Jul 23, 2012

Update on the Soup Kitchen in Ulaanbaatar

From 23 April 2012 till now, we have seen an increase in the number of beneficiaries: an average of 80 beneficiaries coming to the Soup Kitchen for the hot meals. We are providing quality food instead of quantity meals to the beneficiaries. We are very fortunate to have a Nutritionist from the US Embassy to advise us on the nourishment of the soup we are providing to the beneficiaries. By adding lentils/splits peas or chicken peas to the soup is a good way to improve the sustenance and nourishment of the meal. These are good source of protein and iron and are not expensive like meat. Also adding more vegetables to the soup would be good.
We have quite a number of Mongolian donating "in kinds" like rice, sugar milk, noodles, etc.
A generous volunteer from Switzerland has donated kitchen equipments to the Lamp of the Path NGO like electric oven, water heater, pressure cooker and rice cooker. Beside Soup Kitchen equipments, she also donated medical equipments to the Health Clinic.
We have raised approximately about 15 million MNT for the LOP and we are looking for more funds so we can bring hot meals on the wheels to those who are not able to come to the Community Centre.

The Community Center is located in one of the poorest district of Ulaanbaatar, the Bayanzurkh district. There we are running, besides the Soup Kitchen, also the Health Clinic (free medical clinic for diagnistics and distribution of medicines) and the Children Development Project, where children of all ages are involved in a number of activities during the after school periods.

Jul 10, 2012

Build wells for 200 viillagers in rural Nepal

Dear Mohorigaun Village Drinking Water System (DWS) Project friends

I am just back from a field visit to Mohorigaun village where we plan to build the village drinking water system, which taps into the villager’s local water spring and pipes the water down to the village through buried plastic pipes to 3-4 tap stands. That prevents the women and children, who fetch otherwise their daily drinking water from the near by contaminated river to drink polluted water.

This drinking water project is part of a long-term "Family of 4" (see:http://www.rids-nepal.org/index.php/Family_of_4.html) holistic community development project RIDS-Nepal is carrying out in Mohorigaun. While each family already has a pit latrine (toilet), a smokeless metal stove and basic indoor lighting through a solar PV home system, the village drinking water system was in discussion since 2 years. Now, when I came to Mohorigaun in May 2012, another, well known international aid organization has provided the funds to build the drinking water system. They provided several times the funding we proposed. However, when I came to the village in May, there was NO water flowing from any of the 4 tap stands in the villages. What are the reasons...?

In a nutshell it is another, rather sad experience one makes if working long-term in the field of development. A big, international aid organization has provided the multiple times needed funds to build the DWS project for the people of Mohorigaun, but it was so badly built that NO water was flowing from any tap stands. The funds are gone and the "service", to have access to improved drinking water for the villagers, has not been achieved....This is unfortunately an experience which much more often the case than one expects...

Now, the situation is as following: The Mohorigaun people jointly addressed RIDS-Nepal AGAIN to build WITH them their urgent needed DWS, so that they finally get the needed access to clean, and enough, drinking water. RIDS-Nepal has developed the "Family of 4" community development concept based on almost 2 decades experience and thus we are committed to have it done in partnership with the Mohorigaun people. Thus, while we initially thought that the DWS is now in place, the poor execution of the work has not allowed the people of Mohorigaun to be able to have clean drinking water yet. Thus I encourage you to continue to stand with us and raise the needed funds to get the DWS done professionally and in ways the local end users are respected and, an active part of their project, and proud owners once the DWS is in place and water is flowing.

While this may not be the "normal" report story, with successes and smiling faces....this is unfortunately often the blunt reality of how development is done on a big scale....and we do not agree with this. We have to implement projects with respect for the people and do professional work, so that all stakeholders of a project are happy and satisfied with it, in particular the local end users.

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