New nursery school building update

On 6th March Bikram, our project manager, took an engineer, Suman Shrestha, who prepared the new nursery building drawing to the Aadnhiuml school and had a meeting with nursery building construction committee (the school committee have already formed a five member nursery building construction committee as follows: Bikram Piya, coordinator; Rajaram Prajapati, NGO member; Harischandra Bhujel, SMC chairperson; Rameshwor Lamechhane, Headteacher; and Gyan Bahadur Bhujel, founder chair person of SMC as members).

They have chosen a new location and the location is between the present nursery classroom and the bamboo classroom. As previously mentioned, it is not practical to construct the nursery building where the demolished youth club building is located.

The engineer marked the area to make the foundations. They also appointed Bir Bahadur Gurung as the construction contractor. He is making a school in Thumka (a nearby village) too.

So the work will start after 2 weeks. They will still build to the the existing drawing and there will be no compromise in the quality.

Bikram will take the engineer time and time again throughout the project and will send pictures once the work starts.

engineer_suman_shrestha_at_school meeting taking_measurement

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!

On 21 December the school published second term results. And the School Management Committee discussed the learning achievement of the students. Class 2 and 3 students are doing good. Some students of class 1 and 4 are weak.

The proposed teachers training was postponed and is rearranged for the 17 and 18 January.

Nepal Orthopaedics Hospital, Kathmandu, is going to organise a 2 day free health camp in Bandipur hospital. Bikram has conveyed this message to the villagers and teachers and requested them to take advantage of this opportunity.

Total cost of nursery building is NRP 498,452.00 school is ready to share NRP 149536.00 and the project will contribute NRP 348,914.00. The School has started to provide a different khaja twice a week.


Bikram has bought some new school material for the school. And below is a photo of Raj Kumar Bhujel’s house.


Earthquake Update 4

We have now finished raising funds for supporting both Aandhimul and other earthquake affected areas. Money has come in from the UK, Europe and Australia. Again, we want to thank all of you who have donated. So we have put together a summary pdf of the money raised, and where it will be going. Please click this link to view or download it

However, we will still keep you updated on the progression of the houses being rebuilt in Aandhimul as things happen. Below are some more pictures sent across only this morning.

gyan bahadur's rebuilding house 1600px
Gyan Bahadur’s rebuilding work is progressing well.
Lal Maya's house 1600px
Lal Maya’s house demolishing has now started.


House demolishing and rebuilding continues

Last week Dhan Raj finished demolishing work on his house. Gyan Bahadur and Jaya Bahadur have both started to rebuild theirs, and Hari Chandra is doing demolishing work but Lal Maya has not yet started. And the work is going slow because of lack of manpower.

2015-06-06 – jaya bahadur house demolishing
Jay Bahadur’s house being demolished
More of Jay Bahadur's house being demolished
More of Jay Bahadur’s house being demolished
The completed demolishing of Dhan Raj's house.
The completed demolishing of Dhan Raj’s house.
The rebuilding of Gyan Bahadur's house.
The rebuilding of Gyan Bahadur’s house.

Below is a picture of Gyan Bahadur receiving NRS 5000.00 as first instalment on 2 June. Bikram, our project manager, will pay others when they start to rebuild and according to their work progress.

2015-06-06 – gyan bahadur receiving nrs 5000.00 in Dumre

School lunch (khaja) and materials

For records and transparency purposes our project manager Bikram collects all the receipts for the school khaja (lunch) from Kamala, a project teacher, and for the school materials, Rameshowr, the Headteacher.

With the increase in children the project will now be paying NRS 6000.00 for khaja and NRS 6000.00 for materials per month, an increase of NRS 2000.00 for both.

And last week Bikram held a meeting with the teachers and discussed about the distribution of the khaja. Due to the increase in student numbers, and lack of space and utensil, it is not possible to provide khaja to all the students at the same time. So they have decided to provide khaja for Nursery and Class 1 students in first lot, and Classes 2–4 in the second lot.

2015-06-06 – meeting with female teachers

Below is a picture of Kamala writing down a new recipe for making a super flour, a more nutritious meal that the children will be eating for their lunch.

2015-06-06 – kamala making note how to prepare super flour

Children from Class 2 learning
Children from Class 2 learning

New SMC and PTA appointed in School


2015-06-06 – parent meeting to choose SMC and PTA

On the 5th June the School Management Committee (SMC) and Parent Teacher Association (PTA) was created for this school year. Those who were voted and assigned are listed below:

Formation of SMC

Harishchandra Bhujel Chairperson
Anita Bhujel Member
Sita Bhujel Member
Dil Maya Bhujel Member
Manu Bhujel Member
Bir Bahadur Gurung Member
Gita Pandey Teacher Representative
Dhruba Lamechhane Ward Representative Ex Officio Member
Rameshowr Lamechhane Member secretary

2015-06-06 – member of SMC

Formation of PTA

Ramkrishna Bhujel Chairperson
Anita Bhujel Member
Jureli Bhujel Member
Jit Kumar Bhujel Member
Shankhaman Bhujel Member
Harischandra Bhujel Ex Officio Member
Gita Pandey Ex Officio Member
Dhruba Lamechhane Ex Officio Member
Rameshowr Lamechhane Ex Officio Member

2015-06-06 – member of PTA

Village life continues

house rebuilding meeting

First a quick update on the rebuilding of the earthquake damaged homes. We have now sent across 150,000 Nepali Rupees (RS), 25,000RS per house. The image above shows the owners of these houses in a meeting with our project manager Bikram about a plan of action. It was decided the first house would start to be dismantled on this coming Sunday. We will keep you updated as the demolishing and rebuilding take place.

kids collecting vegetable in leisure

Above, some village children on their return from buying some vegetables from a local shop further down the valley. Food supplies after the earthquake are running okay in and around the Aandhimul village. Though support from Kathmandu has been offered to the Bandipur VDC.

parent meeting

A meeting was held on 15 May to elect parents to form a new School Management Committee (SMC) for this school year – however they could not choose the SMC and PTA due to the following reasons :
a) There were not enough actual school attending children’s parents present in the meeting. According to the Nepalese Education Act, at least two thirds of parents should be present to choose the SMC and PTA.
b) The school sent a letter home to parents only 2 days prior to the meeting. Not giving the parents enough warning.

The plan to resolve this issue is as follows :
a) To send letter a week before to all the parents requesting for their compulsory attendance in the parent meeting.
b) To call only the parents of attending school children, to prevent long debates.
c) To invite school supervisor and resource person in the meeting to facilitate as suggested in the education act.

The new SMC and PTA is set to be chosen by the second Nepali month of Jestha, meaning by 15 June.

sample desk for class one

As there are now more students attending the school than the previous years, it is necessary to purchase more desks for Class 1 and desk benches for Class 4. The project will cover the cost of buying these.

Urmila buying shoe

Above is an image of Urmila, a Class 8 student being supported by Angela in Australia, buying some new shoes and a bag for school.


Lee returns to Nepal


After four years I finally managed to return to Nepal and how excited I was. My last trip was with my girlfriend and we hoped to return 6 months later but before we could make it back we were engaged and my fiancé, as she had become, became pregnant with our first child. So the plans to visit Nepal were put on hold. A second child followed and then finally an opportunity became available for me to return this October.


The main purpose of my trip was not only to catch up with all the people in the community but to see how our new project manager Bikram was getting on after his first 6 months working with us.


It was great just to have all my senses overloaded again, the smells, the sights, the sounds. I can honestly say I missed dal bhat as was so happy to eat it again.


I arrived during the Deshain/Tihar festival period which was great to be there during this time and to celebrate with many old friends. It also gave me time to spend with Bikram and discuss about what has been happening and his feelings towards the project and the community, before visiting Aandhimul.


As you can see in the photos, Bikram’s house where I stayed is a traditional Newari building built by his grandfather and has some beautiful hand carvings that is typical with Newari architecture. He also had a plot of land in front of his house where he grew vegetables, and from there he picked to include in our dal bhat every day. And I must say he is a very good cook!



Visit to hospital & Goodbye Nepal

My final day in Nepal and in Kathmandu with Bikram, Kumar (the school caretaker) and Manoj (11 year old boy from the village) to the hospital – Till Ganga. We were lucky to get in, thanks to the connection with Bikram Piya as only 250 patience get seen per day, and they queue from 4 a.m. to get a ticket, still it took about 3 hours until we got back without food!

Kumar is going to be seen by specialist on 30th of April – only after consoltation with a specialist. He will then get to know if surgery is possible to save his sight. (He suffers from corneal disease).

Manoj is going to be seen on 23rd April by 2 doctors also same issue like Kumar (corneal disease) and a pediatric specialist. He has a scar in his eye, so it is impossible to improve his vision. Also he has came too late so one of the eyes has divination, ( lazy eye etc …) so again after this meeting they can find out what can be done. He is staying with Jay Bahadur Bhujel (his dad) in hotel for 2 nights at Kalanki and Bikram will take him on Tuesday morning.

My time here as passed again so quickly, and I will miss Nepal but cannot wait to return again. Hope you enjoy the pictures in the slideshow above.



We have a Project Manager – Jolana’s final update

We’re happy to announce that we have a project manager. Bikram Piya from Bandipur will be taking on the part-time role as of now. The priority at first is to build a relationship with the community and gain trust. And from there we can start to look further, in particular our focus is still on the school, and improving the level for both children and teachers. We will update you in the coming months as to how things are progressing.

The Feel:
Yesterday, I took a slow walk with Andy ( German supporter for Aandhimul and one who paid for brain operation of Christila from Yampa area)  to the Aandhimul village from Bandipur, stopping on a way to see the water intake, the one Frank and Andy helped with.

We stopped in various places, noticed the work of rotary club for irrigation, pipes lying on a ground, and learning that the water comes only in the monsoon times, but there are no collection tanks yet build. The 20,000 USD rotary project has run out of the funds to complete it, but really there is not much to complete. I see poor work that will last probably only 2 years. Shows me that working with specific NGO’s like Choice has been such a right choice.

The highlights so far:
The road in Aandhimul is completed, I heard it took 7 days. Pipes are repaired and drinking water is again running through all the taps. People are extremely excited and happy. The cost was so far 1.43 lacks NR, 19000 loan is still to be paid, and still they need to put stones – but plan to do that after monsoons. The work is done really well though. Jeeps, mini buses can now connect from Yampa to the Fishpond, where many celebrations are taking place. One of the richer person from Yampa ( Rabindra)  has already build a shop – right next to the road and bought a land to build a house making a strong competition to the only shop by Ram Krishna Bhujel.

The locals will also collect money to pay for a trip full of bamboos. They will work together and this could be the start of the cooperative… More in the future on this one.

In the school, most of the young students have passed. There are some failures, one of the teachers claiming that some of the students are watching too much TV, rather than concentrating on learning.

15 nanglos has been ordered for export to Spain, by a company that I collaborate with in

The School has been cleaned and looks better – but lots of repairs are required. Kumar, the caretaker, has worked hard and has told some of the villagers that they must respect the school grounds.

Pampha, one of our funded teachers, went to Setograss Nursery in Bandipur for a teacher training programme on 16-17th April – she has made all arrangements herself and the headteacher Padham has allowed her to go, even though next years school admissions begins on the 18th April ( the 4th day of the Nepali New Year 2070). Which is really good for her and support from Padham.

Not so good:
Kumar yesterday asked me to take him to the hospital to check his eye (in Kathmandu). His eye is not very good, and the medicalcosts may be expensive. Also, Hari, a very skilled worker (the one who build the ferocement tank for our water project) is now in Malaysia trying to find higher paid work – and it has been reported that his job is not very good. A common example in Nepal of men wanting to leave to find better paid work outside Nepal, but often working in horrible and difficult jobs, still not paid so well. We do hope it is not too bad for him.

In progress:
Here in Bandipur – a new NGO has been created – the 16th April was the date of completion. The day after they will open account and all will be audited on annual basis by District administration office in Damouli to renew the NGO . The name is “Bandipur Rural Development Council”. They will be focusing on School and Health. Its main objectives are:

  • Increase quality of Education schools surrounding Bandipur
  • Increase health awareness among the people
  • Help them generate incomes

They will also go to Kathmandu to make a link with the Social Welfare Council.

Parts of the funding for this NGO will go towards helping schools including Aandhimul, which is great to hear.

Potential support with water:
Thumka village asked for help for extra pipe 1.6km costing from 1-2000Euro, (putting 32 mm pipe and keep the existing (instead of 50mm, reducing cost) – increasing the water flow for the growing village of 500 people). They are very organised, they were able to give me detailed quotes and prices and if we can find an engineer we may decide to help this community.

It would give a bigger support for the Aandhimul as well in the future. I asked them for own contribution, but have not discussed further details and explained there is no promise. They are willing to dig and work for free. All tools are still with the Aandhimul people which they could potentially hire out.

We will keep you updated.