What you may not understand about HSA is that often the residents of the camp have gone on to become dedicated volunteers for HSA and provide an essential bridge between the volunteers and residents. They also bring unique skills and personalities to the HSA family. Bishnu Prasad Chundali Paudel is a key member of the HSA family and we asked him for his thoughts on life in Kara Tepe.
“I arrived in Kara Tepe in May 2016 and immediately decided I wanted to work to help the people here. So, on my second day I approached Santiago from HSA. I could only speak a little English at the time and we spoke about the situation in Nepal and how I could help the people in Kara Tepe. We began to help every day with food distribution, afterwards I asked Santiago to work at the tea point as the previous volunteer was leaving. I was told I could join the team and I have been working with HSA ever since.
At that time we didn’t cook lunch for the other volunteers so I would cook myself and bring them food at lunch time. The first time I cooked officially for HSA I made a Chicken Biryani because it is delicious and cheap to prepare. Fred Morlet asked me soon after if I wanted to cook for the volunteers every day. Cooking is my passion and its great to cook for the hardworking volunteers. I am also working with Because We Carry to prepare and distribute breakfasts in the morning.
When I joined HSA we only had a small shed to make tea, we would stay at the tea house for 11 hours per day and we had limited resources and volunteers to provide the tea at the time. As time has passed and the tea area has developed we made the service more professional. Now there is lots of new volunteers that have helped develop the tea point to what it is today. Now we are open every day and provide tea, coffee & snacks to all of the residents of the camp. Working with HSA has helped me enjoy my time in Kara Tepe and the work helps me to forget about the problems I faced in Nepal.
I really enjoy connecting with the volunteers and it makes me really happy to help the vulnerable people in Kara Tepe. But it does make me sad to see volunteers who have stayed in Kara Tepe for a long time leave. Everyone here is a family and its heartbreaking to see them go after we all become so close.
Previously, I didn’t have any dream for the future because I had no idea what my future would look like. Now I dream of traveling, doing more volunteer work and one day becoming a dedicated social worker.”
From everyone at HSA & Kara Tepe we thank Bishnu for his hard work, his wonderful heart and of course his incredible food!