Shree Palep Primary School Story

Thanks to your generous donations, here we are in the last straight line of the reconstruction in hard of the school of the village of palep for more than 127 children. We are so happy for all these children who will finally be able to follow a normal school in a building in hard and in line with the strict construction standards earthquake set up by the nepalese government after the 2015. Earthquakes. A fabulous work was carried out by the Team on site in just a few months to obtain the various authorizations of the government, passing through the steps of the construction site to the final painting. And this will continue with the follow-up and educational support. What a happiness!!!! from the bottom of the heart we can’t thank you enough for your precious support ðŸ™ butterfly help project ðŸŒžðŸ£ namaste 

Happy New Year 2019!

Happy New Year 2019

Dear members, friends and contributors of the Butterfly Help Project,

The comitees of BHP Switzerland and Nepal would like to wish you all the best for the upcoming year. Thank to your generosity, we are happy to let you know that our projects are going very well!

Up to now, the BHP finances the school fees for three sherpa-children.To improve the sherpa culture, BHP decided for the second year, to pay the salary of a professor specialised in sherpa traditions, in the school of Ghunsa.

Tashi Sherpa, brother of Norbu Sherpa, went with Fabienne Debossens, owner of the Cabane Susanfe (CH), in the school of Leptung. The were warmly welcomed by the children!

The project of the school of Palep is going fast and well. Thank to Dawa, member of the nepalese BHP comitee, who’s staying in Palep, we receive lots of informations about the evolution of the construction. We’re also proud to attest that all the steps of this project are approved by the Nepalese authorities (to ensure earthquake resistance standards) and controlled by two engineers, every three weeks.

In november, Andrea Zimmermann-Sherpa and Norbu Sherpa visited the village of Palep, meet some families living there and visited the site of the school.

We’ll let go 2018 with these beautiful pictures and are happy to jump in 2019, full of motivation, energy and happiness. See you soon to discover the projects of BHP!

 

 

Shree Palep Primary School Construction!

Namaste & Tashi Delek!!

We did again!! Thank you all for your great love and support.

After completing all the Nepal Government procedure and formalities regarding the construction of Shree Palep Primary School, Kaliska VDC, Rasuwa (Langtang Region), Butterfly-Help-Project is focusing now on the construction of such school. Despite the small terrace land and geographically very challenging landscape, we could manage to proceed with the architecture of the school with the help of Nepal Government (Ministry of Education) coordinated with the Japan International Cooperation Agency (donor of the building design architecture). At the moment, due to the heavy monsoon rains, the access to the school via the motor way is blocked with several landslides. However,A�the Team on place is doing its best to finish the school until early November 2018.

Once again, We, Butterfly-Help-Project Switzerland and Butterfly-Help-Project Nepal, would like to sincerely thank you all for making this dream come true and permit to hundreds of kids to go to school.

Butterfly-Help-Project

The schools of Palep and Leptung wear their new colors painted by two swiss people

Monday 19 March 2018: our Nepalese adventure can finally start! Adrien and myself start discovering Nepal through various schools. All of them are supported, built or on their way to be built by the Butterfly Help Project.

Ghunsa:

We started with Ghunsa. This Sherpa village is located at 3500 meters above sea level in the Kanchenjunga region (3rd highest mountain in the world). This village is the birthplace of Norbu Sherpa, cofounder of the association. We arrived in Ghunsa after 4 trekking days crossing small typical villages and breathtaking landscapes. A warm welcome was given by the children and the teachers the day after our arrival.

We had the chance to see Sherpa dancers wearing traditional clothes offered by Butterfly and to listen to traditional songs. We also visited the school as well as the boarding school. We also were given a presentation of the actions already achieved by different associations. It was a rewarding experience!

After this wonderful evening and a good night sleep, we came back to school to distribute clothes, teddies and pencils offered by generous donors. It was a particular moment to see how happy they are receiving just a t-shirt. at That kind of moment helps us to put things into perspective and to question ourselves about our life in our country. It was so wonderful to see all children faces with a big smile!

The next days, we started to paint the walls with the help of Tashi Chhumbel Sherpa, our guide and brother of Norbu. We planned to paint 5 walls in 5 classrooms! The main idea was to paint educational and useful drawings for children and teachers. Firstly, we had to apply a light base coat. Then we painted the alphabet and numbers in the nursery school classroom. In the classroom I, we drew a tree and a big flower, so that pupils can learn the different parts that compose them. In the classroom II, a rainbow was created to learn the colors. In the classroom III, we painted the months and linked them with the seasons. Finally, in the last classroom, we drew the tree branches and all the children of the school came to put on their colorful hand to create a multicolored foliage!

We left Ghunsa after wonderful 10 days. We discovered lots of things, especially about Sherpa culture thanks to Tashi who shared anecdotes and childhood memories. Thank you so much!

Leptung:

Our journey takes us to Leptung, a small village located in the district of Dolakha, after 7 hours of driving on chaotic and dusty roads. The Association rebuilt the school destroyed after the 2015 earthquake. A warm welcome was given by the new school principal, Ganesh Karki. During the visit of this new school, we started to imagine future drawings on the wall. The challenge was high; we had only two days remaining to paint in every classroom.

We started on the next day. We were inspired by the educative material to make our paintings in 9 classrooms. Once again, we drew the alphabet and numbers in the nursery school classroom. In the classroom 1, we drew the seasons. In classroom 2, pupils will learn colors thanks to different flowers. We painted the water cycle in the classroom 3.In classroom 4, children will never be late thanks to a clock painted on the wall. In classrooms 5 and 6, mathematics themes appeared. Finally, the solar system as well as animal and plant cells were painted in the last 2 classrooms.

As we had enough time, we decided to paint a tree in blossom on the exterior walls.

Those 3 days were so intense in Leptung. Thanks to Ganesh who welcomes us during our stay, we learnt how to eat, dance and live like a Sherpa! We even had the chance to attend a Hindu festival organized to raise funds in order to build a new temple in the village. It was crazy! We will never forget these moments. Thank you!

Palep:

Our adventure with the association came to an end in Palep. This village is not so far of the Annapurna region and is located at about 4 hours drive from Kathmandu. Mostly destroyed by the 2015 earthquake, the village is slowly recovering from the disaster. Butterfly Help Project is currently starting to build a new school. The new school will replace the current provisory school which is built with corrugated iron.

During 2 days, we painted 4 walls in the 2 existing classrooms. In the first classroom, we drew a colorful rainbow and the water cycle on one side, and seasons on the other side. In the second classroom, we painted a tree and flowers on one wall, and the famous solar system on the other wall.

The day we left Palep, the inhabitants began to dismantle the building located on the grounds of the future school. We look forward to seeing the evolution of the work!

In conclusion, we experienced a lot of ups and downs but we learned so much leaving alongside the inhabitants, the guides, our hosts or the children. It was really a chance to be able to live this unique experience. People have almost nothing but give so much. This makes us thinking about how we live in our country.

We spent 6 wonderful weeks. In addition to our experiences in these 3 schools, we had the chance to discover Nepal and its breathtaking wonders. We really enjoyed visiting Kathmandu and the crazyness of Thamel, the old town of Bakthapur and Pokhara. It was wonderful! We would like to thank our hosts, the Kanchenjunga Guest House in Ghunsa for your sympathy. We thank Ganesh in Leptung for your hospitality and generosity. Thanks to Wild Yak Expeditions for this customized travel planning. Finally, we would like to thank Butterfly Help Project and more specially Andrea and Norbu for allowing us to go to all these beautiful places. You really do great things and we were so proud to travel on your behalf.

THANK YOU!

Amandine and Adrien

“For me it was a dream to go there. Thank you to everyone who contributed to make it true.. ”

Amandine Schaffhauser

“I sincerely thank all the people who made this trip possible, especially my girlfriend Amandine for offering me to accompany her. I would have never experienced such an experience without her ”

Adrien Ecoeur

The new school of Palep: project is starting now!

Palep old temporary school is currently being demolished. An extension of the plot to build the new concrete school has been validated by the government after having undergone numerous administrative formalities. We consider it essential to coordinate with the Nepalese government and the district administration in order to complete this project. Even though it is a time-consuming task, we would like to maintain total control of the project and ensure that the responsibilities about the management of the school are clear to all parties.

BHP Report 2016

Dispatch by cargo of clothes and other material

In the course of the 2015, a significant collection of clothes and other material was organised by the members of the Association and their supporters. The collected goods were dispatched by cargo and distributed amongst the populations of Palep (end of 2015) and Leptung (beginning of 2016).

The delivery of the materials was organised by the BHP team in Nepal, particularly Norbu Sherpa and his brother Tashi as well as Dawa, who personally went on site in order to organise the distributions to the people from the villages. On this occasion, and as with all other project undertaken in Nepal, the contacts established by Norbu Sherpa have been essential in overcoming the administrative and logistical constraints and ensuring the effective management of the project. Amongst the donations, the pupils of the village of Leptung were provided with equipment donated by the International School Beau-Soleil of Villars-s/-Ollon, Switzerland.

Distribution of warm equipment for the children of Ghunsa school

Situated in the home region of Norbu Sherpa, the school of Ghunsa requested our help with the funding of pupils lunches. BHP committed to donate the sum of CHF 2000 per year in order to guarantee the funding of these meals. In autumn 2016, the pupils have also received warm equipment, especially manufactured by the association.

Construction of the school of Leptung

A major project of BHP, the construction of the school of Leptung, is a success in every aspect. Emanating from the generosity and the close collaboration of Morand Constructions MA�tallique, based in Bulle, and the architecta��s office Comina in Sion, the building embodies the values of the Association: Swiss-Nepalese collaboration, participation of the inhabitants of the village supported by the volunteers from Switzerland, and a place of education opening up perspectives for the future. For this project our partners not only delivered the material and the financial means (transport from Switzerland all the way to Leptung) but they also personally travelled to Nepal to participate in the construction of the foundations and the installation of the building. BHP undertook to provide accommodation, food and other support for the volunteers on site as well as various costs related to the foundations and the salaries of the people working on site.

The project faced additional challenges as the road to the village had been extensively earthquake damaged and had to be repaired in order to be able to deliver the material. BHP also undertook to construct an access road to the village which hadnat existed so far. Both the Swiss and Nepalese skills and competences were called upon and they were fully rewarded at the moment when the green walls of the school rose up from the landscape of Leptung.

Looking forward, 14 class rooms, a sanitary building and a second building, renovated on the basis of the foundations of the former school will be finished in early 2017. BHP has been fortunate to be able to rely on a small group of volunteers, active in the area of construction, who made the journey from Switzerland in order to support the people from the village in the construction of the school. At this juncture we wish to thank those volunteers, from the bottom of our hearts, for their enormous efforts and contribution.

Strengthened by this positive experience BHP is planning its next project which is to build a school in the village of Palep, where many porters live. The Association has already supported a temporary construction, by means of iron sheets, following the earth quake and the planning for a permanent structure is now underway.

Collections of funds, conferences, presentations

In the course of the year 2016, Andrea Zimmermann and Norbu Sherpa have been invited by various different organisations to present the Association, its goals and the current projects. This has resulted in a more and more extensive network of contacts and people who are sensitive to our challenges and that are ready to become engaged, either personally or financially. Be it in the form of donations or by creating new bridges between people, these contributions are the essential basis of the life of our Association and we thank you very much for this from the bottom of our hearts!!

Momo evenings

Norbu Sherpa has also held food events to provide visitors to the Susanfe Hut, situated in the Valais, with the chance to enjoy Momos, a Nepalese gastronomic specialty of steamed raviolis prepared by hand. This has given visitors the chance to discover the Association and also contribute to it  all while enjoying a delicious meal!

Presentations given to humanitarian associations

Andrea Zimmermann has had the opportunity to present the Association and its projects to several welfare institutions in Switzerland.

Sale of cakes and presentation at the Valerette Altiski race

The traditional sale of confectionery, which always takes place at the end of the Valerette Altiski skitouring race, was embellished in 2016 by a Nepalese touch – masala tea, prayer-rugs and pictures of the snow-covered peaks of the Himalaya. This provided an opportunity for the participants of the race and their families to discover the activities of the Association and was organised by Andrea Zimmermann, member of the Team Valerette.

Design of flyers

The new flyer of our Association is intended to present our values, projects, the history of the Association and thereby reinforce our network of contacts who can offer us their support. The flyer can be distributed either in printed version or transmitted online to any interested persons.

The committee of the Butterfly Help Project wishes to very sincerely thank everybody who has contributed their support to our Association. Be it by means of a donation, moral support, a little bit of time, an uplifting word or specific knowledge, you have all contributed to making our Association and allowing us to follow our goals – to provide support and opportunities for the children and their families in this beautiful part of the world: the Himalaya.

THANK YOUA

The progress of the construction of the Leptung School for 342 Kids

We are happy to announce that the construction of the 7 main classes with the Swiss materials is ultimately finished. A new building and 7 additional classes with local material is under construction. The final touch is currently given to the external toilet building and the waste tank.

The “Swiss” building

The “Swiss” building

The external “Swiss” toilet building

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The “Swiss” building

The “Swiss”external A�toilet building

Waste tank under construction

7 additional rooms constructed with the Nepal Local material

The construction under progress

 

The construction under progress

Leptung, a green school in the mountain

Construction of the seven classrooms from the Swiss materials is finished along with five toilets room. Seven more rooms and compound walls with the Nepali local material are under construction.

 

Happy 2016!! Leptung Secondary School

03.01.2016:

Thank you so much for your great support!! The Butterfly Help Project could finally distribute the second part of the cargo, namely school bags, winter jackets and toys to around 232 students and as well to the school teachers of Shree Leptung Secondary School, Dolakha district. The kids were really happy and full of gratitude toward the Butterfly Help Project. We thank you on behalf of the School for your great support.

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Proud Teachers of Leptung Secondary School.

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Merry Christmas!!

 

After so many months of clothes collection, sorting, preparation done by the Butterfly Help Project team in Switzerland, the Butterfly Help Project Nepal team could finally distribute the first load of A�such clothes on Christmas Eve to the Palep School kids, as well as to external kids and at the end of the day to the villagers of Palep (Langtang National Park). After long weeks before the arrival of the cargo, followed by negotiations at the customs in Kathmandu, sorting days and the challenge to find a vehicle with fuel in this period of crisis, here are a few photos of the clothes distribution.A�

It was amazing to see the joy of these children! The majority were changing their cloths as soon as they received the new one but unfortunately some kids were also crying because they received smaller toys.

THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU and MERRY CHRISTMAS !!!!

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Where there is will, there is way

A wise man said:”Where there is will, there is way”. The recent devastating earthquakes, the continously aftershocks and now the crisis with the lack of fuel and cooking gas in Nepal after the blockage since two months in southern Nepal border have not stopped our will to make new uniform for the 306 kids of the Leptung Secondary school in Dolakha District. Despite the present situation in Nepal, Norbu Sherpa has managed the 16 hours drive to distribute the t-shirts and pants to the kids. We really thank you all for your great support and make smile these beautiful kids.

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Butterfly Help Project: the next steps 2 months later

Butterfly help project

A little trembling, a strange noise and our eyes are nervously looking around. The emotions of last Spring in Nepal are still in our heart.

Since our return to Switzerland in June, the aim to pursue our aid in Nepal was not coming out of our minds. Besides the great generosity of lots of people, we want to express a special thank to some particular persons for the organisation of events where we have had great opportunities to present our BHP and raise more funds for our next projects.

July:

– presentation at the Lion’s club Zimmerberg, Switzerland

– presentation at the Royal Riviera Hotel in Saint Jean Cap Ferrat, France

– contribution from the fees of each racer at the mountain trail race Les Plans-, Vaud, Switzerland

August:

– momo lunch & dinner personally prepared by Norbu at the Susanfe Hut above Champary, Wallis, Switzerland

– contribution from the fees of each racer at the mountain trail race Lavey – Les Martinaux/ Tourche Hut, Vaud, Switzerland.

Thanks to all these extraordinary support, our coming program looks as follows:

September and October 2015:

– upon his recent return to Nepal, Norbu will distribute the uniforms that we have been made and are now ready for the 306 kids of the Leptung Secundary School

– a cargo or container will be shortly sent to Nepal from Switzerland with an important amount of clothes to be distributed by ourselves among the local people of some remote villages, starting already with the village of Palep-Ramche

– upon receipt of the last technical essential information, the first stone will be set for the construction of the Palep-Ramche primary school.

We are really looking forward to pursuing this fabulous experience and see the extraordinary smiles on the faces of the local people.

THANK YOU for your support and let’s continue our BHP !

Shree Bandevi Lower Secondary School.

With the support of WILD YAK EXPEDITIONS and the BUTTERFLY HELP PROJECT www.butterflyhelpproject.org) the provisionary Shree Bandevi Lower Secondary School in the Shivapuri national park could be built with the steel sheets and locally available wood. We are very happy that the headmaster of the school could finish it very properly. Once more we THANK YOUA all for your great help and support thanks to which we could bring little smiles and cheers on these beautiful butterflies faces.

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Shree Bandevi Lower Secondary school

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Shree Palep-Ramche primary school, Rasuwa district, Langtang area

Monsoon has just started.

With the support of WILD YAK EXPEDITIONS and the BUTTERFLY HELP PROJECT (www.butterflyhelpproject.org), the provisionary primary school Shree Palep Ramche in the Rasuwa district of the national park area of LangtangA�could beA�built with the steel sheets that we brought on 7 June 2015.

All though the whole area is full of landslides, the 103A�kids are happy and excited to go to school with their incomplete school uniforms, which were buried in the collapsed houses. We got also the information that till now,A�17 people whose bodies couldna��t be recovered are still missing.A�

 

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Norbu brought a few sports materialA�such asA�footballs, volleyballs, badmintons, skips, disk flyers, together with two caromboards. A�Even ifA�the kids do not have a bigA�place to play such sports, they were so happy to receive such material.A�

To encourage these beautiful butterflies (kids) to come to school,A�we gaveA� each of themA�a notebook with pencils, erasers, sharpers, together withA�food for a dailyA�lunch and snack atA� the tea breaks. WILD YAK EXPEDITIONS has appointed its own company cook (Saila Tamang) and assistant cook for a month to cook good food for these young butterflies.A�

We areA� so pleased to see that these kids can study, eat and play, whereas in the meantimeA�their parents can work on rebuilding their broken dreams and two people can work.A�

Once more weA�THANK YOUA�all for your great help and supportA�thanks toA�which we could bring little smiles and cheers on these beautiful butterflies faces.

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Kids will receive 1 months food and snacks

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Wild Yak Expeditions cook Saila Tamang is cooking food for Kids

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School build by Butterfly help project with associate with Wild Yak Expeditions

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Class room

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People are still in tents

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School and tent provided by Stephan keck

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Norbu Sherpa distributing Copies, pencils, erasers, shapners

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Kids waiting for a lunch

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Norbu helping cook Saila Tamang to serve food

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Kids receiving food

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Kids eating lunch

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Norbu with Kids..

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Thanks giving by Teachers

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Butterfly…

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Janayioti secondary school, Leptung village, Dolakha district, Nepal

 

 

5 June 2015: Janayioti secondary school, Leptung village, Dolakha district, Nepal

At 9:30 pm yesterday night, we were finished with the loading of the 3 tons of food, sport games and cooking pots that we are looking forward to bringing to the Janayioti school tomorrow. The food will serve as a daily snack and lunch for the 360 kids for one and a half month.
A long day is waiting for us…

4:30 am departure from Kathmandu. After 7 and a half hours driving we arrive under an amazing heat at destination. The villagers have been previously informed by the head teacher of our visit. Again everybody is helping to carry the food and material up to the village. It is nice to see such a great solidarity between the generations.
At our arrival at the school campground, we are so happy to note the great work that the villagers have done in only one week under such a heat: they have cleared up the majority of the debris of the old school, built 10 classes, 1 teacher room, 1 store room, 1 small kitchen and 4 toilets during that time with the shelters we brought last time (see article of 28 June 2015).
The kids wear their uniform (for those who could save it from the debris of their houses…) and run around us to be proudly on our pictures. So many smiles are exchanged.

Before leaving, the headmadster, together with a teacher in charge have prepared a small speech in front of all the kids to thank us for our support. The elder girls are surrounding us with beautiful flower garlings that they have made themselves.
It is a touching moment…
The heart full of beautiful smiles we leave to go back to Kathmandu on the same day. 14 and a half hours of driving today…but what a beautiful day.

The school will officially start on next Monday (8 June 2015). The daily program for the next months will be as follow:
5:30 am meeting at school;
6.00 am small snack with tea given to all the kids;
Till 11 am normal school program.
A lunch is then served to all the kids before going home and help their parents in their different daily tasks.

Once again, we express our deep thanks to all our generous donators and a special thanks to Jessica Tradati and our friends SA�verine and Nicolas Pont Combe for their particular support for this school.

The next aim is for tomorrow: Norbu and me are leaving for the Langtang national park area to provide the shelters that we finally got thanks to the hard determination of Norbu, to build the 5 classes of the primary school, together with the necessary tools, a dashboard per class, a notebook and pencils/pens for each kid.
On the same time, we will bring some tents, which have been sent by our Austrian friend Stephan Keck to Nepal.

 

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food for 1 and half month along with cooking pots and games

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Head Teacher appreciating our Support

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Wild Yak Expeditions Team with School Children

 

 

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Left collapse School and on right provisory Class rooms

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School kids out of Class rooms

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Provisory Class rooms still some under construction

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Class room from inside

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School children helping to carry school cooking pots

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villagers helping to carry the food for the school kids

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School toilets still one is in constrution

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Kids from nursery

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(28.05.2015) Janajyoti secondary school, Leptung, Dolakha district:

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Janajyoti Secondary School collapse

 

 

The majority of the villagers have now built their temporary house. Our aim is now to support the construction of a temporary school for the 360 kids of this area. We brought the shelters to built 12 classrooms (452 steel sheets) 5 toilets, the necessary tools, 10 dashboards for each classroom, a notebook and pen/pencil for each kid. Everybody was taking part in the transport of the material from the road till up to the village, from the young kids to the old people. An amazing mixture of generations.
The headmaster is now coordinating with the community of the villagers to start as soon as possible the construction of the temporary school.
We are looking forward to going back in about one week to see the advance of the work with the food to prepare the lunches at school for 1 month for the 360 kids and 12 teachers, together with some playing games material.

A special thank to all of you, and in particular to our friends Jessica Tradati and SA�verine Pont Combe (Association les Enfants du Sourire) for their specific support in this temporary school project.

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Head teacher of Janajyoti School, estimating the steel sheet per class

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Villagers happy to carry sheet for school

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Villagers happy to carry sheet for school

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Villagers happy to carry sheet for school

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Villagers happy to carry sheet for school

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Norbu happy to carry sheet for school

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Head teacher happy to carry sheet for school

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Teacher happy to carry sheet for school

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brooken school bench

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teacher showing the attendance copy

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Villagers happy to carry sheet for school

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Andrea happy to carry sheet for school

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Collapse school toilet

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collapse janajyoti Secondary school

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collapse janajyoti Secondary school

27.05.2015 Leptung village, Second visit

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The first time Norbu and me were supposed to go to this village was on 12 May 2015 but we were stopped in the middle of our way and very close to the epicentre by the second massive earthquake. Fortunately, the food could still be brought at destination several days later by the head teacher of such village (see article from 13 May 2015).

This time, we started from Kathmandu with a strange feeling in our stomach and “our survival bag”, just in case… As we came closer to the last epicentre area, some big rocks at the road side remind us of our last trip and we could see that the local people are now courageously under the heat demolishing some parts of their houses to built their temporary houses before the coming monsoon.
After 7 hours driving and a stop in the district town, Charikot, which has been severely affected by the second earthquake, we arrived at destination. It was already dark and too late to call the villagers to get the food that we brought with us.
A 5 o’clock wake-up by the roaster and everybody was ready and excited to see what they would receive this time. The headmaster invited the 109 families that did not receive food till now to come to the distribution point, together with the other villagers to get the shelters for the school.

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Some news from Nepal one month after the tragic earthquake

Kathmandu and around
– Airport: Nepal can be reached by the airs: Tribhuvan Airport, international and national, has not been damaged. Army and private helicopters are still daily very busy by providing supplies and help in the different remote affected areas too.
– Hotels and restaurants: the majority of the touristic hotels are open and have announced that they are operational and ready for the next season, which starts at the beginning of the coming Autumn 2015. The situation is similar for the restaurants.
– Transportation means: as well the taxis as the various other transportation means are operational;
– Roads: a very few roads have been damaged by the recent earthquakes, but the workers are already rebuilding them as where it is necessary.
– UNESCO Heritage sites: 3 of 10 are damaged, but it is now one of the Government’s priority to approve the budget for their re-affectation. It has also foreseen to present to the public large pictures of the monuments that need to be rebuilt on the different sites.
– Thamel: the most touristic part of Kathmandu, seems to be lost without its usual tourists at that time of the year…Most of the small and overloaded colourful shops are open but the clients are only few;
– Shops: the majority of them have reopened a few days after each earthquakes.
– Private buildings: as shown by the media too, some private buildings have either collapsed or are threatening to collapse, or are more or less damaged.
– Local population: there are still some people sleeping outside in their tents, whereas daily life comes slowly back to normality.
– Wild animals: people in the village of Bhaktapur district, situated in the lower land at one-hour drive more Kathmandu have to spend nights amid fears of wild beast (leopards) and snakes while they sleep in tents after their houses collapsed or were damaged in the devastating recent earthquakes of 25 April and 12 May 2015.
Affected regions
– Districts: More than 29 districts of 75 districts have been affected by the 25 April earthquake, mainly situated in the hills regions of Nepal. The district of Sindulpalchhowk where we have been at the time of this earthquake being one of the most affected. More than 3400 deaths are registered, all 557 schools and 52 health post buildings of this district have been razed to the ground in the quake, suspended bridges have collapsed among other (and this is just the example of one of the affected regions…). In some parts drinking water is getting a problem too and some villages till today were almost not, if not supplied.
– Migrants: Nepali migrants return to quake epicentre to rebuilt their villages stone by stone as this 30 year old Nepali who put off the promise of a job in Japan to return to the rubble of his childhood home: “I came back to rebuilt and to help my mother”.
– Dangers: access roads are threatened by landslides and rock falls due to the massive earthquakes and recurring aftershocks. Rocks and soil in the hills have lost rigidity making landslides a common occurence, that are for this period of the year uncommon and, which will increase during the coming monsoon.
– Relocation: some of the villages that are considered as being under high risk and vulnerable to earthquakes are relocated/resettled. For example, Tatopani the village in which Norbu and me were blocked on our way to Mount Everest on 25 April 2015, is resettled in the middle of Kathmandu in a field nearby we live. Under the heat of Kathmandu, they try to arrange at their best their tented provisory “new village”. Some of them have never been before in the capital but they have no other choice, but all worry about their future.
– Women: women are particularly facing difficult situations after these recent earthquakes; numerous of them have given birth, as the woman we saw in Tatopani, in the middle of the nature, under a tent or a shelter, but in the majority of the cases in precarious conditions and with no means or no where to go in case of complication due the stressful situation of the earthquake experience and others];
– Loss: besides the tragic human loss reaching more that 8600 casualties till today, the villagers of the affected regions that are mostly farmers in remote parts of Nepal, living with less means, have to take on them the loss of most of their cattle and tonnes of food stocked in their houses that have collapsed. Almost every family of such regions owns a few animals (goats, buffalo, cows, yak, chicken) that represents an important fortune, or the only real fortune, for most of them. The animals are often tightened under a cover besides the houses. The food consist mainly, but depending the regions and the altitude, of paddy, maize, wheat, buckwheat, pulses, spices, potatoes along with the seeds. And at this date, still some people are missing.

Tourismus
– Income: an important part of the national revenue for Nepal comes from the tourism sector, among others through the entry fees to the monuments, the trekking and climbing permits of the different national conservation areas. Considering the usual two “high seasons” for Nepal, namely Spring (March to May) and Autumn (September to mid-December), and the fact that the Spring 2015 season was prematurely over after 25 April, Nepal works now hard to make its possible that the next season is not in a total deficit again. Income generated by the tourists visiting Nepal would also at the same time help for the reconstruction of the damaged parts of some of the Heritage sites. According to what one can see now, most of the capital, Kathmandu, will be worth and safe enough for visiting in the coming Autumn.
– Affected population: from the personal welcoming the guests at Kathmandu Tribhuvan international airport, the luggage porters, the taxi drivers, hotels, restaurants, lodges, the touristic and mountain guides, the climbing sherpas, the food suppliers, trekking porters to the shops owners in the touristic areas all are seriously affected by this disaster. This means in other words that no income at all is flossing in that would permit them to rebuilt their houses, shops or else. Furthermore, there is no contribution for un-employment in Nepal and the insurance money, if any, does not help a lot for does who have to rebuilt their houses.
– Change of Nepal Tourism ministry: the recent nomination of a Sherpa (Kripasur Sherpa) as new Tourism ministry for Nepal is seen to be construed as a meaningful move as he is close to some key institutions in the tourism sector.
– Current situation: Kathmandu, as said above, the city is safe enough and the majority of the hotels, restaurants and sightseeing places are accessible. The trekking/expedition regions, some of the regions have been affected a lot, while others have not been affected at all; it therefore possible to plan a trip to Nepal already for the coming Autumn but with clear information from your agency about where to go.

Government
– Casualties: according to the data on human casualties of the 25 earthquakes and the numerous subsequent aftershocks made public by the Nepali Police, women deaths have outnumbered the men deaths. According to some gender experts, traditional role of women could be one of the reasons behind more women losing lives in such disasters. Especially, in countries as Nepal, where unfortunately the rate of uneducated women is still very high. One more reason for us, to support the kids’ education as best as we can through our Butterfly Help Project (www.butterflyhelpproject.org).
– Building assessment: the Nepal government, though a team of experts of its Department of Urban Development and Building Construction (DUDBC), is preparing to re-assess all housing apartments in Kathmandu Valley after the recent powerful earthquakes. Three categories of buildings are made: i) unsafe, ii) safe to stay and, iii) need of some maintenance. The assessment is done in two parts, first based on visual assessment, then on a detailed inspection. But their is an urgent need of additional engineers…there are only 400 structural engineers in Nepal. It results in having several thousand people that are still languishing in makeshift shelters as they have not found an engineer for consultation about the safety of their houses.
– Buildings demolition: Government lacks equipment to demolish multi-storey buildings; due to the lack of technical knowledge and machines to demolish broken houses threatening others by the governement, some of the owners have taken their own initiative because of the danger for the neighbourhood. The government has issued a circular that house owners will get relief as per the policy even if they demolish the structures themselves. However, it seems that the decision on how the government will financially assist homeowners who demolish their houses on their own has not been published yet, many people are hesitant even though it poses a risk to others. According to the Deputy Commissioner at Kathmandu Valley “It is a matter of shame that the government is passive about this. It lacks manpower and technology to demolish structures. The government own two 22 tonnes and two 12 tonnes cranes. There is no policy and plan to use mild explosion to demolish structures inside the alleys and stories above five.” Such statement is confirmed by the Secretary at the Ministry of Urban Development “obviously it is time consuming, while the government lacks resources, manpower and expertise. The government has no technology and equipment to demolish structures behind five-storey buildings. The government is asking for assistance from neighbouring countries and is encouraging homeowners to demolish structures themselves as they can save and reuse construction materials.” It seems that till to date the government has demolished 150 houses with the assistance from the District Administration Office, Nepal Army, Nepal Police and Nepal Armed Force.
– Reconstruction plan: one of the main suggestion that should be an integral part of future disaster preparedness and management planning according to the population of Kathmandu is to increase the open spaces in the Kathmandu Valley. Earthquake resistance construction, strict enforcement of building codes, zoning laws and open spaces are the key dimensions to improve the process of assessing the emergency preparedness as stated in the media by a Senior economist at the Institute for Intergrated Development Studies.
the Himalaya due to its situation in the middle of the two continental tectonic plates (Eurasia and Indian) being naturally exposed to such risk, then in case of fire and other natural disasters. “Unplanned physical structures are the major cause of the large number of death toll. It is therefore extremely important for the government to make and formulate strict national building code” as stated by the media.
– Relief money: the Government has decided to allocate USD 360 for and USD 400 not yet distributed.
– Geological survey: the Government has recently planned to conduct a geological survey of 6 earthquake affected districts with 18 task forces of geologists. The teams chosen for such survey will base their study on field surveys and satellite data. The aim is that the geological report submitted by the task forces would help the Government to relocate human settlements of the areas rattled by the earthquake and give exact number of human settlements affected by the earthquake in order to help to plan the resettlement of the affected people, together with an assessment of the risks of landslides in such areas.
– Schools: according to the Department of Education, around 30,000 classrooms and 3,550 school buildings in 45 districts, including in the Kathmandu Valley, were damaged by the earthquakes and aftershocks. Parents are want now schools to resume as a dad says “Had the children started going to the school from May 14, things would have fallen in place, as they would have got time to play and interact with friends which would have helped them forget the disaster.” After the 25 April quake, the government had announced closure of the schools and said that classes would resume from May 14. But following to the 12 May quake, the government said the schools would remain close for another two weeks. Schools are now due to open on May 31. Even some of the students seem more and more missing going to school: a 16-year young girl of the Gorkha region (near to the Mount Manaslu, 8163 meters) explains that one part of her school has collapsed and some other parts were damaged, which render it not safe enough to resume school in its original buildings, and furthermore she is daily busy in fetching mud to help her parents rebuild their family house, but “I miss going to school. I always liked getting up in the morning and helping my parents in doing household chores before heading for school. It always felt good to learn new things from our teachers”.

Sport
– Stadiums as campsites: “A revered national sports coach is among the thousands of dead, trapped in his rented house when devasting earthquakes rocked Nepal. The main football stadium was damaged, before becoming a makeshift refuge for displaced survivors of the quakes. The national cricket team’s preparations for a major international tournament next are in disarray. The Asian weightlifting championships, schduled for Kathmandu in July, are destined to be held somewhere else.” (Repubica / International New York Times, 20 May 2015).
– Sport as new energy: despite this tragic situation, people are enccouraged by the National Olympic Committee of Nepal to turn their attention back to sport to help them to overcome traumatic experiences. According to the Head of the Nepal National Olympic Committee “Our primary focus is to create a healthy environment for athletes. We are planning to distribute sports kits at earthquake hit areas since we believe sports to be the best tool to restore normalcy.”
– Testimony of a young Nepali high-level athlete: a few days ago, there was an article in the Nepal media about a 12-year old Nepali girl competing in swimming, who is now residing and training hard in London, UK. She has set her eyes high, at the next FINA World Championships, Asian Games and the Olympic Games. Her testimony is touching: “My father is helping people heal (in Nepal) using his skills as a doctor. I want to use my skills as a swimmer to give some hope and happiness by doing well in the FINA World Championships.” She was in Nepal at the time of the first earthquake of 25 April 2015 as she came to participate in the 20th National Swimming Championship.

As a conclusion, to help Nepal is not only during the close period after these earthquakes, but to help Nepal has to go on for years and one of the main support is to come back to Nepal from the next season, namely this Autumn. This will permit Nepal and the numerous people living from the tourism income to go on with the rebuilding of their country.
Finally, we adress a special thought to all these families that have lost one of theirs and those who need now to rebuild their losses.

THANK YOU FOR YOUR PRECIOUS SUPPORT!

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Sources:
– Testimonies of Norbu’s friends and others
– the Kathmandu Post
– the Himalayan Times

The villagers are getting stronger

20 May 2015: under a strong morning heat, we start from Kathmandu to go back to this small hilly village, which is situated in one of the most affected district, Sindulpalchok-3. Our small truck is loaded with food supplies again, steel shelters and material (hammers, nails, shovels, iron wire, etc.) for the families of this small village to build temporary shelters that are stronger than the tents to pass the coming monsoon.
At our arrival, we are happy to see that despite the great heat and difficult life conditions, the people are working hard on divising and recovering small pieces of their broken houses for the new ones.

We are really happy that we could provide them at least with some of the vital means that give them a basis to reconstruct slowly but surely their lifes. While we were there for the second time we could see that these families are now strong enough to think of their own to go on.

We have still now many villages to encourage and check what they did during this laps of time since our first venue.

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The porters’ village

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19th May 2015: One week after the second big earthquake that has strongly affected Nepal again, we have started early this morning to go to Rusawa district situated in the Langtang national park area at about 5 hours of driving from Kathamndu. Further to this recent earthquake it was necessary to let the earth slightly calm down before going in this kind of places.

The road is not too bad until a few kilometers before our destination.
Until today only very few supplies arrived since 25 April 2015 till the village we go.
It is situated at about 45 kilometers before the Tibet border on a very steep mountain flank at 2300 meters. Mostly porters of the Tamang ethical group that are hired during the trekking seasons live there with their families. Their villages is destroyed, 21 people lost their life and the current trekking season is already over.
It takes us a while to provide more than 5 tons of food that is divided into the 136 families living there. The people from the village are calmly sitting watching the preparation of the different ratios of food. What a scene…kids, moms with small babies, teenagers, older, everybody is there as if it would be market day.
Happy, we drive back to Kathmandu, the mind full of beautiful smiles.

Thank you to all of you for your generous contributions that permit to render a smile to these people living already before the tragic earthquakes with very less means.
Our support can go on thanks to you!

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Trapped again…

Trapped again…

12 May 2015: With the aim to bring an additional load of food of more than 2 tons to the remote village of Leptung in the Dolakha district combined with an observation trip to the Janajyoti secondary school, we leave Kathmandu in the early morning. An 8 to 9-hour trip of 185 km expects us. The first part, we take the same road that a few weeks before when we started from Kathmandu to go to the Tibetan border for our expeditions…strange feeling.
Due to the earthquake of 25 April 2015, the Chinese mountaineering associations that are competent to deliver the climbing permits have decided to stop all expeditions for this season.
After more than 120 km, we stop in a small village for a short lunch break. The local people of that village are busy in trying to find some of their belongings in the middle of their collapsed houses, or in collecting the remain wood and other useful parts of their broken house that they might use to rebuilt the new one before the coming monsoon.
Everything happens suddenly so quickly…
A strong noise, lots of dust and the road flotting in the air…it is almost impossible to run away the feeling of staying on waves being so strong…And where to run again, the dust of some further parts of houses that just collapsed besides us avoids us to see clearly if something else could fall down on our heads…The local people being in total panic, we are surrounded by screams until the shakes stop for a while but before the two big next earthaquakes…The communication tower gets into fire, the phone connection cracks down…Helicopters are suddenly flying above us, whereas injuried people are still around us.
In total we are experiencing three strong earthquakes (magnitude of 7.3, 6.4 and 5.8), in the middle of their epicentres.
We do not take the risk to check whether and when the roads is cleared up, since some landslides and permanent rock fallings continue to happen due to the numerous aftershakes. We can reach a plateau at 2850 mA?tres above sea level (that would be so beautiful in normal circumstances) and settle the tents we have with us for the night. We are lucky to eat some local food among other people who remain at the same place as us.
13 May: Early in the morning, we hear that thanks to the local people who still have the courage to carry on, assisted by some international help troups that came to Nepal after the first earthquake of 25 April 2015, the main road to Kathmandu is now open again. The road to go to our destination remains however blocked.
We are lucky that we can manage to handhover our loads to the headteacher of the school where we were supposed to go. He will be in charge to provide us with a report of the distribution among the village people.
On our way back to Kathmandu, we observe the destruction of some houses that where in a good shape on our way up and scary landslides/rock falling that are still blocking the road in some of its parts.
What an adventure!
People are again sleeping outside in Kathmandu, as we will do again…But most of the Nepali try as soon after the shock has passed to react and go on with the reconstruction of their houses.