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Finally Home!

The deaf children of Mugu now live in their new school dormitory.

For 17 deaf girls and boys in the remote region of Mugu, it was the beginning of a new life: In June 2022, they moved happily into the recently completed dormitory. With the new building in Gamgadhi, Back to Life not only provided the children with a comfortable and safe home but also the opportunity for a good education. Thus, the children have the chance to lead a self-determined life in the future, despite their physical limitations.
Deaf children in Nepal are often particularly disadvantaged and receive little or no support. Especially in poor mountain regions like Mugu, there are hardly any educational opportunities and prospects for people with disabilities to earn a living. To change this, Back to Life has been supporting the deaf children of the region, the Mahakali Secondary School, and the old, connected state school dormitory since 2010: with food, daily necessities, clothing, hygiene materials, learning resources, and toys. The children also receive regular medical check-ups and assistance when needed. Back to Life also covers the salaries of a caregiver, a supervisor, and a sign language teacher.

High Time to Build Something New

However, it was evident that the old dormitory had no future. The building was dilapidated, the roof leaked, and the few rooms were small, damp, and dark. A single room had to suffice for learning, playing, and sleeping. The sanitary facilities were also in poor condition. Therefore, Back to Life planned the construction of a new dormitory with facilities that meet the needs of the young residents. The building was to be child-friendly, promote the joy of learning, and provide a comfortable atmosphere.

In 2020, the relevant authorities approved the construction. A modern, earthquake-proof building made of steel and concrete was planned, a rarity in the region. The design included two floors with a total of 13 fully furnished rooms and four sanitary rooms.

We have expanded the capacity of the dormitory to a total of 32 places, for 10 boys and 7 girls – so the school will be able to accommodate more deaf children in the future. This is a major concern for Back to Life, as well as close cooperation with the local school, local authorities, and a local non-governmental organization.

Plan wird Wirklichkeit

Construction began in September 2020, and the old dormitory was demolished, temporarily housing the children in their classrooms at Mahakali School. There were many challenges during construction. Mugu is a remote region and Gamgadhi is located at an altitude of 2,063 meters. Building materials could only be transported in dry weather on the unpaved mountain roads; the roads are impassable in rain or snow. These weather-related delays were anticipated from the start of construction. However, the Covid-19 pandemic caused further problems, as there was a shortage of experienced construction workers. Specialists from the lowlands refused to work in the mountains, fearing being stuck there for months during nationwide lockdowns. Nevertheless, local authorities supported the project and approved the transport of building materials even during lockdowns. Thanks to the tireless efforts of our local team, we successfully completed the construction in May 2022, exactly as planned. The children could hardly wait to move into their new home. In June, it finally happened. Everyone was thrilled with their accommodation, which finally offers what they need and have wished for. A real home.

A Motivating Environment,
Where Everyone Feels Comfortable

The dormitory now has a kitchen and dining room, and even a refrigerator. There is a computer room with 16 computers, a well-equipped learning room, and a multipurpose room with books, games, and a TV. The dormitories for girls and boys and the rooms for the supervisors are comfortably furnished, with carpets and curtains. Hansa BK, the caregiver and head of the dormitory, is pleased: “Finally, the children have enough space to learn and be creative. They are so happy here! We are already planning a small kitchen garden and also want to plant flowers in front of the house.”

The building will be handed over to the regional administration, which will maintain it in the future. “In remote regions like Mugu, it is a great challenge to implement such a dormitory concept for children with special needs, as there is a lack of funds, concepts, and personnel for it,” says Kadak Bahadur Rokaya, principal of Mahakali Secondary School. “We are very grateful to Back to Life for this modern building and proud that the children receive so much support in their development. The new school dormitory sustainably improves the situation of the deaf in Nepal.”

Back to Life e.V.