National Day of Nepal 2020

Today we celebrate National Day of Nepal.

National Day of Nepal and Nepal Development Conference took place this morning in online format, Sunday 20th September, 10.30am – 12.30pm (Irish time).  His Excellency Dr. Durgar Bahadur Subedi, Nepal’s Ambassador to the UK and Ireland gave the opening address.

A wonderful morning of very interesting speakers, ideas and opportunities. A really exciting and lively discussion took place on trade, investment, business as well as educational opportunities inter-country.

A Nepal Ireland Chamber of Commerce has been established and was launched on 8th August 2020. We wish to congratulate all those involved in the chamber development and offer a big thank you to all for the work that has taken place in the background.

A very special mention and best wishes to Alison Irwin in her role as General Secretary of the Ireland Nepal Chamber of Commerce.

Screen image of Alison Irwin as host of the celebratory event on 20th September 2020. Taken taken during the live conference, photo thanks to Alison.

Thank you to Deepesh Shakya, Alison and all involved in Nepal Ireland Society for this wonderful morning event and for all their consistent work in relationship building.

The potential of a coffee

The potential of an Irish coffee morning, or similar event, to support a small village with micro finance in Lalgadh, south-eastern Nepal.

A total amount of €2,173 was donated to Sunderbasti Village Women’s Group for micro finance. This was the result of 3 Irish fundraising events, a coffee morning, a supper night and an afternoon tea party. The events were held in the hosts home and included friends and neighbours which, as well as creating a lovely atmosphere, has the added advantage of spreading the news about our work and about the lives of others.

Sunderbasti Women's Group Finance committee
Sunderbasti Women’s Group Finance committee. Photo Hem Pradhan © NLT 2018

We are extremely grateful to the hosts and to all who attended,  your interest and encouragement in our work with the Nepalese people is greatly appreciated. We take this opportunity to thank you, on behalf of the women’s group, for your wonderful support.

Brief Project Details:

NLT Ireland fundraises, supports and enables NLT Nepal to eliminate leprosy and its associated stigma and provide human rights for individuals, empowering the most rejected to become respected community leaders. Our Sunderbasti Women’s Micro Finance project is to provide finance and support for 28 women and their families, enabling them to work towards empowerment, stigma elimination, social inclusion, human rights and dignity.

Sunderbasti Village is located 3 km south east of Lalgadh hospital. It is a rural area in the Terai (lowlands) in south-eastern Nepal. The 350 (breakdown below #) inhabitants are landless migrants from the time of the Maoist insurgency and are living in this area since 2009. Sunderbasti is a very poor community, lacking basic human needs. The women’s group have requested funds for micro finance to provide food for their family and to sell produce.

# Sunderbasti Village Number of inhabitants Male Female Notes
350 157 193 85 of the total population are under 15 years of age

Access to funds for the women will help provide food for their family as well as generate an income eg., a goat can provide enough milk for a family and the excess produce sold for income. The role of business owner can elevate the social status of an entire family.

Empowerment and participation in one’s own development process can bring lasting change to females and to their families. Our micro finance scheme includes money-handling skills, decision making skills and veterinary skills if relevant. Confidence in these areas has been proven to aid the presentation of potential sufferers for early diagnosis of leprosy to our compassionate hospital and community care staff.

This request from Sunderbasti’s Women’s Group is the result of a successful project we support in the nearby village of Khoksikhola. Khoksikhola have built a new community centre, have benefited from a new fresh water supply and large reservoir tank, new toilets and 15 women have received micro finance. This village has been transformed and the people’s self-development in clearly evident.  Such improvements have happened in dozens of villages where NLT works with the villagers undertaking the laboring tasks. The main benefit of this success to the wider community is a revolution of empowerment, one small community’s success influencing another. We support this empowerment and stigma elimination one person at a time, one self-help group at a time and one village at a time.

Our support with Sunderbasti community has developed over the last few years and will continue with support gradually reducing when appropriate. Re-paid micro finance funding will continue to be reallocated to new beneficiaries, so the project will have long term impact and duration.

From our experience, access to and on-going support in 3 core areas can aid empowerment and bring lasting change to females, their families and the wider community:

Self-help group

Clean drinking water

Micro finance

Sunderbasti Village’s current development:

  1. Self-help group – a Self-help group has been established and the members are meeting all their monthly requirements including making consistent savings
  2. Clean drinking water- the provision of clean drinking water and the installation of toilets is currently under construction with development aid funding acquired by NLT Ireland
  3. Micro finance – with the generous help of above fundraising endeavours this part of Sunderbasti’s community development is now currently being implemented.

If you wish to hear more about this project or to hold a coffee morning do get in touch with vera at

World Leprosy Day 2018

Sunday 28th January is World Leprosy Day 2018.

Support us to continue to fight the disease of leprosy and its associated stigma, here

Congratulations to all our staff and patients, our children’s unit in Lalgadh Leprosy Hospital in Nepal is being officially opened today.

Faces of Nepal

I have just spent an inspirational  week working in NLT’s Lalgadh Leprosy Hospital in south-eastern Nepal.  Reviewing and discussing our projects and working with the community outreach teams as they go about their daily work. I was also assisting Dr Sarah Jay as she collected survey responses for research assessing the group approach to empowerment.

Lalgadh hospital’s outreach work in village communities is the focus of this research. CSI-R University of Limerick Irish Research Council         

The only downside to the trip was the icy cold fog that lingered most of the week preventing the sun from breaking through. The cold weather adds to the discomfort of village life especially were many families are still living under tarpaulin or straw.  A short video giving a brief view of one of my days there, Vera for NLT Ireland 2018.

Overcoming stigma in Lalgadh, rural Nepal

The link between social standing and stigma elimination has long been recognised by Nepal Leprosy Trust.  A year-long collaboration between Professor Orla Muldoon (UL), Dr Sarah Jay (UL), Psychology department and Mike Winterburn (Limerick Institute of Technology) will gauge the success of this synergy.  Read more on this research project in our Summer 2017 newsletter  here

Villager filling up survey form for the University of Limerick research study.
Villager filling up survey form for the University of Limerick research study. Photo; Vera © NLT Ireland
Data collection forms in transit to Limerick, Ireland
Data collection forms in transit to Limerick, Ireland. Photo: Vera © NLT Ireland

Touchable untouchables?

We count it a joy and privilege to serve and envision some of the poorest people on the Earth.

Dalit children
Photo: S Winterburn © NLT Ireland

The Musha children seen above are part of a dalit community of  ‘untouchables’ in the Terai of Nepal, that are marginalised by the wider community because of being born into a low caste.

They have no land, and earn their living working for others, earning perhaps a euro a day, when there is work.

Help us help them, with income generation, education, health, sanitation and water projects. Lets give them hope and a dream for their lives.

See details of our Village Alive project.


The difference a donor makes

In April 2014 an Irish family generously donated funds for materials to rebuild a permanent 2 room school in Lal Busti village in rural south eastern Nepal. They also paid for new uniforms and school books.

The original school building was made from mud and bamboo and required rebuilding each year after the monsoon (see photo on right). The top image was taken in April 2015 in a new brick building and with new uniforms and books. The villagers built the school themselves under the guidance of the village development committee. And what a transformation: don’t the photos say it all?

La Busti's new school in April 2015.
La Busti’s new school in April 2015. Photo: E Thomas © NLT Ireland
Lal Busti village school in April 2014, prior to rebuilding.
Lal Busti village school in 2014, prior to rebuilding. Photo; Vera © NLT Ireland
Lal Busti village school, April 2015.
Lal Busti village school, April 2015. Photo: E Thomas © NLT Ireland
Lal Busti village school, April 2014.
Lal Busti village school, April 2014. Photos: Vera © NLT Ireland

Scoil Mochua, Readathon 2015

Last week we were  invited to Scoil Mochua, Celbridge to receive a cheque on behalf of Nepal Leprosy Trust (NLT) Ireland. This donation was sponsorship money collected by the primary school children as part of the Readathon 2015.

A great surprise on the day was the class adaptions of their favourite books eg., Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, George’s Marvellous Medicine, Harry Potter, Winnie the Witch to mention a few.

The Readathon Assembly on the day was compèred by two wonderful children,  Rebecca and Dennis.

Scoil Mochua, Celbridge Readathon 2015.
Scoil Mochua, Celbridge Readathon 2015.
3rd and 4th class Readathon Assembly 2015, Scoil Mochua, Celbridge.
3rd and 4th class Readathon Assembly 2015, Scoil Mochua, Celbridge. Photos; Vera © NLT Ireland

Limerick and Lalgadh Public Health Partnership

Dr Anne Dee will be returning to Lalgadh, Nepal in March after a break of twenty years. She has obtained funding under the ESTHER* alliance  which is a European organisation which encourages partnership between developed and developing world healthcare facilities.

Under this scheme, the Department of Public Health in Limerick has been funded to set up a partnership with Lalgadh Leprosy Hospital (NLT’s leprosy centre in south-eastern Nepal) . She will travel with the Director of Public Health in Limerick, Dr Mai Mannix, and will spend time in LLSC meeting the workers there, viewing the projects and agreeing the scope of this proposed partnership.

Dr Krishna Lama and Dambar Aley from Lalgadh Hospital will make a return visit to Ireland in May in order to finalise the partnership agreement.

Dr Anne Dee, Specialist in Public Health Medicine, Department of Public Health in Limerick.

ESTHER - Together for a Networked Hospital Therapeutic Solidarity.
ESTHER – Together for a Networked Hospital Therapeutic Solidarity.