As we look back over the year, we’re feeling grateful and inspired to witness the blossoming of our Nepal programs….
- Compressed Earth Brick (CEB)
- First CEB building is complete in Gyalthum
- Providing new natural building methods for earthquake-affected areas
- Local villagers inspired to build their homes using this technology
- Children’s home
- 23 children thriving at home and in school
- Hired excellent new house father & mother
- Organic almonds
- Growing 2500 peach root stock in nurseries for almond grafting
- New funding partnership with regional non-profit: field staff and participating farmers will be paid to train farmers in new areas next spring—spreading their knowledge and earning income from the almond expertise they have acquired.
- Organic coffee & macadamias
- Planted 500 coffee saplings in the field
- Planted 2500 macadamia seeds in nurseries, adjusting technique to reduce twisted roots.
- Coffee plantation setback with the double attack of stem borer insects and a damaging mold, yet both problems have been addressed for the future.
- Hundreds of new farmers interested to plant coffee
This is the time of year when we ask you to be a part of our community, be a part of our success, be a part of changing lives in Nepal! Please join with us and make a donation today. Your generosity makes a profound difference in the world!
Wishing you all peace in your hearts and happiness in your homes as you celebrate the holidays!
Our 23 children are thriving, at home and in school! One of the most important additions to the children’s home this year are the new staff. We have been searching a long time to find a highly motivated couple who would be interested in a long-term staff position, and we have finally found them! Kokta grew up in a nearby area and has worked for the Indian Army at the Pakistani border. He brings a strong work ethic and smart agricultural knowledge for tending the organic garden, the goats, the new mushroom house, and making use of the new rototiller. His wife Sarina was an excellent student and wanted to continue her studies after finishing high school in class 10. When she worked full-time but couldn’t earn enough money to afford the class 11 school fees, she burned her books and took a job in Kuwait, but was not treated well there. Sarina is smart, caring, and confident–a savvy complement to her more quiet husband. The home already feels transformed–running better than we ever imagined it could, thanks to their daily dedication!
Natural Buiding Technology
The first Compressed Earth Brick (CEB) building in this region has been completed! Local villagers who were trained in the new technology are already interested in rebuilding their homes using the same method—and now they have the skills to do it.
Key features of the program included:
- On-the-job training for local villagers, providing tools and skills to build safely, and creating skilled laborers employable to rebuild their home communities.
- Use of local materials (earth/mud, bamboo/wood) as much as possible to enhance sustainability and reduce costs.
- Earthquake-resilient building technologies that are easy to learn and use.
- Meeting government approvals and engineering requirements, enabling villagers to access government grants for rebuilding.
- Culturally-appropriate building design that looks and feels great! Buildings that people can be proud of and enjoy a healthy life in!
We are proud to have partnered with Kira Kay (Hands With Hands) and Nripal Adhikari (ABARI) to bring cost-effective, natural building know-how into this remote mountain area of Nepal.
Changing Lives at Home with National Geographic
s part of the work CLN regularly does to facilitate relationships between our Nepal partners and other organizations, Changing Lives Nepal has facilitated development of a summer student program with TEAM Nepal and National Geographic Student Expeditions over the past few years. In 2016, Danielle Brodsky traveled to Nepal as a participant in the first National Geographic Student Expedition community service program at our Children’s Home. This trip changed Danielle’s life, exposing her to a different worldview, introducing her to people she would never have known, and even shaping her future educational goals.
After returning home, Danielle and the other students in her group worked together to raise $6,000 to construct a fish farm and a mushroom garden at the Children’s Home. These projects are currently under construction and will be part of the self-sustaining organic projects that provide food (and learning experiences!) for the children.
Over a year later, Danielle says that her life has been changed by her experience in Nepal. As a freshman at Temple University, Danielle has been so inspired by her experience with National Geographic Student Expeditions and TEAM Nepal that she returned to Nepal this past summer to visit the home and is committed to further fundraising as a donor partner with CLN. We are impressed by her sense of personal power and her dedication to give back in the world and proud to have her as a fundraising partner. Read more about her story and this year’s fundraising project of a grain mill for the Children’s Home.
Coffee & Macadamias
Coffee challenges were numerous this year, but for every problem, we seek a solution! To address sunlight damage and the slow growth of shade trees, our 500 coffee saplings planted this year each received an individual, all-natural shade structure. To address slow growth, we are collecting manure from nearby farms to increase fertilization. To address a mold which covered some of the coffee cherries, we researched and found an effective organic solution. Finally, to fight back when our plants suffered a major invasion from stem borers (insect larvae that eat into the stems of plants), we had to cut down and burn all affected plants to prevent it spreading. This meant we lost 150 of our older plants, a sad experience for staff and farmers after all the energy they had invested in the plants. Next year, frequent inspections are planned plus organic treatment of molds. Most of our coffee plants continue to thrive, and we have dozens of new farmers in the region who are asking for saplings to plant!
Macadamia saplings, grown for coffee shade, have been expensive and fragile to transport. This year, we shifted to seeds, planting 2500 macadamia seeds in nurseries. Although the viability of seeds is also a challenge, we expect to have 500+ macadamia saplings ready to plant in May.
2017 has been spent tending 2500 root stock saplings in nurseries this year. Almonds grow best when grafted onto a peach tree (or other fruit tree) base. We are nurturing these root stocks and
have 1000 ready for grafting in 2018, with another 1500 for the following year.
Almond trees in the field continue to grow well and produce. Proving that almond trees can be grown in this area has enabled Executive Director Parshu Dahal to attract the attention of a new local funder, which contributes to the long-term sustainability of the project. A key part of our mission at CLN is to provide seed money to launch new programs. Unproven ideas for programs are the hardest to fund, and we have consistently invested in such innovation with great results: Beginning in 2018, Forest Action Nepal will help support the almond project through our partner SODEC and expand the program. They will pay staff and farmers to deliver grafted trees and plant management training to new farmers in 3 new districts. Program expansion, paid work for our early farmer participants, proof of concept, and a new funding partnership…big success for the almond program!
Maya is quiet yet smiling these days. She has been through another difficult experience recently: heart surgery. This summer her pediatrician heard a heart murmur, and follow up tests showed that she had a congenital heart defect, a small hole that was not audible with a stethoscope until now. It allowed blood to enter her lungs which likely accounts for the recurrent fevers and chest infections she has had in the past, and also might account for the fact that she is so fragile as her heart has had to work a little harder.
In September, she underwent a procedure to put a wire thru her groin to her heart and plug the hole with a device. She was only in the hospital 2 days, and the whole procedure was a success! What a relief! Her orphanage covers all medical costs, so she has been well cared for through this experience.
After the hardship of the past 3 years (earthquake, school classroom collapse, and heart surgery), I find that she is slipping behind in her academic progress and am discussing with the orphanage director how best to address that.
Meanwhile, Maya continues to shepherd the 13 new children that the orphanage took in after the earthquake, to play games with her friends, and to beam with pleasure in her new pink jacket!
At Changing Lives Nepal, we continue to make an annual donation to the orphanage’s running costs as well as contribute to the education fund for future studies. Please help CLN to continue our support by putting “Maya/Orphanage” in the special instructions when you make a donation for this specific project.