Thursday, February 13, 2014

A short February Update

It's already mid February now - I've no idea where the time keeps going! It's been quite a quiet few weeks here in Pokhara. We've had the usual unplanned holidays (my favrouite last week was when all the schools shut for a day to worship the Goddess of Education!!! A little ironic I thought, but we had a nice day)

Me and Phil made all the donations from the PoD Charity last week and it's great to go to the placements now to see all the things we donated at work. Ward 6are enjoying playing outside on their new matt and the Street Kids are over the moon with their new inverter (and Ama is extremely happy with her new stove). Mark, a man I recently met who was actually volunteering in Chitwan also donated some new towels and sports equipment to the center as well so I'd like to say a huge thank you to him.

Early last week, I received a phone call from the Chairman of the Street Kids Center to inform me that Bidan, one of the children, was sick and suffering from Small Pox. A little worried, I started googling Small Pox and hoped that he had made a mistake, and actually meant Chicken Pox - which is in fact what it turned out to be. He was off school for about a week, but is doing better now, and none of the other children got infected. We asked them about chicken pox, some remembered having it but some didn't know whether or not they had it before. However, a few of our adult volunteers are now not going for a few weeks as they have never had the infection before and it is more serious in adults than children.
I'd also like to say a huge thank you to our current volunteer, Marion, who has very generously donated money to buy a carpet for Tika's room at Annapurna Primary School. The PoD Charity has already helped with the other two classrooms so it's great to be able to finish the school off. 

If you would like to join us and volunteer your time in Nepal, then please contact Gemma on

Monday, February 3, 2014

Feb 2014 Charity Donations

This is a very happy blog post for me to be writing...!! I'm delighted to say that we in Nepal have received a rather large grant from the PoD Charity this month.

Currently the kids at Ward 6 are bringing their carpet out to sit on.
Once we heard this new, myself and Phil set about visiting all our placements to find our their current needs and wants. We then complied a list and emailed it back to the UK Head Office for them to look over and they have approved where we will spend the money.

We are going to continue to cover lunches for Annapurna Primary School and also provide stationery on an ongoing basis.

For Shree Krishna school we are giving a donation to buy sports equipment for the school. They currently don't have any equipment and therefore their P.E lessons are limited. Our volunteers take in badminton, football and cricket, but it will be great for them to have their own equipment so they can continue these lessons even when they do not have a volunteer.

At Asha, we have agreed to give a monthly donation to provide meat for all the children. They currently do not have enough money for meat (and believe me I can vouch for the fact that the cost of meat has double in the last few years!) and live soulely of the farmland that we rent for them. This way, they should get a meat dinner at least once a week!

We have also offered to run a training day for the Asha Foundation which will cover important topics such as sex education and careers guidance. The schools in Nepal do not cover sex education or women's health issues, but we think it is vital for all children to know how to properly take care of themselves, especially when we have a large group of male and female teenagers living under the same roof. We are yet to confirm a date for this but I will let you all know once it has been organise.

We will be buying a large outdoor mat for the kids at Ward 6. For those of you who have been there, will know that the center has a large outdoor area but there is no where for the kids to sit down and play (except for in the dirt or on the concrete), by providing a mat, we essentially will double the size of the center for the kids to play.

At Shree Pratbhat Primary School, we have agreed that we will give monthly donations to provide lunches and stationery and a one off cost to pay for a new carpet in the nursery. 95% of the children at Shree Prabhat are from the Dallit caste (untouchables), which means they are from the poorest families in Pokhara. The majority of the children turn up to school having not eaten anything and with no lunch, and will not eat until 8pm until the evening. I do not need to tell you how difficult it is to try and get the attention of a hungry child. This is vital for their education and development.

And finally, the Street Kids. We are currently providing 6,000 rupees a month to contribute to their food (meat, eggs, vegetables) costs, and I'm so excited to say that we are not able to double this and give them 12,000 a month!!!! There are 12 kids there, which if you've seen how much Nepali kids can eat amounts to a LOT of food!

We will also be providing them with a new stove, as the old one has pretty much had it, new kitchen utensils, new blankets (this was a last minute idea as I was there the other day when they were having a clean out and was horrified by the state of their blankets, I know I wouldn't wan to sleep with them so I don't see why they should!), new bed sheets and the thing I am most excited about an inverter (battery to power lights). Currently when the electric is off (which it is approximately 16 hours a day!), the kids have to use candles in the evenings which I personally think is extremely dangerous for a group of children to be responsible for. This inverter means that we can put a light in the bedrooms, the kitchen and the outside area where they all sit which will work even if there is no electricity. When I told Ashmita (the girl from the center) that I was brining an inverter round, she was SO excited went running to Ama (the mother) and said 'now I can read and study in the evenings, I am SO happy!'. This was music to my ears!

With the money that we currently have available it also means that for our monthly donations we can commit for the next two years which is absolutely incredible.

I would like to say a MASSIVE thank you to everyone involved in the PoD Charity. Bring 'on the ground' here I get to witness first hand how much of a difference this money will make, and it's true that a little goes a long way and there is always more that come be done. 

If you would like to help us continue this fantastic work then please follow this link to the PoD Charity page. Once again, a big thanks from myself and all the children who we work with in Pokhara.