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Here is rather late but positive report on The Nepal Foundation’s efforts over the past year:
The April 2015 earthquakes led to many generous contributions for aid to the Basa region where TNF has worked with the Rapchha community since late 2010. Individuals and organizations sent donations small and large, leading to the decision that TNF would continue working directly with Basa villagers even as new challenges far exceeded those faced in the past.
New meetings held with villagers helped to focus on the most urgent needs, available resources, short and long-term goals for the community. Although major government aid to rebuild houses has been slow to arrive, materials for temporary shelters, local ingenuity and resilience have helped immensely.
BasaKhali Secondary School, serving over 400 students, must be rebuilt. One of the community’s first responses after the earthquake was to document the damage done to this school and take the findings to the District Education Office to request funds to rebuild it. Meanwhile, classes are held in temporary classrooms made from corrugated tin sheets tied together.
This school, so important to the community, serves also as a central meeting place for important assemblies, festivals, teacher training, political speeches, intra-school spelling bees and debates.
Community Voices Are Heard and a New Strategic Plan Developed
In a November 2015 community meeting in Rapchha, the main village in the Basa Project area, 300 families were represented and were asked to complete a questionnaire prioritizing the community’s needs. After a series of strategic planning sessions an updated plan was produced to provide a guide as rebuilding proceeds and improvements are made.
Water Systems Project, Delayed by Unstable Homes, is to Resume
In November SAPPROS, the NGO which will oversee the water system construction, confirmed that it would begin the program in the fall of 2016.
In the meantime it will prepare an advanced training program to be held this spring to help the village farmers produce and sell surplus farm products for the much needed funding to rebuild homes. This was requested during the strategic planning sessions.
In November 2015 a new Non-profit organization called Support Nepal Foundation was established in Kathmandu under the leadership of Purna Sakya, Chair, and is off to an amazing start. Through Purna’s contacts at the Rotary Club of Kathmandu and the organization called Helping Hands, a truckload (over 1,500 lbs) of winter supplies was sent to Rapcha including blankets and winter clothing for children, hot water bottles and much more. CE-Construction, a Nepali company, provided the transportation free of charge.
T0 LEARN MORE, click on Our Projects or About Us. To reach us directly click on Contact Us.
TAX-EXEMPT DONATIONS CAN BE SENT AS CHECKS MADE PAYABLE TO: THE NEPAL FOUNDATION
and mailed to: The Nepal Foundation, c/o Ms Mary C. Carroll, Chair,
PO Box 654, Naalehu, Hawaii, 96772.
The Nepal Foundation promotes collaboration between people in the US and Nepal, developing educational, medical and small-scale economic projects in Nepal and organizing social and cultural exchanges between the two countries.
Beginning in October 2010, The Nepal Foundation's Basa Project representatives met with residents of the three wards and with representatives from government agencies and other NGOs. The focus was on listening to the villagers in face-to-face meetings, as they were surveyed, assessed priorities, set realistic goals and developed plans for meeting them. One of TNF's goals is to coordinate with other groups and NGOs whenever possible, avoiding wasteful duplication of resources, especially after the 2015 earthquakes.
Water and sanitation are a high priority for this community. With generous contributions from Aqua America; the Rotary Club of Ardmore, PA; a grant from the Bryn Mawr Presbyterian Church in Bryn Mawr, PA; a large individual matching grant secured by donations large and small, we were able to complete stages I and II of this important project.
Many more visits, meetings, much study and work by the local people resulted in constructive decisions about how to proceed with the water and latrine projects, and lessons on the importance of sanitation. A core group of villagers was trained in proper latrine construction and maintenance, and lessons in sanitation were conducted for children and adults. There is now a latrine for every household where there had been none. Almost every household contributed labor to build its own latrine, some money for a maintenance fund, and with community consensus help was provided for the few who could not build their own.
All latrines, for 350 households, were completed and everyone was justly proud of what they accomplished. In late 2012 the latrines for schools and public meeting places were scheduled for completion. The villagers agreed that the project would not be considered complete until all latrines had been built.
In this area of subsistence farming the demands of the growing season delayed some aspects of the Project but presented other opportunities. An agricultural technician was hired to spend the 2012 growing season in these three wards to teach cash crop potential and good crop management. With a subsidy from the District and some volunteer help, he purchased a quantity of healthy seedlings elsewhere and carried them back to the Project area. Living with families in the district allowed him more time for exchange of information. The farmers were enthusiastic and found him particularly knowledgeable. This successful program was extended in 2013.
The next phase of our Basa Project, construction of water systems in Wards 7, 8 and 9, began in late November 2012. It was organized by our Project Manager and directed by IDE, a non-profit engineering firm and our partner in Kathmandu. Hem, an IDE engineer, after testing the water quality and assessing the project, was on site during the construction period. This project led to plans for more systems, after more urgent needs are addressed.
Yadav Rai, a young man from the Basa region, is our invaluable Project Manager and representative in Nepal. He is well-educated, known and highly respected by the villagers and by outside groups who have assisted with past projects. With a Masters Degree in English Literature from Tribuvan University in Kathmandu, he is our main translator and facilitator. One of his goals was to teach; his "classroom" has become much larger than he expected. (See our note about Yadav's CD, below)
Funding is critical to this undertaking. We welcome contributions large and small to help make it a success. The Project Team includes people with the interest, enthusiasm, sometimes with special skills, experience or training, who wish to help in some way. Most are volunteers engaged in research, fundraising and planning the next steps toward the Project's goals.
For further developments, watch this page, our "Calendar" page, or read about "Our Projects." If you would like to learn more, or contribute ideas, expertise, funds, or participate in any way, please click "Contact Us" above.
►Honorary Consul Appointed: In 2012 The Nepal Embassy announced the appointment of Mary C. Carroll, Founder and Chair of The Nepal Foundation, as Honorary Consul of Nepal in the State of Hawaii. Active in social and volunteer work in Nepal for over 25 years, she was the first U.S. citizen to receive the "Friend of Nepal" Award from the Association of the Nepalis in the Americas and is Honorary Trade Representative, appointed by the Federation of Nepali Chambers of Commerce and Industry.