Author: Stella Deetjen

Proximity creates security – our baby massage courses

The Baby massage Many positive properties are attributed to it: In the cool season it should warm, the blood circulation is stimulated, the muscle formation is also promoted. At the same time, it helps build closeness and strengthens the connection between mother and child. Many mothers observe that the babies sleep better afterwards. The mothers of Nepal use mustard oil from their own production for the baby massage. Proven against diseases such as arthritis or fungal infections, it stimulates blood circulation and moisturizes the skin. Mustard cultivation is widespread in the Mugu Mountains...

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So that you get bigger and stronger – our nutritional advice

Balanced nutrition for babies and toddlers is important to us. Due to poverty and hard physical labor, many mothers do not have enough breast milk for their babies. They then resort to rice or wheat and use water to make a gruel out of it. That quickly leads to a consequential one Malnutrition. With our Nutritional advice We educate the mothers and show them the values of the local grains and legumes. We explain to them what the little body needs in order to grow up healthy. It is possible to have a nutritious one Baby food Made from cheap local ingredients from the mountain region –...

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Family planning is not magic

Our midwives ask women about contraception. The reactions are almost always the same: at first the women cannot believe that it is up to them whether they want to get pregnant or not. Most women in the rural poor are illiterate and lack access to modern media. They are unfamiliar with contraceptives. Together with the midwives, our health assistant conducts cross-gender awareness-raising campaigns on contraception in the villages. In order for something to really change, the men must also be reached. At the same time, the population is informed about sexually transmitted diseases and HIV and...

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Why a birth house in the mountains is vital

From Wolfgang Langenkamp, who donated the Jima birth house in Mugu and who made the adventurous and arduous journey to Mugu himself twice, at the start of construction and for the inauguration. Why I am donating this birthplace I In 2011 I met the aid organization Back to Life, which has been active in Mugu since 2009, and was immediately interested in their projects in Nepal. The description of the living situation of the 55,000 inhabitants in the Mugu region shook me deeply. At that time, Mugu had no road network, i.e. no access to the outside world, and the high mountain villages could...

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Saving lives – twice as much!

Nirmala, our midwife in the house where Gamtha was born, speaks urgently to the mother-to-be. “Sharmila, you are too weak for this exhausting twin birth. The babies are not lying well, there could be complications. It will be safer for you and also for the babies if you have yourself taken to the hospital in Gamgadhi. Get on your way immediately! “ It’s March 7th and Sharmila, her husband Ram, and a small group of neighbors are leaving. The way to the small regional capital is long and arduous. Therefore, several men go with you in case Sharmila has to be carried. The only hospital...

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6x TWINS

Twin births are always special. For the midwives, this means providing close-knit antenatal care in order to recognize any complications early enough and to support the women through a safe birth. It came as a shock to 35-year-old Dudsila when the midwife at our birth center in Seri informed her that she was expecting twins. “I panicked! I have already had 5 children in the cowshed. I couldn’t imagine how I would survive a twin birth. But the midwives gave me the best possible support – from the regular check-up appointments to the birth, I was safe and secure. I am infinitely grateful...

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The 1000th Back to Life baby is here!

Born on the Nepalese Mother’s Day 2020 in our birthplace Nakharji. From our teammate. A VERY SPECIAL BIRTH | The entire Back to Life team is particularly happy about this birth, and not just because of the round number. The happy mother Samrita Rokaya is one of our 26 midwives in Mugu! She has been stationed in the Jiuka Birthplace for a year. But since she comes from Nakharji herself, she gave birth to a son in the birth house under the care of her colleagues. It is their second child, their little daughter is already 20 months old. FOR WOMEN | Samrita comes from a middle class family...

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Rainy season

A natural phenomenon with two faces The term monsoon is derived from the Arabic word ‘Mausam’ for season, which is what it means in the language. This term was first used in English in British India and neighboring countries to denote the large seasonal winds that bring heavy rains to the region. A boon for agriculture The three-month monsoon season in Nepal is the main rainy season of the year between mid-June and the end of September, which is also the summer time. During the monsoons it rains almost every day, often accompanied by powerful thunderstorms. The monsoons are...

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Nuwakot after the earthquake. We never give up hope

On April 25, 2015, the earth shook in Nepal. There was a severe aftershock on May 12th. Back to Life was there as quickly as possible to provide help where it was worst. Nuwakot became the new project area and is still today. 90 seconds can completely change a life. Like that of the people in Nuwakot, the region in Nepal hardest hit by the earthquake. Thousands of people died, millions were instantly homeless, everything was chaos and in some cases it is still today. Back to Life got involved immediately and achieved a lot to this day. (Editor’s note: see report on the 2015 earthquake) Schools...

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Dhamili in Chitwan. A village that no longer surrenders to “fate”

… in conversation with Kamal Chepang, teacher in Chitwan Do you have to accept poverty as fate or even God-given? Is 90 Percent Illiteracy Acceptable? Unfortunately, when we shake our heads naturally, people in Nepal often think differently. But not in Dhamili, one of the villages in which we from Back to Life are active. Mr. Kamal Chepang is a teacher at the local school and answered a few questions at the end of 2019 that aptly reflect the current situation. What was the educational situation like 10 years ago and what has changed since then? Nobody here was aware of the importance...

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In conversation with Harikrishna Upadhyaya, teacher in Mugu

Harikrishna Upadhyaya, Asst. Head Teacher, Lokpriya Secondary School, Gamtha Khatyad, Mugu People who are personally involved have a keen eye. Therefore, at the end of 2019, we interviewed Mr. Harikrishna Upadhyaya, who works as a teacher in Khatyad in the Mugu region and lives in the village himself. If you look back 10 years, what was the educational situation like in Khatyad? We are talking about a completely different state of affairs. Education was not a priority for the communities. The infrastructure was inadequate, there were few or no learning materials – so learning cannot...

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Mugu – Standstill in the snow

In Mugu, our project area in the high mountains of Nepal, everything changes from one moment to the next when it snows. The footpaths between the mountain villages ice up, become slippery and extremely dangerous, especially for those who carry heavy loads. In the event of prolonged snowfall, the local markets quickly run out of supplies. Many lose their earnings. Life is going to be hard for the mountain farmers because they can no longer let their cattle graze and have to carefully organize the hay supplies in order to make ends meet. If the onset of winter is long, the animals and often...

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A look back and ahead. Loharbada in the Mugu Mountains.

When program director Dikendra Dhakal looks around Loharbada today, he can hardly believe it. “When we first arrived here 10 years ago, not only was the standard of living extremely low, but hygienic conditions were actually non-existent.” The people did their “business” on the doorstep, mushy animal excrement covered the paths, and it smelled like hell. Swarms of house flies sat everywhere: on the children’s faces, on the food. People rarely washed themselves or their clothes, and sewage was simply poured into the alley. The open cooking fire was smoking in and...

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Sheep farming in Mugu

A tradition that needs to be revived Our project region Mugu consists of two regions named after the indigenous people: the upper Jadan and the lower Khasan. The Jad are Tibetan lamas, the people of the southern Khas region, who came from northwest India. Both brought important knowledge with them: the Khas had agricultural experience and had metal weapons, the Jadan people were sheep farmers. The combination of both formed a good basis for securing livelihoods in the region. “ WE CANNOT IMAGINE LIFE WITHOUT SHEEP. WE ARE INEXPECTIVELY LINKED TO YOU. “ THE SHEEP AS THE BASIS...

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Keepers of balance – the shamans of Nepal

The full moon is over the mountains, the ceremony has already begun. A young woman in the village who is plagued by an inexplicable disease has visited the shaman in the community’s “Than” temple. She asks advice on what to do about her unbearable stomach ache. Offerings for diagnosis and healing With due respect, she enters the unadorned hut, only red and white strips of fabric dangle from the roof beams down into the room. A simple stone lies in the center of the room as a symbol of the incarnation for the deity Masto. Husband and grandmother accompany the young woman....

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The life of the Tharu – the “people of the forest”

It is the first national park that was established in Nepal: Since 1973 the Chitwan National Park has been the sanctuary of 68 different mammals – including the famous Bengal tiger. The population of endangered animals rose from 25 at that time to 110 today: a unique success that proves the effectiveness of large-scale protection zones. The park was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1984. LIFE LIKE IN THE JUNGLE BOOKBut in addition to the unique nature of the jungle landscape and many other exotic animals such as wild rhinos, crocodiles, monkeys and wild elephants, hundreds...

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In conversation with Sun Bahadur Moktan

Formerly away from the world. Today facing the future Sun Bahadur Moktan, who lives in Thakaltar in the Chitwan region and teaches there as a teacher. He has a close look at what has been going on in his village over the past 10 years and we are delighted that he has taken the time to summarize it for us. Become a model school Thanks to Back to Life, our simple school has become a model school for the region with two two-story school blocks. Our rooms are new, large, well equipped and the best conditions for child-friendly and stimulating learning. All around, playgrounds and school gardens...

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The Chepang

In the small wooden house that is only covered with straw, the ragged sleeping mats lie on the floor. A “jaabi” hangs on the wall, a bag made of plant fibers. It collects wild fruits, berries and edibles from the neighboring forest. The Chepang still have their nomadic life in their blood, even if they were forcibly settled almost 100 years ago. The peaceful, friendly ethnic group is considered the forgotten ethnic group of Nepal. They are among the poorest, the uneducated, who would be reluctant to ask for help themselves – even if they were ignorant of their rights. A nomandic culture...

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The Tamang

The hand drum “Damphu” heats up the rhythm. The dancers get faster, their movements wilder. The dance “Tamang Selo” pulls everyone under its spell. The Tamang, one of the largest Tibetan-Burmese-speaking ethnic groups in Nepal, maintain their numerous traditions that they originally brought with them from Tibet. They have lived in the Kathmandu valley and the central hill country since the 3rd century. Rich culture and modern at the same time The Tamang also like to appear traditional on the outside: On special days, many women wear their unusual traditional costumes...

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Nepal in profile

Nepal is located in South Asia between Tibet in the north and India in the south. It has an area of 147,516 square kilometers, around 40% the size of Germany. 39% of the 30 million people live below the poverty line of $ 3.20 per person per day (World Bank, 2019). The average age of the population is 21 years. 30% of Nepal’s economic output is provided by the 3 million Nepali who work as guest workers abroad, often under unworthy conditions. Nepal is located in a seismically active zone, and the Himalayan region in particular is considered to be highly prone to earthquakes. The last...

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