Finish Strong/Jump-Start! Support Nepal's Families

by Educate the Children
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Finish Strong/Jump-Start! Support Nepal's Families
Finish Strong/Jump-Start! Support Nepal's Families
Finish Strong/Jump-Start! Support Nepal's Families
Finish Strong/Jump-Start! Support Nepal's Families
Finish Strong/Jump-Start! Support Nepal's Families
Finish Strong/Jump-Start! Support Nepal's Families
Finish Strong/Jump-Start! Support Nepal's Families
Finish Strong/Jump-Start! Support Nepal's Families
Finish Strong/Jump-Start! Support Nepal's Families
Finish Strong/Jump-Start! Support Nepal's Families
Finish Strong/Jump-Start! Support Nepal's Families

Project Report | Jul 14, 2020
Nothing is normal, but life goes on

By Lisa Lyons | U.S. Director

Family time in Sunsari
Family time in Sunsari

It is a massive understatement to say that nothing has been normal in recent months. That's been true worldwide, and Nepal is no exception.

The strict pandemic-related lockdown and mobility restrictions in Nepal were instituted in March and were eased up slightly beginning on June 14th, but are by no means fully lifted even now in mid-July. This has meant that none of ETC's usual springtime program activities, such as agricultural or teacher trainings, were able to be done on schedule. Nor were the schools with which we work able to re-open for their new school year in April.

Given that it is now summertime, the challenges of daily life in rural Nepal have become greater. Summer is monsoon season, and heavy rains mean washed-out roads and trails as well as mudslides. This can be especially problematic in a hilly area such as Dolakha.

You may also have read in the news about the swarms of locusts (some 8 million of them, by one estimate) that are destroying crops. These are concentrated in south-central Nepal and are not harming our Dolakha families' gardens at present, but of course they must know that this is happening elsewhere in the country, and they must be concerned.

Having said all that, there is still positive news to report. Because as they so often do, the Nepali people are demonstrating their remarkable resilience in the face of adversity!

In Dolakha, because ETC had almost completed our full program cycle of work, many of the skills and systems had had the chance to become deeply rooted. This groundwork has proved to be immensely important during the pandemic.

For example:

  • Women's kitchen gardens and other farming activities are well established and thriving, providing a much-needed source of food security for their families while it has been impossible to go buy food elsewhere. The goverrnment has provided some staples, such as rice and lentils, but the amounts provided have not been sufficient to meet most families' needs. The fact that women are able to grow more food since becoming involved with ETC has been absolutely crucial for their families' well-being.
  • The women's cooperatives' leaders are able to meet, which helps ensure that some of the good work being done by these cooperatives to support their nearly 1,000 members can go on. As you know, the cooperatives are the legally recognized, enduring structures formed from combining ETC's women's groups.
  • Teachers and school staff feel motivated and empowered to help the children continue to learn, despite the major obstacles - because obviously families in rural Nepal don't have high-speed internet to do online lessons via Google Classrooms! One of the 30 schools in our current project area has now re-opened, with three shifts to ensure that the class sizes are small. The others, however, have not been able to do that. Instead, schools are broadcasting lessons over FM radio - most families either have a radio or at least have a near neighbor whose radio they can hear - and some teachers are visiting students' homes to do small-group, in-person lessons where that can be done while respecting the need for distancing.

We have never had to furlough or let go any staff members throughout all of this, very thankfully. And now that things are starting to open up a bit, they will be able to do what needs to be done in order to finish up properly in Dolakha District and then begin phasing into Sunsari District, once it is safe to do so. Yes, we are still intending to go work in Sunsari - it's just going to have to wait a bit longer than had been hoped and planned! The attached photo is of a family in one of the villages we will be serving there. It was taken by a staff member of Save the Earth, which will be our local project partner in Sunsari.

As always, we have you to thank for having made all of this possible. Thank you very, very much. So many people's lives are sustainably better because of your support.


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Organization Information

Educate the Children

Location: Ithaca, NY - USA
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @ETC_Nepal
Project Leader:
Lisa Lyons
Executive Director
Ithaca , NY United States

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Combined with other sources of funding, this project raised enough money to fund the outlined activities and is no longer accepting donations.

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