In October of 2015, Friends of Nepal opened an application period for a final round of earthquake relief funding. Organisations with letters of support from RPCVs were encouraged to submit proposals for projects addressing health, sanitation, education, livelihood, and redevelopment. Friends of Nepal received a dozen applications for a diversity of projects. The board reviewed the proposals, conducted interviews with sponsoring RPCVs, and awarded a total of $28,300 to four organisations. The four proposals chosen represent each of the main categories of projects in the application pool—education, livelihoods, redevelopment, and technology. Here are details on the projects:
Helambu Education and Livelihood Project (HELP)–$3000
HELP is a local NGO established in 2009 to improve the quality of education in some of the remote villages in the Sindhupalchowk district 70 KM north of Kathmandu. The organization has supported 35 schools and over 6000 children from some of the poorest villages in the Helambu valley. Immeduately after the earthquake, HELP constructed over 200 temporary learning centers across 45 villages. Now, they are prioritizing classroom rebuilding in the Sindhupalchowk district. FoN is providing $3000 for the rebuilding of the Shree Deurali Primary School’s seven classrooms. Each will be built to the government’s earthquake resiliency standard and will accommodate up to 35 students. Parents and the community have pledged to contribute to construction efforts, and HELP has signed a 2-year MOU with the Nepali government to rebuild 15 schools in the area.
National Association of Community Electric Users Nepal (NACEUN)–$3000
Rural electric lines are critical infrastructure often overlooked in relief efforts. Electricity supply is vital for health services, education, relief and safety operations, communication, food processing, and essential government services. In Nepal, rural electric services are maintained by Community Rural Electrification Entities (CREE), which are run and managed by community members. NACEUN, a national NGO, organizes and provides services to 49 of these community electric entities and helps with capacity building, technical assistance, and monitoring. Government efforts have overlooked the Handi-Khola CREE in Sundhupalchowk, in which 450 households, small enterprises, and community buildings lost electricity. NACEUN seeks to rebuild access and infrastructure, provide logistical support, build resiliency/establish safeguards for future emergencies, and build community electrical safety awareness. With FoN funding, NACEUN will 1) conduct an initial assessment of the Handi-Khola micro-hydro CREE ; 2) depending on the outcome of the assessment, will conduct technical training and awareness on electrical safety; and 3) will procure the safety materials and logistics to establish a local office.
Rasuwa Relief, Langtang Community Memory Center Project–$15,000
Rasuwa Relief proposed a multi-purpose, 3-phase project to develop a community space and memory center in Langtang. In the first phase of the project, the newly construced center will serve as the epicenter for logistical support and operations for continued earthqueake relief in the area. The center will provide storage for construction materials and will serve as an emergency shelter. In phase 2, the building will be used as a community center, social space, training center, and public resource. During this time, the archival work of collecting and organizing oral histories, photographs, and other cultural heritage materials will begin. In its final phase, the community space will be transferred to the Langtang Women’s Group, who will oversee the facility and manage the memory center. Concurrently, Rasuwa Relief will be launching an on-line archive to increase awareness of the Langtang reconstruction project and the memory archive.
FoN provided funding to World Education for earthquake relief earlier in 2015 to construct temporary learning centers (TLCs) in Ramechhap and Dolakha districts, which were especially hard hit by the May 12th earthquake. Thirty-eight winterized TLCs were completed, benefitting more than 2000 children and providing drinking water and toilets. World Ed was able to leverage FoN funds to secure USAID support, and the organization is currently constructing another 100 TLCs. The Ramechhap and Dolakha communities identified livelihood reconstruction and revitalizastion as the most urgent need. FoN has awarded funds to help Worl Ed provide critical savings and credit training and services to these communities. 18 community micro-finance groups will be established and affordable credit will enable families to purchase and invest in seed, fertilizer, livestock, and other critical agricultural products.