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Supporting Nepalese Culture

Humanitarian aid must never change the culture of a country. We must overcome our western arrogance and accept that the experience we have  gained in our home countries is not necessarily of great benefit here.  If it can be of any use it must be introduced gently.  Humanitarian aid  must be sensitive, it must never give rise to wrong expectations and it  must respect the self-esteem of the people. Following these general  principles is not always easy for us since we do not always fully  understand the foreign culture of the country, the real living  conditions and traditions. 

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Göttin Saraswati
Einweihung kl. Tempel Mahalaxmi Schule
Einweihung in Balchaur

First of all the key to a gentle way of humanitarian help is to respect  each individual person. We want to help but how do we do this? Strictly  speaking we are intruders who want to do what they think is necessary.  But what seems necessary to us from our experience could be completely  wrong. This is why it is important to step back for a moment and reflect the situation, to get to know the community first, to speak to the people and show them our appreciation.

Little Stars has learned these simple principles and puts them into  action. There is a small temple outside the school in Okharpauwa with a  statue of the goddess Saraswathi. Little Stars has built this to show  the people: “€žLook at this, this is your culture. It is valuable and we  respect it!” In Balchaur there is a large hollow tree between the health post and the technology building. Small statues of the Hindu gods Shiva and Parvati are placed on top of a pile of gravel in the opening of the tree. This is what the villagers wanted to have when we asked them.

It is also important to inaugurate each new project. This is always done by a local priest, Hindu or Buddhist. These inaugurations are for the  benefit of everybody involved, the villagers and also the Little Stars staff and members when we have the chance to be there. And important new relations are established.

Gebetsplatz in Balchaur
bildstock vor Mahalaxmi Schule
Priesterin in Balchaur
Shiva und Parvati in Balchaur
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