Our First Project – The Dusty Yak House

On 18th August 2016 The Dusty Yak opened its doors to provide a home to 11 girls that were found living in squalid conditions in an orphanage in Kathmandu. Cramped living conditions, poor hygiene, rationed meals of rice and lack of clean water prompted The Dusty Yak Foundation to begin its journey to helping those lost children of Nepal. Three months on and the girls are thriving, enrolled in a school and finally able to fulfil their true potential.

Matt, Lou, and Mere Mere visit for Dashain and Tihar Celebration

Dashain is the longest and the most auspicious festival in the annual Nepali calendar, celebrated by those of a Hindu faith. The elders give blessing to younger ones by putting tika and jamara on foreheads. This years' Dashain (Bada Dasai or Bijaya Dasamai) was the first for the Dusty Yak family. Grand Mom Mere Mere, Daddy Matt and Mummy Lou were here in the house to celebrate the biggest Nepali festival together.

Tihar, known as Deepawali, is a five-day-long Hindu festival celebrated in Nepal. It is considered to be of great importance as it shows reverence to not just the humans and the gods, but also to the animals like crows, cows and dogs that maintain an intimate relationship with humans. Our girls worshiped the dog on the auspicious occasion of Kukur Tihar and on the last day of Tihar i.e. Bhai Tika, our girls received gifts from John Khadka (President of the Foundation). Members of the Rotary Club of Kathmandu played Deusi Bhailo in The Dusty Yak house to celebrate the festival.

Visit to Monkey Temple (Swyambhunath), swimming and lunch at Fire and Ice Pizzeria

Swyambhunath is an ancient religious architectural temple (also home to several hundred monkeys), which stands at the top of a hill in the Kathmandu Valley, just west of Kathmandu city. Our girls visited the temple say hello to the monkeys and see the panoramic views of the city, which are breath-taking. Many of our girls had never been swimming before so Daddy Matt, Mummy Lou and Mere Mere took them all swimming and ended the day with a trip to a restaurant in Thamel to have pizzas. It was such a fun day out and very special to see our girls enjoying themselves. Early nights for everyone that day!

Futsal at Fun Park

Saturday is the only day off in the week in the Nepali calendar, so we took our girls to a Fun Park. They enjoyed playing games like Columbus and going on the rides (Ferris Wheel, Merry Go Round and Dodgem Cars). Our girls were then taught the rules of playing futsal and we all enjoyed a friendly game at the Fun Park Futsal Ground.

Winter Fest Program 16th December 2016

Every year the City Centre Shopping Mall in Kathmandu hosts a winter celebration, called ‘Winter Fest’, an event dedicated to children. Nabin K Bhattarai inaugurated the event in the presence of 5 of our girls, with the cake cutting ceremony (panchakanya). Mascots were there to help celebrate the opening event of Winter Fest and Bandana Adhikary, an intern from the Foundation, choreographed a welcome dance for the girls to perform (a cultural dance to the song titled “Choli Ramro”) and gave a short speech about the activities of the Dusty Yak Foundation. A crowd of about 5607 people came along to the opening ceremony. The proud moment for us was when our girls spontaneously volunteered to sing songs up on the stage. The organizers of Winter Fest have kept a separate donation box with the proceeds going to our Foundation. The Dusty Yak Foundation is grateful to the organizers of the event from City Center for providing such a nice platform for our girls to show their talent. We believe that such programs will help our girls to build their confidence and refine their talent.

Dusty Yak Christmas Celebration

Christmas was awesome this year. Many visitors came to see the girls, bearing gifts, spending time playing games with them, singing christmas carols, dancing and making novelty snowmen and horses. Christmas was a fun celebration this year for our girls and they were very happy to celebrate christmas in the Dusty Yak home. We also had visits from Orient College and Lit Club Nepal. All our girls were excited to hear of the christmas fables relating to Christmas, Jesus and Santa Claus. In the week leading up to Christmas Day we took our girls to a church so that they could observe and learn first hand about this faith and the importance of Christmas. Being an event of gift sharing, Christmas day continued with our girls’ visit to an old age peoples home called “Divine Service Home”, in Golfutar, to share the happiness and take gifts. Ultimately, it’s all about giving and sharing that Christmas taught our us this year as it’s the only way to be happy in life. Apart from this the Hurley family, together with their friends, the Martin family, spent Christmas Eve morning in Cranleigh carol singing in support of the Foundation and raised £120!