Nepal, a SouthAsian country, located betweenIndia and Tibet, is known for its Mount Everest, its numerous temples and the various tourist activities it offers. The country has several dozenethnicities and castes, constituting a great diversity. But although the number of people living below the poverty line has decreased in Nepal, the country remains one of the poorest in the world. This poverty is certainly decreasing, but according to the Nepalese reference, the precariousness is unfortunately still predominant. Humanitarian actions are becoming more and more numerous and this is also what allows them to survive. All these reasons made it obvious for Hip Hop Human iTerre to work for Nepalese children in need. At the same time, it is in Kathmandu, the capital of Nepal, that Tibetan refugee camps are deprived of their rights since they had to flee their native land. Here we take you on a humanitarian trip to Nepal with the team, tracing the history of the association.
Humanitarian trip Nepal: the Allfit association, the beginning of a beautiful story
It was in 2014 that it all began. Benjamin and David Defoy, passionate about hip-hop dance, created the Allfit dance school in Saintes. At that time, it had 50 members and 5 teachers, all eager to share their passion and to make the children dance. The two dancers succeeded in raising more than 1000 euros to help children in Nepal. It is thus with Xavier Bee, dance teacher at the association, that the two brothers will fly to Nepal. These actions were born from a deep desire to share moments of joy, in a rather difficult daily life, to help children who unfortunately do not have the chance to attend dance classes.
First stop in Kathmandu, in a Tibetan refugee center
For China, Tibet has been a territory to keep under its control for several hundred years, given its geography. Indeed, Tibet represents a quarter of China. It is thus in this shady climate that for decades, Tibetans have been leaving their lands to take refuge in Nepal. It was at this time that the refugee camps in the Nepalese capital, Kathmandu, were born. It is in one of these camps that our speakers will go first. The capital is extremely polluted (it has been ranked as the most polluted city in the world, in 2021) and refugees are denied any rights and identity papers, since they fled their country in the past. The Red Cross has provided housing for the refugees, but they are in a precarious situation, crammed into tiny spaces. To obtain these identity papers, they have to pay 2000 euros, knowing that the average salary for a Nepalese is 187 euros and that they obviously do not earn this amount. Without these essential documents, they cannot travel by transport, leave the country or even work legally. It is thus in a heavy climate that Benjamin, David and Xavier leave the capital, with a heavy heart in front of so much injustice, but determined to allow these people in difficulty to collect funds to obtain these rights.
Humanitarian trip Nepal: working hand in hand with the association Freedom On Ice and Sandhya Lama, director of the center, for the second stage of this trip
Sandhya Lama is the director of the Freedom On Ice center in Nepal. She will accompany the three dancers during the trip and will also improvise herself as a translator, on the spot. Direction the mountains and Melamchi, municipality of the district of Sindhupalchok, in the province of Bagmati, in the center of Nepal. She will tell us how her own childhood conditioned her desire to help children, especially girls, for whom life is made difficult by cultural and patriarchal pressure. After their studies, young Nepalese women are required to leave for other countries as housekeepers and send the money they earn back to their families to ensure their subsistence. But Sandhya will refuse this destiny and will prefer to stay to help the others, in his country. It is in the course of unvarnished confidences, that she will tell us how much she herself has lacked love, and how much she understands and lives the pain of the children she cares for. A great moment of emotion that will touch the three dancers.
Access to hip-hop dance classes for children often left to their own devices
We are propelled into this school, where dance movements are shown and performed in the dust and stones. But the children ignore this detail and it is obvious that they are fully happy to live these moments of relaxation. Initially convinced that they will have 10/15 students at each class, it is in fact more than 500 students who will tread this floor to the rhythm of the music, during the 5 days that the three dancers will give classes. These children have never had the opportunity to see hip-hop at work, except on video or television, and it would be very difficult for them to learn by themselves, so it is with stars in their eyes that they follow the lessons given by our three Frenchmen. Gthanks to the donations collected by the three speakers, the schoolchildren will have access to dance classes for one year.
It is thus strong of this experience, more determined than ever and enriched by the exchanges with the children they met, that the three dancers leave this magnificent country. This trip will have convinced them even more of the benefits of sport and art in the lives of these children, of all that this discipline can bring them; joy, rigor, physical effort, appropriation of their bodies, etc. (the list is long). Children only want to BE children, and these exchanges may have allowed them to feel a sense of carefreeness in a harsh daily life. Do you want to travel again? Curious about the other destinations visited by our volunteers? You can click here to discover more.