Mar 21, 2016

Earthquake Relief Update from Himalayan HealthCare

An HHC volunteer treats a young patient
An HHC volunteer treats a young patient

Between September 23 and February 5, a blockade along Nepal's border with India closed off a major trade route, severely limiting Nepal's access to fuel, cooking oil, medicines and other crucial supplies. The costs of basic necessities skyrocketed and daily life for most Nepalis, many of whom are still reeling from last year's earthquakes, was made nearly unbearable.

As a result of the blockade, Himalayan HealthCare was forced to cancel our Spring 2016 medical trek to northern Dhading, where traditionally international volunteers have joined our local health staff twice annually to help treat hundreds of patients in remote villages and train local practitioners.

Despite the setbacks, we are grateful for the tireless efforts and monumental impact of our Nepal staff during these trying times. In Ilam, where our community hospital is located, a total of 315 patients were seen and treated during two medical camps in January and 148 patients were treated at a medical clinic in December. In Kathmandu's Bagdol area, HHC's health staff and volunteers treated 443 patients between September and February in medical clinics held three times weekly since the earthquake.

And our staff in Dhading, working hard to rebuild an area devastated by the magnitude 7.8 earthquake that struck last April, has achieved countless milestones. With support from Brother's Brother Foundation, based in Pittsburgh, PA, HHC helped 242 households replace livestock that were lost in the earthquake. Nepal's Livestock Minister Shanta Manawi visited northern Dhading last month to hand out the cash assistance raised by HHC for the households in Shertung, Tipling, Lapa, Jharlang and Ree Gau.

In December, HHC signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Nepal's Department of Education to rebuild 20 primary and secondary schools in northern Dhading over the next two years. The 20 schools will be rebuilt to higher standards than what existed prior to the earthquake and will include separate toilets for boys and girls, clean water supply, libraries and other facilities. Over the longer term, HHC will be revamping the curriculum for these 20 schools to include greater emphasis on critical thinking and other skills development. We anticipate these schools will serve as a model for education reform in rural Nepal.

HHC is also working in collaboration with AmeriCares to repair 12 health clinics in Dhading District and rehabilitate the District Hospital. HHC was among the very first organizations in Nepal to be approved by the government to build permanent structures after the earthquake.

Finally, under an agreement with the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP), HHC helped provide food to 3,945 households in northern Dhading. Under WFP's "Food for Assets Creation" program, food recipients were asked to donate 40 hours of their time to earthquake relief efforts. Our community members completed the task of constructing more than 80 kilometers of trails and nearly 11 kilometers of roads leading to the villages of Shertung, Ree Gau, Jharlang and Tipling in northern Dhading.

Extending roads to these hard-to-reach mountain villages is a major undertaking and one that has been promised by the local government for 20 years without being delivered. It was completed by our community members, under HHC's supervision, in six months and will significantly alter the development prospects for the region.

We are extremely proud of the dedication shown by our staff and grateful for the donors like you who have made this work possible. Thank you for being a part of the Himalayan HealthCare family and we welcome you to join us as we continue to rebuild a better and stronger Nepal.

With gratitude,

Christina

HHC earthquake relief team in Dhading
HHC earthquake relief team in Dhading
Nepal Minister of Livestock supports HHC program
Nepal Minister of Livestock supports HHC program
HHC volunteers carry supplies to northern Dhading
HHC volunteers carry supplies to northern Dhading

Links:

Feb 23, 2016

Update from Himalayan HealthCare on Post-Earthquake Relief and Recovery Efforts in Nepal

Nepal's Livestock Minister Visits HHC Programs
Nepal's Livestock Minister Visits HHC Programs

This last quarter has been a challenging one for Nepal. Between September 23 and February 5, a blockade along Nepal's border with India closed off a major trade route, severely limiting supplies of fuel, cooking oil, medicines and other crucial supplies. The costs of basic necessities skyrocketed and daily life for most Nepalis, many of whom are still reeling from last year's earthquakes, was made nearly unbearable.

As a result of the blockade, Himalayan HealthCare was forced to cancel our Spring 2016 medical trek to northern Dhading, where traditionally international volunteers have joined our local health staff twice annually to help treat hundreds of patients in remote villages and train local practitioners. 

Despite the setbacks, we are grateful for the tireless efforts and monumental impact of our Nepal staff during these trying times.  

In Ilam, where our community hospital is located, a total of 315 patients were seen and treated during two medical camps in January and 148 patients were treated at a medical clinic in December. In Kathmandu's Bagdol area, HHC's health staff and volunteers treated 443 patients between September and February in medical clinics held three times weekly since the earthquake.  

And our staff in Dhading, working hard to rebuild an area devastated by the magnitude 7.8 earthquake that struck last April, has achieved countless milestones. 

With support from Brother's Brother Foundation, based in Pittsburgh, PA, HHC helped 242 households replace livestock that were lost in the earthquake. Nepal's Livestock Minister Shanta Manawi visited northern Dhading last month to hand out the cash assistance raised by HHC for the households in Shertung, Tipling, Lapa, Jharlang and Ree Gau. 

In December, HHC signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Nepal's Department of Education to rebuild 20 primary and secondary schools in northern Dhading over the next two years. The 20 schools will be rebuilt to higher standards than what existed prior to the earthquake and will include separate toilets for boys and girls, clean water supply, libraries and other facilities. Over the longer term, HHC will be revamping the curriculum for these 20 schools to include greater emphasis on critical thinking and other skills development. We anticipate these schools will serve as a model for education reform in rural Nepal.

HHC is also working in collaboration with AmeriCares to repair 12 health clinics in Dhading District and rehabilitate the District Hospital. HHC was among the very first organizations in Nepal to be approved by the government to build permanent structures after the earthquake. 

Finally, under an agreement with the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP), HHC helped provide food to 3,945 households in northern Dhading. Under WFP's "Food for Assets Creation" program, food recipients were asked to donate 40 hours of their time to earthquake relief efforts. Our community members completed the task of constructing more than 80 kilometers of trails and nearly 11 kilometers of roads leading to the villages of Shertung, Ree Gau, Jharlang and Tipling in northern Dhading.

Extending roads to these hard-to-reach mountain villages is a major undertaking and one that has been promised by the local government for 20 years without being delivered. It was completed by our community members, under HHC's supervision, in six months and will significantly alter the development prospects for the region.

We are extremely proud of the dedication shown by our staff and grateful for the donors like you who have made this work possible. 

Thank you for being a part of the Himalayan HealthCare family and we welcome you to join us as we continue to rebuild a better and stronger Nepal. 

With gratitude, 

Christina

Hundreds of patients attend an HHC clinic in Ilam
Hundreds of patients attend an HHC clinic in Ilam
Distributing medicine at an HHC clinic in Ilam
Distributing medicine at an HHC clinic in Ilam
HHC volunteers clear landslides along trails
HHC volunteers clear landslides along trails

Links:

Dec 23, 2015

Building Back a Stronger Education Sector in Nepal

Students attending class in a school built by HHC
Students attending class in a school built by HHC

Himalayan HealthCare (HHC) has been selected by Nepal's Department of Education to lead the reconstruction of 20 schools, with a total of 181 permanent classrooms, in Dhading District. 

Education has always been a central pillar to HHC's approach to improving quality of life for some of Nepal's most marginalized communities. When we first started working in Dhading District in 1992, less than 15 students were attending school in the village of Tipling. By 2012, the village had more than 300 students enrolled in school, with a 90% pass rate for the national-level School Leaving Certificate exam, ranking it one of the top three schools in the entire district.

For more than two decades, HHC has supported classroom construction, teacher trainings, education stipends for orphans, scholarships, women's literacy programs, curriculum development and a wide range of vocational trainings in the remote mountain villages of northern Dhading District. 

HHC is taking this partnership opportunity as a chance to not just rebuild structures, but to improve upon old standards and create a new model for rural education in Nepal. 

Construction sites, materials and processes will be chosen in consultation with a social architect and other actors to ensure classrooms are earthquake-resistent and built for an optimal learning experience. Schools will be built using local labor trained by HHC. Over the longer-term, HHC will provide teacher training and curriculum enhancement to integrate critical thinking and other important skills sets.  

The schools built by HHC will serve hundreds of students per year, some of whom will be the first in their families to attain formal education.

Sumita BK, a native of Sherthung, is one of 14 students granted an HHC scholarship for the 2015-16 academic year. She recently told us her story:

There are 10 people in our family and for generations we have survived on day wages making household items. There are many people to take care of and with our economic condition I couldn’t give an education to my little siblings. I am the eldest daughter of my family. My parents supported me to study until my secondary exams. Since my parents' finances were not good, I could not ask them for financial support beyond that. When I was in school I used to think that I need to support poor people like us.

When I was taking the secondary exam, the earthquake came. It destroyed our small home. Whatever little grain we had, everything was buried. For my higher studies, I applied for a scholarship with HHC and was accepted. Now I am studying education. Everything is covered by HHC. Since they are supporting me, my studies are going well. Once I complete them, I intend to go and help people in rural areas by giving them the same chance at an education.

We are grateful for the opportunity to rebuild Nepal's education sector and thankful to donors like you who are helping us to support Sumita and so many other dedicated students eager to give back to their communities. 

Thank you for all that you've done for HHC and the people of Nepal during this trying year. We wish you and your loved ones a happy holiday season and we look forward to the new year ahead.

With gratitude, 

Christina Madden

The villages served by HHC are extremely remote
The villages served by HHC are extremely remote
Dhading students listen to a lecture on healthcare
Dhading students listen to a lecture on healthcare
HHC runs adult literacy and empowerment programs
HHC runs adult literacy and empowerment programs
Phedorje's medical studies are supported by HHC
Phedorje's medical studies are supported by HHC

Links:

 
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