by Fabrizio Fiorenzano
Father Eugen L. Watrin moved to Nepal in (1955).
The origins of the Social Action Volunteers dates back to 1974 when the first group of Godavari Alumni Association, young men and young women, walked to the village of Gonga Bu to begin the social survey of the area.
The survey showed that the village people’s priorities were health care, education for their children and food for their babes.
Gene says: “The day on which a baby in Nepal first eats solid food is celebrated as a big festival for the family.”
In response to these needs Dr. N.D. Joshi, an ophtalmologist on leave from Brunei, volunteered go to a weekly clinic in a tea shop in the village of Gonga Bu.
Soon the little room in the tea shop was overwhelmed by numerous patients with all kinds of diseases from leprosy to encephalitis.
So they moved to a larger room in the middle of the village. One of their Lady doctors decided to set up a a separate clinic for mothers and babies. The number continued to grow until the roads developed and it became easier for the sick to reach the Kathmandu hospitals.
A donor agreed to provide Watrin with a veichle that would enable him and the doctors to provide health care to more distant villages.
Without the visits of the Mobile Clinic it would be very difficult, if not impossible for mothers to get the needed medical care for young children. Statistics show that 47% of the children of Nepal are malnourished and if they fall sick they have very low resistance to any disease.
They need imediate and professional care which Mobile Clinic is able to provide. Without this help the children often become physically and mentally retarded for many tears or even life. These sick village children are certainly the poorest of the poor and what could be a better use of donor funds than to do whatever is possible to enable them to develop into healthy, happy and productive adults. This is what mobile clinic is doing. The Social Action Volunteers-Nepal’s 25 years of village health work enable them to do it well.
His days begin with an hour of prayer before his 6:30 daily Mass in the chapel at the Godavari Alumni Association. Before Mass has even ended the poor people who traveled far from their villages to seek help for food, shelter or clothing, are already knocking on his door. His days are long and busy but he likes it that way and he thanks God at the day’s end for his busy life and we thank God for Fr. Gene.