Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Exciting start to 2012 for PoD Nepal

We are very excited here getting ready to meet our first volunteers of 2012 and to welcome back Susan Skene, a PoD Volunteer from last year who is returning for a second tour of duty at Annurpurna Primary. Alongside preparations for the coming year, we have also been busy with our ongoing work at our placements in Pokhara and with projects a little further afield...Looks like it's time for an update!

Handing over donations to the Head at Shree Kalika
Firstly, PoD has been venturing out into rural Nepal.  We stocked up on teaching resources in Pokhara, took them on a rickety old plane to a rickety old airport on the top of a hill and then carried them for 7 hours along narrow, steep footpaths until we reached our destination, a small village called Chindeswara.  The local school there, Shree Kalika Lower Secondary School, was delighted to receive our donations of wall charts, pencils, vocab books, stickers, number boards and ABC games.  Above all else, staff were excited at the potential that our involvement has for raising the profile of the school in the community.  It is hoped that this will increase attendance levels by emphasising the importance of education to local families, encouraging them to prioritise the long term benefits of education over the short term gains of having children working.  Staff were so grateful for our support that they insisted I give a speech, receive flowers and tika and then dance for them.  Yes, dance.  It was all rather awkward as they gathered in a circle and started clapping and singing whilst waiting for me to get up.  Eventually, I stood up quickly, waved my arms about a bit and sat right back down.  All in the name of PoD!
'Dancing' at Shree Kalika

Back in Pokhara, we were pleased to hear of a donation to Shree Dipya Jyoti school via PoD volunteers Amber Souter and Liz Riches.  These lovely ladies went on a trek before Christmas, and upon their return, Basanta, the businessman who introduced us to the school, arranged for all profits from their trek to be donated to the school.  This resulted in a cheque for 10,000 Nepalese Rupees being handed over (approximately £100). 

We also received a lovely parcel from Reta Butterworth, a volunteer from back in September who just couldn’t get the children and staff from her placement at Ward 6 Day Care Centre out of her mind.  She sent pencils, sharpeners, chocolates, clothes, wool and all sorts of other goodies that were gratefully received.  Perhaps more touching than the donations themselves was how happy the staff were when they realised that their centre had made such an impression on Reta that she still remembered them and had gone to the effort to collect and send gifts.

Children at Ward 6 tucking into Reta's Christmas chocolates 
We’re also very excited on behalf of the Street Kids’ Centre as they plan to move into a new home.  Their current building is in a dilapidated condition and located on a busy main road.  Their new building is brand new, in a quiet location close to school and – most importantly in the kids’ eyes – overlooking some beautiful open fields, perfect for playing football!  Stay tuned for more updates and photos here.

Finally, we are looking to the year ahead, planning how our time and resources are best spent and identifying needs in the community.  None of this would be possible, however, without your help.  So please, get involved with PoD Nepal this year and find out how you can contribute to our life changing work.

For more information on our work in Nepal and how to join our 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.

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