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May 7, 2019

Progress is being made.

Enjoying the view
Enjoying the view

Dear Friends and Supporters

Muchu village is about as far as you can go in north west Nepal before you hit the border with Tibet/China.It lies in the beautiful Karnali river valley at an elevation of over 3000m. It is the 'centre' for a number of smaller villages scattered around within a few hours trekking. There is splendid monastery there that has been helped to renovate by the Nepal Trust.

It sits on the main trail to Mount Kailash, an important pilgrimage site for Buddhists and Hindus, and can be very busy during the tourist season. Simikot, the headquarters for Humla, is a 2-3 day walk south but Tibet, to the north is less than one day a way. Economic activity has always preferred the northern route and this will remain so as a road is slowly being developed from the border to the south and eventually to Simikot. It has always been the plan to set up a trading station at the border to generate income to support the school and its hostel for outlying pupils. We are sure that this will happen because the people of Muchu are traders, that is what they do and it is part of their heritage. With our help they will surely succeed.

Winter has now passed and the snow at school level has gone. Work is progressing well to build the canteen/kitchen and storage facilities to meet the increased demand from children from outlying villages.Work on new additional classrooms will start later in the year.

A good education increases life chances and is an incredible lifeline for children from such remote and difficult areas. Your support is much needed and gratefully received. Thank you for all you have done to support this cause and we hope you will continue with us. Please tell your friends and encourage them to.

Namaste

Blessing the new building site
Blessing the new building site
Canteen/kitchen foundations
Canteen/kitchen foundations
Going up!
Going up!
The new building
The new building
May 7, 2019

Spring has arrived.

A poor Humli family
A poor Humli family

Dear Friends and Supporters

The hard winter is now over and it is easier to get around in Nepal’s remotest district of Humla. Of course ‘easier’ is relative when walking is your only option. The lack of roads and the other infrastructures we are used to makes movement slow and laborious. This part of Nepal is also very poor and food deficient. More than 50% of children die in infancy and the average lifespan is only 58 years.

Once an economic powerhouse reliant on the salt trade from Tibet, finally succumbed to cheaper iodized Indian salt. Salt caravans are now a very rare sight.

The economy is slowly improving as tourism begins to take over and the area has become the official gateway to holy Mount Kailash in Tibet. This religious tourism is bringing many pilgrims from India and elsewhere to the region to fulfil a dream. Lodges and eating-places are popping up all along the main trail to cater for this demand. Renewable energy has become a very important source of electricity for the new economy and is expanding. It is also a clean energy that contributes to a healthier society

The Nepal Trust has been a leader in the development of this technology often in some of the most remote places. More have been installed by others but some are non-operational or only partially working due to a lack of effective maintenance.

The planned Renewable Energy Service Centre will facilitate the local maintenance of existing and future installations and offer much needed electrical, mechanical and related services, spares and repairs. It will provide the means for mountain villages to improve and sustain their livelihoods through clean energy technologies and to benefit from the consequent employment and business opportunities that develop alongside. Indirectly the Service centre project will also contribute to conserving the environment and forests that are depleting fast.

We are still in discussions with our chosen partner Ngo, LIDS, who will manage the Centre on our behalf. We hope to conclude our agreement over the next few weeks and then push ahead with the installation of machinery and equipment much, of which, will have to be sourced from India. We apologise for the apparent slowness but things do take time in this remote part of the world. A sick man in Humla may have to walk 2 days to get help but getting there is the most important thing! I hope to have some real positive progress by the next report.

Thanks to you all for your support and patience. We hope you will remain with us and pass on the news to your friends. Climate change and the damage to our environment are very much in the news these days. Your continued support and help will be a contribution to helping solve some of these issues.

On the trail to Mount Kailash
On the trail to Mount Kailash
Clean light
Clean light
A Microhydro installation
A Microhydro installation
Help the children
Help the children
Apr 19, 2019

The Year of Change.

Doleni and some of her children.
Doleni and some of her children.

Dear Friends and Supporters

 

Giving birth in Humla is a risky business. Doleni Sunar, a mother aged 46 years, has had 6 children but 2 died. After each delivery she suffered poor health and did not have enough food to keep herself and her child healthy. Traditional beliefs meant she got little or no support while pregnant and only after the birth did family members rally round to help and advise. She is very grateful for the services provided by the Trust and for the way it is improving the local health service and current systems.

 

2019 promises to be a significant year of change for the Nepal Trust's community health programme and also we hope for the long-term delivery of healthcare into the Hidden Himalayas.

 

We have recently launched two major initiatives, the longer objective of which is to engage the local communities and local government in taking ultimate responsibility for the sustainable delivery of the community healthcare programme.

 

The wider catalyst for change has come from the changing horizons in Nepal with, following recent elections, local district governments being given more responsibility and budgets (plus discretionary decision-making authority) for healthcare. The immediate catalyst for change is the support we have received from the Wilde Ganze Foundation in Holland to build 3 new health posts in south Humla District at Maspur, Piplang and Tumcha rural municipalities (RMs).

 

This is a major project and one in which we engaged with the local government, through the District Health Officer’s (DHO) office in Simikot, in the selection of location and sites for the construction work and, crucially, have agreed that these new clinics once constructed will be adopted as government health posts, effectively replacing old building units that are no longer fit for purpose. Government healthcare workers and Nepal Trust healthcare workers will operate from the clinics, reflecting the model of co-operation that we have already established at our health post in Sarkegad.

 

Elsewhere we have engaged a local NGO, SHIP Nepal, which is based in Simikot, to take over the day to day management of the delivery of our health programme at the Bargaun, Sarkegad, Kermi, Yari and Halji clinics. Responsibility for the overall strategy and financing of the programme will remain with the Nepal Trust but responsibility for the local management of the programme will be transferred to a local healthcare manager working for SHIP. The NT healthcare workers will also be engaged by SHIP. A key objective and responsibility being transferred to SHIP is that of engaging with the DHO to have the 5 NT clinics in North Humla adopted as community health posts and brought into the local healthcare programme.

 

We see this transition as a medium-term objective and one that we hope to complete within the next 5 years. In the mean time we remain responsible for funding the healthcare programme that costs in excess of $70000 per annum. Donations to support the programme ensure that the health and wellbeing of those in one of the poorest and most remote parts of the world are catered for and these mountain people can look forward to a healthy and more productive future.

 

Prajit Bohara, a government Health Assistant in Humla, remarks that many people remain sick due to a lack of services available. Traditional medicine is still the only real option for many and although it may help in some cases lack of basic knowledge is a major stumbling block. He remarks that many more health posts are needed so that already ill people do not have to walk for hours, sometimes days, to reach the nearest health facility. According to Prajit having a health/birthing centre has a positive impact on the community. It raises the status of the village and makes it more active. People become more educated and productive.

 

The Trust is working with the local government and village communities to provide a working health system that meets local needs. Within the next five years we hope to be able to transfer full responsibility to local authorities but still be able to provide support and encouragement in this most remote and impoverished part of the world. Many thanks for your support and interest and we hope you will continue to help when you can and tell your friends about us. This is not a project for the faint hearted but it is a lifesaver for many.

 

 Namaste

Government health worker Prajit.
Government health worker Prajit.
Maspur clinic under construction.
Maspur clinic under construction.
Maspur construction workers.
Maspur construction workers.
Piplang - moving construction materials.
Piplang - moving construction materials.
Tumcha - Local health committee with Govt staff.
Tumcha - Local health committee with Govt staff.
 
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