‘Maya’s mom volunteers to distribute buiscuits in Bhotenamlang. She is homeless like the rest of the village yet she is happy to help. It is such spirit that will help Nepal rise. Every effort counts in healing the nation through this tragedy. Thanks to PATA Nepal chapter, Nepal Rises, SmartPaani, Dharan Unity Society, United Youth Association and various supporters. Together We Reach Higher!’
December UPDATE: Toilets Up & the Rest Continues Despite Challenges
10 toilets have been installed at Chetrapaleshwari Higher Secondary School, Shree Ganesh Lower Secondary School and Bhotenamlang Secondary School early November. Support for this was provided by Grand Circle Foundation. SmartPaani team provided the technical assistance with design and engineering. Three more schools require sanitation facility. However, they are at remote locations and require septic tanks as well. An engineer will be making an assessment to develop design and budget next week. Meantime, afternoon meal continues in all 8 schools.
Nepal Green Tara Foundation is rebuilding permanent earthquake resistance facility for Shree Ganesh Lower Secondary School. Currently the old building is being brought down. It’s been marked red by the Government meaning it needs to go. Current fuel crisis, market short supply, sky-rocketing prices have been major challenges. However, we keep from letting it dampen our spirit. We believe the show must go on, for it is the future of young students we are dealing with.
Week 07/5/15 UPDATE: Clean Drinking Water
After temporary classrooms, 3 schools in Bhotenamlang now have clean drinking water system installed. The schools now have tanks to collect water, a 500 liter tank turned into bio-sand filter and a clean water collection tank. Thanks to Grand Circle Foundation, USA for prioritizing sanitation as a must for schools. Thank you Jan Byrnes for making this possible and Nancy McCarthy for the connection. SmartPaani team has been amazing support in making assessment, developing designs, updating them, getting all supplies and human resource together and making this project a priority at a very hectic time. There are no words to express enough gratitude to the local villagers and schools who are always there to make things happen. It is very special thanks to Grand Circle Foundation & friends, SmartPaani team, local villagers, schools, all our supporters & well-wishers that 3 schools serving more than 1000 students have access to clean drinking water. Following the monsoon 3 more schools will have such water facility. Toilets will be next followed by a wide range of school supplies, afternoon meal, teacher support and more.
Week 06/28/15 UPDATE: The Journey of Rebuilding in Nepal
When we say ‘road access’, it’s not paved highways, at least for rural Nepal. It’s narrow dirt tracks on the edge of giant hills with jaw dropping exposure on one side and unstable earth on the other side. While these are okay to travel during dry season, monsoon means havoc. Still our team of super drivers, volunteers, technical experts, donors and locals are simply unstoppable. Despite landslides, mud traps, rain and what not, classrooms are coming up.
Binod Pandey and Badri Timalsina from Samata Niketan School have designed beautiful classrooms for schools in Lek Kharka and Gobre in Sindhupalchok. Team Rebuild Nepal has been taking care of logistics, some funds and building the classrooms. Their volunteers Kushal Harjani, Dr Priyansa and Punam have been stationed in Gobre for over two weeks now. Dr Priyansa has also been providing medical treatment to villagers. Locals have been providing all sorts of help to facilitate temporary classroom construction. Temporary classrooms, drinking water supply, afternoon meal and school supplies have already been up at 3/4 schools while work is underway at three more, Gobre, Lek Kharka and Kafle. Hopefully by the end of this week classrooms will all be done. Next will be water, toilet, stationery, sports material, afternoon meal, teaching supplies, teacher training and support. The list is endless, because the vision is big. From fording the challenges of monsoon and terrain, to building schools, to providing world-class education to the children of the worst-hit district. It’s a long road to recovery. With the kind of support from all of you we know it’s possible.
Yes, monsoon has set in but our spirit hasn’t dampened. Thank you every single one out there who has made this possible. Thank you all. Stay with us. Stay with the children. Stay with Nepal.
Week 06/21/15 UPDATE:
Construction is on-going at Shree Paanch Pokhari Primary school in Gobre as well as Shree Bachchhalamai school in Lek Kharka. Monsoon has set in, hence the roads are no more accessible. Maya is back in the village. It’s a race against time to complete these constructions. We hope classroom constructions to be completed this week.
Week 06/14/15 UPDATE:
On the 14th, Seven Summits Women Team together with Rebuild Nepal volunteers, Tashi Tenzing dai and Nepal Green Tara Foundation team, Bojana Novak visited Shree Paanch Pokhari Primary School in Gobre. All classrooms have been marked red meaning ‘dangerous’. Kushal Harjani, Dr Priyansa and Punam will camp here to help rebuild temporary classrooms.
Later in week, team from Smart Paani installed water filters at three schools Bhotenamlang and assessed two more schools.
Week 06/07/15 UPDATE:Schools Up. Classes On
First day in school, finally. Thanks to Rebuild Nepal- Earthquake Relief Team for putting in the funds they raised, their muscle, time and energy in building 7 temporary classrooms at Shree Ganesh school in Bhotenamlang VDC. Our first international volunteer at school Bojana Novak is teaching arts and English language lessons at the school. Earlier she made donation for relief supplies and now she is raising funds to support schools in the region.
Work is already on at Shree Kshetrapaleshwori school and Bhotenamlang Secondary School while assessments are being made at Gobre and Kafle. Work is also underway for two other schools in different VDCs while another school has received food supplies from Nepal Green Tara Foundation for afternoon meal for 355 students. Before the monsoon sets in, the goal is to set classrooms up, build toilets, clean water, provide supplies and get the schools going. It’s a race against time, and we’re on.
5/27/15 UPDATE:Let’s Build Schools
Maya is leading a team of dynamic youth who are partnering with us to help rebuild 2 schools in Bhotenamlang VDC. We are going with bamboo and zinc sheets model for temporary learning centres (TLCs). In addition to funding, this team donate some muscle power in rebuilding the classrooms. It’s amazing how all of Nepal and the world is coming together to help rebuild the nation.
5/25/15 UPDATE:Relief & Recovery goes parallel
As Maya and Shailee signed MOU for rebuilding schools in Chautara, a truck load of relief material arrived from the Terai yesterday. Thank you Sugarcane Producers Famers Association for this support. 200 bags each with 20 kg rice, 10 kg lentils, oil, tarps, sugar from the flatland now reaches the high hills. It touches us to see how the country is coming together.
First load dispatched to Sindhupalchok today. More dispatches tomorrow while the team is also busy in consultation meetings for recovering schools.
5/24/15 UPDATE:Mission Schools
Maya and Shailee visited the headquarters of Sindhupalchok district today and signed an MOU with District Education Office taking up responsibility to rebuild all schools in Bhotenamlang Village Development Committee (VDC). Bhotenamlang VDC, Maya’s origin, has 6 schools, 1 higher secondary school, 1 secondary school, 1 lower secondary school, 2 primary schools and 1 pre-primary school.
5/21/15 UPDATE:The last village
Far away, below the two giant hills is the little village of Yangri in Baruwa VDC, the last village on this side of Nepal. Baruwa and Bhotang VDC have constantly been in the news for the terrible number of death tolls and flattened settlements. Merciless landslides following numerous quakes blocked road access for days. At the moment Bhotang is six hours drive. Most of that drive is through nerve wracking post-disaster villages, landslides, rivers with no bridges, deep drops on narrow dirt roads that constantly snake up and down in adrenaline rushing angles. ‘Dangerous’ is not a word enough to describe the road or the drive. That’s one reason why so little, if at all, has reached these villages. Thanks to Nepal Green Tara Foundation amazing team of Tashi Tenzing Norgay and Bandi Nima Sherpa, Yangri and surrounding villages received 160 bags of rice, salt, oil and 270 packet of noodles on Thursday, May 21st. We visited three schools in the region, all of them in mostly debris, yet all headmasters eager to re-open. Tashi dai is one of THE REASONS who made the climb possible to Vision Massif the last seven summit mountain in Antarctica happen. Coming from the legendary family of one of the first humans on Everest, Tenzing Norgay, his grandson Tashi dai, is a hero himself. Nepal Green Tara Foundation has been helping villages in building school in the remote for years already. Now the team is with us in helping earthquake hit villages reprise, especially the schools. It’s a long road to recovery. Its inspiring and encouraging to see the family of supporter ever increasing. Thank you Nepal Green Tara Foundation, all its donors, all supporters of the Seven Summits Women Team, volunteers, villagers who play key role in making this happen and the amazing superhero drivers. The devastation is so big that every single effort counts.
Together We Reach Higher!
5/20/15 UPDATE:Back to village
Maya visited Bhotenamlang today with a team of young, enthusiastic team to make an assessment of schools. Shailee was out of town for another meeting in Sindhupalchok. Nimdoma and Pema Diki are getting ready to leave for Dolakha and Chunu for Sindhupalchok with the UN World Food Programme and Asha for Rasuwa.
5/18/15 UPDATE:Classroom is up
“Who studies in the fifth grade?” All hands go up, including those of Nursery and Kindergarten students. They just want to be back to school. Priceless.
First two classrooms up at Saraswati Primary School today. Thanks to Nepal Rises and Nepali Cyclists Ride to Rescue. Nepal Rises acquired Portal Bikes’ tunnel model and also took the assembling training. Cyclists, school team and the local community joined hands to put these structures up. Kids and parents were excited to see action in their school. A great day, great beginning. The school is ready to re-open school in a few days.
There is a Saturday phobia in the nation, Saturday and Tuesday to be precise, the two days that brought big earthquakes. Uncertainty from the science, claims from astrologists, simple rumors and speculations are giving people a hard time to settle back in. We are in touch with Sindhupalchok schools and local leaders to see when can we be there. Tuesday’s earthquake has blocked the road track. Landslides have been everywhere. Today we joined Nepal Rises in their get together to thank for their support and see how we can support each other in the days to come. Supporting each other is the only way for Nepal. Keep us in your prayers. Together We Reach Higher.
Good meeting today with a team of wonderful youth. Primarily doctors volunteering in affected areas, they are now collaborating with our team to help put up schools. Our priority is to get schools up as soon as possible particularly in Sindhupalchok district.
The team together with Nepal Rises and Nepali Cyclists Ride to Rescue visited Saraswati Primary school in Cho Gau, a Tamang village in the outskirts of Kathmandu Valley. The primary school building is completely damaged. Engineer has advised not to be anywhere close to the building. Upon discussion with the headmaster and school management committee, basic temporary structure will be put up early next week.
5/13/15 UPDATE:Not a Bad Day.
The team today decided to continue with our plans to help schools re-open. We are visiting a site tomorrow in the outskirts of Kathmandu Valley. We are excited about the concept. If tomorrow’s assessment goes well, first classrooms will be up on Monday. Not a bad day considering we just had a 7.3 yesterday.
5/12/15 UPDATE:Another Earthquake
The team was planning the details on bringing schools back. Asha, Shailee, Maya and Sharda were on the 5th floor when the 7.3 magnitude (as per USGS) hit. All team members are safe. The team gathered at the relief center in Lainchaur, supplied few of remaining material to those who visited with requests. A family needed tarps for safekeeping a mother who had just given birth. We had no tarps so we gave mattress, still useful. Some team members face worse situation at home.
The country is going through tough times. Our generation now faces even more serious responsibility of bringing the nation back. We’re on it!
5/11/15 UPDATE:Toilets going good. Time to bring schools Back
Edmund Hillary’s Himalayan Trust relief materials made another dispatch to Lagarche today. We provided 20 rice bags for another team leaving for Barabise, Sindhupalchok. Volunteers have reported that they made public toilets in Bhotenamlang and Lagarche. The team is in Kathmandu today making plans for helping schools re-run. We are in touch with some school headmasters, potential supporters and also experts to design temporary schools and toilets. More updates soon on the design, budget and details of bringing the schools back.
Thanks to Sir Edmund Hillary’s Himalayan Trust relief materials including 100 bags of rice, 600 packets of oil, 600 packets of noodles and sanitary pads reached Lagarche VDC. Lagarche is the final VDC on this side of Nepal. Wards 1 and 2 are high up, hence remote. Cultivation is not much. Life was always difficult here even before the earthquake. There is an off-road track that reaches the VDC office. it is so challenging that the drivers said they were not sure about returning the next day. Maya Gurung and Shailee Basnet together with Sharda Malla Thakuri from the team made the trip together with the representatives of Himalayan Trust.
In the pic: Similar accessories means we are friends. The young girl says she wants to be a teacher when she grows up. We hope to be able to help some schools re-open soon so that young dreams can continue. Pic by Sharda Malla Thakuri
What a relief it is to hear that an entire village just got enough tarps. Nimdoma finally reached her village, Simi Gau in the remote Rolwaling mountain region in Dolakha. Teams from Pitzer college, Nepal Mountaineering Association and Nimdoma joined their hands in distributing tarps that each group had. Nimdoma shared on phone today that those were enough tarps for the village for now. Next they need rice for 125 households. Nimdoma says no houses are standing. A lot needs to be done, starting from scratch.
More women showed up at Gongor Khola to help carry relief material that Nimdoma brought along from Kathmandu. To Simi Gau, it’s three hours of treacherous uphill walk threatened by landslides and falling rocks.
On her way to Simi Gau, following reports that there weren’t enough food for neighbouring village, Khare, she distributed rice over there (see pic) together with Pujan’s family. Pujan was born and brought up in Khare. Of course there’s need for more but every effort counts. Landslides, lack of road access and tough terrain makes it difficult for non-locals or those unfamiliar difficult even to reach here. Being a mountaineer on top of a local helps Nimdoma reach such challenging regions.
We received 100 bags of rice from the Himalayan Trust, a foundation by Sir Edmund Hillary. Sir Hillary is one of the first humans to climb Everest. But there’s no picture of him on the top. He just clicked Sirdar Tenzing Norgay’s. Not ironically, we didn’t take pictures. In this entire session of relief work there are no selfies or iconic or glorious pictures. Yet we are putting every effort to do our best. Thank you Sir Hillary for being an inspiration and Emily, his grand-daughter and the Himalayan Trust for the support.
Meantime, Nimdoma must have reached her village yesterday. We are waiting to hear from her.
Nimdoma is on a long long road to reach her village, Simi Gau, a remote village in the Rolwaling mountain region in Dolakha. On 5th May she left Kathmandu and reached Chairkot, the district headquarter, in the dark of the night, she slept for two hours and marched again. With Pujan’s family members she distributed rice to Khare village. Now she is at Gongor Khola. It’s 3 hours from here to Simi Gau. Landslides and falling rocks challenge her trail. She is left with some tarps and little food for her own village. In the earthquake she lost her cousin. Her mother doesn’t have a shelter. It’s a long road but she’s strength personified. We can’t wait to hear the news of her reaching her home village.
Pic taken at Nepal Rises while collecting supplies. Thanks Nepal Rises and all our supporters for making this possible.
Nimdoma’s yesterday’s dispatch distributed rice to Khare village today. Our relief centre at Nepal Scout Ground in Lainchaur is continuously frequented by people seeking support for their villages and people. Maya is in discussion with several people who want to send help in different parts of Sindhupalchok. A team of floating volunteers work everyday to package rice, beaten rice, clothes and more.
Maya is back from Sindhupalchok. She led volunteers and locals to clean up carcasses from Indrawati River. They removed dead buffalo, oxen and goats from the river. The village still needs massive clean-up. Toilets are becoming really urgent as open defecation is soaring.
Nimdoma is leaving today for remote regions of Rolwaling mountains in Dolakha. She is reaching Khare and iSim Gau with supplies. Another batch to Sindhupalchok left yesterday. More supplies have reached many other villages in Sindhupalchok, Dhading, Kathmandu. Relief materials are being dispatched everyday. Thank you all for making this possible.
Supply to Sindhupalchok continues. More provision for Kavre, Dhading and Dolakha being stocked. Bipin from Dhading showed up randomly with two Russian volunteers. They needed support for their village but didn’t know where to go. We provided 3 bags of rice and they were happy to take some bedding and blankets donated to us. It’s very little but was something for them and hence for us as well. Thank you all who are making these small miracles happen.
5/3/15 UPDATE :
A team of 10 volunteers from Dharan Unity Society left for Bhotenamlang Sindhupalchok. They will assist other volunteers in the village in carrying up today’s dispatch of supplies, distribution and cleaning up the village. A mini-tata full of food and sanitation supplies dispatched today.
5/2/15 UPDATE #2:
Two trucks left today. One for a village, Satthighar in Kavre, another for Sindhupalchok. Maya and Nimdoma returned from their districts yesterday.
Nimdoma deposited supplies with the army in Dolakha. Upon her request they agreed to send food to her village. 17 bags were dropped in the day. First relief to reach Simi Gau.
Maya delivered a team of volunteers to Bhotenamlang. Our volunteer medic Micheal has been most busy treating the villagers. With Maya’s assessment we are now making the priority list.
5/2/15 UPDATE #1:
Another dispatch today to Kavre and Sindhupalchok. Thanks to PATA Nepal Chapter, Nepal Rises, Smart Paani, individual supporters in Nepal and beyond and of course selfless volunteers for making it all happen. From the feedback from all the villages, we urgently need tarps, preferably tents for temporary housing. In terms of human resource we need doctors who can walk 3 hours and serve in a devastated village. We also need volunteers who can be stationed in villages for a couple days to help. Any funds donated will go towards food- the most basic survival necessity.
‘It started smelling even before I reached the village. There is nothing no houses, no school, no health post, it’s all gone” Maya choked before she could give a complete picture of her village. She reached Bhotenamlang village in Sindhupalchok today with 3810 kg of rice and a team of volunteers. For 700 houses that is not nearly enough. More supplies will reach tomorrow. There’s urgent need for volunteer doctor she says. Villagers have nothing for shade or roof for a week now. Need for Tents, preferably temporary housing tents, makes the highest priority.
Nimdoma reached Charikot today in Dolakha district. Her village Simi gaun is completely isolated, villagers from many other areas have gathered here for safety. Landslides in the area has added to the woes. Falling rock killed Nim’s cousin. Another village Lambagar is similarly isolated. Tomorrow she will try to see if any government assistance could help these villages. She will also try to deliver supplies she took with her.
5/1/2015 UPDATE# 1:
Maya makes her first trip to Sindhuaplchok today. She has a team of volunteers, 6 of them non-Nepalese including Emergency Medical Technician Micheal. 300 bags of rice ordered, unloaded and loaded for dispatches to Sindhupalchok and Dolakha today. More supplies coming in today.
4/30/15 UPDATE #2:
In addition to the Hagam relief earlier this morning, a group just returned from the villages of Pushal and Cho, just outside of Kathmandu. The team delivered 50 bags of rice, 6 bags of beaten rice, 5 bags dalmoth, 6 bags furundana (snacks), and a large roll of foam mattress. They were also able to bring with them medicine, Piyush (water purifier) and 7 tarps thanks to Nepal Rises. The food and supplies were successfully distributed to the families of each village.
The photos show evidence of the destruction in the Pushal Village. 55 homes were completely destroyed in this village alone.
Today, more supplies were collected and sent out to Hagam village in Sindhupalchok with around 20 volunteers. They are driving to Balefi and from there they will walk 7 hours carrying all of the goods. Supplies include: 31 bags of 25kg beaten rice, 2 bags of 30kg dalmoth, 80 boxes of noodles, 24 boxes of biscuits, 25 tarps, and a large roll of mattress pads. (Till 5th May this is the only relief material to reach this remote village)
Additionally, in support of our cause, MPowerd, a company that develops and manufactures personal clean energy solar lanterns, agreed to generously discount and send 50 lanterns to Nepal which will go to Bhotenamlang. They are expected to arrive on Friday. A portion of the money we’ve received is going to these lanterns.
Thanks everyone for the overwhelming support. The donations and shares have been flowing and every bit of it is needed. Your generosity and compassion is felt by all here.
4/29/15 UPDATE: First load of relief material, mostly food, Beaten Rice, leaves for Bhotenamlang today. It arrived safely in the afternoon and successfully distributed. This is the first ever relief to reach the remote village development committee. A team of around 17 volunteers reached the village with the supplies. They will be stationed here for a couple days to help the villages reprise. They carried all the food supplies uphill for 3 hours to reach civilization.