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Our new plot of land in Kathmandu No.2 / October 2012 / Issue 32

lea Wyler Dear Friends of ROKPA, Ladies and Gentlemen,

When you read these lines I will be travelling in Tibet – as I do

We are asking you for your email address, as this will enable

for several months each year. Here I met up with our ROKpa

us to communicate with you much more economically in future.

co-founder and president, Dr. akong Tulku Rinpoche. as we do

Thank you so much for your valuable contribution.

every year, we will be visiting our aid projects to make sure that your donations are being put to best use and used in a sustainable way. although our staff is irreproachable, it is useful and necessary to check up on things personally. This enables us to


communicate directly with the beneficiaries, motivate our helpers even more, and adjust the support provided by ROKpa if and where needed.


after my visit to Tibet I am planning a detour to Kathmandu,

lea Wyler

where I hope to initiate the project ‘extension of the ROKpa Children’s Home and Guest House’. For this reason, our new plot of land in Kathmandu is the main


NEPAL Our new land in Kathmandu


topic of issue 2/2012 of the ROKpa Times. You will learn about


the importance of this piece of land to ROKpa's development. It

Bijay – from street kid to manager


connects the Children’s Home with the Guest House. We are

enthusiasm for our ROKpa Kids


about to take a big step forward and we need your support if we want to stay on firm ground. We have finally purchased the land


– we have been waiting 10 years for this opportunity. almost no

ROKpa KID / Commitment /

land is left for sale in Boudha, even less land is available close to



our Children's Home, and a plot that directly connects the Children’s Home to the Guest House is more than we could have hoped for! This was a unique opportunity which we could not let pass. But now is the time to raise the money to finance this stroke of good luck and for this we need your generous help.

Cover and Back illustration: Santesh and his sister were admitted to the Children's

You might be getting tired of me always asking for donations!

Home at the same time. Before they had

Will it never end? and of course the answer to that question is

been beaten and abused, today they are

no. as long as a single person, a single child, is still suffering on

well fed, happy and going to school.

this earth, does not have enough to eat and has no opportunity for education, I and you will continue as partners - working to make this world just a little better. as a great Tibetan master once said ‘The reason for having is being able to give.’ and we also have about another request for you. I also am enclosing a letter containing a survey on ROKpa. We would like to know what you expect from us. We would like to know in which form you would like to continue receiving the ROKpa Times.

Impressum Text editor: ROKPA Communications Image editors: Corinna Biasutti / Thomas Stettler All photographs and texts: © ROKPA INTERNATIONAL Print run: 8.500 copies Printed on FSC paper

ROKPA INTERNATIONAL has been ZEWO certified since 2004.


Our new land in Kathmandu ROKPA was able to buy 660 square meters of land in the Boudha district. This enables us to combine the Children’s Home with the Guest House, and to improve the infrastructure considerably. Lea Wyler about the new land: “We have been lucky to have been offered the land in Boudha. Here it has become increasingly difficult to acquire property in a central location, let alone one that would combine our two most pivotal projects. But this acquisition was a chance that we could not let pass. The previous owner needed money quickly, in order to buy a larger piece of land elsewhere. He sold us the property at a price which was considerably lower than is customary in this area. We are very happy, because now we can optimize our ROKPA infrastructure, just as we have always wished for. However, if we do not manage to refinance this land quickly with donations, we might have to sell it again, as sad as

ROKPA's main aim: Education

this would be for myself and everybody

The education and professional preparation of children is one of the main aims of the

involved. With the new land we are

ROKPA charity. According to the principle "helping people help themselves" the children

enlarging our most important projects in

are prepared for an independent and self-reliant future. Both the ROKPA Children’s

Nepal and safeguarding them for the

Home and the Guest House play a major role in this fundamental concept.


The acquisition of land and the resulting possibilities for the extension of the two

We will be able to help more people,

houses are of utmost importance for ROKPA.

many more children in a much better way. And last but not least we will generate additional means for our charity.

As soon as the land had been bought, the ROKPA children and adolescents began to tidy up the area with great enthusiasm. Now it is ready for construction. The Swiss ambassador Thomas Gass visited ROKPA, the children gave him a heartfelt welcome.



Our plans for the new land Café-Restaurant

Women's workshop and Shop

We are planning to expand the Café

Connection the Children's Home and the Guest House

into a proper restaurant. It is situated in

Up to now a small path across private

Shop will be extended, more women will

immediate proximity to the famous

ground led from the Children’s Home to

be employed and the range of goods

Boudha Stupa, the visit of which is a

the Guest House. This access can be


must for a Kathmandu tourist. The visitors

denied at any time. In the future, guests

will feel wonderfully comfortable in our

andMONASTRY co-workers can go over our own land

This benefits: women, ROKPA guests,

green oasis. For us there is a double

to the Women's Workshop and the Shop.

benefit: We will increase our revenues,

We hope that through this they will learn

which will flow back into our projects and

more about ROKpa and our local charita-

also will be able to start a training

ble activities. In addition, revenues should

programme in gastronomy for our students,


including cooking, service, buffet and back-office.


Both the Women's Workshop and the


This benefits: The ROKPA children, ROKPA guests, ROKPA workers


R ild OK ren PA ’s Ho

This benefits: ROKPA guests, trainees and tourists.




We will create a permanent distribution center for clothes which we collect and Main Entrance

give out to the needy. For this important task we do not yet have a permanent much simpler.


address. Now the logistics will become Wor ks


Vera n

The small courtyard of the Children’s

Rest a


Home is too small for the 55 ROKpa Kids gerous to the little ones. In the future we will provide a playground and sports field for the children.



Playground for the children

and balls flying around are often dan-




This benefits: the needy of Kathmandu


Vera n


ROKPA Guest House Garden

This benefits: The ROKPA children

Main Entrance



problem with financing: The purchase of the property, a unique opportunity for ROKpa, has been funded with donations that are not targeted towards a specific project. This amount is now missing in this years budget and if it cannot be refinanced quickly, ROKpa will be forced to sell the land again. For donations please insert Project Number 5570.

price Increase in Nepal since 2008 Transport school children

+ 67%


+ 40%


+ 64%

ROKPA Children’s Home Main Entrance Main Entrance



Kerosine (for Soup Kitchen) + 47% + 38%


+ 44%


+ 56%


+ 25%


+ 70%


+ 44%


+ 59%


+ 57%


+ 68%


+ 36%


+ 64%





This table shows the rather dramatic price development in Nepal, which has also

Dining Area

severely affected ROKpa.




The cost explosion is also reflected in the



prices of land, which have increased dramatically in the densely populated Kathmandu. Our local experts are of the opinion that the acquisition of property happened to comparatively very favourable conditions.

ROKPA Guest House


Nepal | ROKPA Switzerland

Bijay – from street child to ROKPA Children’s Home Manager

Today, Bijay is 30 years old. He is proud to be part of the management of the Children's Home and to still be a member of the ROKPA family. He is looking forward to the new children's playground, made possible through the purchase of the new land.

ROKPA Times: Bijay, when did you first

ROKPA Times: What exactly is your job

meet Mummy Lea in Kathmandu?

in the Children's Home?

Bijay: In 1990, my mother died. My

Bijay: We are three people to manage

father had left us long before that. My

the Children's Home, the Guest House

grandfather threw me out of the house. I

and the Women's Workshop. We

was just 8 years old and was living on the

organize everything that comes up and

streets. At that time, I saw Mummy for

mainly work in the office. Every one of

the first time, in the Soup Kitchen. She

us has a main duty. As far as I am

took children in and I heard that they

concerned, I am mainly responsible for

were able to go to school. That was what

the Children's home.

I wanted too, and after two to three

ROKPA Times: What is the significance

months I was selected. I received 16

of the new plot of land between the

years of education from ROKPA. In 2006,

Children’s Home and the Guest House

I obtained my Bachelor's degree in

for you?

Business Administration and found a first job as a bookkeeper. In 2010, I returned to ROKPA und started my job in the Children's Home.

Bijay: The space in front of the Children's Home is limited for the 55 children. There is only a small basketball court. There is not much space to run around, to play, to do sports. With the new plot of land, this is much better. This plot of land is important for our future in Kathmandu.

Enthusiasm for our ROKPA Kids Lea Wyler and "Andreas Vollenweider & the ROKPA Kids" went on tour through Switzer-

The Facebook comment on our tour:

land performing infront of enthusiastic audiences (premiere in Zurich, then Schaffhausen,

„We saw an incredibly moving perfor-

Winterthur, Bern, Stans, Basel, Boswil and Zug). Through a dance theater, the former street children portrayed their difficult childhood that - before joining ROKPA - they had spent in courtyards, in the streets or in garbage dumps - and their blossoming development now, in view of their secure future. Whoever has experienced this knows why donating brings happiness and why donations made to ROKPA really go to where they are most useful.

ROKPA Kids on DVD The premiere in Zurich was filmed and the resulting recording donated to us by the producers. The production of a DVD, however, costs money. Sufficient orders will allow us to order its production and as soon as this is available, you will receive this special edition from us. For CHF 25 plus postage we will send you your copy of the DVD: The DVD would also make for a wonderful Christmas present for those you love! Make sure to place your order for one or several DVD's via the ordering form enclosed or via E-Mail to 6

mance, which almost made me cry. One can hardly imagine that there is so much suffering hidden behind these wonderful and laughing faces."

I aM ROKpa

I am a child of the ROKpa family ... „My parents were alcoholics. One day, I ran away from

I had finally found a home, and I never wanted to go

home because I could no longer bear their quarrels,

back to the streets. I had reached a wonderful place,

and because they were beating me often.

I was given love, food, a roof over my head and an

I was living as a wild child in the streets of Kathman-

education. at the age of 15, I started to write poems.

du and went begging - at least, I never stole anything.

Today, I am 23 years old and I have recently obtained

But early as at the age of seven, I was working as a

a Bachelor's degree in Social Work. I have been on the

dish washer in a hotel. Then I fell seriously ill and

ROKpa tour four times already, and on this tour now,

another street child told me to go to the ROKpa Soup

I have been Mummy's assistant. Now I want to

Kitchen. In 1995, I came into contact with ROKpa for

become a musician. But I also want to give something

the first time. at that time, Mummy lea took care of

back to ROKpa, and work for ROKpa. after all,

me, and from then on, I lived in the Children's Home

ROKpa is my family now, even though I still have my

with all the other children in the big, friendly ROKpa

parents. I don't see them more than once a year.“


family and went to school.

I work for ROKpa... „In the confirmation classes, we discussed practicing

Until March, the adolescents collected money by

acts of charity. I wanted to rouse sympathy for

selling cakes, through sponsored runs, by babysitting

children, who have nothing, and no chance to live in

and playing carneval music. at a festive meeting they

dignity. The confirmands were to express their

were able to hand over a sum of CHF 2500 to

solidarity by an action on their own. The first thing we

ROKpa! There was great joy and happiness! May

did was sell home-made chocolates on a cold and

these young people be a role model for more such

wet market in December, for the benefit of ROKpa.

acts of charity.“

Britta Hess

I work for ROKpa... „There was a time, when I did not see much point in

Tibetans. When I was still working, I had only little

my life, my job, my family and my home. at that

time for this additional job, but after my retirement, I

time, lea asked me whether I wanted to take care of

had more time. It has always been my wish to do my

the coordination for a small UK ROKpa organization.

best, and this meant to make full use of my abilities

This was a task that quickly arose my interest. at that

and to learn from others. and it also meant realizing

time, we had only 80 donors, interested in supporting

where my limits are.“ Victoria Long

Important note

products made in our Women's Workshop,

Matili style, a former lepra patient, and a

This 2/2012 edition of the ROKpa Times

for yourself or as a present to give away.

friend of lea Wyler, will draw it for you

includes a questionnaire. We kindly ask you to fill it out. Knowing what you expect

We are looking forward to your ideas and

personally. This picture will bring you good

suggestions! please visit our website www.

luck, as he says!

from us enables us to work more efficiently and click on ROKpa shop.

and also more cost-effective. You can also

Those participating in the questionnaire

use this form to order ROKpa articles such

or placing an order automatically take

as a calendar or the tour DVD, which we

part in a lottery drawing and might win

will start to produce as soon as we have

this textile painting. It will be custom-

enough orders. We can also have textile

made. a wonderful painter of the Nepalese 7


Helping where help is needed: sustainably, for over 30 years.

The bigger boy is Rajendra. Three years ago he was scared and lost – this year he is one of the stars of the ROKPA tour through Europe. The smaller boy is called Santesh, then and today: see cover.

We need your help!

tion SmS dona 9.– HF 9 of up to C

Every single year, many children and youths in Tibet and Nepal – currently

X ROKPA X nly) to o rs e b m u n (amount, 88. 4

almost 10,000 – receive an education thanks to ROKPA. 55 children live in the ROKpa Children’s Home in Kathmandu. In the Workshop

of r donation Example fo 0.–: 2 CHF to 488 Rokpa 20

we offer vocational training to mothers in need: we prepare them for a life of independence, without having to rely on others. We have already achieved a lot with your money and with more donations we will be able to achieve even more. On your behalf! You can make a donation to this account: Credit Suisse: IBaN CH73 0483 5045 5090 1100 1, account 455090-11-1

In Switzerland, donations to ROKPA are exempt from tax. ROKPA has been ZEWO certified since 2004.

Clearing Nummer 4835 postfinance: IBaN CH54 0900 0000 8001 9029 5, account CHF 80-19029-5



phone +41 44 262 68 88

| |

Böcklinstrasse 27


8032 Zurich

Fax +41 44 26268 89


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ROKPA TIMES October 2012  

Our magazine, the "ROKPA Times", appears several times per year and reports in detail on current and planned ROKPA projects in Tibet, Nepal,...

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