Dear GlobalGiving Friends.
We have decided to close this project for now. Our in-country NGO partner has things well in hand and we at The Mountain Fund have a policy to step aside and let local NGO's handle projects whenever they are capable of doing so. In our estimation, our partner Laxi Pratisthan is fully able to manage this without our assistance at this time. It's important for us as an organization to encourage local solutions whenever possible and a local solution is now possible.
Thank you for your kind support of this project and please visit our other projects here on GlobalGiving and consider getting invloved in supporting one of them.
Again, with gratitude,
Greetings from Nepal where I've just spent the past two months working at Her Farm. Wow, it's been an exhaustng and exciting two months and the end of construction is in sight. This infrastructure phase is, however, the real key to the success of the program. Let me illustrate that with a true story that happened just last month. We brought a young woman out to visit the farm. She's all of 18 and was forced into an arranged marriage at only 15. She has a 3 year old daughter and her husband left her and took another wife. She lives with her daughter in a small, dingy room in Kathmandu where she cleans houses to survive. You'd think a young woman in this position would jump at the chance to live and work at the farm, but there are other considerations for her. Primary among her concerns is who will care for her daughter while she is working? Right now she can take her daughter with her when she cleans houses but holding a child in one hand and a hoe in the other while trying to work fields is a much harder matter. While at the farm we showed her where the daycare and preschool program would be located in the future, where her housing is now, but housing without a kitchen at the moment so we showed here where we were planning to build the kitchen in the future. The problem facing this young woman was this "in the future" part. You see, people in Nepal have been promised so many things that never come to pass that promises of what will be "in the future" hold no force or effect, they want to see it NOW.
The young woman returned to her dingy room and to cleaning houses and perhaps when the future arrives will take another look. That's why we are working fast and furiously to create that daycare center, build that kitchen and finish our irrigation system as well, so that next time she visits, there's nothing to be done in the future, it's all here and ready to use now.
We have finished the daycare center and the preschool program is up and running as well. See the video link for more on that. The construction is fully underway for the kitchen at this time too. Once all the infrastructure is in, we will be able to bring young women like the one in the story above and they can see that we aren't offering future promises but have a new life for them and their children NOW.
To be honest, we need your help more than ever to make this final push and finish this phase of work.
Greetings from Kathmandu, Nepal where I've just come to after spending over a month in the village. We have three girls in the village totally outfitted now with uniforms and school supplies. These three are at extremely high risk for leaving school early and at high risk for trafficking. Their mother left these children with their grandfather who is financially in no position to provide for them. Their father is dead and with the mother refusing to support them, they are at above average risk of being taken out of school, due to the costs involved in educating them. Nepal has one of the highest rates of human trafficking on earth and it's girls just like them, the ones without solid families, who are most at-risk.
There are a lot more young girls who face this problem and need our help to keep them in school. We estimate that in this one village alone, up to 20 girls are from families so poor that providing uniforms and school supplies is beyond their ability. Those 20 girls may well be left out of school beyond the 5th grade. In this village, the local school only goes to grade 5. After that, the children have to attend a larger school, a full hours walk downhill in another town. That school has strict requirements for uniforms, shoes, school backpacks and etc. There's a very real possibility that once they finish class five in the local village, they will be kept home to cook, clean and ultimately become childhood brides.
Another step we've recently taken is to open a before and after school tutoring program in conjunction with our GlobalGiving project entitled Her Farm. Please see the video link about it. As families value girls education less, it's easier for them to fall behind in studies and when that happens, they frequently elect to leave school.
Working with Orchid Garden Nepal (see Stop Making Paper Orphans of Nepal Children) we sent some young women from the village for training. Orchid Garden has a remarkable program for education and we intend to replicate their success in the village. We now have tutors to help those children who are falling behind in studies. Watch GlobalGiving for a new project from us soon dedicated to that program as well.