I’m writing to thank you for your support of our recent trip to Nepal and to let you know how the trip went. We made it back safely on the 20th November after spending a fantastic two weeks in this amazing country.
There were 8 of us on the team this year and I think we’d all agree that the highlight of the trip was the time we spent in the rural village of Garambeshi working closely with a local organisation on several development projects.
The projects that we had chosen to work on went really well:
- Water filters. We did a presentation to community members about the importance of clean water and showed them how to correctly use and maintain a household based filter system. We took up 70 of these filters and distributed them all to households and schools in the village. Our partner organisation will follow up on all those who received filters to ensure that they are being used correctly and making a positive difference to the health of these villages.
- Smoke hoods. We designed, built and installed a prototype smoke hood and chimney flue in a house in Garambeshi. In the process of doing this we trained four local carpenters in how to make these smokehoods using locally available materials. We were really pleased with how well our prototype smoke hood worked and also how quickly the locals picked up the construction process. We left the tools we used and some seed money with our partner organisation with the aim of developing a sustainable smoke hood business in the district.
- Stationary and sports gear. We purchased much needed stationary supplies and reference books for the schools in the village and we distributed sports gear and toys to the schools and an orphanage that we visited in Pokhara.
- Investigating areas for future involvement. The Tony McClean Trust is committed to having an ongoing relationship with the Lamjung area and with the partner organisations that we’ve made contact with. Through our time working in the village with local people we had good opportunities to evaluate future needs of the Garembeshi village and where the trust could assist in these areas too.
We were also able to complete a few other smaller projects during our time in the village including some minor plumbing work to the local Church’s toilets, provide a guitar and lessons to a local kid and funding the piping to get water to a school that had had a toilet block which had been unusable for 2 years due to inadequate funding to complete it.
Whilst we hoped to also take some reading glasses and vision screening materials, this project was put on hold due to a supply issue of the particular glasses we were trying to source. For those of you that donated to the reading glasses plan we did put that money into other areas, but are more than happy to refund if you would prefer.
All in all a pretty successful trip and a whole lot of fun too. Attached a few pictures that show where your donation made its mark. The Nepalese were extremely grateful for our assistance and humbled that people from half a world away cared enough about them to donate money to help improve their lives. The water filters were an immediate change for the good, they all knew the water they drank was unhealthy but had no other option, the smoke hood project opened their eyes to other possibilities and the donated goods provided basic resources to an area that badly needs them.
Our work is by no means complete, but certainly a step in the right direction in helping out those that are way less fortunate then us New Zealanders, and also continuing Tony’s legacy in the area.
The Trust and travel team want to thank you sincerely for your very kind donation and to assure you that all the money we received was put to good use in projects that will directly benefit the people of Nepal. If you have any questions about the trip or the wider work of the trust please don’t hesitate to contact us we’d love to talk to you more about it.
Tony (McClean) Nepal Trust and the travel team: Jono Ward/Dougal Cowan/Greg Olsen/Ben Witcher/Dave McIndoe/Sean Milnes/Shane Hutchinson/Nick Steele