I. Village Latrine Program ($7,500)
Sanitation Structures to Improve Health and Reduce Water Borne Diseases:
Since the end of December, 50 toilets have been constructed in individual homes (15 supported by GM) in Tipling and Lapa villages with priority given to Kami (oppressed / underprivileged) households. HHC, as in the past, has partnered with Community Based Organizations (CBO) Sewa Nepal of Tipling and Apanga Ekta Kendra (Disabled United Center) of Lapa to help carry out this project. HHC has been promoting such partnerships to encourage and facilitate local participation and help foster local leadership and ownership.
Villagers are asked to collect local resources and carry rocks to their toilet sites next to their homes. They are also asked to dig a large hole for the septic tanks and build four walls for the toilet structure not including the roof-work. After completion, HHC and CBO partners inspect these tasks. Upon approval, the individuals are provided with colored tin sheets for roof and door, large PVC pipe for septic tank connection, ceramic floor-level pan and cement for floor and wall. These building materials are provided where the road ends and the recipients are asked to porter them (3 days one way). This goes with HHC’s theme of helping people help themselves.
Additionally, new latrine standards will be implemented this year in partnership with Rotary International to include dimensions for minimum door heights, structure width, and septic holes to ensure long-term use and functionality of the latrines. Other new improvements include drainage areas for showers, steps inside, water buckets for easy cleaning, small windows, and more tin to hang above the front door.
Important Note: Initiations of these improvements were made by community members themselves and HHC has accommodated to meet these needs in areas with limited resources.
II. Efficient Cook Stoves ($3,500)
100 new cookstoves were made by the completion of this project on January 2014. This project is being carried out in Tipling and Lapa villages with priority given to Dalit (oppressed underprivileged) households. HHC partners with Community Based Organizations (CBO) Sewa Nepal of Tipling and Apanga Ekta Kendra (Disabled United Center) of Lapa to mobilize individuals in the community to carry out this project.
HHC has trained various community personnel to build efficient cook stoves that consume only half the firewood that traditional ones do, thus minimizing smoke in the house. Trained personnel and HHC woodstove supervisors help the recipients at all stages of stove-making: from selection of appropriate clay for the bricks to making two types of bricks using standard brick moulds. They also help in the final construction of stove using bricks and metal pieces (provided for strengthening), firing of stove for strengthening, and finally the construction of the chimney.
New improvements include larger stove tops to cook for larger groups, stove tops placement to maximize heat from the fire, and constructed metal tin covers to radiate heat into the household.
III. Income Generation ($3,000)
Goat Program for Financial Independence:
This project is designed to empower Kami households through financial independence. As of February 2014, goats have been purchased in Kathmandu, but the project has been delayed due to the recent government elections this past July and the inconvenience arising from Bin Thapa, HHC Field Supervisor, having to deal with his wife’s severe illness. Therefore, HHC is in the process of hiring two local supervisors, which in addition to the area’s highly political landscape, has been a major, time-consuming obstacle this year. We will keep updating the website for further details.
The current selection of households for the goat project is being carried out by Sapta Ghale, HHC field coordinator in the village of Tipling.
Community Land for Lower-caste Households:
An addition to the goat project is also the project of community land. This project is targeted for the Kami women who have no land but are able to generate additional income while their husbands are making blacksmith tools. Acquisition of land has taken over six months mostly because of higher-caste members’ unwillingness to sell their traditional land and their lack of trust in handing over their land to local political authorities. It will take more time and perseverance to help this project along. Behavioral and mind-set changes in any society take time, which is why HHC and GlobeMed at CU Boulder in partnership are placing these finances in a bank for future use.
New improvements for 2014 include greater emphasis in agricultural business plans, animal husbandry, kitchen gardens, handicraft artisan trainings, and agricultural trainings.
IV. Medical Referrals ($3,000)
This program aims to support individuals facing diseases, injuries, or extreme medical ailments that are unable to be fully addressed or treated at community health posts due to limited resources and lack of staff expertise.
Patients benefiting from this program require attention from larger medical facilities in major cities for conditions such as epilepsy, severe anemia, patella injuries, heart malfunctions, liver abscesses, and other similar extreme cases. Support for this program includes transportation costs for a 3-4 days travel to Dhading or Kathmandu, housing, hospital stays, and necessary treatment to ensure full recovery.
New improvements include greater emphasis on patient and HHC collaborative funding and diagnosis at local health posts prior to surgery. Additionally, for 2014, GlobeMed is specifically supporting a 12 year old boy from Sherthung diagnosed with throat cancer who has been receiving treatment in Kathmandu since January.
V. Education/Training Project ($10,500)
In 2012 HHC collaborated with local governments to build a beautiful new school building in Lapa for grades 1- 10. New furniture and over 8 computers were provided to the school. HHC continues to work alongside government authorities to improve the next generations of teachers and students in the Dhading district.
In partnership, we aim to support village students with their higher studies. Excelling students like Phe Dorje, are given opportunities to further explore education paths. Phe Dorje has been a HHC trained health provider for the village of Tipling for five years and has been selected to further his degree and trainings as a Health Assistantship Fellow in Kathmandu. This three year program, once completed in 2015, will provide him credentials and a wider knowledge base to tangibly make an impact on health care in the district of Dhading. He will return to his local community and work in Sherthung (the central point for the three northern villages), where he will be running a larger clinic with x-ray and more advanced lab support. Furthermore, Phe Dorje is a promising student who received a high honoring scholarship from his medical school and values giving back to his community.
New improvements include supporting two more higher study students after their completion of the national School Learning Certificate (SLC), yearly selection criteria such as attendance and grade performance to receive stipends in the rural villages, more school space in Tipling and Sherthung, more secondary school library books, a student hostel in Lapa, and greater job opportunities for secondary school graduates.
VI. Women’s Empowerment Project ($2,500)
Additional support for Women and Girls who can not attend School:
Note from our Partner
Most recent letter from Himalayan HealthCare describing current political obstacles in aim for long-term sustainable impact.
On 3rd March, our team of six, visited Dhadingbesi, the HQ for all of Dhading District where the district government offices and line agencies are. Keeping with the government’s new policy of collaboration and partnership, we invited all officials (Chief District Officer (CDO) who is the overall admin chief of Dhading, Local Development Officer (LDO) and Chiefs of public health, education, agriculture, veterinary care, Tipling VDC secretary. We presented our program for 2014 (which is in the 2014 annual budget presented to the BOD) and our thoughts for the future.
It reminded me strongly of why HHC has limited its presence in the district HQ and have pushed local partners like CBOs and NGOs from Dhading in the forefront to confront this. The politics of the business of development where political party reps divide up the government sanctioned district development budget amongst themselves in ratio of power and guile and use them to influence votes in their constituencies. All the line agencies chiefs support their favored party or affiliation. But it is important to have a presence in the district especially now with more and more decentralization of powers and more line agencies empowered to shape the future of the districts. We recently hired a district liaison and PR person in Dhadingbesi to help us with the politics, funds, etc., in the Dhading district.
This past week has been an intense week of meeting with each line agency chief, chalking out our planned program in partnership or alliance with them, writing and submitting proposals.
Also with the Nepal Medical Council currently in disarray, the permission for our spring medical could not be acquired directly as before therefore we finally managed a roundabout way through the District Health Office (DHO) to finally get approval. As per the final approval, the medical trek now called a Training Camp will be jointly organized by the DHO and HHC headed by the HHC’s medical officer (MBBS doctor) from our hospital in Ilam. We will be joined by the DHO chief (Mr. Mohamed Daud) and one of his staff as well as one Dhading district hospital medical officer. They will provide us with basic drugs, we will provide their team with TADA. We are still looking for a more stable and concrete way of carrying out the medical treks in the future.
A lot more bureaucratic work has come our way now but we are happy to do it as the country and the rules change. We will keep you updated with time.
Namaste and best regards.