Traffic in Nepal is a permanent near-death experience:

  • The roads are bad: there are no street lights, there are many holes and other obstacles in/on/near the roads
  • Many road are no more than a track, even though in the city that is changing fast
  • Many road users walk, drive without any lights
  • There are no zebra crossings or other save places to cross a road
  • There are no road lanes; everything runs together
  • The gutters along the streets are sometimes 20/30 centimetres deep
  • There are so many different road users: cars, buses, trucks, rickshaws, carts, horse and carts, bicycles, motorcycles, scooters, walkers, animals
  • The sacred cow walks freely through it all and goes everywhere it wants to go and even sleeps in the middle of a busy road ….
  • And a Nepali only changes his traffic habits for a cow ….

Kathmandu is a city that dates back to the Middle Ages and certainly wasn’t built for cars. Nevertheless there are many, many cars and all kinds of vehicles around causing a lousy air quality and absolutely chaotic and dangerous traffic. One wonders why you don’t see a major accident happening every few minutes. In recent years many roads have been widened. In order to do so whole rows of houses have been broken down and/or moved.

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4 Smiling Faces

Smiling Faces is the abbreviation for the Helping Hands 4 Smiling Faces Foundation, that was started by Tjitske Weersma in 2008. We improve the living conditions of children in children’s homes in developing countries with specific, small-scale projects in which they are central. We also support them when they have to leave those homes at 18 and have no safety net to fall back on. With us they come first. With our help they’ll go so much further, are they able to make their own choices and can they make shape their own lives.