A personal report from Jimmy Lama about the situation in Nepal after the earth quake
By Jimmy Lama

 

 

Namaste!

 

I am writing from Dulikhel, just outside Kathmandu, seated comfortably next to Dhiki where we are enjoying a bit of break. I am sure you would too enjoy being back here. I have literally been chased by work after work all these past weeks, but all that I have loved to do with immense satisfaction.
 

Thank you for all the amazing resources you have generated and thrown your full support behind us so that we can act very quickly.

The overall relief work we got involved in doing for the communities we wanted to reach out to like Tartong and Nakote and providing quick recovering support for schools we have worked with went really well. I summarise key achievement of HELP in bullet point below:

1) Reached out to 3000 families to provide shelter kit like tarps, roofing materials, like CGI and blanket including Tartong and Nakote..

2). Reached out to over 1,000 families with food supply including Tartong and Nakote.

3). Installed solar panels for light and power in 30 villages.

4.) Built Temporary Learning Centres in 50 schools and equipped these schools with vital educational resources like whiteboards, desks and benches and school bags and stationaries..

5.) Worked on providing scholarship opportunity for as many as 60 students to have resources and place to study in Kathmandu

 

Of the 4600 EUROs you have transferred to date, we have spent them in following ways, as I have hinted earlier. 

1. In funding shelter kit that is CGI material for Tartong villagers for temporary housing. About 122 families have benefitted.  We have used Rs. 150,000 towards this. 

2. We have purchased a community generator for Nakote villagers. About 100 families have benefitted from this. This has cost us Rs. 60,000.

3. In funding food supply for Tartong and Nakote Children: 150,000

4. In funding scholarship for students from Nakote, Serkathili and Tartong area to attend higher education. We have allocated Rs. 120,000 towards this.

5. I have given Rs. 10,000 each to each of the local teachers to help them buy things they need most currently... In total, a grant on teachers was Rs. 30,000.

We have so far spent Rs. 5,10,000 to do the above and I hope you agree with our decision.

 

Please know that all these work listed above for Tartong and Nakote were possible because of your generous support we received, so millions of thanks to you. You have been amazingly generous and effective with fundraising.

 

We are currently in the middle of monsoon height time making our ability to travel to the villages bit difficult although not impossible. The good news is that unlike we feared the monsoon, so far, has not been too harsh for our villagers as there was lot of prediction that many villages would be swept in rain-triggered landslide after the huge racks and openings seen in the land. Both Tartong and Nakote villagers are safe and they live in their temporary shelter in a location away form their main village. I can tell you that for the time being most of the villagers have received enough food (about 5 sacks of rice and other supplies each) and materials to build houses.

     After monsoon, we have a real responsibility to help rebuild the schools particularly in Tartong as everything got completely damaged. Both the government and the villagers have requested us to help them in the process. We need at least 7 permanent classrooms and they need to be built in much stronger design using top quality material and without ability to depend on the villagers' local contribution. The government's new school building design cost minimum of $5000 to $6000 per classroom and Tartong needs 7. We have been requested for support by many schools, but our priority will be to get smaller schools located in remote village like Tartong our attention first. The total funds we need for Tartong is roughly $40.  We hope the government will be able to provide a fraction of it, which in my calculation will be no more than a budget for one classroom. In the past, the villagers used to provide free labour contribution making the overall cost of the school building much lower but in the current situation where everyone has lost their houses, I think it will too much to expect contribution from them. They are already poor and we do not want to make them poorer. Therefore, best to try to raise all that is needed from external sources..

     Anyway, I will keep watching for other opportunities to support Tartong, but I request you that we reserve most of the funds ITA has collected so far (not counting those that we have already spent) and any you will raise in the future towards Tartong school reconstruction..
    
Please do not be deterred from recruiting volunteers for next year if there is opportunity and also let us stay positive about trek in Nepal.

 

 

Helambu Education and Livelihood Partnership (HELP)

Enabling children to explore and grow

By Jimmy Lama
 

 Helambu Education and Livelihood Partnership (HELP) is a Nepalese NGO founded in 2009 supporting education and livelihoods in remote villages of Sindupalchowk district to improve quality of education. HELP has worked closely with over 40 schools in Sindupalchowk, benefitting 6000 children in many of the poorest village. Two of the schools that are badly damaged are Shree Deurali School, Tartong and Shree Pemachholing school in Nakote village where altogether there is over 150 children. International Teachers Association (ITA Denmark) and HELP have worked together to support these two schools since 2007. Several volunteers from Denmark and other countries have gone to teach in these two schools contributing to make significant improvement in the childrenís learning environment.

 

HELP has a team that comprise of passionate group of youth interested in grassroots development of which many are from Sindupalchowk, including our executive director Jimmy Lama. Jimmy, who co-founded HELP went to a small school in Helambu back in 1990s and therefore have in-depth knowledge of the needs of the region and have excellent project management skills. Jimmy has a Masterís degree in International Development from IDS, Sussex University.Jimmy is also the country representative to International Teachers Association.

HELP had built classrooms, toilets, water supplies for the schools as well as providing additional teachers, teacher training, school books and equipment, volunteers placements and much besides.

 

Now the villages are devastated, many of the schools suffered total damage, others are severely damaged. HELP has been engaging in relief work, evacuating the injured, bringing food, shelter kit and solar panels for these villages and others in the region benefitting over 4000 families. 

 

The District Education Office authority knowing how integrated and effective HELP is with these communities, commissioned HELP to build TLCs (Temporary Learning Centres) in 50 villages so the children can go back to school.  This work is now complete where we have built more than 200 temporary classrooms from May to July 2015.

 Transition from TLCs to permanent reconstruction of the schools in the villages where we have provided long term support is our key priority now. We plan to focus this work in remote village schools where governmentís and other larger organisationsí reach is likely to be missed or delayed. Our immediate goal is to help these two schools in the next 12 months where there is need for 10 classrooms.  The estimated cost per classroom is $6,000 based on the government standard for earthquake resistant building.

 

We believe we are ideally placed to do this work as we are well embedded in these communities and will harness the goodwill and labour of the inhabitants to ensure success.  The government supports HELP to sign an MOU to do this but we do not have the $60,000 to do it.

 

We would be most grateful for a sizable contribution to enable us to underwrite the work.