TL;DR: Lots of links to other posts with pictures below.
i am working with global peace exchange, a student-run organization at florida state university which also has sent students to help implement grassroots sustainable development projects in rwanda and uganda this summer, and clinic nepal, a non-profit which has established a medical clinic, three kindergartens, a scout troop, and a children’s hostel in the rural terai region of southern nepal, in the chitwan area, as well as facilitating mobile health camps.
for three weeks, we stayed in meghauli, a rural village, with a fantastic woman named sabitri, her daughter, nitisha, and her adopted son, laxuman. with our funding, we were able to provide the wolfgang linke kindergarten with a much-needed gate, inside doors, individual mats, tables, montessori-style teaching supplies, and an alphabet wall mural that i painted.
at the prabhat kindergarten, we donated carpet for the concrete floor, individual mats, and teaching supplies. with the friendship scout troop, we had lessons every evening on respect for the environment and how to be leaders in their community. we purchased almost 800 reusable cloth bags to replace the vast amount of plastic that litters all of nepal, which you will see if you ever visit, and the scouts took them around to every store and every home to explain to the members of the community their mission to keep meghauli clean. we also went on trash pick-ups with the scouts.
for two weeks, we stayed in daldale at the asha ko kiran children’s hostel. next door is the asha ko kiran kindergarten, which we donated to them a swing set with a slide and teaching supplies. with the older children living in the hostel, we had lessons on how to respect yourself and your body through proper personal hygiene, respect for your home environment through keeping it clean, and (just for the ladies) the female reproductive system and menstruation (this was definitely my favorite contribution). i made zines which we photocopied and put into plastic binders for all of the 20 older children, who we talked to about how they were leaders to the younger children, and after these lessons they would each pair up with two younger children and teach them what they had learned. we donated a projector which we showed movies on while we were there. we also purchased a huge amount of lice medicine, bars of soap with individual soap holders, toothbrushes, toothpaste, shampoo (in bottles rather than the sample size packs they normally use), and facial soap (for the adolescents). probably the most important donation we made there was for the construction of mosquito netting for the windows. the mosquitoes were the worst in daldale. also, especially in this region, they carry diseases like malaria and japanese encephalitis.
i will post some more pictures later of the wall mural i painted, the zines i made, the scouts, the kindergarteners, the hostel kids, and some other awesome things i was able to do, like help cook vegetable momo, ride an elephant, and go paragliding.
this project was developed on the fly a few weeks after we arrived in nepal for a completely different project in which a few thousand dollars of our funding were vastly mismanaged and the project itself seemed unsustainable. we met up with hari bhandary, the founder of clinic nepal, who invited us to stay in his home and discuss how we could contribute. we some vague plans, but everything was done a slow nepali pace where we never knew what was going to happen in a day until it did.
this has been a huge learning experience and i am probably returning next summer or, since i will be graduating and may have something else lined up, at least be helping to send other volunteers for a continued project with clinic nepal.
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EDIT: Here are a bunch of links to other posts I have made regarding my work in Nepal! More to be added later.
- Here is my post about the alphabet wall mural I did at the Wolfgang Linke Kindergarten in Meghauli
- Here is my post about my zine that the older children in Daldale are using the teach the younger children, Why and How You Should Respect Yourself and Your Body.
- Here are pictures of me teaching the older children and the older children teaching the younger children.
- Here is my post about my other zine, Understanding Puberty, Menstruation, & the Female Reproductive Organs.
- We also bought plastic covers to preserve the zines so they can continue to use them after we leave!
- The children in Daldale also made signs of rules for the hostel and morning and evening hygiene routines. I made a few larger versions of the routine signs that were hung up above the sink.
- Here is my post about Chetana, a Women’s Skill Development Project in Central Lakeside, Pokhara, Nepal. If you want to support them and purchase anything through me, just let me know. Here are pictures of what I bought.
- I will post later about the Friendship Scout Troop in Meghauli.