A very delicate, sensitive subject... In 2013 I went to Nepal for the first time through a Polish-Nepalese agency. The trip could be considered successful. I thanked. I went with them for the second time and after the second trip, I decided to support English language learning of the daughter of a porter who accompanied me on the trek, and a friend of mine decided to subsidize the family of another porter with the amount of 1500 dollars. This was a 'targeted' subsidy.
I donated $770, which the owners of the agency and at the same time the porter's employers suggested as enough money for a one-year private study of English. After a year I was on my third trek, during which the trekking agency's service started to deteriorate. Guided by instinct I felt something was wrong. That apparently someone was cheating me. Both my friend and I decided to request the trekking agency to account for the donations.
My funds, as agreed with the owners of the agency, were to be transferred monthly by bank transfer to the account of the private school where the girl was to have the lessons. I have never received any proof of any transfer. After a few weeks, I received confirmation from the school of the girl’s academic achievements. It was a certificate from the state school that... the girl attended the local school... Imagine my surprise. Where did the money I donated to her education go? I started to probe into the issue, I called the previously mentioned porter in Nepal, the father of the donee girl, who said that he had not received any funds. After two or three weeks during which I kept requesting clarifications, I received a certificate signed by him that he had received the money. Please note, that his and his family’s subsistence were to some extent dependent on further trekking assignemts from this agency. Sad.
ONE BIG SCAM!
Not a single farthing out of my friend's 1,500 dollars found its way to the person who was supposed to benefit from it. This porter did not receive A SINGLE DOLLAR of the sum of 1500 dollars which was intended for him!
The Agency is still in operation and is raising funds to further help Nepalese children. They reconstruct buildings, offer volunteer work, trekking tours and raise more fund. I’m appalled to see how under the guise of helping others, you can continue to cheat and this way run a tourist business.
Only a few days ago, a Swiss paedophile was caught in Nepal, who had been running a foundation to help Nepalese children for many years. Children from poor families. He funded scholarships, and the children lived in the centres run by the foundation. And they were raped.
It is appalling how easy it is to arrange any confirmation of how funds are spent in Nepal by a Nepalese citizen. Bribery is literally everywhere. A bag of cement can be bought for 700 rupees in the black market, and you can get an invoice for twice the value. And so it is at every step. With every expense. Even if a foundation buys something, the price will be overestimated on paper making it easy to account for the donors’ contributions. The surplus from the invoice is shared with the invoice issuer. Surely for their own benefit.
Last year at Rajzefiber Festival in Miko?ów I met Tomek Michniewicz, who told me that one of the travelling couples organized a crowdfunding event for a sick child. They collected PLN 500,000. They toured the whole world. And they transferred PLN 5,000 to the boy's account.
That's about it. I have wanted to get it off my chest for many years now. I am glad that I have found the courage to share it with you.
Please be careful to whom, where and for what purpose you give your money. Request a receipt, even if you trust these people completely. The owners of this trekking agency invited me home several times, I sat and ate with them at their table. They were like friends. Time has shown that they have only pretended friendship and that their efforts were aimed at stealing my money for themselves.
This is why we will not never request you for any donation here. NEVER! I will never accept any donations from you for the benefit of anyone. I would not dare to take the responsibility for how the money is spent. If you want to help, think twice how to do it. I assume that helping people to get education is the best way to change the standard of living of future generations. But this is a topic for another post in this blog.?