VillageTech Solutions (VTS)

Create technology to better lives in developing countries
Jul 31, 2012

Postcard: Project Site Visit

Map of the nearly 40 bridges needing maintenance
Map of the nearly 40 bridges needing maintenance

Shari Davis & Ellen Currin are InTheField travelers with GlobalGiving who are visiting our partners’ projects throughout Nepal. Their “Postcard” from their most recent visit in Nepal:

Upon entering Nandu Bhandari’s house, it is immediately apparent the space is more than just a home. The dining room table, covered with solar equipment waiting to be sent, is flanked with a wall-size map of Nepal, complete with pins and string denoting the nearly 40 wire bridges that Village Solutions is charged with maintaining. A detailed model of the gondola-style bridge sits on a bookcase and large photo boards line the walls, showcasing the many, various villages benefiting from the organization’s solar light projects.

I sat down with Nandu, had some tea, and he updated me on the work of Village Solutions, Nepal partner to US-based Village Tech Solutions. Nandu spoke of the vital importance of repair and maintenance of these wire bridges, which provide children access to school, pregnant women access to safer birthing options, and countless opportunities for those cut off by a river crossing. There was no staff in his office today, they were all out in the field, working on the solar light project or repairing and maintaining the wire bridges.

Nandu took me around his house, which contained many rooms that had been converted to workshop space. Equipment and tools were everywhere, and there were walls of shelving containing parts manufactured at the office. Though repairs and maintenance for bridges take place at the many bridge locations throughout the country, the repairs for the solar-lights occur right in the office.

When asked what inspires his work, Nandu told a story of a gentleman who walked in to his office and said he had already lost his mother to the river; he wanted a bridge because he didn’t want to lose anyone else. I asked Nandu what about his work makes him happy. “If students have lighting system to do their homework after dark, if they can go about their day without worrying about the river, if they have a smile; if the people are happy, then I am happy.”

Nandu
Nandu's model of VTC's gondola-style bridge
Coordinator Nandu with parts for solar light
Coordinator Nandu with parts for solar light
Nandu and his wife in their home/office
Nandu and his wife in their home/office
Replacement parts for the wire bridges
Replacement parts for the wire bridges

Links:

Jun 13, 2012

WireBridge refitting under way

Prem tunes the back-stays on a WireBridge
Prem tunes the back-stays on a WireBridge

Our partner in Nepal, Village Solutions, sent their construction supervisors to the field this past weekend to upgrade four WireBridges. As with any vehicle, occasional maintenance is necessary. They will replace the trolleys, install additional safety equipment and new pulling ropes.

These snow-fed rivers will run year-round, at least until the glaciers have melted! Now, in the monsoon, they are enormous, and an impassable barrier.  Their, and our thanks, for the assistance of the many generous donors who invested in these 'transport solutions' in that far corner of the Earth.

Now we are organizing a campaign to raise $100,000 to complete the retrofitting and long term maintenance for the remaining 29 WireBridges!

Feb 13, 2012

Sustain~Ability = Keeping students aloft in Nepal

Thumka WireBridge
Thumka WireBridge

Since 1998 thirty eight WireBridges have been built over Nepal's rivers. We estimate these made possible more than 3 million crossings, all without accident.

Sparked by pleas from rural villagers, this low-cost solution emerged from countless volunteer hours, donations from individuals and institutions, and the patience and dedication of a great Nepalese construction team.

With a decade of experience, Village Solutions, the Nepalese affiliate, will will soon start refitting each of the bridges. The upgrades will include a new trolley design (for longer service life), additional safety gear, new ropes, etc. The team will also collect photos and anecdotes from the local users, which we hope to relay back to you, our supporters.

Current donations will be used for four bridges: Thumka ~ 128 meters, Gadhi II ~ 80 meters, Jaldevighat ~ 170 meters, and Sukaura ~ 165 meters. This requires $ 13,800; $ 11,600 is on hand; $ 2.200 to go!

All together the daily traffic on these four bridges is nearly 800 round trips --  for school, health care, market access. That's impact!

Please help us to keep our students (and their parents) aloft!

Gadhi WireBridge
Gadhi WireBridge
Jaldevighat WireBridge
Jaldevighat WireBridge
Sukaura WireBridge
Sukaura WireBridge

donate now:

An anonymous donor will match all new monthly recurring donations, but only if 75% of donors upgrade to a recurring donation today.
Terms and conditions apply.
Make a monthly recurring donation on your credit card. You can cancel at any time.
Make a donation in honor or memory of:
What kind of card would you like to send?
How much would you like to donate?
  • $15
    give
  • $20
    give
  • $50
    give
  • $100
    give
  • $250
    give
  • $500
    give
  • $1,000
    give
  • $15
    each month
    give
  • $20
    each month
    give
  • $50
    each month
    give
  • $100
    each month
    give
  • $250
    each month
    give
  • $500
    each month
    give
  • $1,000
    each month
    give
  • $
    give
gift Make this donation a gift, in honor of, or in memory of someone?

Reviews of VillageTech Solutions (VTS)

Great Nonprofits
Read and write reviews about VillageTech Solutions (VTS) on GreatNonProfits.org.