Social Artistry Assists Devdaha Area of Nepal In Becoming Model Community
In 2008 the Jean Houston Foundation (JHF) entered into a partnership with ICA Nepal to launch research on doing micro-grant projects. A Kathmandu Rotary club participating in the project selected 30 projects across Nepal to receive micro-grants of $30 to $100.00. One of those grants went to Durga who applied the money to launching organic farming in the Devdaha area of Nepal. Durga had previously participated in some of the training programs of Social Artistry, so he had developed good leadership skills. Durga had the thought of doing organic farming for several years; however, he could get no financial support of the operation. The one-hundred-dollar micro-grant provided that ‘seed money’.
Good Project Progress
In late 2010, our Foundation trainers visited Devdaha and the neighborhood of Sarandanti to witness the progress of Durga’s project. Devdaha is situated in the lap of the green forested chure hills in the western part of the country, which is known as the mother’s birth place of Lord Gautam Buddha.
The results they discovered were a thriving organic farming practice along with markets in the larger city to sell the produce. The holding building for the crops became the training room for a community introduction to Social Artistry training. Durga has commented that he felt the ‘trim-tab’ project was an excellent way to provide the whole community with the sense of vision and the opportunity to participate. Initially skeptical of the idea of farming, the community is now totally supportive.
The 2-day training was coordinated by Durga with the support of the community cooperative which has been set up to oversee the development of the organic farming. The Foundation faculty was the first to try out the homestay dynamic—staying in two of the homes and eating with the village families. Faculty included the JHF training coordinator Jan Sanders, JHF trainers Evelyn from Taiwan and Amba from Nepal as well as three additional Nepali members who have begun their Social Artistry training journey.
The introduction to Social Artistry proved to be an exciting time for the community as they began to see future possibility for themselves and their children. The basic exercises were to tap the inherent capacities for greater imagination, compassion, and resolve. Faces beamed during the development of banners for the possible human. Two trim tabs were conducted. One was for the preservation and future development of their Magar culture and the other for an expanded home stay dynamic. The community is the maternal home of the Buddha with a significant temple at the top of their mountain, and visitors need a place to stay in order to visit the temple. In addition, further work on the organic farming and a school for the younger children was explored. Durga and the ICA Nepal team have developed a proposal for future training and some additional micro-grant support, as Devdaha is becoming a dynamic model for community development that can be applied in other parts of Nepal.
Summary of the Project Proposal
The goal of this project is to bring change in the community with the help of Social Artistry leadership training.
The project “Social Artistry Training for Leadership and Human Development in Devdaha, Rupandehi in 2011” aims to empower community people through training and project activities in Devdaha, Rupandehi. This project is the continuation of the joint project of Jean Houston Foundation (JHF), USA and Institute of Cultural Affairs (ICA), Nepal
The project will seek out the concerns of the community, and these concerns will be solved by involving the community in the planning and implementation. The objectives of this project are to train 300 community people in Social Artistry leadership skills and improve the environment of the community through 40 developmental projects. Providing the master level training, introducing Social Artistry to 300 people and conducting the campaigns to implement the projects are the activities of this project. The monitoring and evaluation will be done simultaneously. Over 2,000 people will be benefited by the massive awareness campaign and environmental improvement activities. The majority of the project will be carried out by Nepalis. The total budget of this project is $118,186.
Some Needs Identified in the Proposal
1. The people want to develop their village as a tourist area, but they don’t have proper management, i.e., rooms, bedding, toilets and a well serving system. They need to build toilets in each home and they need training in the behaviors of how to serve the guests.
NEED $4,167 for toilet construction
2. There is a primary school for children up to 13, but the town needs a school for the older children.
3. Irrigation ditch for the organic farming families.
4. Training, including transportation, materials, meals, trainers, facilitators, project support
The people of Devdaha need our help. Contribute today and be part of helping to build a model community and the nation. What may seem a small contribution goes a long way.