The Mountain Fund 2014 Year in Review
2014 was a remarkably productive year at The Mountain Fund As I was gathering all the photographs for this issue of our Mountain Fund news I was astonished at how busy and productive this year had been. I knew we’d accomplished a great deal, but as browsed the photographs and all the memories that come with them I was just floored by how far we have come. I want to thank all of you for making this remarkable year possible and I hope you’ll enjoy reviewing it with me. Here’s an overview of the major events of the year; Stelly’s School returned to finish the work they began three years ago. Three years ago we had an empty farm in rural Nepal. Stelly’s had previously built an earth bag house that today contains two classrooms, one for English lessons and one is a computer lab, as well as a small health clinic to serve the women at the farm and the community in general. This year Stelly’s helped to finish the brick work on the second floor of the new volunteer house and painted and decorated the exterior of the earth bag house cum school and clinic. Rocky Vista University medical students returned this year and conducted two health camps. One was near the farm in the village of Goganpani and the other in a town named Sipaghat. Both camps were standing room only with approximately 600 patients served. A New House and additional farm land was added this year adjacent to our current farm. The new house is now a home to several women and children. An Australian Group spent three weeks working on various projects on the new house. A Doctor from the US came and set up a health clinic at the farm which is staffed and providing health care and health education to the village with special focus on women’s health. More women are employed at the farm now and several children are now in residence as well. 40 or more children come daily for help with homework, English lessons and computer lessons. We serve them a hot breakfast as well and call them “The BreakFast Club”
2014 What a year !
We now have two volunteer houses at the farm, one for girls and one for boys with a total capacity of about 25 people. We have had a steady stream of volunteers at the farm all year. We have hosted nearly 200 volunteers in Nepal in healthcare, education and community development this year. and more.......
The return of Stellyâ€™s School
Stelly’s Secondary School in Nepal
Bricks, bricks and more bricks This year the 30 plus students from Stelly’s helped to finish the second floor of the new volunteer house and decorated the school and clinic building they built last year. Hundreds of bricks were moved up a flight of steps in chain-gang style, followed by sand and cement used to miix, by hand, the mortar. The students laid the bricks row-by-row and installed the doors and windows. Another group worked to mud plaster and then paint the exterior of the earth bag building the group built last year. That building now houses 2 classrooms and a medical clinic that serves the village with a strong focus on women’s health.
Rocky Vista University Medical Students
Rocky Vista gives medical care to hundreds
Rocky Vista University Rocky Vista was back this year in Nepal with a group of medical school students and professors. We conducted health camps in Goganpani and Sipaghat and hundreds of people came to both. This year there was an emphasis on health screening with a portable lab for testing cholesterol and blood sugar, eye health and vision testing, a neurologist and several other disciplines which resulted in very thorough health exams and a wide variety of treatments. Several were referred to Helping Hands Hospital in Kathmandu for further care.
The school at Her Farm
Computers and the internet come to our village Our English classes were expanded this year to include computers and the internet and a host of applications for self-paced learning of English and how to use computers. Volunteers assisted with the set up and program selections. The children in the village absolutely love the computer lab and canâ€™t wait to have a turn using the computers. Our volunteer English teachers are able to use a mac mini connected to a large screen as a teaching tool in the classroom both for teaching basic computer concepts and English from one of the many great apps installed on it. An external hard drive holds dozens of age appropriate video lessons and some just plain fun movies too. Children in this village had never seen, nor used a computer before.
The Breakfast Club at Her Farm
Education needs nutrition Some mornings we have more than 30 children, mostly girls, show up at 6am for help with homework followed by English and computer classes at 7am. We noticed that quite a few werenâ€™t getting enough food at home, so we started the Breakfast Club. After lessons are over everyone gets a hot and nutritious breakfast before heading off to regular school for the day.
The school photography project
Mountain Fund hosts a school picture day. Remember as a child having school photos taken? Parents and grandparents got copies and hung them on the wall or put on the dresser. Everyone they knew got to see that photo and they beamed with pride over it. Thatâ€™s never happened in Mankhu village. Since we moved to the village a few volunteers have taken photos of the kids and showed them in the camera viewfinder, which delights them to no end, but theyâ€™ve never had a photo of themselves to take home and keep. We brought camera gear, lights and a portable photo printer to the village and had photo day at the school. In all we photographed nearly 130 children then printed the photos for them to take home. They were thrilled !!
The clinic at Her Farm
Healthcare and Health Education for women and children Thanks to Dr. Jonathan Parmer and his wife Robbie we have a health clinic at Her Farm. The Parmersâ€™ obtained a grant from the Malachowsky Family Foundation, traveled to Nepal and set the whole clinic up. They painted, installed flooring, assembled furniture and purchased all the supplies and equipment needed to start this health clinic. The clinic will focus on womenâ€™s health and health education but will also serve as an urgent care facilities for the people of Mankhu Village.
The Mankhu Football Club
Mountain Fund sponsors our village youth football (soccer) team Football, or soccer is huge in Nepal. Young people there love the game and play whenever they can. In our village there is a youth group that organized the â€œMankhu Football Club.â€? With the help of two generous donors we recently outfitted the team with shorts, shoes, shirts, socks and shin guards. They were excited for their first game to show off their new uniforms. They played two games this day and won both. Way to go TEAM !
The women and children of Her Farm
Her Farm Her Farm is women owned and operated. By local standards this is a very large farm and none of the locals would have believed that a group of young women could manage it, but they do. And, this same group of 12-15 young women completely care for hundreds of volunteers each year, cooking all the meals, caring for their housing and supporting them 24/7. That’s not all, many of them are also attending college. One is in the final months of nursing school and will staff our health clinic when she finishes. One young woman walks from the farm at 7am every day an hour downhill and back to attend classes. For those of us from the west, you can double those walk times by the way. After the walking and classes, she works at the farm. The women are collectively known as the “sisters” by all our volunteers.
Volunteers Her Farm
Volunteers at Her Farm The Mountain Fund and Mountain Volunteer host nearly 200 volunteers in Nepal each year. Volunteers teach in our school, help with construction work, paint, mud plaster, even planting and harvesting crops.
On to 2015 Growing Hope in the Himalayas We invite you to be a part of this by visiting as a volunteer or making a donation to this project. Please visit www.mountainfund.org to donate Visit www.mountainvolunteer.org to volunteer