REBUILD NEPAL REPORT 26 NOVEMBER 2016, from Naren King, Crystal Castle founder.
We have just returned from almost 4 weeks on the ground in Nepal. Once again our 2nd Rebuild Nepal benefit concert with Toni Childs and friends was a great success. Thanks to our generous community, we have now raised over $80,000. This includes $14,700 in matching funds from the Crystal Castle, an additional $20,000 left for a good cause, by my mum, Lesley Hazlitt who passed away four months ago and $13,000 raised for Prosthetics Without Borders. 4 days after the concert in Mullumbimby, we travelled to Kathmandu on our own expense- myself, Toby my filmmaker son, Paulo Thiago, Renae Saxby photographer, with Myla Yeomans and David Froggatt joining us to assist.
Spending time both in the Kathmandu Valley and surrounding areas, as well as trekking through the devastated Langtang region (Langtang was a village now buried under 30 metres of rubble from the earthquake avalanche), up to Kyanzin Gompa at 4,000 metres altitude, only 18 months since the earthquake, we found many people still in trauma and struggling to get back on their feet. Many thousands are still living in temporary tin shelters, kids are still without schools, and a sense of deep loss is still present. And once again we were touched by the beauty, compassion and resilience of the Nepalese people.
Last year we focused on post-earthquake relief and emergency shelters; this year we were able to look more deeply into progressive, sustainable building models and a variety of projects which follow the philosophy “give a rod, not a fish”….
We have also focused on women and children at risk, as since the earthquake there has been an increase in trafficking and exploitation. Rebuild Nepal has so far created or contributed to 15 projects, with local partners.
1. Building a primary school and community centre with earth bricks.
2. Building a teaching facility for safe and sustainable eco-building, funding the training of skilled builders, a tool library for the community plus the building of an earth brick school and two homes.
3. Langtang elders survival project.
4. Prosthetic program.
5. The purchase of a milking cow named ‘Rose’ for disabled centre.
6. Chuccepati refugee camp after-school and adult programs.
7. Rebuilding a school and providing teachers for one year.
8. Repairs to high Himalayan Buddhist nunnery.
9. Rebuilding a home in traditional dry masonry.
10. Building temporary classrooms.
11. Transitional home for rescued child labour children.
12. Support for traumatised women and children.
13. Girls and women shelter program.
14. Smoke-free stoves for two families.
15. Warm jackets for children from 5 schools.
THE PROJECTS :
1. BUILDING A PRIMARY SCHOOL AND COMMUNITY CENTRE WITH EARTH BRICKS
Sano Borle village, Rasuwa district.
With Justin Wickham from Learning Planet. We have allocated the $20,000 from Lesley Hazlitt for this project.
Here we found a devastated village with all 73 homes destroyed. Staying with a family for 2 nights in their tin shed in extremely cold conditions helped us feel first-hand some of the hardship being experienced.
They want their primary school and only community space rebuilt before anything else. Construction will be from super eco-friendly compressed earth bricks and bamboo. The project includes the purchase of a compressed earth brick-making machine, to be gifted to the villagers so they can also rebuild their homes. They will also potentially have a source of ongoing income by selling these locally-made building bricks to nearby villages.
See Toby King’s video
2. BUILDING A TEACHING FACILITY FOR SAFE AND SUSTAINABLE BUILDING, FUNDING THE TRAINING OF SKILLED BUILDERS, A TOOL LIBRARY FOR THE COMMUNITY, PLUS THE BUILDING OF A SCHOOL AND TWO HOMES.
Gaintar village, Sindhupalchok.
With Kira Kay from Hands with Hands, Team Nepal and Nripal Adhikary from Abari, $ 10,000.
Using – compressed earth bricks, bamboo and dry masonry.
The best way to help the villagers in Gaintar village, Sindhupalchok is to provide them with the knowledge and skills that are necessary to rebuild their houses and schools in an earthquake resilient way, while using as much local material as possible. In addition, given the scale of destruction, there is a severe need to provide local youth with necessary vocational skills—masonry, carpentry and metal works, with a focus on vernacular tradition—in order to become entrepreneurs, and to facilitate post-earthquake Owner Driven Reconstruction. This project will build a vocational block at the Melamchi Valley Campus at Gyalthum; this will be an addition to the education and social science courses currently offered by the college at a bachelor’s level.
3. LANGTANG ELDERS SURVIVAL PROJECT
Kyanzin Gompa, Langtang Region.
With F.I.R.E.Flagstaff International Relief Effort, $ 5,000
Trekking to Kyanzin Gompa, through the devastated Langtang village, we found 8 elderly single people not receiving any support, who are living in tin shelters or caves, and facing shoulder-high snow in the coming winter. These elders would not have survived. We have rented a trekkers lodge for them and paid for their care, wood, gas and food, through to mid March.
When interviewed about our plans, some of these elders cried as they could not believe that anyone cared about them.
4. PROSTHETIC PROGRAM Kalikoth, western Nepal.
With Prosthetics Without Borders, created by Paulo Thiago, $ 13,000.
An innovative project bringing a team of volunteers from Australia, providing prosthetics for victims of the earthquake and high mountain accidents, in a very remote part of western Nepal. A 6-day camp has just been held for over 20 amputees, some of whom have been carried for over 3 days over high mountain passes to reach the camp and their hope for a new life.
5. THE PURCHASE OF A MILKING COW WE HAVE NAMED ‘ROSE’ FOR DISABLED CENTRE.
With Chogyal Rinpoche and Gokarna Dhungana from BIA, Bodhisattvas In Action.
This is a very progressive disabled centre, manufacturing 11 different handicrafts and managing an organic farm to provide sustenance and ongoing income.
This is one of the most inspiring support centres we have ever seen, from the happy team of blind men making incense, to the dozens of women and men in their wheelchairs, painting, sewing, statue and mala-making. The teachers at BIA have been chosen not only for their skill but because they are also physically-challenged.
Every morning the whole group participates in yoga and movement classes, and every evening, in Buddhist “Wisdom” sessions.
As BIA are also needing markets for their goods produced, the Crystal Castle has supported them entrepreneurially by buying up large quantities of their incense and malas, as well as 3 applique Thangkas (a sacred Tibetan Buddhist painting made only with fabric and all sewn with horse hair wrapped in thread). Each one of these thangkas has taken 9 months for the applique team of 7 women and men to make!
6. CHUCCEPATI REFUGEE CAMP AFTER-SCHOOL AND ADULT PROGRAMS
Chuchhepati is an internally-displaced refugee camp- Kathmandu.
With Hugging Nepal, a group of young Spanish volunteers.
Funding a further 6 months of programs – $2,667.
Currently there are more than six hundred tents in the Internal Displaced Camp of Chuchhepati. These are families who lost their homes in the earthquake, and still have nowhere to go. We are supporting two main projects within this refugee camp. One is English classes and literacy programs for the women in the camp. This has become so successful that women from outside the camp are joining in. Now that most of the children are attending public school in Kathmandu the second project is an after school program with homework support, art classes, sports, reading and indoor games. Within the last three months the quality of both activities and materials have improved so more children are joining the project.
7. REBUILDING A SCHOOL AND PROVIDING TEACHERS FOR ONE YEAR.
Pritti Village, Ramechaap.
With Steve Piney Alberts, Samir Tamang and The Active Community,
Partnering with Beyond Disasters Relief on Stage 1, $ 7,000.Rebuilding a 9 room school with 4 toilets. This will house class 1 through 6. Also building a playing field for soccer and volleyball.
Providing high quality teachers for one year
Pritti Village, Ramechaap.
With Friends of the Himalayan Children
8. REPAIRS TO A BUDDHIST NUNNERY
Debouche, Everest region.
With Pasang Sherpa and Altruistic Odyssey, $ 1,000
In the Sherpa region, life is intimately linked to the rhythm of monasteries and nunneries. The nunnery is essential for the community in the village of Debouche. Nuns participate in creating balance in the lives of villagers and contribute to their wellbeing. The nunnery was severely damaged.
9. REBUILDING A HOME IN TRADITIONAL DRY MASONRY
Ghunsa village in Solu Khumbu region.
With Jeremy Ball, $ 4,000
14 homes were destroyed in this village. It is on a sheer slope, the nearest road being 4 hours walk away. The villagers will prepare the site, gather the stones, break stones to mix with concrete and porter the building materials from the road. This will keep the cost down massively and bring ownership and empowerment to the project.
10. TEMPORARY CLASSROOMS
Bamboo framing for 11 yurts for temporary classrooms as they rebuild multiple schools.
With Tents to Nepal, being given to Team Nepal (who are building the schools)
11. TRANSITIONAL HOME FOR RESCUED CHILD LABOUR CHILDREN
Ongoing costs of running the transitional home in Kathmandu for rescued children.
With ACCESS Nepal, $ 3,000
Access home, also know as the transitional home, is a short term safe shelter facility for children suffering from child labour exploitation, sexual abuse and violence, with an objective of reintegrating these children back to their family and community. Organising, according to need, rescue, medical support, psychosocial counseling, legal aid and school education support.
12. SUPPORT FOR TRAUMATISED WOMEN AND CHILDREN
With Art2Healing, Atira Tan, $ 1,500
The Art2Healing Project is a non-profit, creative arts therapy organization dedicated to assisting and empowering individuals at risk, particularly women and children who are victims of trauma. The project provides psychological support, education and growth through the creative arts therapies and awareness based practices such as yoga and meditation. Their main focus is the healing and re-education of trafficked women and children.
13. GIRLS AND WOMEN SHELTER PROGRAM
With CHHORI (means daughter), $ 1,000
The shelter provides a physical as well as emotional, safe space for girls and women who are victims of sexual abuse, sexual exploitation and discrimination. It also provides space and counselling for girls and women who are rescued from the entertainment sector and other girls at risk. Food, shelter, medical health care and treatment, psychosocial counselling, formal and non formal education, vocational training and job placement as well as different levels of empowerment sessions are some of the major activities conducted in the shelter.
14. SMOKE-FREE STOVES FOR TWO FAMILIES
Urleni Namsa village, Kavre district.
With Paulo Thiago, $ 500
15. WARM JACKETS FOR CHILDREN FROM 5 SCHOOLS
in Sindhupalchok district.
With Team Nepal, $ 400