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Changing Lives Nepal — 2013 Accomplishments

November 24, 2013

in Philanthropy

Dear Donors & Friends,

Changing Lives Nepal is wrapping up the year with lots of good news! Your continued donations are making a difference in Nepal, a country where people still struggle daily with malnutrition, illiteracy, poverty, political problems, an unemployment rate of 42%, and other social issues. We would like to invite you to support our programs into the future with an end of the year donation. 100% of your donations go directly to our programs in Nepal and are tax-deductible. We have great plans for 2014, and your help will bring them into reality! Here’s what’s been happening in 2013…

Wishing you peace and abundance at the holidays and throughout the year!

~Deana & Nancy

Organic Almonds

passing first sapling

 After our success with tea, we are now expanding our organic cash crop program to one of the poorest districts of Nepal, where the average life span is only 45 years (20 years below the national average for Nepal). In this region, people are malnourished throughout their lives, and a staggering 99% of young men have left to find work abroad (generally hard labor in Dubai, Malaysia, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia). With preliminary research and a technical agricultural partner in place, Parshu and our team at SODEC have planted 388 trees in 2013, some on our demonstration plot and some with farmers who are starting their own orchards. (Photo of farmers passing the first sapling to be planted!) We need your help to get this program fully launched over the next 3 years, with an estimated cost of $33,000—our goal is to help over 200 families double, triple, even quadruple their income!

Exposure Visit

me nancy parshu tahoe

After a decade working with tea, we recently invited Parshu Dahal, our program director for the tea and almond projects in Nepal, for a 3-week trip to the US to learn more about organic farming and to present his work. Part of our philosophy at Changing Lives Nepal is to find highly motivated and effective local individuals like Parshu and support them in their efforts to create change in their own communities because they are committed for the long-term and are best positioned to have a profound and positive impact. Funding from our jewelry sales proceeds was used to bring Parshu to the U.S. for this exposure and educational visit. 

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Together we visited urban rooftop gardens, organic farms, organic almond orchards, beekeepers, and much more! Parshu stayed in San Francisco for a week with Deana, visited Nancy in Tahoe/Incline for a week, and then he and Deana traveled through central and northern California on a farm tour. Parshu also gave talks at the University of San Francisco, UC Davis, Sierra Nevada College, and Parasol Foundation to share his work. Out of this experience, Parshu has new project ideas, new relationships for technical support, and a heightened world view that we’re confident will strengthen his ability to develop programs, find outside funding, and build his vision of economic development through organic cash crops in Nepal.


Solar Cookers for Buddhist Nuns

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Trekking through remote Tsum Valley in 2012 was a magical experience! Along the way, we visited Rachen Nunnery, home to over 80 Buddhist nuns. After a morning blessing ceremony and tea, we stood talking with the nuns, and they asked us for help dealing with their winter firewood shortage—they wanted a solar cooker. After Deana did some research on solar options in Nepal, a few women in our trekking group graciously donated the funds to get started. This winter when four of the nuns come to Kathmandu, they will be trained on set up and alignment of the cookers. We’ll report back in a few months on the success of the trial cookers. We have invested $1,500 for the first two cookers and hope to buy a few more, because cooking for 80 women is no small task!

Debuche nuns w LPG 3

Through a gracious donation from one of our trekkers this spring, we were also able to provide the Debuche nuns on the Everest route with a new gas cylinder, which one of our staff volunteered to deliver.

 


Maya

Maya and girls with tikka

Maya always holds a special place in my heart, and it’s a sweet success to see her thriving! She’s a diligent and precocious student and is preparing to take the 2014 entrance exam for one of Kathmandu’s top private schools. We’ve already overcome the first barrier of acquiring her birth certificate from her abusive father, and now she’s studying and getting tutoring for the entrance exam in April. If she passes, she’ll get an excellent education! Meanwhile, she still busts out her dance moves when she gets home after school.

My mother liked to tell me that money may come and go, but an education can never be taken from you. Helping ensure Maya’s education feels like a great way to ensure her future.


Children’s Home: High Scores & A New Kitchen

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Thirteen bright and beautiful children continue to thrive at the children’s home. School is going well: 8 out of the 10 children old enough for exams ranked in the TOP 10 students in their class!! In fact, 4 of the 8 were in the TOP 5! Pasang is regularly #1 in his class and has great English skills, though he still gets into mischief. Sukumaya, who has struggled with psychological issues, is #2 in her class!! Krishna, the shy boy who broke his arm a few years back, made #3 in his class. Sanju, who was born into an “untouchable” caste and has had to overcome pervasive social discrimination ranked #4 in her class!! We’re excited to see the children doing so well in school and building their confidence and their opportunities for the future!

This year also saw the start of construction on the new land for a permanent (not rented) home that will provide shelter and the warmth of a family environment for years to come. The land has been leveled for construction, fencing work has been completed, the dilapidated old house on the property has been knocked down, and rocks have been piled for future work. Starting construction on the new kitchen had been postponed for over a month due to strikes, travel, and uncertainty around the elections, but Nepal had national elections this week, and kitchen construction is set to begin in December!


Donate now to support our programs in 2014!

Thank you!!

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