The Nepal Trust

Working with health, community development and hope in the Hidden Himalayas. We work with local communities, government and NGOs in improving and implementing basic health care provision in remote areas, develop and conserve community infrastructures that contribute towards conservation of nature and culture and promote and create income generating opportunities to support the local economy with the aim of enabling sustainable projects, reducing poverty and improving the quality of life.
Apr 18, 2016

There is now some room for optimism.

Anna with local children.
Anna with local children.

Nepal Trust director and award winning film maker (Recite Films), Anna McPherson, recently travelled to our earthquake relief area to see for herself the devastation and the efforts being made to improve the lives of these remote, but very proud, people. Anna returned just a few days a go and is preparing to put together short films and documentaries of what she has witnessed. These will published on our GlobalGiving page in due course. Here is a short report of her initial observations.

'Since the earthquake in Nepal, almost a year ago, much of the indigenous mountain people in the hard hit area of Sindhupalchowk are still living in temporary housing made up of clay mud and corrugated iron sheets.

The NT are now engaged in recovery projects, including income generation initiatives, in support of those affected by the earthquake. Realising the rebuilding effort may take years, the NT recognised a need to support people in creating a sustainable way to make a living. These initiatives include; the distribution of seeds such as: cauliflower, cabbage, tomatoes and long beans to farmers; many livestock were killed or injured during the earthquake and the NT organised for veterinary services in very remote areas. The vets will educate the agricultural farmers in tending to their livestock and looking out for health problems and identifying treatments.

Another initiative has been support for irrigation to farmers and providing water tanks for drinking and washing water to remote communities as their water source had either dried up or moved since the earthquake. One community recently visited stated that prior to receiving the water tank provided by the NT, they had to walk 4 hours to source water.

The NT have provided metal electricity poles to communities, bringing electricity to their temporary homes, as many of the wooden poles had collapsed. The distribution of GI sheets (corrugated iron sheets) has been well received, including a school in the district of Syaule, which has built a Temporary Learning Centre where their school had collapsed.

Another initiative was the distribution of sewing machines to the Dalit caste. Many had lost their sewing machines in the earthquake, or they have been damaged. One seamstress that we visited, said that many people in her community didn't have money and so they would rely on a bartering system. She would sew and mend clothes in return for rice and other food stuffs.

After the recent field visit, it's still quite shocking to see the devastation of rubble laying around and still not having been tended to.  Ruins of once busy tea houses for trekkers. Whilst visiting Tarkeyghyang a once very busy guest house had been shaken to the ground. The owners have built a temporary accommodation and stated that prior to the
earthquake they would receive between 500 - 600 tourists in season. Now, they are lucky if they receive between 16 - 20. These people are highly dependent on tourism and the more support we can provide, the quicker they can get back on their feet and carry on providing a much needed service for tourism in this still beautiful country.'

Anna's brief report clearly demonstrates the huge task ahead for the relief agencies but the problems are not insurmountable and the hill people are very resillient. We need your support to continue the work started. Your help in the past has been brilliant and we could have done nothing without it. So we hope you can continue to support us. An excellent opportunity is about to arise when GlobalGiving will be matching donations to our appeal page, to the tune of 100%! Your donation will double! The campaign starts on April 25th at 0900hrs EDT or 1400hrs BST. It is advisable to get in quickly as matching funds can also go quickly.

Thank you for all your help and support and I hope you can help again this one time.

NT manager Anu Lama and Anna filming village elder
NT manager Anu Lama and Anna filming village elder
A local farmer.
A local farmer.
Produce almost ready for picking.
Produce almost ready for picking.
Feb 19, 2016

Progress is not just a visual thing.

Little Doctors, Simikot 2015
Little Doctors, Simikot 2015

Simikot airport now has a black-topped landing strip! So what, you say. But this is a huge improvement over the short dirt strip previously that engendered so much trepidation and excitement on landing in the small Twin Otter after flying for almost an hour through deep valleys and cloud formations hoping the mountains would not get too close to the wing tips! This is progress! When you land you see young people going about with their smart phones  and Facebooking their friends in Kathmandu. Satellite dishes sprout everywhere and people watch their favourite television programmes. The economy is improving and smart hotels are springing up. There is even a yummy bakery. Of course, as you leave Simikot (walking that is, because there are no roads or public transport), you rapidly move back in time to a more relaxed and traditional lifestyle but a lifestyle still deeply embedded in the old beliefs and way of life.

But these ways are changing slowly but surely as education informs and improves the old ways. The Nepal Trust is at the forefront of these changes and our programmes in health, renewable energy, income generation, agriculture, etc, are changing lives for the better. This is real progress that is saving lives and improving life chances. Not easily spotted like mobile phones but, nevertheless, there!

Winter is a slow time in the Hidden Himalayas and limits movement as trails and high passes get snowed up. Our clinics continue to operate at all times. Our new Yari Birthing Centre and Health Clinic is now complete but support is still required to fully furnish and equip it. An Auxiliary Nurse Midwife (ANM) has been recruited from the local community and is now in the clinic and running Community Health Awareness programmes focussing on health and family planning issues. These programmes are also being promoted in our Sarkegad clinic in south Humla.

We now stock over 90 types of medicines in our clinics. These are purchased in Kathmandu where we have quality control, and driven for 14 hours to Nepalganj on the Indian border. From there they are flown to Simikot for distribution. This is no easy task and requires porters and pack animals that can take up to a week over 5000m mountain passes.

Our Little Doctor programme goes from strength to strength. We have been running this for 15 years and we are still the only organisation in Nepal running it. For the last few years we have managed three programmes throughout the district but in 2016 we plan to increase this to 4 classes. The main objectives are:

  • Provide prevention health education to local school children through their local education system.
  • Raise health awareness among local communities in an interactive and cost effective manner.
  • Share knowledge about environmental issues regarding health and hygiene.

Put very simply, children pass on their new knowledge to their own families.

Thank you to our supporters and donors for all your help. We can do nothing without you and we hope you will stay with us and even pass on what you know to your friends and hopefully encourage them to come on board. Our health programme, in particular, requires regular funding so if you can come up with new ideas we are here to listen. Thank you once again.

Checking the baby.
Checking the baby.
Community Health Awareness Training.
Community Health Awareness Training.
Community Health Awareness Training
Community Health Awareness Training
Participants Community Health Training
Participants Community Health Training
Feb 18, 2016

Rebuilding is Underway.

Community Leaders and Nepal Trust staff
Community Leaders and Nepal Trust staff

Rebuilding homes and lives is now underway but what a task! Hundreds of villages have been flattened and crops and farm animals destroyed. The massive earthquakes less than a year a go were followed by a monsoon that created more grief and hardship and made movement more difficult as landslips were common on the already loose ground. Winter came with heavy snow on the higher ground and village people had to survive with only the emergency shelter, food and materials supplied by the Nepal Trust and other agencies. And aftershocks continue! As recently as only three weeks a go a shock of 4.7 magnitude was recorded in Sindalpulchowk, our project area.

We are pleased to report that the project materials supported by GG finally reached Tarkegyang village before the onset of winter. All roads and trails had been destroyed and it took a great effort to clear them for vehicle and porter movement. The village received 170 galvanised iron sheet bundles to provide temporary housing benefitting 81 households, a community hall and the gompa. This village is in Helambu at high elevation and the villagers would have struggled to survive the harsh winters experienced at this elevation.

In other villages in Sindalpulchowk the Trust has provided emergency relief in many ways including temporary shelter, the provision of Temporary Learning Centres (TLCs) to provide continuing education for local children, agricultural and veterinary support, building skills education and local business support to get the economy up and running again.

Future plans have moved on to the rebuilding phase and the Trust will focus on the repair of irrigation, electricity and road systems. Support to local farmers and small businesses to get the economy functioning again. We are heavily focussed on the rebuilding of schools to ensure local children can continue their education and ensure they still have a future. The Shree Ghorkonath Primary School is now fully funded through a magnificent grant from GlobalGiving and work is about to start for completion by the next school year. A similar school, Shree Reshankhu, will start building very soon once all funding is in place. Both schools will be built in an earthquake resillient manner and will have vastly improved facilities. A third school, in Bharatpur, Chitwan, is also ready to start. This school is the only school in Nepal for deaf children so it is extremely important to get this project underway and support these already deprived children. Funding is almost in place but further help and support would be much appreciated.

This is a tragedy beyond most of our imaginations. Thank you all so much for all your support and we hope you will continue to help in what ever way you can. Why not discuss it with your friends and suggest ways they could help? We all look for improvements in our own lives lets make improvements for those suffering in this earthquake tragedy.

GI sheet distribution
GI sheet distribution
GI sheet distribution in Tarkegyang
GI sheet distribution in Tarkegyang
Water and Irrigation pipes
Water and Irrigation pipes
Repairing Irrigation system
Repairing Irrigation system
Metal Electricity Poles
Metal Electricity Poles
 

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