Written on December 20, 2016 by Chrissy & Kurt
After a busy season of festivals and tourism during October/ November in Nepal, attention in Dadagaun has returned to rebuilding. Information is sketchy coming to me but here is the news as I understand it. Anyone with more accurate information is welcome to contribute.
The connection between Dadagaun Village and Build Up Nepal has been established now with a 16 day training course on the horizon for 10 committed villagers. Their new skills and knowledge will hopefully then transpire through to other families. This training is to be sponsored by a group from Japan organised through Build Up Nepal. It is to address compressed earth block making techniques using the machines we imported from China – getting the right mix of recycled earth, sand and cement is paramount and Build Up Nepal have the experience and technical knowledge to guide this process. Some of the blocks previously made in Dadagaun were apparently not strong enough. Written approval from the government for the bricks will be sought, presumably so that the families who use them will be able to access the $US2,000 government rebuilding grants.
The whole process continues to be long and arduous, however the local government authority (VDC) has recently contributed septic tanks and toilet pans to those homes in need. I understand the Build Up Nepal training course will also address house designs using the blocks, and building techniques that incorporate sound principles for earthquake tolerance. Overall, this progress seems really positive.
Building site preparation has commenced at the Principal, Dhorje Tamang’s house as the photo here shows. It is hoped building here will provide a model for others. Some households have already undertaken repairs and rebuilding using other materials such as second hand bricks from demolished buildings in Kathmandu. Financial support from our group continues at Rs 50,000 per household with monies from USA and UK recently being transferred into the Dadagaun Village Rebuilding Committee bank account. When this is distributed, the money from Australia will be transferred. In the meantime the Aussie account continues to accrue $AU 50 or so per month interest. Many thanks for recent donations from Nudgee College and Janine’s efforts with organising donations from sales of the 2016 Entertainment Books.
During October/ November visitors to the school provided valuable input to upgrade the computer facilities. Teresa from the UK who taught as a volunteer in 2013 and raised funds for the completion of the computer room/ library in 2014, has now donated funds for new computer equipment including an upgrade to the networked system and a more economical printer. Guillaume from France who has volunteered at the school over recent years helped with repairs and the installation of the new system. It’s not only the students and teachers who benefit, the local village women receive some rudimentary computer training at the school in the evenings. Dadagaun villagers are very grateful to all who have contributed financially and by actioning these wonderful innovations. There are few schools in Nepal as well equipped with technology as Dadagaun and certainly no government school receiving so much independent support.
Sydney Frymire from Trek of Your Life, USA also visited Dadagaun again this October/ November. Her trekkers spent time at the school on a sewing project to teach village girls and women how to make washable sanitary napkins. Thanks to Neeru Webster from Shivapuri Cottages for getting this project up and running – hopefully production will continue and maybe even have a future commercial potential. This is a really beneficial initiative to the village women.
The ongoing support of Sydney and her group for the music program at the school, financing a specialist teacher and supply of instruments, has also been a highly prized contribution to the school community. Nepalese people love music and dance and the children in Dadagaun light up at Music time. Some of Sydney’s photos follow.
Many thanks to all supporters this year. Let’s hope continued improvements to the living situation in Dadagaun can be achieved in 2017.