Monday, November 26, 2012

Teacher Training

Rachel, a volunteer who has been with PoD Nepal for three months has been doing some amazing work with us. When she arrived, looking at her past experience, I decided Annapurna Primary School would be the best placement for her. On her first day there, she arrived, met the head teacher and the other teachers and was asked to teach Health because none of them knew how to teach it. Rachel was happy to take on the challenge but asked 'What happens when I leave?' which was met by a lot of blank faces. This gave Rachel the idea that she could be more helpful by running teacher training course with her time here. And rather than just focusing on one class in one school, could help train all the teachers from all the schools that PoD work with, plus a few others that we have connections with!

 In Nepal, to become a teacher you do not necessarily have to have gone through any training. All the schools PoD Nepal work with are government schools which inevitably means that they are very poor. Trained teachers would tend to go to private schools where they can get higher salaries. Which means the government schools often suffer.

In the last three months, Rachel has prepared a training manual which has then been translated into Nepali and run two full days of training for all our schools. The day before the training we were all full of nerves; Would they show up? Would they understand? Would they actually follow through with Rachel's ideas?

The event was a huge sucess, all the teachers turned up from all the schools and had a fantastic day. They all got involved, asked tonnes of questions and were eager to learn as much as they could. 

Rachel then gave them two weeks to go back into their schools and implement some of the ideas she had given them. Knowing they are on very tight budgets, the ideas she gave them cost little to know money, for example star charts and general discipline ideas.

After the two weeks, Rachel went back to each and every school for a days follow up training and was extremely proud of what she saw. Some of them had written up routines, some had star charts already in the rooms, some had taken on her advice of how to properly use volunteers. Now we just have to hope that the training continues and they keep moving forward in the right way!

 Rachel, along with the PoD Charity also donated toy boxes to every nursery which will make a huge difference to the early years of their education.

 I would personally like to say a huge thank you for all the work that Rachel has done here in the past three months.

If you would like to contribute to our efforts to improve the conditions at these schools you can make a donation here to the PoD Charity. For more information on our work in Nepal and how to join our our team, look at our website or contact Gemma in the UK on 01242 250 901. 

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Painting 5 schools!

If you follow us on facebook, you will know that over the past 5 weeks we have been spending most of our time painting the schools that PoD Nepal works with using some of our PoD Charity money.

Many people have asked me what difference does it make if their classroom is painted? Surely there is somewhere more important you could spend the money? But in answer to that, let me show you what some of the schools looked like before we got in there....

They were dirty, dingy,  and grimy. Not particularly nice places to spend your time and definitely not a great learning environment. By adding a lick of paint, we have totally renewed these classrooms and made them a pleasant, light and pretty place for the kids to be. 

Most of these schools have little to no resources, so these paintings also work as great teaching tools. It was great to overhear a teacher the other day using our alphabet we had painted on the wall and using the animals as examples.

We have had alot of help along the way from PoD volunteers, locals, GRG's Adventure Kayaking and many of the teachers from each school and for that I would like to say a MASSIVE thank you, as I do not think we would have completed it on our own. (On one day we had 11 classrooms to paint with just 3 volunteers, but kindly a group of 20 gave up their day to help paint!)

The schools we painted were Sun Rise, Shree Krishna, Balam Primary, Birendra and Annapurna. Unfortunatley we did not have time to paint Dipya Jyoti but have left them our designs and left over paint so that they can do themselves.

If you would like to contribute to our efforts to improve the conditions at these schools you can make a donation here to the PoD Charity

For more information on our work in Nepal and how to join our our team, look at our website or contact Gemma in the UK on 01242 250 901. 

Monday, October 29, 2012

Celebrating Dashain

I recently wrote blog post describing the festival of Dashain. Now, one week on, Dashain is finishing.

Ama giving Tikka to all the children
We have been celebrating with our local family and friends the good winning over evil. It is amazing to see the whole country on the move, travelling hundred of miles to be with their families, leaving the bustling cities and heading for the hills where they orignally came from. It's a weird feeling walking through Mahendra Pool, usually a hectic place, where you have to watch every step to avoid motorbikes with 5 people on them, buffalo taking over the pavements and people hanging out of the local buses turned into a ghost town, every shutter down and literally no traffic on the roads!

Happy Dashain everybody
We spent the main day of Dashain having a picnic in the park with the Street Kids. We even had goat curry which had been sacrificed the day before in honour of the festival.

Ama, the mother at the Street Kids Centre, took her time to give everyone of the children (and us) a beautiful Tikka. Not just your usual red color Tikka but one made out of rice, yoghurt and sugar. It is placed on your third eye for protection. You are also given baby rice leaves behind your ear and a small donation of money. After eat! And boy did we feast!

Flying Kites in the park
Normally after I eat a large meal I like to take it easy for the day, but not when you have 11 kids to entertain! We were then into full swing of making their new kites and testing them out! Frisbee and football all afternoon didn't seem to wear them out, but by the time all the volunteers got home, we were certainly ready for a rest!

Dashain swings!
We also all had a go on the amazing swings that get erected during Dashain. it is said that your feet must leave the ground at one point during the festival, so the way to do this...?! Swing! They are huge, beautiful creations made of bambo, if only the could stay up the whole year. 

Today though, it is back to work for a few weeks, before we have another holiday to celebrate Tihar, the festival of lights. One of my personal favourites!

Some volunteers also got invited to houses of local families that they have gotten close to in their time in Nepal which was a huge honor for them. 

Sunday, October 21, 2012

SOS Bahini have opened their new cafe!

SOS Bahini is one of the most amazing projects that we work with at PoD Nepal. They are a local NGO that help vulnerable and disadvantaged girls get back on their feet. They offer a safe enviornmet from them to grow up and not only give them education but provide them with karate lessons, art classes, dance classes and vocational training. PoD volunteers often head there on a Saturday morning to hold conversational English classes.

One of the trainings that they have started recently is a new Cafe! The girls have been taught how to cook and have now set up their own restaurant! Bahaini Cafe!! And now they are sucesfully running their own business.

PoD Volunteers enjoying their dinner at Bahini
Last Friday was their opening night, and all the PoD volunteers headed down their to try their culinary delights and we were not disapointed! It was by far the best meal I have ever had in Lakeside. The whole of their menu was amazing and everyones meal was incredible.

We now have a great new coffee shop to hang out in after a days volunteering!

If your in Lakeside, make sure you check out Bahini Cafe - it's a great cause.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Happy Dashain!

This week sees the start of Dashain festival in Nepal. Dashain is the biggest Hindu festival held annualy in Nepal celebrated by the whole country. The fifteen day celebration is timed so that it ends on the day of the full moon. 

A traditional Dashain swing that gets put up through the festival. 
Dashain commemorates a great victory of the gods over a wicked demons. One of the victory stories told is the Ramayan, where the lord Ram slaughtered Ravana, the fiendish king of demons. It is said that lord Ram was successful in the battle only when goddess Durga was evoked. The main celebration glorifies the triumph of good over evil. Dashain is celebrated with great rejoice, and goddess Durga is worshiped throughout the kingdom as the divine mother goddess.

In preparation for Dashain, every household is cleaned and beautifuly decorated (similar to Christmas celebrations in England) and painted to invite the mother goddess in so that she can bless the house with good fortune. Locals seek out gifts for their loved ones and prepared feasts of goat meat, chicken and water buffalo ('buff'). 

The first day of Dashain is called Ghatasthapana, which literally means pot establishing. On this day the kalash, (holy water vessel) symbolising goddess Durga is placed in the prayer room. The kalash is filled with holy water and covered with cowdung on to which seeds are sown. A small rectangular sand block is made and the kalash is put in the centre. The surrounding bed of sand is also seeded with grains. The ghatasthapana ritual is performed at a certain auspicious moment determined by the astrologers. At that particular moment the priest intones a welcome, requesting goddess Durga to bless the vessel with her presence.
The room where the kalash is established is called 'Dashain Ghar'.

As days passes by regular rituals are observed till the seventh day. The seventh day is called 'Fulpati'

The eighth day is called 'Kal Ratri', the dark night. Hundreds of goats, sheep and buffaloes are sacrificed at the mother goddess temples. The sacrifice continues till dawn. While the puja is being carried out great feasts are held in the homes of common people where large amount of meat are consumed.

At my Nepali family home celebrating Dashain with a feast!
The ninth day is called Nawami: Temples of mother goddess are filled with people from dawn till dusk. Animals mostly black buffaloes are slaughtered to honour Durga the goddess of victory and might and to seek her blessing. Military bands play war tunes, guns boom and officers with beautifully decorated medals in full uniform stand there. When the function ends the courtyard is filled ankle deep with blood. On this very day the god Vishwa Karma, the God of creativity is also worshiped. All factories, vehicles, any machinery instruments and anything from which we make a living are worshiped. We also give sacrifices to all moving machinery like cars, aeroplanes, trucks etc. to get the blessing from goddess Durga for protection for vehicles and their occupants against accidents during the year

The tenth day is the Dashami: On this day we take tika and jamara from our elders and receive their blessing. We visit our elders in their home and get tika from them while our younger ones come to our home to receive blessing from us. The importance of Dasain also lies in the fact that on this day family members from far off and distant relatives come for a visit as well as to receive tika from the head of the family. This function continues for four days. After four days of rushing around and meeting your relatives Dashain ends on the full moon day, the fifteenth day. In the last day people stay at home and rest.
Tika for all

For the next two weeks, all our schools will be on holiday so we will be spending our time working at the Street Children'sCentre and the Asha Foundation as well as doing some maintenance work redecorating some of the Government schools that we work for. We will also be celebrating Dashain with some of our local friends, enjoying the parties, feasts and blessings. 

Happy Dashain everybody, enjoy!

For more information on our work in Nepal and how to join our team, look at our website or contact Gemma in the UK on 01242 250 901.  If you would like to help, but don't have the time to come in person right now, you can always make a donation to the PoD Charity and help fund our work here.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

What activites should I bring with me to Nepal?

In the last few weeks I've have received several emails from volunteers who will be joining us in Nepal soon about what activites to pack for their work. Now that I have been in this job for 6 weeks, I have a much better idea of what works well out here, and a few ideas of what you can bring.

The majority of our placements are working with younger children (from 18 months to 10 years) and we have a few with teenagers, up to around 16/17 year olds and are either schools or child care placements. For the younger children, any kind of arts and crafts work really well, anything we can get them involved in and using their imaginations (the messier the better!).

Brydie teaching at Holy Kindergarten
Recommended items:
  • Plain paper, colored paper, card - very handy no matter which age range you will be working with. Card especially we have looked everywhere for and cannot find anywhere!
  • Pencils (make sure you bring sharpeners as well if you bring pencils as they are like gold dust!)
  • Glue sticks, celotape, PVA etc. 
  • Any kind of arts and crafts - in the last few weeks we have been making a lot of masks, bookmarks, paper mache, jewellery making etc. Use your imagination, anything messy will go down well here!
  • Tennis balls, footballs, pinpongs, skipping ropes - small sporting equipment is a great tool for teaching for example, using a ball to throw to a child to answer a question, or getting games of rounders going in some of our orphanages. This is especially important if you are coming out here to do one of our Sports Placements, don't expect that they will have any equipment, especially the standard of equipment we are used to at home.
  • Bubbles, balloons, felt etc - these are great if you will be working at our day care centres. anything tactile to get the children engaged is worth while. 
  • Story books
  • Cards
  • Glitter
  • Stickers 
  • Puzzels 
  • Parachute
  • Colouring books, sticker books, activity books.
  • Pictures from home - you will be amazed how much time can be spent showing the children pictures of your home, town, family, hobbies, the ocean etc. Theya re fascinated with it and it can be a great teaching tool. 
  • Blank exercise books
  • Whiteboard markers
  • Any educational books you have access to 
  • Simple stories books to help with teaching (For example 'This is Tim, Tim has a hat, the hat is black' etc. 
Sagar from the Street Kids centre enjoying one of our puzzles
This is just a general idea of things I have seen that will be well used out here, but obviously there are hundreds of other ideas that will be just as good. When packing, think about what you hobbies or skills you have that are transferrable here. For example, if you are good at Salsa or Ballroom, make sure you bring some music with you; if you want to teach cricket to the kids, make sure you bring all the equipment; If you are a pro on the recorder, bring a few out with you so you can teach the children.

If anyone has any other ideas that you think should be attached to this list then please send me an email and I'll add it.

For more information on our work in Nepal and how to join our team, look at our website or contact Gemma in the UK on 01242 250 901.  If you would like to help, but don't have the time to come in person right now, you can always make a donation to the PoD Charity and help fund our work here.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Bowling and Bingo

Post by Rachel Wilcocks, a current volunteer working at Shree Krishna School and the Asha Foundation. 

Our last trip to the Asha foundation went very well with makeshift bowling and bingo taking up the afternoon, thanks to Nicki: the ideas girl of the group.
Though Bingo took a long time (We kept rolling the same numbers on the dice, this did seem to frustrate the children somewhat) they were all very excited and wanted to play until each child had won…Luckily we had bowling to distract them!
With all the water bottles we’d been collecting for floats(we've been teaching the Street Kids how to swim) and a tennis ball we attempted to get a game of bowling going. As underarm bowling wasn’t what they had in mind the game quickly moved outside where they could lob the ball as hard as they liked into the water bottles. Consequently they are now the owners of our broken tennis ball. Keeping an official score sheet meant that we had a chance to learn names but also could see how much we were losing by… 
Playing with the children at the Asha Foundation
The children really loved Bingo

Concentrating hard on getting the numbers right

The bowling also went down very well, but in the end got alittle bit too energetic so we moved the game outside!

Roland - not competitive in the slightest!

This Saturday we went on our first trip to SOS Bahini, a women’s center supporting over 60 girls. We were settled in a room and told some of the girls would come and meet us. I don’t think we were quite prepared for how many girls pilled into the room but they did not complain of lack of space! The girls were all very upbeat. Saturdays are a very busy day for them so we will mainly be holding English conversational classes, nothing to strenuous as by the time we arrive at 9.30 they will of already had their Karate lesson and have a full day of activities. The girls gave us a tour of their center, complete with cows, goats, chickens and their art area. The art work they showed us was beyond anything we could imagine producing and went along side their Karate trophies!

'The Hub'. This is where the girls meet every Saturday for their activities. It's a beautiful place.
Wednesday saw a holiday day to mark the end of exams so we took the street children to the park. An experience that was possibly a bit to hot for us to enjoy but which sent them buzzing to their teacher in Thursdays lessons. Occasionally we just had to close our eyes and tell ourselves that they were perfectly safe and weren’t going to hurt themselves playing on the swing ‘that way’ or climbing/hanging of anything and everything but the only mishap was a few skids in the mud, and the realization we’d brought them out at snack time so were delivering some very hungry (and slightly muddy) children home.

Want to read more about Rachels trip? Then click here.

If you would like to join us in Nepal look at our website or contact Gemma in the UK on 01242 250 901.  If you would like to help, but don't have the time to come in person right now, you can always make a donation to the PoD Charity and help fund our work here.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Goodbye Speaches

It has become something of a tradition in the last few weeks for Roland, one of our current volunteers here with PoD in Nepal, to give a welcome and goodbye speach to other volunteers.

So far, we have had some great ones for Gemma, Natalie and Nikki (I will be posting those as soon as Roland fixes his laptop), but here is a response that Nikki wrote for Roland. It gave me a good laugh so I thought you would all enjoy reading it as well!!

Just before Roland gave another incredible speach!

Rolypoly you're one of a kind,
A fellow volunteer with an interesting mind,
We first met around two weeks ago,
And since then we have shared fried fruit momo,
Im lucky to have had the best tour guide,
Even if your timekeeping I had to abide,
You're the one to beat when it comes to solving a riddle,
And you're willing to listen about ward 6's piddle,
You never fail to have a story to tell,
Especially the night we got to know you so well!
Ask Roland one thing, he'll tell you four,
A lot of the time we think he's a bore, (not really we adore),
I hope you manage to chirps under the stars,
Instead of accidentally throwing glasses in bars,
With the best pizza knowledge in the whole of lakeside,
Stick with Roland you'll be sure to decide,
I enjoyed your excellent salsa class,
And I hope my German was good enough to pass,
You wearing my kurta was very brave,
As was scrambling through the dark bat caves,
To have 4 wives you're a lucky man,
It must be that fetching sandal tan,
With your outlandish style of dance,
You'll be soon sure to find POD romance,
You introduced me to cold lemon soda,
Im chuffed that we beat you to the world peace pagoda,
I'd like to think that this poem is best,
But if I was there I'm sure you'd protest,
I hope you always remember your time in nepal,
Except those not so 'Sweet Memories' that I recall,
I hope that one day you are wrong,
But most of all I loved the Nikki special song,
You give the best goodbye speeches that I know,
Oh how im gonna miss you Ro,
Aufwiedersen,Subahatri, Tschuss and Goodbye,
Im glad to be leaving on a high!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Momo Mania!

After eating copious amounts of Momo's in the last few weeks here in Pokhara, some of the volunteers asked me if I could write the recipe down for them so they could make their own. I did one better!

Harriet busy smashing up the garlic
I set up Momo Making lessons! After a hard week at work, we headed down to Silk Road, one of our favourite hangouts and took over their kitchen. Lalit and Maila the chefs there were brillant at showing us what to do.

Traditionally Momo's are a Tibetan dish, but they are also very common here in Nepal. For those of you who haven't tried them before, they are similar to Chinese Dumplins.

After carefully chopping up the veg, preparing the dough and mixing the garlic and coriander in with the meat we then had to make the parcels. It is surprisngly difficult to get the momos into the perfect shape, Maila and Lalit made it look very easy, but believe me, it's not! After a few trys we were starting to get the hang of it.

Maila our chef showing us how it is done. He made it look much easier than it actually is
We opted to make 'Buff' (Water Buffalo) ones with a chilly sauce. Once they were all finished and in their parcels, they then get steamed to cook the meat inside.

Although I am slightly biased, I have to say, I haven't had Momo's that good in a very long time!

If you want to make your own, you will need :
Everyone getting stuck in


  1. Wrapper: 
    • Plain flour (2 cups)
    • Water
     2.  Filling:
  • Minced meat - 500 gms (Can be chicken, buff or pork)
  • Minced Onions
  • 1 tbsp Crushed ginger
  • 1-2 tbs Crushed Garlic
  • Coriander chopped
  • 2 Green Chillies
  • Salt to taste
  • Garam Masala
  • 2 tbs. Oil
If you fancy learning to cook Nepali style, come and join PoD in Nepal

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Swimming lessons on the Lake!

On the afternoon of the 13th August, we got the late news that there was going to be a holiday the next day. So we decided it would be a nice idea to take all the children from the Street Kids Rehabilitation Center out for the day.

Trekking through the jungle

After a disasterous start (trekking through the jungle in search of a waterfall which turned out to be a tap!), we headed down to the lake. The children were VERY excited about this, it was hard to control them not to jump in as soon as we got there. With Ama (the mother of the center) and a few others standing on the side watching over, and the rest of us in the water being life guards, they were off!!

We all had so much fun! The younger ones stayed by the edge, spalashing us and jumping in from the bank and the older ones were determined to learn to swim. By giving them alittle bit of instruction and support they picked it up really quickly and were soon swimming well out of theit depth! Keeping a close eye on them, they got stronger and stronger.

Ashmita and Roland having a game iof pat-a-cake whilst in the water
 After an hour we were all feeling a little tired so we jumped out for a few mintues to have a banana and a few biscuits. We were then greeted by the Chairman of the center who heard what we were doign and wanted to come down to see! He was really impressed how much confidence they had and asked if we could start brining them down on a regualr basis to teach them to swim.
Chrissy giving swimming lessons to some of the older ones
We spend a lot of time with these children at their home, usually after school helping with their homework, preparing the evening meal and playing football, skipping etc, but is was so nice to see these kids outside of the center, carefree and really having a wonderful time! A great day by every standard for the children and the volunteers.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

And it's a hello from me...

Hello and Namaste! My name is Chrissy, and I will be taking over the role of Volunteer and Charity manager. I am originally from the UK and have been living in Nepal for the passed 4 years doing a variety of things, but this is my first time living in Pokhara. I'm very excited to get to know Pokhara and the surrounding areas better. Over the next few weeks I will be visitng all our child care placements, teaching placements and sports coaching placements and meeting all our brillant volunteers. Please feel free to contact me if anyone has any Nepal related questions. I'm really looking forward to having all our volunteers out over the next few months and my year with PoD!

Mr 2010, trekking in the Annapurna Range.

Monday, June 11, 2012

And it's goodbye from me...

Hello everyone.  This is a very sad blog update for me to write because it is my last.  After today, I will no longer be working for PoD Nepal.  I’ve had an amazing 2 years in Nepal, but sometimes it’s just time to go home.  So, next week, I shall be packing up my bags and getting back on a plane to sunny old Manchester.  But, before I go, I want to do an Oscar style speech, gushing about the wonderful people and experiences I have had in Nepal.  I hope you don’t mind...

Leaving party at APS
Firstly, I’d like to talk about the people I’ve met here in Nepal.  I’m constantly blown away by local staff, children and volunteers alike.  Staff make the most of the limited resources and infrastructure in Nepal to support some of the community’s neediest people.  I’m not sure if their hearts of sense of determination is bigger, but they have a lot of each!  Often, their work is pioneering in that it challenges the cultural stereotypes and status quo.  It takes a special type of person to be able to identify social problems and then to act upon them.

The children and clients that I have come across are equally awe inspiring.  Many of them have faced – and are still facing – the toughest of conditions; poverty, abandonment, domestic violence, discrimination, loss of mobility. But, despite all of this, they carry on.  They smile and laugh and play and welcome our volunteers into their lives.  Their resilience and determination demand that we get to know them as individuals in their own right, not just as the faces of the social problems they face.  It has truly been a pleasure to get to know each and every one of them.
Saying goodbye to the Street Kids' Centre

Finally, our volunteers.  Wow.  What a bunch!  It would be easy for me to become complacent about this group.  I have been fortunate enough to meet a large number of these people.  People willing to give up their time, money and efforts to help people that they have never even met.  So, I need to keep reminding myself that this isn’t the norm.  Most people head for a swimming pool or beach in their holidays.  I feel incredibly lucky to have met a lot of the few who choose to dedicate their hard earned breaks to serving others.

Each of these individuals has played a vital part in the work of PoD Nepal.  It’s thanks to their combined efforts that I’ve witnessed some real changes in the projects we work with.  I’ve seen teachers taking on new teaching methods and the shy kids at the back of the class blossoming under the praise and support of volunteers.   I’ve heard the huge improvements in the English levels of the children we work with.  I’ve seen scared and angry newcomers at the Street Kids’ Centre be coaxed into joining sessions and having fun.  None of this would have been possible without the time and attention given by local staff and international volunteers.  What a team!
Farewell to the Asha Foundation 

I’ve seen PoD Charity grow from an idea into a really effective channel for distributing support where needed.  Thanks to PoD Charity and its generous donors, many of our placements have undergone real transformations.  All of the classrooms we work in now have whiteboards.  Shree Krishna school has access to clean drinking water.  The Street Kids’ Centre has a sheltered outdoor area to keep little heads dry in the rain and cool in the sun.  The kids at the Asha Foundation can now close their windows and doors to keep out the dust and bugs.  Annurpurna Primary school now has the funds to ensure that each child gets a decent meal at lunchtime.  Ward 6 day care centre has a huge toy box filled with educational toys and resources.  Dipya Jyoti has a well resourced and expanding school library.  And these are just some of the examples of where your donations and fund raising efforts have helped.  A huge thank you to everyone who has contributed, and please, keep up the good work!

Apart from all the great work our volunteers have done in the community, they have provided me with a lot of good times and a lot of new friends.  They have provided me with hours of momo making (and eating!), relaxing by the lake, short lived keep fit regimes, nights at the Silk Road, days out and mini adventures.  Of course, as with any friendships, we are not only there for each other during the fun times, and we have faced our fair share of challenges together.  We’ve dealt with cockroaches, unwanted admirers and middle aged Nepali women hell bent on stuffing us with dal bhat until us explode.  We’ve stood together and watched helplessly as our shoes have been washed right off our feet by the monsoon rains.  We’ve spent hours on a buses with chickens on our laps.  We’ve stumbled through the streets in the dark of power cuts, blindly dodging sleeping cows and buffalo that only came into view once we were almost on top of them.  We’ve shivered together them in winter and sweated together in summer.  We’ve shared intimate information about our bowel movements, inspected each other’s insect bites and combed out our nits.  And you know what?  I have enjoyed every minute.  Thanks to all of the people who have made my time with PoD Nepal a fantastic experience.  I leave here feeling inspired and humbled by you all.

For more information on our work in Nepal and how to join our team, look at our website or contact Becky in the UK on 01242 250 901.  If you would like to help, but don't have the time to come in person right now, you can always make a donation to the PoD Charity and help fund our work here. 

Monday, June 4, 2012

Goat meat parties all round!

It seems like only yesterday I was writing about our last batch of donations, but yet here I am again with yet MORE donations news.

This week, Phil and I have spent two full days shopping and visiting placements to handover donations on behalf of PoD Charity.  It’s been great.  We’ve met some very real needs and provided some much appreciated treats for the projects we support.  A HUGE thank you to everyone who has contributed so far.

For those of you wondering how you can support PoD Charity’s fundraising, it’s easy!  Join our fundraising event in the Peak District at the end of next month.  It's going to be a great weekend of running or walking - whatever tickles your fancy - camping, laughing and raising money for a great cause (for details, click here).  If you can’t make it on the day, you can still contribute by sponsoring those of us who are heading up into the hills by clicking here!  My husband and I will be walking 10kms over hill and dale in the UK to raise pennies for all of our fantastic projects here in Pokhara.  I’m a little nervous about how I will cope with both the exercise and the UK weather after several months of moving as little as possible in the heat of the Nepali summer, but I’m going to give it a try.

Anyways, in case more incentive is needed to get you donating, see below for where our last batch of donations went.

Class five posing with their new books at Dipya Jyoti
We gave our first donation to Dipya Jyoti Primary.  This really is an amazing school.  The teachers are as keen to learn from our volunteers as the children are, and they are always open to new ideas.  One big change made in the school by our volunteers was the introduction of a mini library.  PoD volunteers Abby and Liz commissioned the building of a bookshelf, transported it to school on their heads and stocked it with books.  They taught the children and staff how to record the loans and take care of the books.  PoD Charity has just donated a load more fresh books to keep them interested.  The kids were delighted.  They proudly showed off their loans book as evidence of just how much reading they had been doing, and I can vouch that it is a lot!  We are also working to get more books for the school by linking up with and INGO that distributes library resources to worthwhile projects.  Looks like our next donation here may have to be a bigger bookshelf!

The Asha Foundation is doing well.  All of the windows and doors that we donated last time are in and looking great.  More importantly, they are keeping the wind, dust and rain out of the house.  So, with the house pretty much finished, we decided to use this batch of PoD Charity money to give the kids a treat.  We rocked up to their house in the evening time, armed with 5kg of goat meat and 11 litres of curd for dinner.  We all sat down together to enjoy a good meal and good company.  Marvellous!

Kids, staff and committee members receiving donations at
the Street Kids' Centre
The Street Kids’ Centre also benefited from a PoD Charity sponsored party, complete with goat meat and soft drinks.  They enjoyed the food greatly, but seemed much more interested in the new bike that PoD had bought for them!  At the moment, this organisation is really short on funds, so short that they are struggling to pay their food bills.  So, PoD Charity donated 50kgs of rice and 13kgs of lentils (the staple diet in Nepal) to ensure that the children continued to be well fed even when we weren’t there.

We also visited Annurpurna Primary School to donate funds to cover the cost of daytime snacks for the children there.  This is a really important donation as many of the children here come to school on an empty stomach and don’t eat until late at night.  This time around, we need to give a big thanks to Kerra Stephens, a past PoD volunteer at APS, who went home and raised funds with her own class to fill the tummies of children on the other side of the world.  Fantastic stuff!   

Santosh gets to be the first to see human blood
cells through the microscope
PoD Charity facilitated donations from Marilyn Watts, a past PoD volunteer, to Shree Krishna school.  Marilyn volunteered in the science department here last year and caused quite stir.  Until her appearance here, lessons were largely theory based and the children had very little experience or understanding of the practical applications of science.  She left the school pledging that she would help to rectify this, and she has certainly done that!  Since leaving Nepal, Marilyn has tapped her local colleges and colleagues for old science equipment, a laptop and a projector AND managed to get them to Nepal.  Despite a few glitches on the way - equipment finding it's way to pretty much every location in Nepal except the place it was meant for - we tracked everything down, got it all together and set off to school.  The staff there were delighted with their new resources and headed straight to Class 9 to show them off!  The kids were most intrigued and battled with each other to get the first glimpse into the microscope.  A huge thanks to Marilyn and we wish the students the best of luck with their new equipment.
And that’s about it.  Once more, if you have a few extra pennies to spare, please do sponsorKeshav and I on our walk up and down the peaks of the Peak District.  As you can see, your money really does go where it is needed.  We need regular contributions to ensure that we can continue to sponsor basic needs and treats across all of our placements.   

For more information on our work in Nepal and how to join our team, look at our website or contact Becky in the UK on 01242 250 901.  If you would like to help, but don't have the time to come in person right now, you can always make a donation to the PoD Charity and help fund our work here.