Tuesday, May 15, 2012

PoD Charity distributes MORE donations!

Thanks to the wonderful generosity and efforts of PoD Nepal volunteers past and present, PoD Charity has been able to distribute more donations to our projects in Pokhara.  Phil and I have been running around the place finding out what’s needed and making sure it gets to the right place. 

Before I get going on where your donations were spent, I want to invite you all to help our fundraising efforts some more.  On the weekend of June 30th, PoD staff and volunteers are heading up to Thornbridge Hall in the Peak District to do some serious fundraising and have a lot of fun in the process!  We have the option of a 4km or 10km walk or run, followed by an evening BBQ and party, optional overnight camping and breakfast in the morning.  How amazing does that sound?  All you need to do is raise £25 for PoD Charity – you can even choose which project you want to support!  For more details, or to register, contact Gemma (gemma@podvolunteer.org) in the UK office.

Anyways, without further ado, I shall get on to the important business of telling you about our latest round of donations...

Bedhari Sir with his new whiteboard
Shree Krishna School benefited from a shiny new whiteboard for each classroom.  Any of you who have been inside Shree Krishna will understand just how big an impact this donation will have.  Previously, lessons were taught on old blackboards.  The dust they created left the teachers and front rows coughing and the whole classroom dirty.  The boards were worn out, meaning it was difficult to write on them and even harder to read what was on there.  The new whiteboards mean that classes are now clean and clear for all, hurrah!

We also donated sports equipment to Shree Krishna.  We handed over badminton rackets and shuttlecocks, a football, a volleyball and net.  PE classes are now much more fun and practical, and the school has been able to start and develop sports teams to compete in local schools’ competitions.  We’ll let you know when the trophies start rolling in...!

At Annurpurna Primary School we handed over money to cover the costs of midday snacks for children and staff.  Those of you familiar with our programme will know that this is a longstanding arrangement between PoD Charity and the school.  It started with a PoD Nepal volunteer who realised that many of the children came to school on an empty stomach and wouldn’t eat until they got home at night.  Horrified by this, she started to bring in healthy snacks for the children every day.  After she left, the staff tried to continue this practice.  Unfortunately, their funds were limited and so delivery was sporadic to say the least.  And that’s when we came in.  For the past year,  PoD Charity has made, and intends to continue to make, regular donations to the school to make sure that every child gets food, every day.   

Day out at Devi's Falls
As you may know, the Street Kids’ Centre recently relocated.  Their old building was getting more dilapidated and expensive by the day.  Definitely time to move.  Their new building is great.  It’s located close to the old centre, but feels a million miles away.  They look out across fields and hills.  The fields provide a great view and sense of space, but more importantly provide the kids with their own football field and stomping ground!  The one thing the new building lacked, however, was usable outdoor space.  Their yard was spacious, but total open to the elements.  This meant it was too hot in the sun and too wet in the rain.  The indoor rooms were taken up with kitchens and bedrooms which meant there was little space to sit, eat or study.  PoD Charity contributed towards the building of a shelter which means the children now have a covered area which serves as a very useful outdoor room!

The Street Kids’ also benefited from a PoD Charity sponsored day out to Devi’s Falls and the Guptashwor Caves.  Details of this are on a previous blog, but for those who haven’t read about it, we had a brilliant time.  The waterfall was not at its greatest as it’s the dry season here, but what we lacked in water we more than made up for in enthusiasm!  The kids – and volunteers – had a great time exploring, taking photos and eating ice cream.  The day was so successful that we hope to do something similar with all of placements soon!

The Asha Foundation Chairman receiving money for windows
Another centre that is in a new(ish) building, is the Asha Foundation.  Despite relocating a year ago, construction is still not finished in their new home because of a lack of funds.  PoD Charity’s last round of donations funded windows and doors in all of the bedrooms to make nighttimes warmer in the winter months.  The communal areas remained unsealed, with just empty frames where windows and doors should be.  Whilst the cold winter months are behind us, the change in seasons has brought different challenges.  Spring in Nepal is dry and windy.  Strong winds were coming in through the holes in the walls, scattering children’s homework and whipping up dust into their dinners.  So, PoD Nepal stepped in to donate the funds necessary to build and install the remaining windows and doors.  The whole building is now sealed, providing a secure, clean and comfortable environment for all.  Marvellous!

And that’s it for this time.  For more photos you can look at our facebook page.  We are now turning our attention to fundraise for future donations.  Our wish list includes expanding the library at Dipya Jyoti and starting a library at Annupurna Primary.  We want to treat more kids to days out.  We need to make sure that day time snacks continue at Annurpurna Primary.  The kids at the Street Kids’ Centre have requested a bike and the Asha Foundation building is still far from finished.  If you want to contribute towards these needs, you can donate here.  And remember, if you don’t have the money to spare yourself, whip up some sponsors and come join us in June!

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.

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