A disastrous earthquake in an already impoverished country followed by a one-two punch of water-shortage and devastating rains. And then, top it off with yesterday's quake and the seemingly never-ending aftershocks.... What can a small organization or a few individuals do?
When the first quake hit, the Chhatrapati Free Clinic was well prepared, positioned on the ground and already working to help victims. They have been involved in earthquake preparedness for the last 15 years! GFV's initial response was funding support this great organization. Shortly thereafter team efforts were being mobilized throughout the country as well, and there were additional critical problems to address, like protection from the elements, water and food for the survivors. The Chhatrapati Clinic handled all "our" funding, first for their immediate emergency use (and also for safekeeping), while together we decided on the most immediate and effective way we could contribute to the relief efforts. We distributed the money to the most effective and trusted groups that were concerned with getting aid to areas not being addressed by the government or large organizations. For example, aside from medicine and first aid materials for the clinic and local distribution, we donated funding for supplies to help a volunteer group that was searching for tarps and sewing them to make temporary tent-like shelters for immediate distribution to the remote areas where thousands were without shelter from the heavy rains. We supplied large quantities of rice and other food to remote villages, and just before the second quake we helped send out relief packages to families in remote areas that were still waiting to receive aid. As previously mentioned, the Bungamati Cooperative Society school building was badly damaged and not salvageable. We committed to pay for partition walls for a new temporary shelter so that the school can open for classes next week. The partitions will later be incorporated into an earthquake-safe building. It's important for the children to normalize their lives as soon as
I feel honored that I was here in time to help oversee the funding allotment on your behalf. I felt and appreciated your support in all ways. At this point, all the funding for the first response has been allocated.
Today's headline in the Nepali newspaper Republica, 'Psychological disorder rampant among people post-quake'. This is especially true for the children, and critical because it affects every single child in the country! Now we need to concentrate our efforts on their recovery. In this regard GFV will shift its focus to concentrate on the children, and from here-on-in, funds received by GFV will be directed by us toward the emotional healing, heath and safety of the children who have been so traumatized. We are collaborating with others to create and distribute relevant programs to help teachers, parents and children overcome. And, no surprise, additional funding is needed! Thank you so much for your continued support.
Freema Davis and the Boards of GFV and GFV-Nepal
* Thank you to Brian Sokol for allowing us to show his incredible photograph. www Briansokol.com
The above letter is one of 25 letters that was written just last month by a kindergarten child from Tri Ratna School in Bungamati, Nepal to a new friend in a kindergarten class in Berkeley, California. I will be delivering the letters to the Berkeley children tomorrow morning. The intent of the letters was for children to be experiencing friendship and tolerance through learning about differences and similarities in other cultures. Now they will also have a new friendship opportunity– to reach out and support another child from a distance.
We know that the school has survived the quake but we do not yet know the extent of the damage in the ancient village surrounding it. It is critical at this time that children feel the support of others as they struggle to cope with the loss of important sacred temples, family members, their homes and the fears that every aftershock creates.If you would like to write a letter or send donations to Nepal to show your concern, support and generosity, I will personally deliver your messages and see that the funds go to the most needy. Thank you and Namaste from myself and the Boards of Global Family Village and Global Family Village-Nepal
As the year is coming to a close we are all so grateful. The children at the Bungamati Family House are grateful that they now have nearby 'grandparents' of their own, and the grandparents are equally happy that they have yet one more grandchild to love! (Yes, there are grandfathers too but they weren't around when the photo was taken.)
We at Global Family Village are thankful that you, our friends and supporters have helped this to happen. Children who were feeling isolated and traumatized are now experiencing the support of a family and community! The Early Childhood Program also continues to grow. A new teacher was just hired. A volunteer, Lauren is spending 3 month with the children to help the overall effectiveness of the teaching and learning!
From our family to yours, we wish you a very happy, healthy, peaceful and prosperous new year!
Your continued support is always welcome. Please keep in touch, come visit or volunteer, and of course financial donatiions are always helpful as we begin the prcess of replicating the model so that more children can benefit.
Again, sincere thanks from the GFV and GFV-Nepal Board of Directors, staff and volunteers.
Festivities in Nepal: What if... you have no family to celebrate with?
October is extremely exciting for the children in Bungamati, Nepal. It is almost a month of no school, festivals, and visiting and celebrating with family and community! Tihar (see Italics below) is a grand celebration of life and family! But, what if you don’t have any family to celebrate with? This year, Nabin, age ten watched as one-by-one his peers left the orphanage, for a week with their extended families. No one came for him..... But luckily for Nabin the unique child-care environment created by Global Family Village helps to bridge this gap, for Nabin and others in his situation. With nurturing, caring staff, volunteers and especially community, Nabin’s holiday was full and meaningful! Nabin participated in all the programs and enjoyed all the usual holiday rituals, decorating the House with bright colorful lights, going to all the traditional programs, and daily worship throughout the festival. Nabin also received gifts and traditional meals celebrating with local families who invited him to come join in the festivities.
GFV helps to create a strong family environment, with community friendship, support and inclusion for children in need. Nabin feels that this is his community, where he feels he is cared for, accepted and belongs. This sets this orphanage apart from the hundreds of orphanages in Nepal, where children are isolated from community or neglected or taken from their families.
As the holidays in Nepal are just finishing and just beginning in the west, we thank all the friends and supporters. Your continued support is always appreciated as we strive to sustain this program in Bungamati and begin replication in other areas of Nepal.
Global Family Village (GFV) Teacher Training in Bungamati
There is an on-going series of Teacher Training programs conducted by GFV's Early Childhood experts. The main objective of the training program is to promote basic knowledge on the appropriate methods of supporting children’s learning in ECD centers in Nepal.
In September, an Early Childhood Development teacher-training program was conducted in Bungamati for 13 teachers from different schools. The purpose of the workshop was to provide the teachers with some hands-on experiences in the preparation and use of children’s learning materials. A follow-up workshop to further support the teachers is planned for December.
Tihar is a festival for brothers and sisters, but What if you are a brother without a sister or a sister without a brother. Well, you can make one by accepting someone close to you in your relatives. If nothing works, you find one among your friends and neighbors, it becomes almost as if it was real. Whom ever you made your sister or brother remains so for life, and each year this festival makes your bond stronger. Tihar is a festival of sisters wishing a long life to their brothers, and Tihar is the most popular festival in Nepal. So hold on to your topi (hat), loads of excitement and fun are coming at you now!
Our growing family needs a new home—and they need your help!
Our community partners are building a simple village house where "our" family can live just like other children in their neighborhood. The family is growing and we are expecting the addition of four new children. While the community owns the land and will supply the labor they need funds for expertise, building materials, and supplies. Once the home is built- no more rent! Please help us to help them achieve their goal.
We are proud to announce that all of kids in the family have been promoted to the next grade!
The ECD program also continues to benefit the whole community with 60-children enrolled this year..... A refresher course for primary teachers takes place next week which ensures the quality of education as the program continues to grow. The cost of the teacher training (under $500) was specifically donated by a global giving donor!
We thank you all for your help with making this program a success. With your continued support we can greatly improve the quality of life for orphaned and abandoned children in Nepal.
Thank you from the GFV and GFV-Nepal Boards, advisors and volunteers.
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