MEPO organized a free meal for nearly 400 poor women and children and beggars near Pashupatinath, a holy site where many poor people and children hang out in Kathmandu. The people received abundant servings of rice, lentils, two kinds of vegetables and fresh water. The food was served under a colorful tent from decorated tables, so that the day was about more than just food – it was about people realizing that they are not alone in the world, and that beauty and joy are possible for them, even if just for one lunch and a relaxed afternoon.
Families living in the Manohara slum dwellings near the Manohara River just outside of Kathmandu that were hit particularly hard by the end-of-monsoon floods were given financial aid to replace some of their belongings and food that was destroyed by the floods.
One month food ration of rice, lentils and cooking oil was given to a small orphanage in Boudha, Kathmandu.
Particularly poor and sick people near the Swayambhu Temple in Kathmandu have been helped with medical aid as well as been given assistance and supplies to start their own small vending business.
Four very poor families in remote rural Bhutan were provided six months of dried food, such as red rice, cooking oil, dried fish, milk powder (from September 2012 to March 2013) and extra cash for the education of their eldest child. They were also provided laundry detergent, soap and shampoo.
A school in downtown Thimphu (the capital) was given funds towards its in-house food program for 40 underprivileged children at the school who cannot bring their own lunches.
And in January of 2013, MEPO’s work of outreach continued in India. Click here to find out more, and to see a summary of the budget for small-scale projects undertaken by MEPO.
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A comment on ‘sustainability’ Even though these types of support are small scale and are labeled ‘not sustainable’ by the foreign aid and development industry, our philosophy is that even if a full stomach is only ‘sustained’ for a few hours, or someone’s life is temporarily altered and they gain a sense of contentment only for a few weeks or months, our mission of making others feel a bit of reprieve from the harshness of life has been accomplished. And that is really all that matters. We must do whatever we can with what is right in front of us, no matter how small or short-lived it may seem to us. Rather than wait for logical and pedantic plans of ‘sustainability’, sometimes we just need to act.