UK project fundraiser, Jolana arranged a night of live music just before Christmas to raise awareness and funds for the Aandhimul Project. She did a great job, there were over 10 live acts. Mainly solo guitarists ranging in genre, from folk to rock, all in their own style and very good! See the videos below.
Jolana found most of her artists through friends and friends of friends, and all were willing to do it free of charge and for a good cause, The Aandhimul Project wants to say a MASSIVE Thank You!!! to all the artists who perfomed that night.
The event took place in the George pub in Hitchin Town Centre, Hertfordshire, in their function room without charge, thank you George Pub!
We also did a raffle for those attending. The prizes in the raffle consisted all of things brought back by Lee from his recent trip to Nepal, including two things made by villagers from Aandhimul. A ‘Mandro’ (bamboo floor mat) and a ‘Nanglo’ (bamboo rice shaker). Other things included Nepali tea and coffee, handmade paper, incense a tibetan singing bell and more. You can see in the first picture above Jolana calling out the numbers and in a video below too.
In total we raised over £100 in the raffle, all going towards the project, and even better, Jolana had some extra money donated from her company that she has put into the project’s account. All together totaling £685.74 ‘Thank You!’, and this money will be transfered in March 2009 to be used on Spring project programmes. Details of which will come in future blogs.
An update from Mon in Nepal. The main school building’s interior and exterior surface renovation is now complete, as you can see in the photos above. The next thing to do is to paint the rooms and outside, and that is currently happening. But due to the difficulties in getting equipment to the village, it will take a little longer than expected. It should be completed for the new year. We will be updating in future blog entries.
Another problem is the school is not connected to power, but the village itself does have power. However, due to high installation and running costs, the very small budget the school recieves, does not cover this outlay. This is where the Aandhimul Project wants to help, on our next visit we want to connect the school the power. But the community has another problem. The Nepali government announced this December, that due to unseasonably low river flows, the 40% of Nepalis able to access electricity would lose it for 16 hours a day for 6 days of the week. On the 7th day they only lose it for 12 hours.
This had made us in the project feel very concerned, that yes, we can install electricity but most of the time it will not be possible to use it. So therefore, we are considering plans for installing solar units on the roofs of the school buildings. At the moment, this idea is in the early stages and needs good research and discussion with NGO’s who have experience with installing such units. But one thing is for sure, the situation with electricity in Nepal is not likely to get better for many years yet. So we need to think of alternative means of generating power, and nothing can be better for the environment than using renewable energy.
As soon as we have more information on future programmes for these problems, we will be informing everyone and trying to raise funds to pay for them, and then we hope to give the children light and power that is much needed in the dark classrooms.
Just before leaving Bandipur and returning to Kathmandu, I decided with Mon to return to village to do one final check and take photos, just days before, sadly leaving the country.
As you can see in the photographs things are coming on nicely, though we have encountered a few issues in the process of renovation. It was under-estimated the amount of cement and sand needed, which meant things have been delayed, as stated before, the process in getting raw materials to the schools site is not the easiest and takes time. But there’s not much else we can do, the most important thing is that it is done properly. We all agreed, so that the building will last for many years into the future.
The one bonus we have at this time of the year is the weather, well at least after the morning mists disappear. There is rarely ever a drop of rain, just sun. Better than the average UK winter, though in the mornings it can be quite cold in the mists.
With me leaving the country, the next updates will be provided to us through Mon, and hopefully some photographs too! But, with limited electricity everyday, which is looking to be worse in the New Year, we may not have many. Though Mon will do his best to get photos, but definitely text which we will blogged.