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Dec 21, 2018

Community Feedback

Makwanpur pupils receiving bursary help.
Makwanpur pupils receiving bursary help.

Dear friends and supporters.

It is nearly 4 years since the devastating earthquake that killed so many people and destroyed the lives of many. Slowly life is getting back to some normality but there is still much to do. A recent report has been published that demonstrates where progress has been made but also emphasises where more work is required. The Inter Agency Common Feedback Project focuses on reconstruction, food security, livelihoods and protection. It is a community engagement project that consults with all demographic groups in the project area. Its key findings include:

  • House and building reconstruction has increased to 49% over the last twelve months but it also means that over 50% of people are still living in temporary accommodation. Although this is not now a Nepal Trust priority we did train a number of masons to help speed up the rebuilding process. Our main focus now is on infrastructure, farming and school development.
  • Clean and effective water supplies are still a priority for 36% of the population. The Trust has prioritised this issue in the 6 Rural Municipalities (RMs) it has chosen to work in and all have new water supply systems.
  • Lack of a suitable finance source is a major problem for many and 50% have to borrow money. Of these 65% are forced to borrow from informal sources charging high interest rates.
  • Only 12% feel fully recovered from the earthquake. The main constraints being a lack of suitable economic opportunities; not enough disaster resilient housing; insufficient current livelihood options; and debt problems.
  • Livelihood needs are recognised as: new skills, paid work, improved seeds, land to farm, cash support and water supplies. The Trust has been very active in some of these areas particularly farming and education.
  • 86% of people feel things are starting to recover and the majority feel better able to cope with a future disaster through better and safer homes, forward planning and safe storage for food (grains).
  • Training opportunities are seen as limited and much in demand. The main training areas include masonry, new farming techniques, entrepreneurship, and carpentry. The Trust has noticed that where a farmer uses new improved methods and techniques neighbouring farmers will show interest and follow suite.

 

Elsewhere our work to replace/improve schools gathers momentum. Many schools not directly in the earthquake zone nevertheless suffered damage not immediately noticeable. It is now very apparent that many of these schools will require extensive repair or replacement. The replacement of Kalika school in Nawalparasi district continues (see last report). A new project to upgrade 5 schools in Makwanpur district has now started with toilet construction at 4 schools and the construction of 2 new classrooms. 

We have just about reached the end of 2018 and heading for the festive season also the season of goodwill. Let us all remember the hardships others have to face through no fault of their own. Natural disasters can happen to us all. Many, many thanks for all your support and help to date. Your continued support would be great and gratefully accepted by those in most need. Please tell or remind your friends about us. There is still a great need and your help will be much appreciated.

 

Namaste and Merry Christmas and Prosperous New Year 2019

Makwanpur toilet block under construction
Makwanpur toilet block under construction
A typical 2 roomed house.
A typical 2 roomed house.
Dressing a Christmas tree
Dressing a Christmas tree
Nov 12, 2018

There is definitely more light!

Children in Simikot
Children in Simikot

Dear friends and supporters.

Our 5 year Project Agreement with the government has now been approved and we can now look forward to moving ahead with the implementation of the new innovative Renewable Energy Service Centre. This unique and important project is needed badly in the remote region of the Hidden Himalayas. RE projects that break down very often are never repaired due to lack of skills and resources.

The Nepal Trust have been drivers in the push to establish RE projects throughout the district and have set high standards for others to follow. However, the cost of repair and maintenance has been high due to having to import the necessary skills and spare parts. The idea of having a Service Centre is to reduce this cost and to have at hand all the required skills and parts to provide servicing  and repairs throughout the district.

It is worth summarising what the Nepal Trust has achieved over recent years and why we have received international recognition for our work and innovation. We have built 7 Micro-hydro schemes for 8000 beneficiaries and 11 Community Solar projects benefitting 4500 people. We have also provided solar energy schemes to the local hospital, guest houses, and health centres. We have installed 7 Food Grinders and 2 Oil press machines. Other agencies have built schemes that more than double our figures. The Service Centre has been built and serviced with power and water and is near ready for operation.Our chosen local NGO is Local Initiative Development Support Consultancy Agency (LIDS) who will be responsible for the operation and management. The Trust will retain a responsibility for the provision of electrical, mechanical, civil and technical/support materials over the implementation phase of 5 years with a phase out period over 10 years. We will not run away!

I am very excited about this project and I hope you are too. Renewable energy is good for the planet and good for the people of this remote region who are never likely to be linked up to national grid. I want to thank you for all your support and encouragement and I hope you will continue to help in some way. Tell your friends about us and encourage them to support these very remote and very poor people. At the same time you will be helping to slow down global warming and climate change. Now that is some target!

Namaste 

Chyaduk MHP Power house
Chyaduk MHP Power house
Kermi MHP Power House
Kermi MHP Power House
Solar lamp
Solar lamp
Solar installation
Solar installation
Nov 9, 2018

Towards Self-Sufficiency

School Group
School Group

Dear Friends and Supporters. Here is a brief update and a more detailed report on what we hope to achieve with this project. The children and their families in this remote part of the Hidden Himalayas value good education and will work hard to ensure that their children get one that offers them greater opportunities for the future.

The level of education in Humla district, Nepal Trust’s main project area, is poor and ranks among the lowest in Nepal, with many people, particularly women, being illiterate. Education development indicators of Humla indicate that the total literacy rate of people (6+ years) is 22.62% (female 8.87%, male 36.5%) and approx. 60% of children never go to school, due to poverty (Source: District Development Plan 2008, District Information and Documentation Centre, District Development Committee, Humla).

Child illiteracy rate (10-14 years) is 45.3% and only 2.6% of children pass the SLC, equivalent to the Irish Junior Certificate or British GCSEs, whereas in 66% of the district, there is no secondary school (Source: District Profile and Analysis, District Development Committee 2007) and enrolment of children in primary education (up to Class 5) is only 26.8%(Source: Population of Nepal, National Planning Commission, Government of Nepal, 2006).

 Many schools lack basic infrastructure such as sufficient class rooms to accommodate students and teachers, sanitation measures, blackboards, cabinets, desks and chairs, teaching equipment, and skilled and motivated teachers. Only a few economically well-off families are able to send their children to private schools in cities outside, but for the majority of people there is no other alternative than to accept the current conditions within their villages. It is paramount therefore in any education approach to consider the problems faced within the communities and link any proposed education intervention to this analysis. Such an approach allows for a better use of resources - in Humla, the population groups which exhibit the highest levels of illiteracy, social skills and malnutrition in Nepal are women and young children.

The government has built schools in some of the villages in Humla district with the plan to ensure education for all Humli children. The schools are staffed and managed by the District Education Office (DEO) in coordination with the local school management committees.

The Nepal Trust has been working in Humla for over 20 years implementing education, sport and literacy programs, school and library construction projects, hostel establishment projects, child health education programs (Little Doctors) and education volunteer placement programs.

Due to the lack of good schools in Humla, parents tend to send their children to a good functioning school if available, even if that means if that school is further away from their own village, which makes the need for a school hostel and affiliated services for food, accommodation, etc. high priority. In Muchu village The Nepal Trust started the support of the school through provision of additional teachers and to set up a hostel facility. Initially the hostel accommodated 15 children from outside the village, which has now grown to over 55 children, making the need for additional school infrastructure and the sustainability of running the expanding school even greater.

Muchu school now has approx. 80 students from which 55+ remain at the hostel. The school itself is a government school. Due to the lack of infrastructure to educate the children there is a need to establish new classrooms, a kitchen and dining hall, a storage room and to repair the school hall for school meetings.

 Alongside this, the community and school committee are actively looking for alternative means to make the school self-sufficient so they won’t have to rely in future on donor support

Accordingly, the Nepal Trust has set up a project to build this new infrastructure, with financial support from its own resources, from the Rotary Clubs of Chiswick & Brentford, and Provins, and from the Dutch organisations Stichting Nepal and Wild Geese. This programme will take 2 - 3 years to complete, dovetailing neatly with the Global Giving project. The GG project seeks to support running costs over a 3year period when the school should be self-sufficient.

To make the school self-sufficient, the project will establish a wholesale community-run commodity shop at Hilsa (border with Tibet), to provide essential goods (e.g. blankets, rice, flour, food items, oil, shoes, clothes, toiletries, etc.) within Humla district at bulk rates, so the shop will act as an income generating activity for the school. In this way the school can pay for their own teachers, materials, etc. Muchu is now connected with a road that runs from the Tibetan border to Muchu village, which resulted in the fact that there is great potential to start trade activities, as vehicle movement is slowly developing, and the area as a whole is developing into a market hub

Once the school can start its own income generating activities, it will not only benefit the local school to bring continuity to their education programs and up to a higher level in general, but also will enrich the students themselves with valuable education and work experiences; all factors that will benefit them to progress and develop themselves in life itself. Alongside this it will provide local employment opportunities.

The main aim of this program is to aid the recovery of this post-conflict area, with a focus on child education. The long-term aim is to promote social reconstruction, political stability and social cohesion by developing an improved and sustainable (primary) education delivery system in the area at grass-roots level, which falls within the new Government policy. The program also aims to reinstate and develop (primary) education provision in accordance with the United Nations Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), particularly those that focus on achieving global primary education and extreme poverty reduction.

Thank you for your support to date and please spread the news around to your friends and ask them to support this vital project.

Namaste

Muchu School
Muchu School
At lessons
At lessons
At Hilsa - the border with China.
At Hilsa - the border with China.
 
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