Jankala is a young mother from Bargaun village in Humla. Before the Nepal Trust built the new Birthing Centre in her village she would have had to trek for hours, even days, to reach qualified help and safe facilities to deliver her baby. The alternative was to give birth in an outbuilding or cowshed. This is no longer necessary and Jankala has delivered the very first baby to be born in the birthing centre. The baby, yet to be named, is healthy and will receive regular check-ups, along with its mother, to ensure they both have a long and healthy future ahead of them.
The other two Birthing Centres are operating well. Yari has still to be fully furnished but all the furniture has been shipped to Simikot and will soon be delivered by horse and porters. Meanwhile Maternal Health training sessions have started and are well attended.
All clinics, six altogether, have recently been restocked with fresh medicines and supplies.
Our successful Little Doctors health programme for school children goes from strength to strength. We have taken the decision to run 4 courses this year - up from 3 - and in subsequent years. This will mean that up to 90 children will be taught basic personal and family healthcare and knowledge which they will pass on to their families. This programme is having a significant impact on general health in the district.
We continue to work in cooperation with other agencies and donors. An example is the recent donation, through the Norwegian Development Fund, to supply the village of Syadaa in Humla with a complete set of birthing equipment for its clinic. The Nepal Trust safely delivered the equipment.
Our work continues in this remote but very beautiful part of the world. Nothing is easy, there are no roads and movement is always on foot. Emergencies can be dealt with with the help of an helicopter or a small plane from Simikot but it is very expensive. Our donors are our lifeline but life and death for the people that live in Humla. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for all you have done to support this cause. Please stay with us and encourage your friends to help also.
The Nepal Trust has pioneered health care and knowledge in the remote 'Hidden Himalayas' for over 20 years. We have seen tremendous improvements in not only health but also in the general lives of the villagers of this forgotten region. However, it is important to remember that we will not be there for ever and at some point the local population and the government must take over. It is important, and not practical, not to rush but to take time to ensure that the foundations laid will remain and continue to develop and prosper. Our clinics have been built and developed at the request of the local people through their village health committees. Not all are officially designated government clinics but it is hoped they will be through demand and pressure from the health committees. Where a clinic is officially classified as a government one the Trust has been asked to remain by the committee to run it to ensure efficiency. It is planned that, one day, all our clinics will become part of the government system.
Bargaun Birthing Centre is a good example of a government clinic, built and refurbished by the Trust, which remains under our management at the request of the local health committee. It is linked to the clinic at Torpa, our very first clinic, about an hours walk away. Sarkegad, in south Humla, is a similar example that ensures staff efficiency and broadens availibility to a wider public.
Our latest clinic, Yari Birthing Centre in north Humla, has completed building and equipment and furniture has been ordered for delivery very soon. Meanwhile Community Maternal Health training has begun for 68 women and mothers.
The Little Doctors programme - health education for students - goes from strength to strength. Funding is now in place to run four courses this year. Up to 100 young boys and girls will learn the essentials of good personal hygiene and cleanliness which they can pass on to their families.
Many of our other projects are health related. For example, renewable energy - clean energy - is healthy for the environment and reduces respitory diseases in the home. We have established many micro-hydro and solar energy schemes over the years. To support these schemes we are building a Renewable Energy Service Centre in the district - the first of its kind anywhere in Nepal. The project has yet to be fully funded and we would welcome further support.
We are working on a large water and sanitation project (WASH) at Kaskikot which will eventually provide clean water and sanitation to over 17000 people including many schools and public areas.
Our education portfolio includes Thehe school in the largest Hindu village in Humla. It is now completed and handed over to the education authorities. Our planned projects include schools at Kapilvastu (Lumbini), Bharatpur School for the Deaf (Chitwan) and Lipne (Humla). New schools will be built at Shree Ghorkonath and Shree Reshankyu in Sindalpulchowk as part of our Earthquake response. Work is due to start shortly once government administration has been dealt with.
Agriculture and food security are very important for good health. Our large project in Humla has been extended for another 3 years with our main funder. This will benefit 325 farmers.
As you can see, we are busy! However, I am proud to say that over 20 years every single project we have established is still there and operating - because we are there!
Of course nothing would happen without the support of our donors and volunteers for which we are eternally grateful. Many, many thanks to you all.
Simikot airport now has a black-topped landing strip! So what, you say. But this is a huge improvement over the short dirt strip previously that engendered so much trepidation and excitement on landing in the small Twin Otter after flying for almost an hour through deep valleys and cloud formations hoping the mountains would not get too close to the wing tips! This is progress! When you land you see young people going about with their smart phones and Facebooking their friends in Kathmandu. Satellite dishes sprout everywhere and people watch their favourite television programmes. The economy is improving and smart hotels are springing up. There is even a yummy bakery. Of course, as you leave Simikot (walking that is, because there are no roads or public transport), you rapidly move back in time to a more relaxed and traditional lifestyle but a lifestyle still deeply embedded in the old beliefs and way of life.
But these ways are changing slowly but surely as education informs and improves the old ways. The Nepal Trust is at the forefront of these changes and our programmes in health, renewable energy, income generation, agriculture, etc, are changing lives for the better. This is real progress that is saving lives and improving life chances. Not easily spotted like mobile phones but, nevertheless, there!
Winter is a slow time in the Hidden Himalayas and limits movement as trails and high passes get snowed up. Our clinics continue to operate at all times. Our new Yari Birthing Centre and Health Clinic is now complete but support is still required to fully furnish and equip it. An Auxiliary Nurse Midwife (ANM) has been recruited from the local community and is now in the clinic and running Community Health Awareness programmes focussing on health and family planning issues. These programmes are also being promoted in our Sarkegad clinic in south Humla.
We now stock over 90 types of medicines in our clinics. These are purchased in Kathmandu where we have quality control, and driven for 14 hours to Nepalganj on the Indian border. From there they are flown to Simikot for distribution. This is no easy task and requires porters and pack animals that can take up to a week over 5000m mountain passes.
Our Little Doctor programme goes from strength to strength. We have been running this for 15 years and we are still the only organisation in Nepal running it. For the last few years we have managed three programmes throughout the district but in 2016 we plan to increase this to 4 classes. The main objectives are:
Put very simply, children pass on their new knowledge to their own families.
Thank you to our supporters and donors for all your help. We can do nothing without you and we hope you will stay with us and even pass on what you know to your friends and hopefully encourage them to come on board. Our health programme, in particular, requires regular funding so if you can come up with new ideas we are here to listen. Thank you once again.
Building anything in the 'Hidden Himalayas' is no easy task. Its remoteness and lack of roads makes progress a slow business often compounded by monsoon rains and harsh winters. However, the local communities have drive and ambition to improve their lives and are willing to work hard towards that end. All infrastructure projects implemented by the Nepal Trust require a certain level of committment by the local communities so they have a feeling of pride and ownership. As well as financial inputs they may be required to dig trenches, build walls, collect stone and timber but they do this willingly and with gusto.
Our most recent health project involves the construction of three strategically positioned Birthing Centres to give women a safe place to get help, advice and clean facilities to give birth to their babies. This has never been available before and mothers have often had to give birth in outhouses and other unsafe places.
The two Centres at Bargaun and Sarkegad are both up and running successfully. A Community awareness programme has started at Sarkegad to inform villagers about natal and baby care and how the new Birthing centre can benefit them.
The third Centre at Yari in north Humla is well under way. The building is nearing completion and fitting out will start very soon. Staff have been recruited and are, meanwhile, working in other clinics to build local knowledge and experience.
Elsewhere, water, sanitation and health (WASH) posters have been printed and distributed to local schools. This is complementary to our Little Doctors programme (LD) and will ensure that all pupils receive some education and training about basic hygiene and health care. Three LD courses have been successfully delivered in 2015 in the villages of Simikot, Bargaun and Yalbang.
Thank you to all our supporters for everything you do to help our cause. Nothing can be done without you and you are an integral part of the vision of a healthy and prosperous life in the remote 'Hidden Himalayas'. Please pass your encouragement to others.
Although Humla and the Hidden Himalayas escaped the worst of the recent devastating earthquake concerns remain and local people remain vigilant. Tremors occur and there is a strong belief that the next 'big one' will be in the west.
However, life must go on as people go about their daily business and domestic chores. Slowly, but surely, life is improving in this remote corner of the world and the Nepal Trust has contributed to this in no small way. Its health programmes linked to renewable energy initiatives, income generation, agricultural improvements and education are having a considerable impact by raising general health and living standards.
For the very first time pregnant mothers have clean and qualified facilities for giving birth under safe conditions. Our new Birthing Centre initiative is now functioning with qualified staff.
Bargaun: A new ANM (Aux Nurse Midwife), Mrs Nabina Lama is now working in the centre alongside Healthworker Yangzum Lama. The Centre is fully functioning and the local health committee will hold an inauguration ceremony later this year - no doubt with great festivity.
Sarkegad: The new Birthing Centre is now complete and the adjoining health clinic fully renovated. A water supply has been restored and installed. It is hoped that the Centre will be operational by next month when a new ANM is recruited.
Yari: Local building materials (wood, stone,etc) have been collected. Foundations will be laid soon and, hopefully, building work will be completed by the end of 2015. A health assistant (Mrs Jigme Doma Lama) has been recruited. Currently she is assisting at our Yalbang clinic to develop more knowledge and skills. More staff will be recruited when the Centre is ready to open its doors.
Our Little Doctors Health programme for young students goes from strength to strength. This health education initiative teaches young students (10-15 years) the basics of good personal health care, domestic issues and family planning. The students pass their knowledge on to parents, siblings and other family members to eventually remove some traditional beliefs and improve general health practices. This year we have supported 3 programmes in Simikot, Bargaun and Yalbang involving a total of 66 students.
Attached to this report is our latest newsletter Namaste. Although this issue heavily features our involvement in earthquake relief it also updates our other work in health and education.
Thank you all for your support for our work. We could do little without your help. We hope you can continue to provide support and please let your friends and colleagues know about us.
With our best wishes. Namaste!
Project Reports on GlobalGiving are posted directly to globalgiving.org by Project Leaders as they are completed, generally every 3-4 months. To protect the integrity of these documents, GlobalGiving does not alter them; therefore you may find some language or formatting issues.
If you donate to this project or have donated to this project, you will get an e-mail when this project posts a report. You can also subscribe for reports via e-mail without donating.