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.
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
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.
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.