Friends of Humanity

Friends of Humanity SA is a Geneva-based non-profit organization supporting initiatives and projects in five essential areas: - Human rights and dignity - Education and training - Healthcare and medicine (including alternative medicine) - Environmental protection and conservation - Microfinance
Jul 8, 2013

Meeting with Alex Zahnd

Friends of Humanity (FOH) met (via skype) with Alex Zahnd, director of RIDS-Nepal in order to follow the implementation of the project.

We are pleased to share with you the content of the interview.

FOH: How many Family of 4 Projects do you currently have up and running?

Alex: I have been in Nepal for 28 years, my goal is to participate in the development of the poorest of the poor…the people of Nepal have seen many ‘white elephant’ projects, they’re finished reports are written pictures of smiling faces but by two years later there isn’t development…Rural Integrated Development Services began in 2005 (2002 in Nepal, different calander)…approaches are skewed towards immediate impact—short term, their approach is long term, holistic issues and needs to be met

Alex: Current villages we are working in are 17 days by foot or a one hour flight then 1-2 days walk…Nepal Gange (google earth video should be up and running in the next few days)

Implementation of Family of Four

-Pit latrine, always the first element of the family of four, is about 200 CHF including transport, cement and installation (per home)

-Smokeless metal stove is roughly 200 CHF (per home)

-Solar home system 450 CHF (solar photovoltaic and LED lights) (per home)

-Drinking water system depends very much on village size, water spring source, how high the source is above the village

-Selects two members of the community to become experts on the projects so they know what to do if something goes wrong in the future…entire community is encouraged to participate as much as possible, required to do much of the manual labor

Latest Projects

2011 planned Araporie Village 60,000 CHF for 15 homes covers air transport and installation

Average cost of water systems is anywhere between 900 CHF-13,000 CHF per household

AVERAGE TOTAL BUDGET: 1950 PER HOUSEHOLD

Final Thoughts

RIDS really needs funds for follow up projects, has donors pretty much set for 2011…has no partners for 2012 onward, really looking for committed 5 year partners.

Jun 4, 2013

2013 Updates from India

In a seven classes school (from Nursery to calls 5th) everyday 120 children from the local community receive education, care and a ray hope for their future. Otherwise the closest school available to them would be at 4 hours driving distance through inaccessible jungle paths. Moreover the school gives the opportunity to 7 well trained local teachers to work for the benefit of their community’s children. 

A new bathroom and a kitchen for the 11 residential students living there have been almost completed. Recently a new pickup truck and a generator have been purchased. The vehicle will help a lot for transportation of working material and people through the jungle paths. It will also be very useful in the agricultural projects. The generator will help to carry on all the activities of the community with the many power cuts and the shortage of electricity. New concrete underground water tank has been built and irrigation pipes have been purchased for improving the agriculture projects. 

The young women of the village will have soon the opportunity to develop vocational skills in tailoring with the new sewing machines in a dedicated classroom under the guidance of an expert teacher. We are also trying to improve our small dispensary with new medicinal and first aid material

Reading this report, you can see that a lot have been done thanks to your support !



May 24, 2013

Feed 80 Homeless People in Ulaanbataar, Mongolia

Most kind donors to the Soup Kitchen feeding the Homeless in Ulaanbataar, Mongolia.

Today's report has been prepared by an American student  from SIT (School for International Training) who has been volunteering at the Lamp of the Path for the last two weeks.

I am a volunteer for the Lamp of the Path, and have been able to see many of the positive changes that are occurring because of this organization’s place within the community.

The day at the Lamp of the Path starts with English lessons for children from the community. These lessons, for children whose parents cannot afford to pay for classes, teach children basic English vocabulary and grammar. Every class builds a bit upon the last one, so that the children may come out with a greater understanding of English. These classes are a part of the Children’s Development Project which brings classes and activities to local kids. In addition, the teacher for these classes also visits a close by children’s home where she works with kids who can no longer live with their families. In the afternoons, high schoolers come in for review English classes, taught by a native English speaker, these classes offer these older kids an opportunity to try out their skills and expand their vocabulary.

Between these lessons, the soup kitchen opens to the community. The kitchen serves many local homeless and community members who have fallen under hard times, serving as a large source of nourishment. Men, women, and children all come in when the doors open at two o’clock for some soup and a large piece of bread, some milk tea finishes the meal. This meal also serves to foster a sense of community among the people to which it is served. After the patrons have finished eating, they are free to visit the free clinic. Staffed by an amazing doctor, she quickly aids the patrons, sending them on their way in better health than before. Having healthcare and nourishment will hopefully help to empower the patrons, and help to give them a sense of agency.

In the future, the Lamp of the Path hopes to also build a battered women’s shelter somewhere in Ulaanbaatar. Along with their other services this would further increase the amount of empowerment the nuns and staff of the NGO are trying to return to the community. The work done here, from an outsider’s perspective, is amazing and should be continued on into the future.

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