Joli organized a pop-up shop selling donated clothing from Czech Republic and Berlin, with all the funds raised going towards the school. All the parents from the village were invited and the event was a great success, with everything selling out within one hour. Angela and Joli were happy to hand over 2270 rupees to our new headmaster, contributing to new materials for the students.
In December 2014, Aandhimul Project members Angela and Joli were reunited back in Bandipur, joined this time by Angela’s daughter Hannah and partner Jack. Together, they spent three weeks visiting Aandhimul village and nearby Yampa, meeting with the schoolteachers and community and planning for the future.
The team spent many hours with the teachers and new principal, Rameshor Lamichane, discussing plans, problems, solutions and hopes for the future of Aandhimul School. They were very happy to see that the school is running amazingly well now, with increased attendance from students, improved teaching from great staff and happier students and teachers. A final session of teacher training for the Project teachers will be run on 29th to 30th December in Bandipur and Angela will hand over a 10000NRP worth of story books with a new bookshelf made by Jack and local carpenter. Angela particularly noticed the vast improvement of the students behaviour and cleanliness at the school and that the school was transforming into a colourful and fun place to be.
Several programs were run after school lessons for the students, including craft activities and sports. The kids had a great time playing a chasey game of buffalos and tigers, with all the students dashing about around the school to escape the ‘tigers’. Angela ran a fantastic art workshop with the nursery students and older kids, cutting out and decorating little paper people. Judging from the colourful mess that was left after the workshop, everyone had a great time. Hannah and Jack also spent a lot of time meeting with students and families around the village to film a short video about the Aandhimul Project to show friends and supports back home more of what life is like in this community.
An all-inclusive community meeting was held in the school, attended by many people in the village to discuss problems and projects not only for the school but for the village as well. It was the first of many designed to encourage the community to come together and support the future of the school and village together. With Bikram, our project manager, and Rameshor leading the way, we hope that the school can become a place for the community to meet and work together to improve their village.
After 7 years of hard work, Angela and Joli are excited with how the teachers and new principal are working at the school and very optimistic about the future of the community. They would like to give a special mention to Bikram, the project manager, who continues to be a priceless addition to the team and they were honoured to experience his overwhelming commitment to the village.
It’s been nearly 3 years since I set foot in the beautiful village of Aandhiimul. In just a week’s time I’ll be walking that hilly road back into the school. I’m really excited now – I can’t wait to see the changes in the school, meet the 2 new teachers and wash my hands under the taps we helped install.
On this visit I’ll be accompanied by my daughter Hannah and her partner Jack. They are both engineers and have worked on aid projects in India giving them some understanding of the work we are doing in Aandhimul. They appreciate the complexity and the importance of giving everyone in the village a voice in the development process.
Joli is also coming to Aandhimul this time so I have the extra joy of spending time with this wonderful woman.
Christmas will be interesting – there are very few plans in place – which really is the best way to be in Nepal – we’ll just work it out as we go. I must remember to buy chocolates today to take for Christmas lunch along with a decoration to put on a tree that we will make somewhere.
So, 6 days to go and lots to do. I’ll keep blogging while I’m away so we’ll talk again soon