Begun in 2010 and focusing on a remote and extremely impoverished rural area, this project is being guided by local input and effort. Goals are to meet some of the community’s basic needs for improved living conditions, health and education, and to help establish a self-sustaining model for healthy community development. Having become The Nepal Foundation’s main focus for the past four years, it has been very successful and has led to more extensive plans and success.
Our Basa Project area suffered from severely damaged homes and schools – and some of the latrines which were such a proud accomplishment in 2012 – but lives were lost on site. The villagers were resourceful, staunch, and resilient, it seems. Photos and reports from friends and from our Project Director, in Kathmandu and in Basa, reflect experience in improvisation, recycling, recovery and a sense of optimism. Looking at the projects and attitudes described below, as well as the generosity described over the past year, can inspire confidence in the prospects for this community’s recovery and continued improvement.
The Nepal Foundation Chair, Mary Carroll, and Project Manager, Yadav Rai, met with representatives of 300 Basa families in November 2015 to discuss with and help them prioritize the community’s goals in a new Strategic Plan. Other Nepali organizations and volunteers have become involved as well, often leading to faster and more direct response to specific needs.
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.
The government pledged to build a block of school rooms. International and local NGOs have pledged to build the remainder needed, as discussed below. In local meetings, all agreed that the goal of creating a better community would be well-served by adding a gymnasium or auditorium for all-school meetings; a math and/or science laboratory; computers; a kitchen; living quarters for teachers who are assigned to the school by the Kathmandu government; a sports field and playground; and a kindergarten for teachers’ children.
This school, so important to the community, serves also as the place for important assemblies, community events, festivals, teacher training, intra-school spelling bees and debates.
The Nepal Foundation has pledged new teacher’s quarters, currently under construction, with housing for 4 teachers assigned from Kathmandu. It will be heated, with running water, a kitchen, an indoor bathroom. If funds are available a new sports field for the older students is also pledged.
A British group, Classroom in the Clouds, focuses on schools throughout Nepal and has completed a new primary school; a French organization, ANUVAM, recently built a new health center which sustained only minor damage last year. They will provide 3 new homes for the poorest families and smokeless ovens for all new homes built by the villagers. A German group, RE:HELP, has pledged a block of 2 classrooms, a new kindergarten building with playground, and several computers. (The issue of internet access is being addressed by Nepalis.)
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