Jolana in Aandhimul – second update

I held a meeting with Devarj from Shiva Charity – this was a really bright and uplifting meeting – so far the plan is for Shiva Charity to come and visit the Aandhimul school. I have exchanged contact details with headmaster so the timing can be agreed and final exams are not disturbed. The plan is to ask also other teachers from near by  schools to come and get trained together – this is not only making it worth while for people to come here and travel and stay for 2 days in Yampa or Aandhimul, but also to bring teachers from near by schools together and bring more unity to this area. The costs may come up to 25 000 NRP – a quote from Pokhora training but based on staying in hotels and eating out and buying resources.

We may choose to buy our own resources for the schools from the local stationaries from Dumre or Damouli. I think it is important to invest in this as we can also get independent feedback on the situation in schools. Padham, the Aandhimul school headteacher agreed with me.

There is also a community school meeting in 9 days – independent of my influence. To discuss these things and other things further.

We would be hoping that Shiva may be able to provide us with a project manager – but the only potential person lives in Pokhora (2-3 hours away) and is very busy. The 3 people from Ktm would not have time to come and visit regularly. Which is a shame as they come across very positive.

I am also meeting with a few other NGOs who show interest in having a project manager from them to help the project. Though often they are based in Pokhara or Kathmandu and just the travel expenses make them an expensive choice. HE have also mentioned that they may be able to provide someone, which could work as they have a base in Bandipur.

Final news. The villagers are contacting army police to get permission to build a road – to enable the transport of bamboo easier from their village down to the main road that leads to Pokhara, Kathmandu or Southern Nepal. An important trade route. I have not said that we will be giving any donation for this but we are definitely considering some support. We will keep you updated.


Suku’s progress

Suku has reached 6 years old, and is now a little girl who can stand and walks towards us – something quite unimaginable only a year ago. Her whole world has changed and also her family’s.

She has spent almost 2 and half months in Pokhora hospital, supported by employees from Himalayan Encounters (HE) last year. Finally adopted by Kamal and moved to live in Bandipur – an up and coming touristic jewel.

She has been enrolled in Setograss – and will start from the Nepali New Year – April 2013. This is a well run montessori, private nursery which prepares children for the very well known and respected Notra Dame school.

Her school fees and living costs will be supported by Niraj from HE’s brother and Christina Levanas. It was thanks to her pictures she took last year and the support from HE, that has led to this fruitful development.

Suku is also supported by many in Bandipur – the manager of Old Inn, Ramsaran is teaching hygiene basics.

Sadly her own family is not supporting her and they have sold land and their house in Aandhimul  and are now living close to the main road. One of her older sisters has possibility got work in the Old Inn Bandipur. But after 3 days training she left and returned back to her family.

On our visit we did notice a wound and demanded that she gets to the local hospital for treatment – it took a great encouragement, but she got checked and was given creams to treat the wound and pills to fight the infection, created by pressure in the protease leg. Christina has also noticed her lack of clothes, so she has bought her some new clothes and I will take them to Bandipur tomorrow. 30th March 2013, this time not only giving clothes to her but also to her new siblings.

Jolana’s arrived in Nepal – first update

Jolana, our girl on the ground, has now been in Nepal for over a week and has plenty to update us with.

Some villagers have been employed in the tourist town of Bandipur to build a bamboo structure – utilizing their bamboo construction skills. Which is great to see their skills being used other than making nanglos (bamboo rice shakers). Two of the villagers, Barrat and his neighbour Jay Bahadur Bhujel are involved with the Bandipur V.D.C (local council) of Aandhimul village – it is a full time position for about 3 months. Their roles are to look at future developments in and around the community.

The School:
There were only 25 children on Jolana’s first visit to the school (it is exam season, so many were at home) But all teachers were there and on first looks the school was in a reasonable condition. However, the government had donated almost 3000EUR for redevelopment and updates for the school buildings, and when looking inside, two rooms of the old building were unfinished with bad roofing. So these 2 rooms are not being used.  They have built a new toilet block – both toilets were closed on the first visit, they said this was because they wanted to open them for the new school year next month after the holidays.

A villager, Resham Bhujel has now been appointed the leader of school committee

The village:
Jolana has not been alone in Nepal, she has been accompanied by Christina (from Germany who did the Art Workshop last year and fundraising at Rhythms of the World), and Petr (Jolana’s partner). Christina donated an education book for Pampha (one of the project supported teachers) and also bought a nanglo.

Suku’s (who had the operations to improve her burnt leg (updates on Suku below)) family have sold their house and land and moved closer to the main road that links Pokhara to Kathmandu and their main trading towns of Dumre, Satrasaya and Daumauli.

A local man, Rabindra, has moved into Suku’s family’s old house and has set up a new small shop in Aandhimul.

Ram Krishana Bhujel from the village now owns a small shop, and has been developing new methods for carrying stones. Other people are growing cucumbers for business, to sell locally or further away.

The biggest thing that Jolana has noticed is she can really see the change in their faces.

In Bandipur:
Suku is now living with Kamal – who originates from Thumka village above Aandhimul and has been employed by Himalayan Encounters (Travel Company all project members originally did volunteering with) for 5 years. Christina Levanas is personally paying for her living expenses and the Nepali Director of Himalayan Encoutners, Niraj’s brother will pay for her education in Setograss. Which she will be starting next month.

Bandipur has developed much more now to accommodate even more tourists. There are now 4 mobile towers, to enable wi-fi connections for the restaurants, hotels and individuals.

Finding a Project Manager:
Jolana has arranged many meetings with individuals and existing NGOs to try and find the right person to help support the project. The key feature we hope to find in this person is to be a good communicator. It’s so vital that they will be able to create a feeling of trust in the village and only then will we be able to continue trying to help support their progression. We will update you after these meeting have taken place and decisions been made.

Thank You Röbbeck Röcks!

575 Euros were wired to our account from Frank – so shall we complete the youth club room now? Thank you Frank and team of Röbbeck Röcks (Germany) for your continual fundraising and support.

An update from the community

Kiran is one of the wonderful people who has been helping us whilst we don’t have a project manager. He has made many trips now from Kathmandu (4 hours or more on a rickety bus) to meet with the community and give feedback to them and us. On his trip last week he has taken some lovely photographs of the village of Aandhimul.

In his trip he checked how the water facilities have been functioning (a tap is shown in the images). And he was told by community leaders that the improved water systems in the village have made it much easier to plant more vegetables and plants. A great step forward in improving the diet of the villagers.