: Straatkinderen van Kathmandu