The Mankhu Village Farm for Women is open and occupied. We've moved two families, both from the "untouchable caste" into the one house we currently have at the farm. There are a total of six children living there. We have provided them with land to farm on, seed to plant so they can grow their own food and a small wage for work they are doing to repair and improve the farm, enough to sustain them until the crops come in. We have also provide the children with clothing and school supplies.
Before moving to the farm these families had no land and were basically squatting on nearby government land and living on the fringe of the village. Now they have a roof over their heads, land to farm and enough basic things to survive.
Our challenge now is to build more housing for more women and children. We have enough land for farming to support as many as 30, but not enough housing. We have women and children waiting to live on our land and farm it to sustain themselves and we will move more in as soon as we can provide a roof over there head. If you can help us to build more housing please make a donation.
To construct one house, in typical village fashion, that can house 10 more women and children we need approximately $7,000.
I am happy to report we've secured a location for this project. We found a perfect site in the Dhading District about 35km from Kathmandu. The road is paved except for the last 5km which is gravel. I added a Wikipedia link that will help you to located the Dhading District and learn at least a little about the district as well.
The site is 9 ropani of land with a small house and a couple of outbuildings. It's flat and level land with water and is current being used for farming. Dhading is a productive farming district with approximately 80% of the land being used for farming.
The site will enable the women in this program to grow a variety of vegetables, potatoes and rice. It's suitable as well for keeping some livestock such as goats, chicken or water buffalo. Not many keep cows in Nepal and depend instead on the water buffalo for milk and as their "tractor" for plowing fields. I'll attach a photo of a farmer in Nepal using buffalo and a wooden plow, as is the custom there.
Hope to have photos of the farm soon. We've also received two applications already from women who want to live there with their children and work the farm, so things are moving quickly.
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