It has been a full throttle year for me, and my investment in The Nepal Project has gone undocumented. I moved my father out of his home and into assisted living while selling his house to pay for it all. I sold my business, and that brought much change to my lifestyle. As such, I have not made time to write and tell stories so this is a catch-up writing.
School #4 is physically completed…sort of. All the structural work is complete, and the structure is safe. It is, by far, the most aggressive construction project that we have ever attempted to fund and complete. The structure has a basement that contains a water tank and pumping system. There are 3 stories above it for classrooms, storage and teacher training.
The school intends to be a model school for the Dang Valley. It is on an expensive piece of dirt in a developing part of town owned mostly by young Nepali families. The school will be a Montessori style school, and it should be the most attractive option for those who want to offer the best possible educational option. We anticipate it filling to capacity very quickly.
However, we broke the bank on construction costs. We raised a lot of money and the Nepali staff took on a mortgage to finish the construction. However, we don’t have an “inside” to the building that would allow us to open it and begin teaching the kids in the community. If the school remains closed to students, there is no tuition coming into the school administration to pay the bills and pay back the bank.
Nav Raj, the headmaster sent me a poignant message asking for money for the inside tasks. He needs painting, furniture, a water purification system, solar panels for power and technology like wireless and laptops. Fortunately, over the 30 years I have known him, he has proved to be financially responsible and has done great things with near nothing, again and again. He is truly out of $ now, and he needs help.
He also asked me to find a recent US university graduate to come and teach and interact with the community for a semester. He will get the school management committee to pay room and board if the student can get themselves to Nepal. He has sent me his plan to get a work visa issued by the government to allow one American to spend a semester teaching and living with the community. Once that gets approved, I intend to push this idea at our local universities to find someone with a heart to serve and make a difference. I am travelling to Nepal in October and am willing to escort and train the volunteer if they want to travel with me then.
Good news is part of today’s conversation. We have a commitment from Lewis S. to find a way to get some laptops to the Dang Valley for students. Peter V. has also donated some funds to help the school with its work, and I donated some money as well to get things moving forward.
My hope is that some of you will donate during the Christmas season. To start, let me suggest a simple goal. A holistic water filtration system for the entire school costs $1400. That provides drinking water for 200 students and 20 staff/faculty. Can we see if we can raise that before Christmas? Whatever you can help with is wonderful. The total of the remaining tasks is about $10K, for those who are interested.
Lastly, we are only 10 months from our first group trek in Nepal up to Everest Base camp. Many of the slots are currently accounted for. If you are interested, please put down a deposit soon. I think I have more people interested than I do available spots on the trek. Don’t pay for it all, but do put down a deposit, if you are interested. Reply to me if you are interested or need for info as to where to go.