The Hotel Albris supports a non-profit project in Nepal. Our regular guest Hannes Bissig was instrumental in building the new school.
On April 25., a strong earthquake shook the Himalayas-, Nepal.
The consequences are catastrophic. More than half a million buildings are completely destroyed, 8800 people lose their lives. When Rajendra Khadka-Herger sees the pictures of the destruction, he is deeply affected, because his home village Chainpur Nuwakot is also in ruins. To the people in his old homeland help, he and his Swiss wife Daniela found the Nepallai. association. Their first project: Build a new schoolhouse –, one that is earthquake-proof. The education of children is particularly important to the couple, as 30 percent of the Nepalese are illiterate. Rajendra, the Has lived with his wife and four children in Seedorf in the canton of Uri since 2009, knows that he needs help from Switzerland to build an earthquake-proof school. He finds an architecture- and an engineering office that is working on a sponsored project. But how are they supposed to Building plans are implemented on site? Rajendra posts an advertisement on the community notice: "Skilled workers wanted!" A few days later, Hannes Bissig saw the advertisement. «I was there by chance, but I don't believe in coincidences», says the trained construction foreman.
Regulars for 15 years
Hannes and his wife Marianne are regular guests at the Hotel Albris. You have been coming to Pontresina for 15 years, mostly twice a year. You enjoy hiking and maintain a friendly relationship with the Kochendörfer family. «For us, it's like arriving home.»
Two months after Hannes had read the ad, he is sitting in the plane with Rajendra. He has worked on Swiss construction sites for 43 years. But recently he has been taking advantage of the flexible retirement program and therefore has time for a construction site in the Nepalese mountains. A coincidence?
Hannes spends the whole of September 2016 in Chainpur Nuwakot, a five-hour drive from the capital Kathmandu Concrete floor slab required. Rajendra translates and organizes building materials, tools, workers and sometimes a construction machine. “Of course we did a lot more by hand than I was used to in Switzerland. But it went great. The people were great: very motivated, skilled and always warm, friendly and extremely grateful », says Hannes.« And although they hardly own anything and live poorly, they were always neatly dressed. »
One hot meal a day
Most of the people in the area are rice farmers, have a few goats and a water buffalo. And the children also have to help out in the rice fields. The new school has now been completed. “It's the safest building far and wide,” says Hannes. The school has space for around 430 pupils. It is a public school, but it has the standard of a private school. The teachers are well trained and decently paid. Rajendra, together with his brother and a friend, who live on site and see to it that everything is done ,. The work of the association Nepallai is far from over: Next, Rajendra wants to build a school kitchen with a dining area so that the children can have a warm meal once a day is looking for partners who contribute.
A project without bureaucracy
The Hotel Albris supports the Nepallai association financially. "When Hannes told us about his experiences in Nepal, we were immediately convinced", says the hotel director Stephanie Kochendörfer. »
And what are Hannes's further plans? «I enjoy my flexible retirement program and the free time with my family and friends. And what shouldn't be missing are a vacation with my wife Marianne at the Hotel Albris.. But if Rajendra should call me, I will immediately help with.. There is more to do in Nepal enough. And as I said: I don't believe in coincidences. »