Written on April 17, 2017 by Chrissy & Kurt
April 9th was the first day of the year 2074 in Nepal. Happy New Year to all our friends and colleagues! For Dadagaun let’s hope it is a year of peace and progress.
Nearly two years after the devastating earthquake of 2015 there has recently been a great step forward by way of the government approving compressed earth brick technology for reconstruction. See posts on Facebook. This advance, plus the completion of training provided by Build Up Nepal has given confidence to some families in Dadagaun who were reticent about using CEBs for reconstruction of their own homes. A “model house” owned by Dadagaun School Principal, Dhorje Tamang was constructed during the training to demonstrate block making and building methods. It is nearing completion now and hopefully will provide a comfortable home for the upcoming monsoon period. Vertical and horizontal reinforcement using iron rods and concrete is critical to the strength of the walls and capacity of the building to withstand future earthquakes. Other families are gradually following Dhorje’s lead. The photos here are of Dhorje’s reconstruction and another house (no. 61) commenced in March.
Initial funding grants of USD 500 from our international pool has been distributed to over 20 families and hopefully more will start applying soon and a second round of funding can be offered.
At Dadagaun School there have been several staff changes with teachers Parsuram, Ajay and Bhola recently moving on to new positions. All will be greatly missed as will Saraswati when she leaves to be married soon – congratulations and good luck Saru! Ajay has secured a teaching position at the prestigious St Xavier’s College in Budhanilkantha and continues to study for his B Ed supported by a DVP scholarship – wonderful steps forward along his very promising career path. Bhola will teach in Thamel at Rehdon Higher Secondary School and has said he’d welcome to his home volunteers who want to teach English with him.
Not all teachers will be replaced as salary rationalising is underway in order to manage the modest budget for teachers’ wages. This seems warranted and timely as student numbers remain low due to the natural catchment capacity of the school’s location. There are approximately 80 students across the Early Childhood classes up to Year 7. Nine teachers, an aide and a specialist Music teacher has been a bit excessive in the past! Good luck to the new teachers – you have a golden opportunity to be part of a well-resourced, forward thinking school community with lots of international interest and support!
Adult education classes in English continue to be held at the school after hours. Dhorje’s daughter Paru takes the classes most evenings mainly attended by village girls and ladies. With a focus on reading, the internet (especially Facebook), is a great motivator!
Last but not least, a word of thanks to long time DVP supporters Audrey and Barry for their funding of this year’s school text books. Your consistent practical contributions with computer support, secondary scholarships and now text book funding have been invaluable. Dhanyabad!