Stella Deetjen turns her attention to Nepal and sets up new projects. India has developed strongly economically in the past decade that she has spent there, in contrast to the impoverished neighbouring country of Nepal. Stella’s goal is to help people where the need is greatest and where there is no chance of improving living conditions without outside help. Therefore, she quickly decided to accept the challenge and help in the poorest area of the country, the Karnali region. In the high mountain region of Mugu with a population of 55,000 people, she is implementing her new project of “helping people to help themselves” with a focus on improved educational opportunities, hygiene and health, environmental and resource protection, agricultural programmes and income generation.
Stella lives with her son in Kathmandu, where he attends school. Her life is divided between project visits and the annual trips to Germany. There she organises numerous personal meetings with supporters of the association, in the early years exclusively private individuals and friends as well as acquaintances. Over the years, it has succeeded in expanding the circle step by step and building up a solid financial basis for the continuation of the projects.
After the devastating earthquakes in 2015, Back to Life immediately provides aid on the ground. Stella Deetjen is currently in Germany during the earthquake and is able to pass on first-hand information to the public immediately after the tragic disaster in the TV shows of “Markus Lanz” as well as “Bettina und Bommes” and to generate donations for emergency aid and reconstruction. Immediately, an enormous reconstruction project begins. In addition, the other project activities continue, a heavy burden for the team under difficult conditions. A total of 10 schools will be built in Nuwakot, Chitwan and Lalitpur by 2017 – a huge success for the association.
Stella is particularly pleased that Fabian Hambüchen won the ZDF show “I can do that” in 2016 and thus financed the reconstruction of the primary school in Bhaduwar. A personal encounter between the two sparked the generous donation.
In Germany, Stella Deetjen is the face of the association. Officially, she represents Back to Life, but she also sees herself as a voice for ethnic minorities, as well as women and children in Nepal. She appears in various media and also gives private or public multimedia lectures at the invitation of event organisers.
She has already been a guest on numerous TV shows (including Beckmann, Tietjen and Hirschhausen, Markus Lanz, NDR talk show, Planet Wissen, Kölner Treff, Menschen hautnah, DAS!, Bettina und Bommes, 3nach9) and has been heard on various radio shows (including hr3- Bärbel Schäfer Live, hr2-Doppelkopf, Bayern2-Eins zu Eins, Bayern3-Mensch Theile, WDR5-Neugier genügt).
Besides many articles in the print media, three full-page articles about Stella and her work have been published in the FAZ in the section “Germany and the World”: on 30.09.2004 “Star in Benares”, on 09.03.2006 “Voice of the Outcast” and on 26.11.2010 “Star of the Forgotten”. In the December 2015 issue, FAZ magazine printed the first chapter of her book “Unberührbar” (Krüger Fischer) even before it was published.
Stella cites meeting Mother Teresa in 1997, the Dalai Lama in 1994, several meetings with Mikhail Gorbachev in 2006, and a 2016 meeting with Pope Francis at the Vatican as special moments in her life.
In 2017 Stella took over the school sponsorship within the project “School without Racism – School with Courage” of the Adolf-Reichwein-Gymnasium in Heusenstamm and held several lectures and discussion rounds there.
In addition, Stella Deetjen’s biography and life’s work is listed in several German textbooks, such as “Bausteine Grundschule” 5/2008 from Bergmoser + Höller Verlag.