FACE Nepal Newsletter

January 2013/Maag 2069

Hello Friends, Team members, Contributors and all Participants who have contributed funds, time and knowledge.
Namaste Friends!  

Here in Nepal it is the first month of spring (Maag – the 10th month of the Nepali calendar) and the first day is celebrated as Maagi. Traditionally fish is caught the day before and eaten on the day. A rice dish called ‘pokka’ is usually eaten as a Tharu tradition on Maagi and it is a holiday for all. The days will start to lengthen and, like everywhere else in the world in spring, everyone is looking forward to leaving the cold weather behind.

 

A young boy with his pokka

FaceNepal has had another busy and productive year.

We have been involved in several projects within our local villages enabled by generous donations, contributions from volunteers and team attendance and support from Second Base leadership groups.

With all of this support we have extended our reach beyond the districts we have traditionally assisted to another village, Jutpani, about 40km from our Head Office in Patihani, 6. This inspiring village spent a year preparing for the Second Base visit, uniting their village and encouraging education which resulted in their school attendance increasing from 40 to 120 students before the FaceNepal and Second-base teams even arrived!

We hope you enjoy this brief overview of a few of the initiatives that have been undertaken this year. We extend our gratitude to all who have contributed whether featured in this update or not. Thanks to all and we look forward to the year ahead.

FaceNepal Staff and Advisory Board

Earlier this year we appointed Ashok as our Volunteer Programme Coordinator. Ashok also has responsibility for management of the FaceNepal accounts in Nepal. He is settling in well and works for FaceNepal after attending college in the morning (6am to 9am). He is studying for his BBS (Bachelor’s in Business Studies) and hopes to study for his Masters while continuing to work for FaceNepal.

 

Ashok and the FaceNepal motorbike

Our Volunteers

Our volunteers bring useful and welcome skills to benefit the communities they have lived and worked with and the legacy of their support extends well beyond the physical activities they perform. The overall impact of volunteers has seen school participation numbers and pass-rates increase and the adoption of various encouraging creative and positive teaching practices in the village schools and learning centers.

It is always difficult to match the cultural expectations of volunteers with the traditional villages we place them in but with recent restructuring of the support personnel in Nepal we look forward to enhancing the experiences that people receive.

We are once again in a position to promote volunteering and look forward to increasing our volunteer numbers this year. We hope you will join us in promoting this where possible and encourage you to enquire if you would like any details on how this works.

This year we hosted Elizabeth from the USA, Garry, Michael and Conor from Australia, Sandy from Canada, Elise from France, Kinga from Poland, Jemmy from China, Leah from New Zealand and Lupe from Chile.

Elizabeth came in January, 2012 and taught English in the Patalahara Learning Centre.

Garry came from Australia and taught IT to teachers in Lower Secondary School, Sunderbasti, a school which Second Base has provided with computers.

Michael and Conor, also from Australia taught in Patalahara Learning Centre as did Sandy from Canada who also taught in Ganganagar Learning Centre.

Sandy also worked on a project which she paid for with funds raised at home before coming to Nepal. This was the reflooring of a nursery grade classroom in National Primary School, Jutpani. Sandy’s funds also helped pay for books for the school along with the remainder of Adele’s funds. Adele volunteered with FaceNepal in 2011.

   

Thank you ceremony for Sandy and Elise in Jutpani

Sandy saw the reflooring project started and completed and even helped with some of the hard labour. The room is now safer, more attractive and much more comfortable.  In the colder months, December to the end of February, the floor gets very cold so the carpeting provides very welcome insulation for the children  who generally sit on the floor. The nursery class size has now increased from 15 to 25 which is evidence of what a difference the project has made.

The nursery classroom at National Primary School, Jutpani

Elise taught in both Patalahara and Ganganagar Learning Centres and she also helped with the reflooring project in Jutpani.

Kinga taught in Ganganagar Learning Centre as did Jemmy and Leah.

 

                                  

Thank you Kinga

                                     Jemmy

Lupe (Guadalupe) helped with the dental health check up programme and also taught in Ganganagar. Lupe was here during Dahain which is the most important holiday in Nepal. It falls in October and is closely followed by Tihar which incorporates the day of Laxmi (Diwalli). Volunteers who are here at this time enjoy a fantastic cultural experience and are included in all the celebrations. It can mean, however, that volunteer programmes are on hold while everything is on a go-slow because of the holiday.

Guadalupe with tikka on her forehead and jamara in her hair at Tihar

One of our priorities over the next year is to work on both the search engine optimisation for the FaceNepal website and on developing marketing strategies for the recruitment of volunteers.  Ideas and support are welcome from everyone! Please feel free to contact me if you want to help in any way: ann.bartholomew1808mail.com

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FaceNepal Projects

Over the last year FaceNepal received many requests for help. There is a formal application and proposal system in place for all projects over 5000NPR. Projects that meet set criteria are approved by the voluntary local Advisory Board and then evaluated for approval by the voluntary International Board. Criteria for approval include proactive community involvement which helps to ensure the sustainability of initiatives and the work completed. No buildings constructed with the help of FaceNepal are owned by any one individual but rather by groups or the community so that the use of the building will continue in perpetuity. We also never support private businesses.

Some of the projects FaceNepal funded in 2012 (2068/2069BS) include internet provision at Amar Higher Secondary School, Patihani 3, painting of classroom buildings at Shree Lower Secondary School in Hanumanagar, reinforcement of irrigation channels in Batulipokhari, Ganganagar, leveling of the ground in front of the Learning Centre in Ganganagar and the construction of both a water pump at Padamadaya Youth Club and a toilet by the side of the Buddhist Temple in Padampokari.

Grateful thanks to Grace Spradling, Parnell College, Paul Washer, C. White, Cath Norrie, Tracey Selwyn-Rowland, Nelson Management Ltd., J.N. Laing, Suzie Lewisham and Leah Marren for their kind donations which helped to fund FaceNepal projects this year.  We could not have done this work without you.

 

The Buddhist temple and the toilet

The grounds were being used for a birthday celebration of a prominent member of the community

The temple and meeting place at the side of the temple are used by the community and the support by FaceNepal helps them to maintain cultural and religious practices.

       

                                                                             Jitu, a member of the local Advisory        Boys playing volleyball at the Youth

                                                                             Board with the water pump at                   Club

                                                                             Padamadaya Youth Club  

 

The Youth Club is used as a community centre and members strive to improve the lives of people in the surrounding areas by the provision of, for example, training schemes and drug awareness programmes as well as district level volleyball competitions.   

                     

   

The irrigation channels at Ganganagar

This project involved the prior creation of a lake which provides drinking water for animals in the jungle. The animals are therefore kept out of the villages where they might otherwise roam in search of water during the dry season. The irrigation channels allow water from the larger lake to drain into a smaller lake in the village to facilitate crop irrigation.

The ground leveling at Ganganagar Learning Centre

The Ganga Mother’s Groups appealed for funding for this project. The leveling also helps to prevent soil erosion. The Groups intend to create a play area for children and a garden.

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Second Base

This year Second Base participants came to Nepal in April and November.

In April the team came to Ganganagar to work on a project at Shree Secondary School, Ganganagar. The project was to build a huge wall (compounding) around the perimeter of the school. The wall provides security for the school buildings, grounds and students. It also safeguards the young children from running into traffic while playing. The open windowed classrooms are protected from the dust and noise of passing vehicles taking sand and gravel from the Rapti River nearby and the wall keeps out squatters and other problematic entrants into the school grounds at nights.

The team was met by around 200 villagers who extended a particularly joyous and traditional welcome to the team members. Innumerous members of the school and community, including several local Women’s Groups, participated in the construction of the wall along with the Second Base team. It has been the biggest Second Base project so far. The group had an amazing experience of life in the Terrai and the unconditional friendliness and inclusivity of the local people.

The team members were Judy Stewart, Terri Carter, Les Bak, Wayne Norrie and Suzie Lewisham. The FaceNepal Chairperson Zoe Dryden is the Second Base Managing Director and team coach. Her co-coach on this trip was Heidi Haxeltine.

We would like to send warmest regards and good wishes to Heidi who is currently recovering from illness and a message from Zoe, ‘your contribution and attitude made you loved by us all and was an inspiration to the participants and villagers’.

In addition to the project, fundraising by the team members provided the school with six computers, desks and chairs, a printer, projector and a laptop. The school intends to use the laptop and projector for teaching IT in other schools where these resources are lacking.  

We also now benefit from a further seven child sponsorships by the team members!

             

                                                                                          Welcome tikka and malas            Work in progress

   

The completed compounding project at Shree Secondary School, Ganganagar

The school has plans to paint the wall before the rainy season

   

                                                                                          School office IT equipment      The computer suite

The team and several students of Shree Secondary School, Ganganagar

There are more photos of this project on this link: www.youtube.com/watch?v=A5LDHpDpeLA

All in all, the team’s time, efforts and generosity in helping the community to realise the completion of this huge project will have an enduring and positive impact on the school, the children and the community. Thank you!

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In November Second Base came to Jutpani a village within Chitwan National Park, 40 km from the Face Nepal office.

The Chairman of the School Management Committee of the National Primary School, Jutpani, heard about FaceNepal through one of our local Advisory Board Members, Jitu. After submitting a formal proposal it was evident that the project was an ideal project for Second Base. A four room block of rooms was funded by Second Base and built by the team and community of Jutpani. It was built from the ground up in a massive effort over 2 weeks with all structural work completed in just 4 days! The rooms will be rented to tenants to provide the school with a long-term and ongoing income to fund further projects and resources including teaching salaries.

A four roomed building was funded by Second Base and built by the team and community of Jutpani and built from the ground up in a massive effort over 2 weeks with all structural work completed in just 4 days! The rooms will be rented to tenants to provide the school with a long-term income to fund further projects and teaching resources including teaching salaries.

The team members were Marty Milner, Andrew Roberts, Neil Bretherton, and David Palmer.

David and his wife Jocelyn fundraised to pay for the fence project. This fence was erected between the school grounds and a waterway which is full and dangerous in the rainy season. It now enables the children to safely cross near the river during monsoon season where tragic accidents have happened in the past.

The banks and base of the stream which is full and treacherous to young children in the rainy season

The fencing provides a barrier between the school grounds and the stream

     

The early stages of the building in Jutpani

        

        The Second Base team        Team and community members

           

The building in January 2013

Electrical wiring was being undertaken to complete the buildings

Tenants are ready and waiting to move in

David and Neil wanted to continue helping the school and community after they left so have pledged to donate a monthly contribution to enable the school to pay two teachers’ and a school assistant’s salaries. In Nepal it can take several years for the Government to acknowledge formal teaching posts and, in the meantime, schools fundraise and collect from the community to pay teachers’ salaries so they are incredibly grateful for this assistance.

Again the time and generosity of Second Base participants have helped more communities to progress and develop in ways that are meaningful to and sustainable for the local people. The determination the villagers have in improving their and their children’s lives is always evident and inspiring. They extend their gratitude to Second Base participants by whole heartedly welcoming them into their homes and lives during their stay and extending permanent invitation for them to remain in their hearts as part of their family. There is always

 a final ceremony where the community shows their appreciation and which is a day of cultural presentations, eating and general merry making.

For information about Second Base please visit: www.second-base.org

Helen from the UK will be our first volunteer to have a placement in Jutpani which is a very exciting development for FaceNepal and the people of Jutpani and will help greatly in demonstrating our ongoing support for this proactive disadvantaged village.

Helen in the Guesthouse in Kathmandu before her trip to Chitwan

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Sponsorships

There are now nineteen children sponsored through FaceNepal. This means that these children are able to attend school with the provision of educational materials, uniforms and tiffin (lunch) and have their exam fees paid. The benefit to them of receiving education and having the daily contact with their peers is immeasurable and has encouraged non-attending siblings to go to school as well.

The value of the support given by their sponsors, therefore, extends beyond the individual sponsored children and positively influences their families and the whole community.

This year we had a picnic for the sponsored children in part of the forest called Sitamai. Apart from hoping the children would have fun we wanted to introduce them to members of the local Advisory Board so that they would be aware of their support network and to encourage a sense of unity within the group. The picnic was such a success that we intend to make it an annual event.

For details of child sponsorship or one-off donations which help towards paying for educational trips and can be used to fund a single year at college for older children please contact FaceNepal on: info@facenepal.org 

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FaceNepal is registered as a charity in the UK and managed by a local board. We have a UK bank account which means that management of donations and transactions is a simple process. Any donations made to the UK charity are eligible for gift aid.

Work is very kindly being voluntarily undertaken by Steve Freeman on the development of flyers. We aim to raise the profile of FaceNepal both for fundraising purposes and the recruitment of volunteers.

Registration of FaceNepal as a charity in New Zealand is still pending due to legislative requirements. Confirmation date is unknown at this point in time.

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We would like to take this opportunity to congratulate Daniel, one of our International Board members in the UK, and Grace, his fiancée, on their forthcoming nuptials.

*Wishing you a long and blissfully happy married life, Daniel and Grace*

Newsletter created by Ann Bartholomew

Member of FaceNepal International Board of Directors

Chairperson of FaceNepal Registered Charity UK

Contact: ann.bartholomew.1808@gmail.com

Shreeram Devkota: info@facenepal.org

Ashok Lamichhane: info@facenepal.org