Jolana returning to Aandhimul in March

We can announce that Jolana, our girl on the ground (project coordinator), has booked her flights for her 2013 trip to Aandhimul. She will be leaving mid-March and staying in Nepal for around 6 weeks.

Her key tasks are first, to meet with the community and see what’s been happening since her last visit in 2012. Second, is to try and find a project manager to manage our future projects and be key coordinator on the ground in Nepal. Since our previous project manager was no longer working for us, we’ve been relying on key members in the community and those connections we have outside the community to relay information back and forth. But have felt recently the need to employ one key person again to communicate between the project members and the community.

An account from Christina

From a volunteer with the Aandhimul project, Christina Levanas

“It’s two years already that I met the highly motivated Jolana Whyte from the Aandhimul Project in Nepal. I was impressed by her tireless dedication to the welfare of the village and felt like wanting to give a little part from my side as well. So last year, with a big backpack full of material, I went to see her in Aandhimul and we held a several-days textile-workshop with the kids in their school as they had holidays at that time. Although many children have to help at home, they showed up in big number. And it was amazing to see, how open to learn and how focused in work this “gang of hellions” was. The pictures might give an impression of their concentration and the fun we had.

It also was a great moment to be present when the month-long water project came to a successful end: water flow! Watch the faces of the small girls – no more words needed.

This year, due to a lack of time, I only was able to visited Aandhimul for some days. Great to see the teachers and kids again and to notice water-tanks in front of the small houses.

I fell in love with the big open smile of three-year-old girl Suku from a big basket-weaver family. Unfortunately as a baby she had a big fire-accident which deformed her right leg so that she had (in this extremly hilly area) to “walk” – quite fast- on one foot and her right knee. Something had to be done! With the spontaneous help of a generous, commited friend ,we managed to bring her to medical specialists and her surgery is scheduled for early July – I´m very happy!

So this years highlight for me is definitely that the Aandhimul Project gave hope and better future prospects to two smart young Nepali girls: lovely Krishala, suffering from a brain tumor, who already had her operation and sweet Suku with her burned leg.

The kids are the future!”

Christina is also coming back to Hitchin and supporting Jolana and the Aandhimul project in a charity stall on the now quite famous festival called ‘Rhythms of the World‘ on 14th and 15th July this year, 2012.

I will be happy to see you there and by purchasing a few of Christina’s designs and collections you will also make a direct impact on the welfare of the Aandhimul village. Our donation page for the Rhythms of the World can be found here


GVI Volunteers Come to Aandhimul

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A few days have passed since our first visit and after discussing with knowledgable people in Bandipur we have created a proposal and plan for the school’s renovation. However, we needed to get some measurements of the buildings to calculate costs for materials, and decided to head back to the village on Monday 13th October to retrieve them.

But before we left we had some visitors to join us, they were 3 volunteers with Global Vision International (GVI), the same organisation I was with for 10 weeks on my last trip to Nepal, and how I came to be in Bandipur, as many of you know.

You can see in Image 1 Mon and the 3 volunteers. Also, Angela the Aandhimul Project fundraiser from Australia, and Jolana the Aandhimul Project fundraiser from the UK were both volunteers with GVI in Bandipur and had done a similar visit to the village with Mon and I in January this year.

We decided to walk to the village as the weather was beautiful and the walk itself is wonderful, although a little slippy on the small, rock paths leading down into the valley. The vegetation is lush and we passed through some lovely villages with friendly people intrigued by us foreign trekkers, and we constantly passed under bridges of webs, and you can see one of the friendly, bridge supervisors in Image 6.

We did not stay too long in the village, but first stopped in an area where I stayed on my last visit in March. I had my laptop with me and showed the villagers pictures of themselves I took last time, they were very happy to see them and were laughing when I showed the videos too!

But you can see in Image 8 one reason why we need to help educate and support this village. Some children pictured show signs of malnutrition, which we need to try and eliminate from this village as soon as we can. It’s not widespread but is still happening due to unstable economic conditions and lack of education, thus resulting in poor diets and of course young children are then the first to suffer.

After this stop, we took a long walk around the village to the school. Whilst on this walk I took a picture of the School from above, Image 6 shows this, and hopefully it gives you more of an idea of the size of the school. When there we took the required measurements and then made our way down to the highway and caught the bus back to Bandipur, as it was too late to walk. Going back uphill would take over 3 hours, so the bus it was.

All the GVI volunteers really enjoyed the experience, and Lou from the UK especially took interest and showed real enthusiasm to help the project in anyway she can. She may even be able to get some funding for future programmes, which is great and I’ll keep you updated on that one. And sorry I didn’t get a front shot of the volunteers, hopefully I get a picture soon, and post it on a later blog.