One of the ways we measure how good a project is, is the amount of help and support that the local community gives it. When you see local people donating time, money, goods and services that's a pretty clear indication that the local community sees great value in a project. Orchid Garden is a project where locals are contributing many things, perhaps not so much hard currency as people in Nepal don't have a lot of that. But, we do see blankets, food, school supplies and even furniture being donated by the local community to Orchid Garden which , as I said, tells me that this place has great value. I'm uploading some photos of donations that have come in from the local community so you can see for yourself the kind of committment that Nepali's have to the wonderful programs at Orchid Garden. The quality of these photos isn't great, but the heartfelt and unselfish giving they display sure is.
Thanks to you, 25 children just received new school uniforms. All of these children come from the poorest families in the village, families that cannot afford the costs of uniforms, shoes or school supplies. Because of your help with this project they now have all new uniforms. The uniforms were made locally in the village by the local tailor, so there's an added benefit of additional income for the village. Our volunteers were on hand the day the uniforms were ready to be delivered and helped distribute them to the children. There are more children who still need our help. Providing support like uniforms and school supplies is the surest way to keep them in school, especially the girls. Families in Nepal are much more willing to scrape money together for boys education than they are girls. Some of the children in the attached photos are boys. They are from families so poor that the money can't be found even for the education of their sons.
The number of children coming to our village school everyday keeps growing and growing, which is great. We've had to divide up the day into two sessions, girls come in the morning and boys in the afternoon. Still, we ran out of room to hold classes and we just added a second classroom to the school. The building that houses the school has a total of four rooms, each approx. 18ft by 18ft. One is the home of our new women's health clinic (see Her Farm project on GlobalGiving) and now two are in use for classrooms.
One classroom is now the media room. English is taught in that room via the use of a computer connected to a large screen TV for classes or on individually paced learning programs on several laptops. The new classroom is where the homework club meets every morning at 6:30am with English class starting at 7:00am.
Many of the children walk an hour (or more) to take part in these classes. Keep in mind, these classes are in addition to their normal school program at the local government school. These are very dedicated students who understand how important learning English and how to use computers is for their future.
The new classroom was added with nearly all volunteer labor. I am adding a link to a short video we made about the building of this class and urge you watch how it came into being. The link is below.