EHN is looking at a productive 2016 so far with 8 volunteers now booked for the July medical camp and 3 volunteers going to paint Damgade School in Kaski. We have raised most of the money we need to rebuild the school in Gorkha and have recently met with a trust based in Nepal who manage construction projects. Since meeting with them we have sent information about the school and local supplies in order to recycle some of the materials used in the old school and reduce the cost to build. We are also able to take some volunteers to help with the construction of the school again to reduce the cost to build so if you or a friend are thinking of coming to help Nepal rebuild why not work with EHN and get some school children back in a safe earthquake proof school?
In the end we have had to look at working with a local construction trust to get the school built as paperwork and red tape at the Government level is proving to be very time consuming with little information as to when or if we can build. The trust has built over 100 schools and health posts in Nepal over the last 22 years and have far more experience at dealing with local and national Government officials which is why EHN has chosen to work with them.
We plan to construct the foundations and ground level before the monsoon rains get to heavy in June and then finish the second floor after the monsoon ends late Sep to early Oct. Once we have the new school block of 8 classrooms built we focus on getting a new day care room and storage room built as the existing building is badly damaged and only still standing as the school needs somewhere to store old furniture and supplies.
One other type of project that has been put in place but will not be launched until later this year is charity trekking to help raise the rest of the money needed to finish the school plus we hope start raising more for the next school we want to help rebuild. The way it works is pretty simple, EHN is a fully registered Nepali and UK charity which means if you wish to do a charity trek in Nepal you can use either of the two charities registration details to set up a fund raising site, bank account or online account. Once you have raised over £300 you have the minimum amount required to donate to the school rebuilding project. If you raise more you have the choice of donating it or using it to subsidise your trek or maybe split the extra amount? The choice is yours. The trek will be booked with Himalayan Adrenaline Rush a new adventure travel company who will add 10% of the value of your trek to the donated amount so if you do the Everest base camp trek at £950 HAR will give back £95 to add to your donation increasing the amount of support you give.
There is no limit to how much you can raise and in theory if you raised over £1400 you could trek for free and still donate £500 when you combine your donation with the 10% kickback.
So that is what we have been doing and discussing in Feb and I will blog again soon.
EHN is currently talking with Shree Durga school and the team at Pahar trust to confirm what materials are available in the village that can be used in the construction of the new school. We are also hoping that some of the local community can help and provide some free unskilled labor to keep the costs down. I am also going to ask if it would be possible for EHN volunteers to help but have to get this confirmed before looking for volunteers to help.
So far EHN has about £21,000 to start building and depending on what we have in the village and who can help we hope to get the new school built for £32’000 to £34’000. If we can use the stones from the old school plus get some free labor we hope to reduce the cost but either way we are still a few thousand short so if you wish to help you can go to the EHN website or just share this post and help spread the word.
The first pic is of the design we want to use for the new school which is a reinforced concrete frame and light zinc roofing making it much more earthquake resistant and the other pics are of the school before and after and the classrooms the children are currently using …
Many thanks to everyone who’s already donated, EHN could not help this school and community without your amazing support!
As many of you know Nepal was hit by two earthquakes back in late April and then early May both over 7 on the ricter scale. Between them they made millions homeless and took nearly 10,000 lives. EHN has been looking at ways to help Nepal and its people recover and one of those ways is to work with local government schools and district education officers to rebuild classrooms in some of the worst hit districts. Now things are slowly (very slowly) getting back to normal and as the monsoon comes to an end we have volunteers coming in to help with our work.
Two weeks ago I met with the secretary of the NTA Nepal Teaching Association to ask for their help identifying schools that need help. We now have one school in Gorkha and I will be talking with the head of the NTA for Dhading district later today to find another school in that district. Once we have three schools to work with we will focus on getting the new reinforced concrete classrooms built and the children back into a safe environment to study.
Reports say that Nepal lost around 16,000 schools as a direct result of the earthquakes of which at least, a statement from Save the Children estimates that in Gorkha district alone, 90% of the 500 schools have been destroyed or badly damaged, affecting 75,000 school children. Hence my focus on helping to get as many children as possible back into strong safe buildings to continue their education. One of the main things that hold the development of nation back is its level of education and while Nepal does not has a brilliant educational system they do manage to provide lessons for most of the country’s children. As a result of the natural disasters 1000,s of children have already lost one to two months of education this year and now face a cold winter in tin huts or tents.
Last week I was in Pokhara in the Kaski district to visit two schools, one of which EHN has been working with for nearly two years now and the other is a new project partner that have asked if EHN can help. Rupa school was EHN,s first rural school partner and since working with EHN they have seen their school transformed into a colourful place of with the average English exam result going from 77% to 88% as a direct result of the teaching volunteers we have been placing there. We have also helped them link up with a school in the UK through the British council and the Principal of Rupa school will visiting the UK to see how the education system is there. The final stage to helping the school offer a better level of education was to pay and install a solar and battery backup system so they can get regular power and run the computer lessons at fixed time and this week I hope to see the internet installed and the school go online. Once they are up and running the students and teachers will be introduced the students and teachers from the UK schools exchanging ideas and stories.
One of the reason I made a decision to only work with Government schools is they offer the education free and therefore tend to provide education to the poorer people of Nepal and also the girls who in many parts of Nepal are not offered the same level of education as the boys.
I love working with rural areas in Nepal and cannot begin to explain how doing my job makes me feel but one thing I will say is, Nepal and its people are beautiful and my heart will always belong to them !
For more details please see http://ehn-nepal.org/
Education and Health Nepal was set up by two Englishman with a love of Nepal and its people. We started out working in slum areas, rural farming projects and schools. We then added children’s homes to the EHNs list of projects. After about 18 months and 8 to 10 Children’s homes later we couldn’t justify sending paying volunteers to these anymore of these homes. The reason for this is simple, we have yet to see a benefit to the children in the homes and the Orphanage we worked with and the childcare community is getting more and greedier.
If you are a volunteer who has dreams of helping orphans in under developed countries then you should really take into account that you may not be helping the children in anyway. If that’s not bad enough you may also be contributing to a growing child abuse issue. In Nepal there are many ways the children are obtained for the homes, some are just relatives of the home owners, and others are from families in poor villages that thought they were giving their child a chance at a better life. In fact what is happening is the children are taken away with a promise of a good home and education but in reality they are used to con volunteers into sponsoring them and giving money. The system is such that the people taking the children ask for the birth certificate if they are to take the child. This is then burnt and new documents are drafted making the child an orphan even though they have parents.
Things a volunteer should look out for when volunteering in an Orphanage or Children’s home in Nepal.
1: The children are to dependant on the volunteers… This is normally because they have been trained to do so or they are treated so badly that only when a volunteer is around are that shown any love or care.
2: Bad skin and hair… This shows a lack of health care for the children and in some cases the bad skin is the first sign of protein deficiency. They should always get some meat and or milk and eggs.
3: Bad clothes… If the home is run well the children will have clean clothes and shoes plus toothbrush and other hygiene products. In allot of cases the donated toys and clothes are sold off for extra profit plus it means the home owners can ask for more money.
4: Being pushed to sponsor a child or repeated complaints about not having enough money to run the home… Again if the project is well run most homes and orphanages in Nepal have been well supported for years. Also some homes have far too many children so the question you should ask is why take so many of you can’t support them?
6: NO toys or books to use… Most volunteers bring some items to donate and in allot of cases the children only get them while you’re there. This is again another source of income for the home owners. I have personal experience of a home owner taking books and pens to a stationary shop two after receiving themas a donation. He even asked another volunteer to help him pack them!
You may finish reading this and think “Why would I want to volunteer in Nepal now” in answer to that.
1: Nepal is the poorest country in Asia now and is seriously lacking behind other countries in terms on development.
2: Even with the information above Nepal does have some great children’s homes that need help and support to continue their work.
3: There are many other ways to help the children of Nepal and if you look at the way in which a rural Nepali child grows up compared to a well-run children’s home I would have to say the rural life is much harder even with parents.
4: Once you get past the few corrupt locals out to make money you will find the general population of Nepal some of the warmest and most welcoming people around. Add to that jungles, forests, rivers, valleys, gorges and of course the Himalayas mountains and you have one of planet earth most amazing diverse countries.
We need people to help plant trees and contribute to the cost of protecting those trees in rural areas of Nepal. Nepal has seen a massive amount of deforestation over the years and as a result we have seen many more landslides as well large areas of national park being badly affected. WCN are growing native trees which need to be planted and protected in areas set aside for reforestation. These trees provide a valuable resource to the local people as they are used for animal feed, building and cooking not to mention the positive impact on the local environment. In other areas the trees provide protection form landslides in the monsoon season as the trees roots play a big part in holding the soil on the valley sides.
As with most EHN projects the volunteers will be staying with local people in their homes while working on the project. The volunteer will work alongside the Village Community Forest User Group who will be helping to plant the trees and will be the main beneficiaries of the tree planting project.
Your money will go towards the fencing needed to protect the trees from animals until they are big enough to survive. After that we pay the home stay family for your accommodation and food and the rest is used to run EHN and fund future projects.
There are four location that EHN & WCN are looking to reforest, some are in the south in the region called the Terai and the others are in the valleys regions a few hours from Kathmandu.
We are looking to send 2 to 5 people in each team with a minimum of two weeks commitment required from June to August 2014.
For more information please email firstname.lastname@example.org