Category Archives: development

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

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

Faces of Nepal

I have just spent an inspirational  week working in NLT’s Lalgadh Leprosy Hospital and Services Centre (LLHSC) 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.

LLHSC’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.

Monsoon Appeal

Update on our Monsoon Relief Aid at 30th November 2017.

It is with thanks to the many wonderful donors and especially  to our NLT UK  office and supporters that our relief aid request has been fully realised. 10 families can happily start to rebuild their lives again after their homes were completely washed away.

We are hugely grateful to all who have contributed  to our Monsoon Relief Aid appeal, Vera. 30th November 2017.


This is to provide houses for 10 families whose earthquake-damaged homes have been totally destroyed in the current monsoon. €15,000 will provide housing for the worst affected families in the remote village of Inarwaha, Dhanusha district.

We have been working with the inhabitants of Inarwaha to improve their water and sanitation and hygiene (WASH) needs and their weak housing structures since the earthquakes of 2015. These basic supports help in reducing the spread of preventable waterborne diseases and support the inhabitants to live healthier lives. All this was before the extremely heavy monsoon rains arrived, their needs are now even greater.

There are 190 inhabitants in Inarwaha including  82 children under the age of 14 years.

Children in Inarwaha village. 2017
Children in Inarwaha village. 2017

Please continue to support this project:  to provide much needed homes for 10 of the worst effected families in this village who are now in urgent need of shelter.

NLT’s Lalgadh Leprosy Hospital & Services Centre is well placed to offer immediate support through its network of 101 community Self Help Groups operating in monsoon-hit districts. Click to donate

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 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.
Data collection forms in transit to Limerick, Ireland
Data collection forms in transit to Limerick, Ireland

From social curse to social cure

From Social Curse to Social Cure: Evaluation of Destigmatising of Leprosy programme in rural Nepal.

This is a one year collaborative research project between Professor Orla Muldoon (UL), Dr Sarah Jay (UL), Psychology department and Mike Winterburn (LIT). The aim of the research is to gauge the success of community based projects developed and implemented by Nepal Leprosy Trust to eliminate the stigma of Leprosy in four rural areas of Nepal….

See full article on page 5 of the Limerick Institute of Technology (LIT) research newsletter, Spring Summer 2017 here


Limerick Institute of Technology, It Department research newsletter. Page 5, Spring Summer 2017.
Limerick Institute of Technology, It Department research newsletter. Page 5, Spring Summer 2017.

Where no doctor has trod before…

An outreach adventure where no doctor has trod before….

WAY UP in the mountains of Sindhuli District our medical team visited Kalika School and its Tamang community, where we’d promised to do an awfully-needed health check-up on the children.

Simply lovely children-Dr Krishna Lama begins his clinical examinations.
Dr Krishna Lama begins his clinical examinations.


Say Ahhhhhh...
Say Ahhhhhh…

Our team included 2 doctors, a nurse, our Support Services Manager and courageous driver. As well as the children, we wanted to check on progress with the water supply pipe and the building work we are supporting for a new school to replace the present earthquake-damaged building.

The arduous 4-5 hour trip from Lalgadh Hospital climbs hair-raising roads and tracks. Then there’s a 1½ hour steep up-and-down walk. No wonder no doctor nor “whitey” has ever been there before. But we have built a wonderfully warm relationship with this Tamang community, not least because some of the team members – Dr Krishna Lama, Meena and Suman – are Tamang too.

Over an hour on precipitous hair-raising tracks.
Over an hour’s drive on hair-raising tracks.


The arduous climb to Kalika School.
Then the arduous climb to Kalika School.

We found and treated lots of skin infections, especially impetigo and scabies; malnutrition, and throat, ear and eye infections.  Almost none of the children has been vaccinated; that must wait for another visit.

Mothers wanted to be examined also.
Mothers also wanted to be examined.


Hooray!.... Toothpaste and toothbrushes.
Hooray!…. Toothpaste and toothbrushes.

We also caught up with 9 year-old Sarita with burns and damaged limbs whom we met last year. With the support of Gudri – our Footwear Dept Manager and  his team Sarita can now run and walk, and climb…. and even dance – Tamang dances.

Sarita walking.
Sarita walking.

When our steering failed on the return trip, a wonderful Mangar family invited us to their home for rice & dhal.  They begged us to help their community’s schoolchildren as well as the Tamang children higher up. We also found 3 unregistered leprosy patients.

Back home to Lalgadh hospital at 1am. What an adventure!

With thanks to Dr Graeme Clugston for this extract and the photos.

If you would like to read more on any stories covered please contact us at We would be delighted to share more with you.

Touchable untouchables?

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

Dalit children

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.
Lal Busti village school in April 2014, prior to rebuilding.
Lal Busti village school in April 2014, prior to rebuilding.
Lal Busti village school, April 2015.
Lal Busti village school, April 2015.
Lal Busti village school, April 2014.
Lal Busti village school, April 2014.

For further updates see our current newsletter here

Stunning Everest

The Nepalese people are a very resilient race and are getting back to their feet after the earthquakes and the many many aftershocks. Thank you so much for all the donations that are going directly to those most in need in the rural area of Sindhuli District.

Watch this brief video of this truly stunning country:

Images below of Kapilakot Village. Delivery of emergency aid on 17th May 2015. Images: Dr. Graeme Clugston of Nepal Leprosy Trust.

Delivering Rice and Tarpaulins
Delivering Rice and Tarpaulins
Family home after the earthquake.
Family home after the earthquake.
Temporary family home, thanks to emergency aid.
Temporary family home, thanks to emergency aid.