Shari Davis & Ellen Currin are InTheField Travelers with GlobalGiving who are visiting our partners’ projects throughout Nepal. Their “Postcard” from their most recent visit in Nepal:
A two-hour bus ride from The Mountain Fund’s volunteer house in Kathmandu took us to the site of their women’s cooperative farming project. A few of the volunteers were participating in a home-stay program in the village, and we first dropped of their belongings, then began our two-hour hike to Mankhu Village Farm. This site contained the land and housing for their farming project, where women suffering from domestic abuse are provided safe housing and farmland for themselves and their children.
We spent the day digging and planting around 100 trees on the sloping land owned by the Mountain Fund. The organization’s local staff organized and supervised our planting efforts, explaining the trees will provide food and shade for animals, which can provide additional means of livelihood for the women.
It was HOT. We were sweaty and dirty by the time we finished. Our Nepali family made it worth the effort, fetching us fruit from trees, turning a fallen log into an amusement park ride, and leading a game of javelin with our planting equipment. It was a bit of a miracle we got any work done at all.
I only wish we could see the impact of these trees during the coming years, shading the valley of the women’s cooperative farmland, feeding the animals, and helping provide a fresh, new start for many deserving families.
Shari Davis & Ellen Currin are InTheField Travelers with GlobalGiving who are visiting our partners’ projects throughout Nepal. Here is a “Postcard” from their most recent visit in Nepal:
While visiting the Koseli School, it was impossible to ignore how happy all the children were to be learning. As we entered each classroom, we were greeted with songs and dances. “The most important thing is to smile,” founder Renu Bagaria explained, “first they must smile, then they will learn.” The children are smiling because they have been given a unique opportunity to escape the slums and receive an education.
But the Koseli school cares about more than simply educating children; Renu explains that she wants to “bring them back to life.” In the morning, this means providing baths and breakfast for each child. In the evenings, creative activities are arranged for the older children to keep them off the streets. The students receive all these things, as well as uniforms and school supplies, for no cost.
The staff goes above and beyond to take care of the children when it is needed: We met one child who had a broken arm, and we soon learned that Koseli staff sat with him in the hospital for two days because his parents were busy working.
Older children are not turned away, but rather Koseli staff work with them one-on-one to prepare them for the future: We heard the story of Ishwar, a young man from a mountain village who was destined to be a low-wage porter for trekkers passing through. After studying at Koseli, he now knows conversational English, is also learning French, and can now be employed as a bilingual guide.
Before leaving the upper-Kindergarten class, I asked the young students if they like Koseli School.
They answered me as a chorus, loud and strong:
“Yes! We love Koseli School!”
Good news ! We've been trying to obtain one small parcel of land that adjoins ours and now we have. It's just 5 more ropani of land but the primary reason we sought to obtain it is that is has a house on it. It's a pretty decent, 2 story home built in the typical village style but it does give us a little more housing and that's what we so urgently needed.
We still need to construct two additional homes on the farm, bringing the total to 4 houses, in order to have capacity but this purchase brings us one step closer to meeting our goal of housing thirty.
Soon we will also be building a small greenhouse so we can get a head start on seeds and have them ready for transplanting to the fields. Few farmers go to the extra expense or work of doing this but plenty of studies at university research farms have shown that if you can start your plants in seed beds in a greenhouse the productivity of the farm can be increased. More productivity equals more food for women and children.
Thanks for your continued support of this project,