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NAMASTE

NOVEMBER 19-25

NEPAL 2017


Nepal Project

Here at Proof Eyewear, we firmly plant our roots in the belief that “Everyone has wings to fly, some just need a little help.� This principle fuels our annual Do Good Program; supporting people and places needing a little help. Through our partnership with


HELP International and our Proof customers, we have traveled, volunteered, and donated to projects around the world. For our seventh annual project on November 19 - 26, 2017 we chose Nepal.

Home to Mt. Everest, rich culture, stunning landscapes, welcoming people, and diverse wildlife; Nepal is a treasure. However, being among the poorest and least developed countries of the world, Nepalese people have limited access to health care and economic opportunities, which in turn

puts women and children at risk of sex trafficking. Not to mention, the devastating earthquake from 2015 continues to impact Nepal to this day. HELP International invited us to work at two organizations fighting a spectrum of these issues.


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Day 1 November 19

NEPAL PROJECT


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Day 1

Arrival + Monkey Temple On November 19, most of the Proof team and volunteers arrived in the very small airport of Kathmandu. We made our way from the airport to the hotel, Tibet Guest House, where some of us cleaned up, rested up, or shopped before our first destination in Nepal: the Monkey Temple, also known as Swayambhunath Temple. This was just one of the few cultural destinations Suzanne Whitehead, HELP International director, had incorporated into our agenda over our 7 days to show us the treasures of Nepal.

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We ended the day with a delicious meal and little time to shop for some Kurtas. With a few of our destinations located in very remote areas in Nepal, it was necessary for women to adorn the modest and traditional tunic-like clothing of Nepal, called Kurtas.


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Day 2 November 20


Day 2

Travel to Kumari + Health Clinic Our second day in Nepal was our first introduction to the SUVs, the vehicles we spent many hours winding up and down hills, through cities, farmland, villages, and even through rivers. Our first Do Good destination took place at The Sukuman Memorial Polyclinic in Kumari. This clinic was built by a local trekking guide, Jagat Lama. Once we arrived, we were greeted with a welcoming ceremony, blessing us with our first Tikka and a meal to fuel us for our day. The services offered for this free health center included a vision clinic, dental exam, children’s fluoride treatment, and a women’s health education. This clinic brought in villagers that had walked from hours away on this hilly terrain. The vision clinic provided vision test, and if needed, a visit with a local optometrist to assess their need for readers and medicated eye drops.

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Eric, a Boise dentist, provided exams to individuals with tooth pain. Using numbing agents, the dentist filled cavities and extracted troublesome teeth to prevent infection and relieve pain.


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At the same time, volunteers attended to the children, applying fluoride to their teeth as well as demonstrating how to properly brush their teeth. Armed with luggage bags full of toothbrushes, the volunteers distributed supplies amongst them. The women’s health session included an overview of the female body including an explanation of the menstruation cycle and pregnancy. Many of the women and girls in these sessions also did not have supplies to manage their cycle causing them to miss opportunities like school. For this we handed out “Days for Girls” pads that can be washed and reused again. In addition to the clinic, volunteers journeyed to join a farmer on his property to assist in tilling and preparing his land for planting. This this was an arduous task in the company of locals who were accustomed to daily trips up and down the steep hills. In the end, we were rewarded with some of the most breathtaking views of the entire trip. This evening we climbed into our tents at the edge of the clinic property after enjoying another delicious meal and story time with Jagat.


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Distributed 500 pairs of glasses


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468 people given free dental and eye care through 2 village outreaches


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Distributed 400 reusable menstrual pads


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Restocked one village medical clinic


Day 3 Kumari + Health Clinic The next day at Kumari brought on a second clinic day with more beautiful people and playful kids.

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Once the afternoon came around, we climbed into our SUVs to take the long trip out to our second destination, Pokhara.


Repaired and replaces 12 toilets and plumbing

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Day 3 November 21


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Day 4 November 22


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Day 4 Pokhara

While treacherous, the journey was worth it. The day spent in Pokhara provided us lifetime of memories relishing in Nepal’s delights. We had several options to spending the day, but paragliding was certainly the biggest hit out of them all. Leaping off a cliff with a local guide and floating above Pokhara provided unforgettable views of the himalayas and the city below.

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Our next and and final destination was the Raksha shelter. Meaning, “Protection” Nepal, this shelter stood as a safehouse for rescued women and children.


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Day 5 November 23


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Paid one month of rent for 55 rescued children


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Paid two months salary of the nurse for sweety and the baby


Day 5

Thanksgiving + Welcome Dance Waking up and wandering through the halls of the repurposed hotel, we were greeted by sweet smiles and “good morning brother” and “Good morning, sister” by the girls and boys who call Raksha home. It didn’t take us long to discover that they were all about PLAY. From the break of dawn we were chasing the little ones around the shelter. “When I told the girls that I wanted to celebrate Thanksgiving they were super excited - they kept talking about the American festival,” said HELP International Director, Suzanne Whitehead. “You’re not coming to impose, you’re coming to share a day of thanks.” Everyone was divided in separate duties, whether it was peeling potatoes or preparing the turkey, we formed a small army in order to serve the even larger army of children and visitors. Before the meal, the girls performed perfected choreographed dances segmented by age groups with a massive welcome poster featuring the faces of the entire visiting group as their backdrop. Menuka, Raksha’s director and Ama (mother), addressed the group, expressing how excited they were to celebrate Thanksgiving and share their culture with us. Afterwards, each girl and boy passed a microphone around sharing their age, name and what they wanted to do when they grew up ranging from nurses to lawyers, inspired by the very individuals that have touched their own lives. Faced with power outages, the cooking crew somehow successfully served a feast that was shared by all.

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The evening ended with prayers: the drums, the incense, the chanting, the singing, the whole room packed with swaying bodies in harmony. Prayers ended with the mantras, “I am beautiful! I am smart! I am strong!”


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Purchesed new safe kitchen supplies (rice cooker, gas burners, ovens etc.)


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Celebrated one Thanksgiving dinner and party for 70 children and staff


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Day 6 November 24

Started one village buisness of making shoes


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Day 6

Health Clinic in Kathmandu + Pashupatinath Temple and Boudhanath stupa This day we held our second clinic a couple hours away from the shelter. At this clinic we offered the same services as we did in Kumari hiring another group of local professionals. “Everyone on our crew knows I can’t resist miniature giggles, so they told me to leave my task on the roof to play. I snagged every child I could find, put us into a circle, and taught them how to play Duck, Duck, Goose. At one point, I had five girls surrounding me for the makeover of my life complete with hand-medown earrings, white out for French tips, and all of the make-up they could find. On our way back to the eye & dental camp, one of the girls grabbed me by my wrist to show me her home. I ducked getting into the small hut with just enough room for two small beds to fit a mother and her three children. She told me about how her father had passed

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away a few years back from a heart attack but that she was okay and not to worry. I never fall for that line. I grabbed her perfect face, and we shared one of those hugs that transcends cultural boundaries. As we were walking to our bus later that day to leave, my heart broke knowing that we will most likely never cross paths again. It will always astound me how quickly you can let people in — I fully believe this is what we were created for, moments that look just like that.� reflected Proof volunteer and videographer, Vierra Reid. Once the clinic came to a close, we made our way back to Kathmandu to a spiritual destination, the Pashupatinath Temple and the Boudhanath Stupa.


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Funded 8 restorative eye surgeries


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One gondola chair ride field trip for emotional wellbeing activity and psychological support


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Day 7 November 25 Gondola Ride + Donations

Our final full day in Nepal took place on a field trip with the girls and boys at the shelter. This day we paired up with the children and enjoyed a ride on the gondolas, or cable cars, up the Chandragiri Hills to visit the Vhaleswor Mhadev Temple. We enjoyed a day of food, sightseeing and running around in the playgrounds.

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When we came back from the Chandragiri Hills, we could finally share the donations we trekked through airports and on SUVs around Nepal. Nothing will recreate the joy we experienced seeing them rifle through the piles picking their favorite items.


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Completing our experience at Raksha, two women from the shelter shared their painful and heartbreaking past and how they came to Menuka’s care. “When I first arrived at Raksha I was welcomed by passing smile after passing smile, and a consistently shy but spirited “Hello Brother”. I knew why these girls were here but it was hard to believe. I told myself there must be some exceptions, some girls who... I don’t know... but it wasn’t possible that they all suffered the way I was told. So sweet and innocent, some no more than 4 years


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old. My mind couldn’t wrap around this. So I guess I stopped trying. It was honestly quite easy to hide the truth behind their smiles. To pretend there wasn’t a time not far from now when hell was the closest comparison to the life they were forced to live. I fell in love with each of them and sooner or later their stories found my ear. They left my stomach churned up and on the verge of puking. My hands would start to shake just slightly and tears would well up behind my eyes. It wasn’t until I’d find myself alone that I’d let my heart break. Hitting the ground and bursting into tears as my mind ran circles around the evils of this world. Thanks to Raksha Nepal and HELP International this is all in the past for these girls. They are now in a safe place. A place where they’re surrounded by sisters and people who love them. A place where they can smile, and those smiles would put all the pieces of my heart back together again each time without fail,” wrote Sam Potter, Proof Ambassador.


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Placed 3 sewing machines for a women’s group vocational training


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Day 8 November 26


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Day 8

MT. Everest + Goodbyes Saying goodbye was the hardest experience out of them all. Each with our own special memories and connections over such a short time felt even shorter now as the ending was a reality.

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Packing our bags and heading to Kathmandu, our final stop was at the Raksha Nepal office. Menuka shared with us a little more about Raksha, applied our final Tikka, and gifted us so generously with a statue, “Token of Love�.


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THANK YOU!

HELP International - Suzanne Whitehead

- Jen Itri

Raksha Nepal - Menuka Thapa - Kumari - Muna

Ambassadors - Chelsea Yamase - Brad Pearson

- Sam Potter - Dusty Kleiner

Photos Provided By

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-Vierra Ried - Cristi Dame - Brad Pearson - Sam Potter

- Jake Henstrom - Chelsea Yamase - Dusty Kleiner


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THANK YOU! Volunteers - Lyndsey Bull - Shanon Clowers - Matt James - Malin Hall

- Rich Brown - Vierra Ried - Cassie Webster - Jake Henstrom

Getaway Winner - Emma Laurion

Proof Team - Tanner Dame - Brooks Dame - Cristi Dame

Dentist - Eric Ballou

- Jennifer Bernhardt - Kirsten Atkinson


NAMASTE NOVEMBER 19-25

N E PAL 2 O 1 7

Profile for Proof Eyewear

The Nepal Project Travel Journal  

Here at Proof Eyewear, we firmly plant our roots in the belief that “Everyone has wings to fly, some just need a little help.” This principl...

The Nepal Project Travel Journal  

Here at Proof Eyewear, we firmly plant our roots in the belief that “Everyone has wings to fly, some just need a little help.” This principl...

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