Hi Everyone! Sorry it took me so long to post this blog! A lot has happened since I’ve been home, and I have pushed back posting this post for far too long. Things are going well at home, and I’m enjoying my time with family and friends. It’s hard to believe that I’ve already been here for a couple of weeks, and before I know it I will be heading back to Nepal. That being said I can say with sincerity that this was our most productive quarter to date and I’m thrilled about the direction of the organization.
The most significant stride was the contribution of land from 25 of the village’s families. Despite a desire for more individuals to contribute, we had a need for contiguous land, and we also did not want to take more than what was needed. As a district of subsistence farmers, this land is integral for survival and wanted to make sure we took an appropriate amount to adequately perform our work, while still being respectful of the communities land.
As a natural next step, we immediately started preparing the land to build the next phase of the project on. This entails flattening the land for construction, and collecting the necessary materials for the build, largely stone and wood. Our goal is to mitigate cost by constructing our facility in a way that blends in with the community, with materials that can be found locally. With few exceptions the majority of labor and materials will come from the immediate community.
Additionally, strides have been made with the local schools, and one of the three schools we are working with is nearing our goal of 75% attendance with 100% teacher attendance. While 2 of the three continue to lag, I remain impressed with the leading school, given how quickly this turn around has progressed. Lastly, I made a significant effort to locate female community leaders, and have reached out to several who are excited about the prospect of working as local facilitators.
Outside of the goals we laid out for our self in the previous quarterly update, a few additional noteworthy events occurred. Karan, our community outreach leader, worked with his old rafting company to receive 250 bags for local students.
Lastly, and more personally, I made huge strides in my Nepali language skills that have proved invaluable while working with the community. I’m asked very regularly to speak at public events in the community, a request I’m much more effectively able to do now than ever before. With over 5,000 patients treated since December of last years the Foundation is gaining respect in the local community.
Going forward my biggest goal is to build a project that the community can be proud of and manage independently. While I currently spend a significant amount of time on the ground, I fully intend for this project to survive long after my role diminishes. The continued support and investment of community members is representative of their goal for a similar outcome.