Photo 1: Early childood program at Bungamati House
Namaste GFV Friends!
Thanks to all of you, the Global Family Village pilot is on its way!
We helped our partner orphanage to de-institutionalize their hostel – creating a family with their existing children within their facility, and encouraging strong community ties, so all the children will now be able to grow up with a family, within a community.
• To support the Bungamati village and encourage integration, there are continuous community activities, and a popular early childhood program with about 40 community children. (See photo)
• The little family is growing; there are now 6 siblings with a Mother, and plans for adding more children as the family is ready. By design, not all the children in the family are full orphans; some of them are half-orphans (1 parent, which is often worse for a child in Nepal) or community children being supported by the community or families. It is believed that the combination of orphaned, half-orphaned and community children will be the most advantageous for the orphaned children, in terms of being accepted and becoming an integral part of the community as they grow up…. The first orphan child to join the existing group, Rakesh is doing extremely well. He is delighted to be part of a “family” and loves his brothers and sisters, who dote on him (See photo).
Elders from the community will soon become “grandparents” and everyone will have psychological counseling as they learn to live as an extended family that supports one another.
• Now, critical to the ultimate success and sustainability of the program is continued involvement and participation of the community. To this end Global Family Village is helping to support workshops and income-generating activities that will be beneficial to the whole community as well as the Bungamati Family community, so that the project can remain funded, supported and sustainable. Currently, there are 3 programs being introduced– 1.) Producing and selling bio-briquettes* (see photos), 2.) Tourism promotion and a village home-stay program, and 3.) Nutrition education and organic gardening.
It is the community that has identified the need and viability of the income-generating activities. A small percentage of all profits are designated for the support of the orphaned and needy children. This will help make the program financially self-sustaining.
This community education and empowerment is by far the most important phase of the program.
The community needs our support now and for the next couple of years, while they take full ownership of the program and the program becomes sustainable. Then the model will be successful and complete; the children will be truly well-integrated family and community members. At that point the program can be replicated in other villages in Nepal where there are orphaned, abandoned or needy children living in an institution without the advantages of a family or community.
Please continue your support and follow our progress at our website (www.globalfamilyvillage.org), front page, bottom under Project Update.
Thank you again. Namaste.
*With the rising price of gas per cylinder and kerosene, livelihood is becoming a daily struggle for most urban people…..Firewood, which makes negative impacts on users and environment and is an unsustainable energy source, is mostly used as domestic fuel in rural areas. Briquette production shows a potential market for locally produced alternative source of energy for heating and cooking……Beehive briquette, produced from any kind of agro-forest waste is one of the widely used briquettes in Nepal.
Photo 2: Rakesh (right) , with his "brother" Pawan
Briquette making in Bungamati