Nepal Education Fund

Today we went to Simpani and looked at a new handicraft program for some of our literacy women.  It involves making about 5 different items, two which we saw today.  One a very high quality basket which among other things is used when women visit the temple to take offerings in.  The other a mat for a teapot or other item or to put a vase on.  Then there are also coasters.  Other items I have not seen yet.  The items are made from a thick grass and some of the grass is dyed to make patterns in the weaving.  Apparently there is quite a market for these items and they are bought by a distributer in Lakeside here in Pokhara.  The teacher would need three months, six days per week for two hours a day to fully train ten women.  By the second month they should be able to sell some of their items if they are good enough.  After training they could work at home.  This type of work they could do if they have no other work or to subsidise their other income.  They could also teach their children.
It would cost us about $500 to run this program but I think it is worthwhile as the product was very good quality.  We have not made a decision yet as we wish to do a bit more research.
The sewing program we have decided to close as it was costing us too much money every month.  Also we have trained about 50 women and ten of these have already opened shops in the area.  I think that we do not want to flood the market and it is time to move on to something else.  We have given our two full time ladies a sewing machine each.  One, Maya, plans to return to her village and open a sewing shop there as the village does not have one.  She has been with us since the begining so is well trained.  Daumaya is going to do sewing at home.  I think it has been a successful program and has had a good outcome.
Today I also saw about 35 children of NEF’s at High Mount School.  All looked well and happy.
Yesterday we drove high up to a village to look at a school.  It was on the Royal Trek route that Prince Charles did many years ago.  The views are superb but of course the weather was socked in yesterday and it seemed more like a rain forest.  The school had a building but no desks, teaching supplies etc.  and needed a wall so the children did not fall down the side of the mountain.


Basket







Tomorrow we go to Pumbi Bhumdi to see the work that we have completed there at the school.
Rabika who has no parents and lives with an aunty
Raining here like it was monsoon season. Very unusual for this time of year and as usual I left my umbrella in Kathmandu!!  Sorry these photos are jumbled up but it is very difficult to upload them with slow connections.
Some of our Students at High Mount

Table Mat



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