First time visitors to Nepal, Karin (one of the NSP board members), her husband Jim and 12-year-old daughter, Rowen journeyed to Kathmandu in late October. They visited Bankhu, our most damaged school, and some of the other NSP villages on a 5-day trek. Their family brought hope and joy to the villagers.
Betty Irwin, Fran Lloyd and Linda Padgett also visited the villages of NSP, including Bankhu, on a 7-day trek. Their main goals on the trek were to assess the damage to NSP schools, review 20 new latrine installations, and develop a water system repair plan.
Elia Saikal, a Canadian adventure cinematographer and fundraiser has become interested in supporting NSP as a result of his love for Nepal. He has summited Everest twice. While in Nepal in October Elia was also able to visit Bankhu and he created a short video that was used by Hopewell School in Ottawa to raise funds for NSP. He is planning another trip in early 2016 and hopes to raise more funds for NSP. You can visit Elia’s website here: http://eliasaikaly.com/
While in Nepal, these groups spent considerable time with the NSP Nepal Board members. Meetings focused on reviewing developments of the last year and planning for the coming year. Below is a summary of all NSP developments and plans for the immediate future. We have been very productive!
Building and Infrastructure
- We visited some of the most damaged schools, relief agencies had set up temporary structures to replace the school(tents and bamboo huts).
- Based on an assessment done by our NSP field team shortly after the quake, it was decided to rebuild the school at Banakhu first as it was uninhabitable.
- We placed an add in the Katmandu newspaper asking for design/build proposals as the parameters around building schools have been changed by the government after the earthquake. Costs of rebuilding are much higher now as the schools must be earthquake resistant. The villagers must still provide the land and labour. NSP provides expertise and materials. We hope to be able to start building in the next 3 months
- We are looking into the possibility of solar power to be able to add computers to the schools
- 20 new latrines have been constructed in the village of Simle, which we visited.
- 30 more will be constructed over the next 6 months in the same village.
- Exhaust stacks will be added to their design.
- The villagers were very appreciative and thankful for the work.
3. Water Systems:
- After an evaluation of several systems in disrepair we decided to set up a roving team of 2 to do minor repairs as a result of the quake (replace broken taps and severed lines).
- A maintenance and repair committee was established in Simle for the latrines. Each family is assessed 20 rupees monthly, which is managed by the head of the committee. The villagers are very supportive of this new initiative. This will be an ongoing initiative in other villages moving forward.
- The formation of a repair committee for the water systems will be a productive and visual presence in the villages for NSP. The committee will also provide hope for the villages in this very stressful time.
- Board meetings were much more collaborative in that all members participated in the discussion and felt included.
- Small Committees of individual Board members are managing the 3 main objectives (schools, latrines, water) and reporting to the operations manager/chairman of NSP Nepal.
- Reports are being submitted on a regular basis from the field.
- As a result of skill development, there is an increased sense of pride personally and for the organization.
- 400 pounds of clothes as well as 50 pencil cases filled with materials were distributed to the villagers.
- A method of accounting between NSP Canada and NSP Nepal was established.
- A member of the NSP Nepal Board was trained in Microsoft Excel and now manages/organizes the office files in Katmandu.