A CHOICE Humanitarian Volunteer Shares Inspiration from Nepal

May 26, 2010 at 8:36 pm Leave a comment

Recently a volunteer with CHOICE Humanitarian returned from Nepal where he was living in Puronokot, one of the Trivani Foundation’s partner villages.  After a six-month stay in the village, Zach returned home to Utah with amazing stories and pictures of this powerful community.  In the following letter to the Trivani Foundation, Zach recounts how these villagers inspired him with their ability to overcome many odds to drastically change their reality – increasing their access to higher education and health care with one very critical road construction project.

Namaste Trivani,

My name is Zach.  I have been volunteering in Nepal for the last 6 months with CHOICE Humanitarian and lived in your partner village of Puronokot for a time.  I will never forget this village. Out of the multitudes of villages I traveled to and the hundreds of homes I stayed in, some of the most memorable times were in Puronokot.

Zach with friends in Puronokot

Most of all I will never forget the children. Dillmaya, my favorite 10 year old villager, and her six friends, would come and drag me and a friend into the jungle.  They would take us to pick flowers in their secret garden or fruit off the trees. Most of all I loved that somehow we were able to communicate even though the only English words they knew were “yes” and “no”.
 
The Gurung people of Puronokot have had a very deprived past, with a long history of chronic male drinking and gambling. It has kept them from developing their community. This has all been changing. Since the time Puronokot decided that they needed to change in order to grow they have been moving forward. They found CHOICE Humanitarian on their own and with CHOICE’s help created their own proposal, written in pencil on paper, and outlined the programs they felt they needed to develop. This type of energy and proactivity is uncommon.

One of the most amazing parts of their proposal was a road they designed and began to dig. With the help of CHOICE, they were able to broaden their vision and create a proposal for the government. They were able to procure needed capital from the government to fund an excavator to complete much of the work. The villagers have organized themselves and are now donating some of their own money, working 6 days a week to raise additional funds and to dig rocks out of the mountain under the mentoring of CHOICE staff.
 
At first I didn’t understand why the villagers spent so much money and time on this road and why it was such a big deal.  Then, I learned that this area is the only area of Lamjung that isn’t connected anywhere by road.  They are only 25 km from the district capital but because of the mountains, it is a 4 hour drive. Once this road is complete Puronokot will be 30 minutes away from the capital. This will make travel to the university much easier. Sick individuals and pregnant women will be able to receive quality health care; villagers will be able to receive mail, food, and electricity that otherwise wasn’t possible. I asked one of the villagers, Phul Maya Gurung, what he thought about the road and he rejoiced saying, “Our children now can go to college from Puranokot because of the road. They don’t have to rent a room in Besishahar anymore.”

Most importantly they created this all on their own! People without formal education, some illiterate, were able to create a proposal, acquire an excavator and organize this whole project. They are learning so much about self-sustainability from CHOICE and that is the part that makes it so fascinating for the field staff to watch.

Thank you, Trivani for supporting the work and the training that is taking place in Puranokot. With your support they are moving forward and making a lot of progress. 

-Zach

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ABOUT THE BLOG

Trivani Field Notes is your connection to the people on the ground engaged in the humanitarian work supported by Trivani Foundation.
Each week, new updates and stories from the field will be posted to share the accomplishments, needs, and gratitude from those who can best report the difference Trivani Foundation is making in the fight against poverty.

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