muntzdesigns

About muntzdesigns

This author has not yet filled in any details.
So far muntzdesigns has created 5 blog entries.

The Basa Project

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.)


Click below to learn more about other TNF Projects

Artist-in-Residence

A six-month-long program was designed for Nepali artists who wish to develop their creative and artistic talents in an unstructured setting in Hawaii. Artists chosen to participate must have a clear personal goal to develop a specific project or skill. We hope to accept one Nepali artist per year. Living and transportation expenses are funded by The Nepal Foundation and individual donations.

The program includes a stay in a private residence, with opportunities for meeting American neighbors and artists, sightseeing, and learning about the American way of life. Special emphasis is placed on learning how democracy works in the US.

The Artist-in-Residence program is modeled after a similar and highly successful program in Ireland for US artists. The Nepali artists accepted into the program are expected to practice their skills and develop their talents through independent study which may include work on a thesis for educational credit. As appropriate and possible, informal concerts / exhibits of their work will be arranged.

Several artists, including our Project Director for the Basa Project, Yadav Rai, participated in this program. We deemed it valuable, but were ultimately faced with the U.S. Embassy’s denial of visas for the candidates we chose, some published and well-known in Nepal.

If this situation changes, we will post that information here. For now, we will continue to focus on the Basa Project.


Click below to learn more about other TNF Projects

Patan Hospital

A cooperative arrangement was established between US hospitals and Patan Hospital in Kathmandu for the exchange of ideas, training, and equipment. One result: GE healthcare donated $50,000 worth of medical equipment for the new wing of the Patan Hospital, and doctors have spent time teaching in Patan.

Our projects and charity recipients sometimes need specific medical or other equipment. When we know of specific requests they will be posted here. If you are interested in making such a donation please contact us.


Click below to learn more about other TNF Projects

Technical Assistance to Sagarmatha National Park

The Solukhumbu District of Nepal contains Sagarmatha National Park, the location of Mount Everest. In 2001 the Nepal Foundation collaborated with the US National Park Service and the Nepal Ministry of Forests and Soil Conservation through a Sister Park Arrangement. The Arrangement provided a four-week executive management training program in US National Park sites in the eastern US for the Chief Warden of Sagarmatha NP. A few years later the Nepal Foundation also worked with Eastern National to provide training to personnel in Sagarmatha on managing bookstores and shops in national parks and on designing visitor information centers. Currently the Nepal Foundation does not have an active project with Sagarmatha NP.

We thank you for your past support. If we become active in this area again, we will post that information here.


Click below to learn more about other TNF Projects

Earthquake Recovery

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.


Click below to learn more about other TNF Projects