- What We Do
- Little Princes
The children of Umbrella have undoubtedly been through more upheaval in their lives than most adults have to deal with. It has been clear since day one that the children's care in Umbrella did not mean merely material needs but rounded care including psychological support and care. Over the years Umbrella tried various approaches to deal with the children's underlying problems, part time counsellors, visits to psycologists and staff training but no formal programme was established until 2009 when two Dutch volunteers, Inger Van Nes and Irene Huyts, founded De Paraplu counselling centre.
The two started with doing research: reading about therapy programmes in Nepal and visiting organizations which dealt with child neglect, abuse and child trafficking. They started to raise funds for the project and with the help of friends and family in Holland we were able to cover the start-up costs in less than one week! With this support the girls and Umbrella management started looking for a good location for the counselling centre and put adds in the Kathmandu newspapers to recruit for a counsellor / psychologist.
A perfect building was found: it has four rooms and it’s located right in the middle of all the other Umbrella-houses. The volunteers spent weeks cleaning and painting everything, putting down carpet, furniture and decorations.
The pair named the centre ‘De Paraplu’ – which is Dutch for Umbrella. De Paraplu now contains one counselling room, two offices and an official meeting room for Umbrella.
After a few job interviews with potential candidates a very qualified female clinical psychologist with a lot of experience in child counselling was found. She was hired in July 2009 she started working fulltime for Umbrella. She’s seeing the children every morning – either in their houses or in De Paraplu. Besides that she’s also training the staff (house parents, house managers, tutors, etc.) on basic psychology and communication skills.
A part time male counsellor was also hired to help the older boys with the challenges they face growing up. He has helped the children set up a youth club called the Youth Chautari. This youth club has members representing each of our 8 homes and they take charge of organising events and programmes for all the children, they publish a monthly newsletter and they represent the children's interests in meetings with the Umbrella management.
When Irene and Inger returned to Holland they decided to remain involved with the Umbrella Foundation and particularly De Paraplu. In 2009 Stichting Paraplu Nepal was established as the official Dutch Umbrella branch. With the help of structural sponsors, we try to continue providing financial support to our counselling centre.
To achieve these goals, we need all the support we can get. We will continue to raise funds and to raise more awareness about Umbrella and the situation of Nepal in Holland.
Het bestuur van Stichting Paraplu Nepal (exclusief Caroline, die in Nepal is)
If you’re interested in (financially) supporting De Paraplu or if you’re thinking about volunteering or fundraising for Umbrella, you can contact us at: Umbrella.Nederland@gmail.com. Or visit the website www.stichtingparaplunepal.nl
I’m Inger van Nes (23) and I live in Amsterdam. Besides clinical psychology I also studied theology. Last year, when I decided to take a year off from university, my friend suggested that if I wanted to do some volunteer work in Asia, I should check the website of the Umbrella Foundation. The information that I found there and that I received through email sounded really good, so I decided to go.
I really enjoyed my time at Umbrella – it felt so good to work for these fantastic children with this amazing team of enthusiastic volunteers and permanent staff. I learned a lot about Nepal and its children: they deserve a better future and I think Umbrella is doing everything they can to give it to them.
I’m Irene Huyts (23) and right now I’m doing my Masters in clinical psychology in Amsterdam. Five years ago I worked in a very bad Nepalese orphanage, where the children starved and were being beaten. I got in contact with Viva, who later founded the Umbrella Foundation. Having finished my Bachelor’s, I decided to help the Umbrella Foundation, which surprisingly had grown into an organisation with more than 300 children.
I had a wonderful time there. Inger and me were a two-headed monster, working 12 hours a day to solve what had to be solved. And we managed, which still makes me very proud. I hope that slowly the children will learn to deal with their traumas and grow up happily.