Nepal: May 2016 Report

Val’s just back from her Spring season in Nepal, which included a 3 week trek through Solukhumbu checking/distributing solar lights, and it’s been a busy time on all LED fronts, 12 months on from the earthquake(s).

Since the earthquake, we’ve:

  • Provided 2000 homes with solar lights
  • Delivered 120 tarps, and all tents sent out from UK are still in use in Gorkha and Sundalpulchok areas, along with all the sleeping bags and blankets sent out with the Believers group, other local organisations that we’ve worked with and Sirdar Chhiring
  • Contributed funds to help with Thame school and Thame health post (Khumbu district)
  • Sent money to help with rebuilding of homes in Dolakha, Nuwakot and Solu districts

Val says, “I need to pass on the massive number of thank you I get, constantly, from everyone in Nepal for all the help provided after the earthquakes.  With frequent tremors occurring, people are still sleeping outside, too frightened to spend the night in their houses.”

Light

  • 123 solar lights were distributed in the Solu / PK area and to yak herders in isolated Khumbu valleys.
  • 120 lights distributed in Dolpo – a sterling effort by Chhiring.
  • 65 lights distributed in Tsum.
  • Where possible existing lights in these areas were checked and repaired/replaced.

Education

School supplies have been sent for Manaslu area (Samdu and Samagaon schools)

With many thanks to Faith Harckham, Anthony, Donna and their friends in Canada, we are rebuilding a school in Gorkha district.

Still in the planning stages, we are hoping that we can do something with earthbag rebuilders for a school in Sundalpulchok – one of the hardest hit areas.

The temporary schools in Nuwakot are still running and were resupplied in April – with many thanks to Phillips Wilson and friends.

Thanks to Ersnt, Al, Sarah and Trevor (again) for their superb help with rebuilding the school hostel in Junbesi – we visited it on the April/May trek and it is looking superb.

Many thanks to Tenzing Lamo and Gelek Rapten for their help and advice and assistance with delivery of school supplies and building materials, and to Gelek for his help in organising the Junbesi hostel project and the on going work there.

Development / Health

Working with Nepal Youth Foundation, we are going to be building a health post in Gorkha. More to follow.

Thank you ….

… to everyone who has donated, helped out with relief and awareness raising and practical support for Val.

A few specific big thank yous go to:

  • Lakpa, Doma, Mingmi, Tenzi, Sonam and all at KK treks for their help this last year wth the distribution and organising of relief materials.
  • Emma Lock from Juniper and the friends and folks who helped with the packing of all the gear sent out via the Gurkha Regiment (York) and Turkish Airlines plus especially Ann Brooks and John Walton, Liam and Sue O’Hallaoran and Dave Greening.
  • Geoff Knight and all his friends and team at HSBC and nephew Codey for his school talks raising awareness about Nepal, the earthquakes and the relief needed.

Photos

Taken on the LED trek in SoluKhumbu in April/May 2016

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Easy Fundraising for LED

LED has registered with easyfundraising.org.uk, which provides an easy way for you to raise money for us as you shop online.

logowallYou don’t pay anything extra, and almost 3000 online retailers are signed up, including Amazon, eBay, Argos, John Lewis and many other familiar high street names and supermarket chains. You can read more about easyfundraising on their website.

When you use Google, you’ll notice that some retailers have the easyfundraising icon next to their listing. This means they are offering a donation when you shop online with them.

Here’s how you can use easyfundraising.org.uk  to raise money for LED

The first thing to do is register on easyfundraising.org.uk. Click on “create an account”, then “I want to support a good cause” and type “Light Education Development” in the box – or use this quicklink – and fill out the form to create your account.

If you are a UK taxpayer, once you’ve created your account please click “Yes” in the gift aid box.

You are now ready to raise money for LED whenever you shop online from one of the participating retailers. Here’s how that works:

1. Start at easyfundraising.org.uk: Let’s say you want to buy a pair of shoes from John Lewis. Instead of going to johnlewis.com, you go to easyfundraising.org.uk first – or you can add the easyfundraising Donation Reminder to your browser (read on for details).

2. Make a purchase: You click from the easyfundraising website through to the John Lewis website to make your purchase. That’s it! The price of the shoes is exactly the same as if you’d visited John Lewis directly.

3. We get a donation: After you have bought your shoes, John Lewis will make a donation to LED as a thank you for shopping with them. easyfundraising collect these donations for us, and it costs nothing.

You can skip steps 1 and 2 by adding the easyfundraising Donation Reminder into your browser. Then, when you go on a participating website to buy something you’ll be prompted to click on the easyfundraising “activate donation” button, and we’ll receive the donation from the purchases you make. (Note that this doesn’t work for Amazon and eBay – you need to go via the easyfundraising website.)

You can also download the easyfundraising app for iPhone, iPad and Android.

banner_468x60

Nepal Update: September 2015 Report

At September’s LED Trustees meeting, Val provided her report on this year’s activities in Nepal so far, and plans for the current season.

Our focus has been on providing practical relief following the April 25 earthquake and its aftershocks:

  • Distribution of over 5 tonnes of donated items collected in Penrith in April / May.  The tents were distributed in Dolakha (west of Khumbu, one of the areas badly affected by the May earthquake), Gorkha and Nuwakot (60 km from Kathmandu, where nearly all buildings were flattened by the April earthquake) providing short term housing / shelter for 3500 people.
  • Building temporary shelters in Dolakha and Nuwakot .
  • Shelter sheets to house school children in Nuwakot district – resulting in 1500 kids being in school throughout this year’s monsoon.
  • Support for Dr Karmi Temba’s rebuilding work in Thame, the worst affected village in Khumbu, where he led the rebuilding the health clinic and helped to reestablish school. The big marquee tents which we received as donations meant that the children of Thame have been in school all monsoon.
  • Weekly meals for displaced Gorkha families in Pokhara
  • 600+ solar lights distributed – primarily in Solu and Gorkha areas (before and after the earthquake)
  • Training for 2 Nepali volunteers on earthbag building.

Big thanks go to Val’s friends in Nepal who’ve been our operators on the ground:

  • Gelek Rapten and Tenzing Lamo – organising the building of the school shelters in Nuwakot
  • Tenzing and Tsten – for the weekly meals to the Gorkha families in Pokhara
  • Tsering Sherpa – for all his help in Dolakha
  • Krishna Cook – for all his help in Nuwakot
  • Dr Karmi Temba – for all his work in Thame

and to everyone who gave time, money, things and support in the UK and Canada in the immediate aftermath of the earthquakes.

Facebook proved essential for sharing updates on progress on a day to day basis, and photos from LED activities in Penrith and Nepal. Here are some of them:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Plans and projects

Val returned to Nepal in early October, and is currently visiting Thame and Khunde in the Khumbu region to see how things are in the ground. She’ll then be running her first set of treks in the region since the earthquake.  Access to Manaslu and Tsum, close to the epicentre of April’s earthquake, remains difficult. One of Val’s priorities is to find out more about the current status of logistics and infrastructure in the area.

Our plans for the coming 6 months are:

  • To help with rebuilding in the Gorkha district, focusing on the Tsum valley, and using earthbag building and the two Nepalis we’re had trained in this technique.
  • To help with rebuilding Junbesi school. Four Canadian volunteers will be spending a month in Junbesi (Solu district, on the old Everest walk in) rebuilding part of the village school and the hostels that house the school children and teachers. Gelek Rapten, together with the Edmund Hillary Trust and UK volunteers, visited Junbesi at the end of September to assess the situation on the ground and what’s required.
  • To continue to provide and to distribute solar lights and school supplies:
  • Solar lighting engineer, Anthony, has sent 400 lights more for Val to distribute this season, to which we are able to add the lights we assemble in Nepal
  • In November, Val will lead a private trek to distribute 300 solar lights and school supplies in the Solu district.
  • In Manaslu, we will:
    • provide the annual school supplies for Samagaun and Samdo schools, and lights. Our plan to do this distribution in December.
    • rebuild Samagaun school
  • We are also exploring the possibility of building, staffing and supplying a health clinic in Tsum valley.

We’ll report back in December.

In the meantime, thank you to everyone who is fundraising for us, and for Nepal – follow us on Facebook and Twitter for details and updates.

Peru Update: 2015 Report

September saw the LED Trustees autumn meeting, and Val provided her report on this year’s activities in the Cordillera Blanca:

In 2015, LED provided:

  • 200 homes with solar lights in the villages of Ingenio, Pisco, Pampiti in the NE Blanca. We last visited / distributed solar lights in Ingenio 10 years ago (a couple of the lights were still going strong!).  We concentrated on providing lights to older people and women with children.
  • school supplies for Ingenio, Quishuar, Jancapampa – books, pens, dictionaries, laminated posters, sports kit (including footballs, hula hoops and 60 football strips); enough to last for the year.
  • 3 new greenhouses and a compost bin, courtesy of Anthony and Sheila’s hard work, all producing fresh veg for the schools and some of the elderly and women in Quishuar.
  • a technical plan, drawn up by Anthony, to use in obtaining approval for the two new classrooms built last year in Carhuacacha.
  • water pipeline and supply repairs in Quishuar.
  • staffing and supplies at the Health Post in Quishuar:
    • Retired GP Sarah Watson (together with Anthony Watson and Sheila Larking) spent 3 weeks volunteering her skills and expertise, as did Leeds medics Paul, Alex, Josh and Hugo, for 5 weeks. Picking up on work done by Dr Anne Ince and Leeds medics Jessica, Emma & Ellen in 2014, our medical volunteers ran daily clinics in the health post and made lots of house visits to remote homes where people too old or ill to travel to the health post. Sarah did a height/weight check on all the children of Quishuar to check growth and nutrition.
    • Since April, funded by LED and Paul de Shazo, we’ve employed a Peruvian  nurse at the health post. A trained nurse, Tula speaks both Quechua and Spanish, and carries out consultations at the health post year round. She undertook further training with Sarah and the Leeds medics during their time in Quishuar.
  • sexual health classes for both adults and secondary school kids; English classes for primary and secondary kids.

A few Thank Yous

We couldn’t have achieved all this year’s solar light distribution without the generosity of Mia, Brian, Donna and Jim from Canada, who donated and helped to distribute 60 solar lights to remote homes in the Cordillera Blanca of Peru.

Sarah and Paul, Alex, Josh and Hugo also provided very generous donations of medical equipment and medicines. This really helped our budget as the overall cost of medicines for the year to date has been c. $7000.

Paul de Shazo’s continued support enables us to run and staff the Health Post year round.

Thank you to Sarah, Anthony and Sheila, Paul, Alex, Josh and Hugo, for all they did in the Cordillera Blanca during their time there. If you’ve not already seen their reports, you can read them here:

There are loads of photos on our Facebook page, but here are some highlights:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Looking ahead

Our plans for next year? More of the same!

If you are interested in volunteering – in any capacity – please do get in touch.