The village where Her Farm is located has a population of roughly 300 people. The village, Mankhu, sits at the midpoint between the town of Madav Besi and the larger village of Goganpani. Both Madav Besi and Goganpani have government health posts, Mankhu does not. The residents of Mankhu must walk to one of these locations for any healthcare needs. What's important to know about that is the conditions of the walk itself. If you are a strong, fit hiker with only a daypack, you can walk the rough and rocky trails either one hour uphill to Goganpani or one hour downhill to Madavbesi without much difficulity. However, if you are sick, elderly, injured or pregnant, that's an entirely different matter. Suddenly a brisk walk turns into an ordeal, one that in for the very ill, seriously injured, elderly or women in their third trimester are simply unable to make. No one in Mankhu owns a vehicle and there are no ambulances capable of making it up the rough farm road that leads to these villages. In the summer, the rainy season, the road is completely closed in any event so even if there were a vehicle, Mankhu is not accessible by road at all from late May through early to mid-September. One of the photos attached to this report, from google, gives some idea of the terrain involved.
With the financial help of our donors, and the hard labor of many volunteers, we now have a well equipped health clinic at Her Farm to serve the needs of the people of Mankhu. I'm including a link to short film that's hosted on Vimeo called "The Making of Her Clinic" and urge you to watch it. It's short, but compelling. In just under two minutes you can witness the birth of this health facility as well as the instant success it's become. For the grand opening we held a health camp and in two days over 200 people came for routine health screening. Before we could even fully finish the clinic, villagers were coming for care. One man had cut his finger badly while harvesting rice, an elderly woman was suffering with respiratory distress from an upper respiratory infection and another man had injured his leg. Our local staff and a volunteer doctor who was visiting Her Farm attended to their needs even before the paint was dry on the wall.
The clinic was designed with the help of an OBGYN doctor and has many educational tools for teaching local women about health issues that are specific to them as well as training materials for pregnant women to help them prepare for childbirth and childcare.
I've attached some photos, but they don't do this project justice so again, please view the video. Thank you for helping us bring this clinic to Mankhu. Her Farm is now growing hope, and healthcare in the Himalaya.
Let me introduce you to the beneficiaries of this project, the children at the community school in the village of Mankhu, in Nepal. Mankhu is a small village, about 300 families live there. There's a small community school in the village that provides education up to the 5th grade. After class five, the students must walk an hour down a steep trail to reach the town of Madavbesi, which is by the way, in the Dhading District of Nepal, one of 75 districts in the country.
All of the families, save for a few teachers and a shopkeeper, are subsistence farmers. Subsistence farming is basically having a piece of land on which you grow enough to feed your family and perhaps a small amount more that can be sold. Some of the families don't grow enough to feed themselves and face chronic food shortages.
This July, I decided that while I was in Mankhu I would undertake to photograph as many of the children at the school as possible to share them with our donors. I took along some studio lights and my camera and set up in a classroom at the school. I also took a photo printer so that at the end I could give each child their photograph. While some of the children have been photographed by our volunteers in the village and have seen their photo in the LCD screen of a camera. None had ever had a physical photo to hold in their hands and take home to hang in their room. Now they do. I called this project #NameFaceStory and I"ve created a gallery with many of the children you can see HERE
You'll note from the photos that a number of the children still need uniforms. The youngest aren't required to have them, the older children are. Some do, some don't and some have hand-me-downs (if the shirt is blue it's an older siblings shirt from the school in Madavbesi) and some have missing buttons, tears and etc. With the money we raised so far we first made sure they all had notebooks and pencils in order to do homework. Next we made sure they had underwear (many of the girls did not) and shoes. Those were the most important things. We've provided uniforms to the extent possible at this time. Many still need them. For some, if not most of these kids their school uniform is their primary clothing. You see them all over the village always in these uniforms and not in other clothing which indicates they actually don't have a change of clothing. All of them could really stand to have more than one uniform given how much they depend on this uniform as their everyday clothing. If we can meet our current funding goal, we will revise the goal and work on a second uniform for all the children of Mankhu.
Everyday we see nearly 40 children at the little school. They come early, some as early as 6am having walked an hour or two to reach the farm. Some need help with homework, all want to learn English and how to use computers, many come because the hot breakfast we serve them after class is the best meal they will get for the entire day.
This time of year, as winter approaches one of our biggest concerns is warm clothing for the children. Many do not have much more than their school uniforms to wear. We got a group of our volunteers together with some of the children and handed out jackets, sweat pants and socks a few days ago.
I'm including photos of the children getting breakfast, clothing and working on the computers so you can see for yourself how they are all doing. The photos were taken by various volunteers at the farm/school but as I don't know for sure who took which ones, forgive the lack of photo credits.
We are still getting more warm clothing for the children before winter and could really use a hand to make sure they all have at least one warm outfit this winter.