NEWSLETTER NO 4 – SPRING 2016
Life in Nepal for local people provides some respite as the cold winter months fade to warmer spring days and nights, removing the struggle to keep warm in the open. Many are still living with temporary shelter as families face challenges to raise funds to build safer homes.
Through the winter months we continue to provide relief through blankets and clothing and dry food where needed. In addition, we provide a contribution through match funding with other NGOs from Scandinavia to improve access to the village areas to enable relief to be more easily transported.
However, this came during a time when political unrest was rife due to the Indian/Nepal border struggles, which inflated petrol prices, causing a short term disruption to us being able to transport help. However, this has now passed and the situation is improving.
A shorter newsletter this time as we have been concentrating on setting up a Charity – Community Support Nepal, which is now in the final stages with the Charity Commission assessment. We hope to be able to share the news of being successful in our next newsletter. A Charity will bring us more benefits in raising additional funds and we hope to be able to also raise gift aid from the funds that we have raised since April/May 2015.
We have selected four Trustees: Elleanor Kinnear; Dr Janet Jones; Kul Kadel; and Kay Kadel.
Elleanor Kinnear saw photos taken by a doctor with the Swiss team who climbed Everest for the second time and Nuptse and Llotse for the first time. Ellie commented ‘that is the country for me’, little thinking an opportunity would present itself to realise this dream for her. When her sister emigrated to Australia in 1970, Ellie took an opportunity to visit and go overland to stop off in Nepal for 17 months. This was the time when King Birendra came on the throne. Ellie was fortunate to work with a great section of Nepali society and many nationalities helping in physiotherapy, which she was trained in from the UK. Ellie’s photos from the period provide a fascinating history compared to the Nepal we know today. Ellie has given many fund raising talks of her time in Nepal during the early 1970s and we are hoping to host one for our Charity in the late Spring. We will let you know the details.
Dr Janet Jones is a Lecturer, College of Life and Natural Sciences at the University of Derby specialising in Human Geography. Janet has been visiting Nepal since studying for her Phd in Nepal in the 1990s and brings a wealth of skills and knowledge in how best to help and support local communities. Janet is compassionate, warm and relates well to grass root cultures; and has a particular interest in helping those in real need. Janet’s Phd specialised in displaced and marginalised communities focussing on XXXXXX. We are delighted to have Janet on our Charity and know that she will be a strength to the Charity’s success in helping those in real need.
Kul Kadel is from a remote village in Central Nepal in Kavre district near to where we are providing help to local villages. Kul remembers walking two hours to school each morning and evening, but eager to learn, it was no bother and just a normal part of the day. Although Kul was fortunate to continue his studies in Kathmandu and later London; he maintained close contact with the villages throughout and visits often including his trips from London to Nepal. Although safe, Kul and his family were like many, deeply affected by the impact of the earthquakes and still carry a huge drive to provide help and relief to those less fortunate than themselves. Kul brings essential understanding of the Nepali life and culture and particularly to village life, which will help us to respond appropriately to ensure the benefits are fully maximised to as many as possible.
Kay Kadel visited Nepal in 1996, passing through with a friend she was travelling with who had a life long wish to visit Nepal. Having not really heard much about Nepal previously aside from Everest and the Gurkhas, Kay agreed. Nepal had a surprising impact on Kay that many other’s experience when visiting Nepal for the first time. She fell in the love with the country, people and culture, who gave so much, despite having so little. Following several visits again and again, Kay eventually managed to volunteer for 18 months with Seva Foundation (a US NGO providing eye care in Nepal) and ASHRAM (a UK NGO helping community development work at grass-root levels). Kay met Kul’s family before she met Kul and spent lots of time visiting and helping village areas in between her volunteering. 17 years later Kay and Kul now live in Kew and have two children and have continued to visit Nepal with their children every few years to remain connect to their Nepali family, and to also keep in contact with helping communities either directly or through other NGOs.
Ellie, Kul and Kay together with Kul and Kay’s two children, are visiting Nepal this Easter and hope to travel to the village areas they are helping to assess the current situation directly themselves. We will meet the beneficiaries and engage with them on where support is best needed. We expect this to continue with housing, health and education but look forward to hearing directly from the villagers of Birtra Deurali Village Development Committee on their experiences and current considerations. We plan to stay for three nights and will live as the villagers are, in temporary shelter. We will share our experiences and photos with you in our next Newsletter. Ellie has offered some physio support during her visit to Nepal this Easter and will work in Kathmandu with those impacted by the earthquake where physiotherapy can help.
Housing Improvement Programme
Our Housing Improvement Programme to rebuild homes damaged or destroyed by the earthquake is taking shape as we liaise with Government advisories on their sample housing scheme. This brings opportunities to apply appropriate earthquake proven standards at a minimum, as homes are rebuilt across Nepal.
Given the size of the task the progress is slow but we hope to be able to liaise with specialist advisors in Kathmandu to help fast track the work for our village areas. Visiting the village areas will help us to fully appreciate the needs and we will respond accordingly.
Another important element is for us to help families to access match funding from the Government’s commitments to give a fixed amount to each family impacted by the earthquake. We noted in previous newsletters that this has been a challenge to understand the process and for many to access given the logistics for them to leave their village areas and travel long distance to Kathmandu, which requires time and money. We hope to provide logistical support to centralise the management of this.
We will share with you in our next newsletter.
School Improvement Programme:
- Of the three schools that require rebuilding, these also require logistical management to ensure we meet minimum standards. Work to prioritise the rebuilding of schools continues to take shape and with a plan for at least one to be ready by the monsoon period.
- Temporary classrooms that have been built remain in place in an open space in the central yard.
How we have helped since the last newsletter:
- Workshops on safe housing and living post earthquake period.
- Workshops on how to access match funding for rebuilding homes and how we can help.
- Workshops on income generating opportunities (with livestock and the land).
- Joint work with other NGOs in Scandinavia to help secure the strengthening of a road track into the village areas to make transport of goods easier.
- Ensuring adequate supplies of dry food and other essentials (winter clothing/medicine/blankets) continues.
- Ongoing assistance in replacing cows, chickens, and goats.
- Assessment of on-going needs.
- Setting up our Charity.
- Planning how our trip to Nepal can benefit the villagers we are helping.
During the next few months we are:
- Visiting Nepal including the villages we are helping. We will:
- Visit families in temporary shelters and listen to their stories, how we have helped, what their ongoing struggles are priorities are and how we can help further.
- We will hold workshops to talk collectively with key stakeholders – community leaders, health workers, school teachers – to hear how we can help maximise support across families.
- Volunteer our support to help families – either through learning or giving advising or assisting with follow on requirements in Kathmandu.
- Our children will talk with children in the village areas, hear their stories, provide child to child support and offer help through play and exchange of experience.
- Our children will take diaries during their time in Nepal, which they have offered to share with their schools on their return to the UK, to help keep the need to help Nepal active.
- Bring supplies where needed – stationery for schools, clothes for children, dry food, and some treats.
- Hold a picnic with the children in the village and share in some Nepali song and dance and sport activites.
- Link our needs to help village areas with logistics in Kathmandu and follow this on through to the UK where we can improve our engagement with logistical representatives from Kathmandu to the UK.
- Following our trip to Nepal we will write up a strategic plan for our Charity to detail the work we want to take forward in the next 12 months.
- We will work together with our Trustees and supporters to develop our objectives into practice.
- Our long term aim over the next 12 months will be to ensure secure housing and schools are in place.
Thanks for your help – please keep supporting us thus far in the village areas of Bholung, Patuwar, Ala, and Timrini.
Here is how you have helped.
- Many of you purchased beautiful 2016 Nepali Calendars, Christmas cards and thank you cards. The funds raised for this helped to purchase small livestock for villagers including chickens and goats.
- Many of you purchased Rohan’s home-made Christmas Yule Logs. The funds raised from these helped to provide blankets to villagers living in temporary shelter during the winter period.
- Talk given by Ellie Kinnear of her time in Nepal during the 1970s to a local community in Kew. Funds raised will be taken to Nepal this Easter so we can respond to any immediate help required (only if identified) during our time in Nepal.
- Donation of children’s clothes – these have been transported with minimum cost to Kathmandu and onwards to village areas.
- Make a direct donation
We can save on the admin charges of Internet donation sites by you using direct bank transfers.
There are no other overheads and 100% of your donation benefits Nepali villagers. Once our Charity is confirmed we will be setting up a Charity Bank Account where we hope we can also reclaim Gift Aid from previous funds raised.
Future Fund Raising Events – Spring/Summer 2016
- Beetle Drive, Saturday 25 June at 7pm at St Luke’s Church, The Avenue, Kew: Beetle Drive is coming and is suitable for all the family from ages 6 year onwards and supper will also be provided. Details to follow but the evening will include fast paced and frenetic races against the clock as your constantly changing team tries to be the first to draw a beetle!
- Further talks by Ellie Kinnear of her time in Nepal during the 1970s available to set up. There will be one in Acton in the Spring/Summer time and we will communicate the details with you asap. But if you know of any other groups in existence – adult or children’s – that might be interested in adjusting their programme for a short talk with photos, please let us know. We organising all logistics and merely show up. We usually ask for open donations rather than a set ticket price and offer some refreshments too (cakes etc).
- Our stall at May Fair on Richmond Green last year raised huge awareness and funds for us. The timing was immediately after the 2nd Earthquake took place. We plan to request a further stall this year and if our Charity is confirmed this will us with a further opportunity to raise our awareness to keep helping. More details to follow.
- Once our Charity is confirmed we will be consider a launch event. Further details to follow but ideas welcome. We are four people with lots of helpers and your ideas and support are hugely appreciated.
A final word of thanks
Please keep supporting and motivating us to continue to help Nepal.
Thanks again for your donations, ideas and efforts to help.