Over the years we’ve undertaken several projects to help the villagers.
Read about Our Projects Below
2017 Installing Clean Burning Stoves and Chimneys
In April a team is traveling to Damar assisting the Sherpas to install clean burning stoves and chimneys. There has been a lot of consultation with our Nepalese friends to get the right stove for the conditions in the Middle Hills. Extended families live together so stoves need to be large enough for the family’s cooking needs. Currently the majority of families use an open fire place resulting in smokey living conditions. Over time the constant breathing of smokey air contributes to chest and other health issues.
The stoves and chimneys have been manufactured in Nepal. These will be transported to the village and our team of intrepid travelers will be installing them in April. As there is no local hardware shop just down the road, ( in fact there is no road to Damar), our team has had to think of all aspects of installation well in advance. This includes all tools, screws, brackets etc as well as planning for different chimney configurations. Thank goodness the Number 8 wire gene is still strong in Kiwis.
Solar Lighting Installation in Homes in Damar.
The houses in Damar were dark with only smokey indoor fires and expensive, toxic kerosene lamps for lighting. We installed a simple, cost effective solar lighting system in each house. The lighting units were purchased in Kathmandu and carried by porters for 5 days to the village.
Spinning wheels and a loom were donated to try to establish another form of income for the women of Damar
Medical clinics were held by the doctor in our group and First Aid kits were given to both Damar and the school at Dhikure .
Preliminary investigations for installing a water supply for Damar were completed.
2011 Education, Health and Sanitation.
In 2011 two members of our group spent 6 weeks in Damar assisting at Dhikure School which the Damar children, and children from other villages, attend. This school is 1 ½ hours walk each way across the hills from Damar. There are 3 classrooms for the 45 pupils with a basic library and very few resources. We have given the school donated books, pencils, white boards, sports equipment and other materials.
Every child has been given a warm tracksuit school uniform.
We arranged for an electric power line to be connected to Dhikure School from a nearby mini hydro scheme.
Basic health clinics were run and education provided in hygiene and sanitation to help prepare the villages to make good use of the clean water supply we were going to install
2010 and 2012 Clean, Reliable Water.
The village water supply was unreliable and polluted. During our first trip we made temporary repairs by moving the intake and erecting make shift fencing. We raised funds to provide a new concrete intake, a 4000 litre storage tank, MDPA pipes to a standpipe tap outside each village house under the guidance of the Nepal Water Board engineer. The villagers built the tanks prior to the monsoon and in October 2012 we returned to Damar to assist them install the pipes and connections.
Each day the nurses in our group ran health clinics in Damar and each village we visited. Children were given warm clothing donated by people from our South Canterbury community.
We provided and installed a clean burning, efficient, stove with a chimney in one house as an example to the villagers.The Sherpas have a long tradition of open fires in their tents or houses and we are careful not to try and change traditional lifestyles without input from the Sherpas themselves.
Every school child was given a back pack.
Vegetable seeds were given to encourage crop diversity.
Mobile Health Service
In January 2014 we established the Dali Memorial Health Service – named in honour of one of our villagers who died shortly after giving birth to her 6th child. This service is supervised by Dr Mingmar Gyelzen Sherpa, the first Sherpa trained doctor, and Himalayan Health and Education Solu Kumbu ( HHESS). The team, which consists of a Community Health Worker, an Auxiliary Nurse Midwife ( who also holds the qualification of Skilled Birth Attendant) and two assistants, visit each of four villages for 4 days monthly carrying their supplies on foot to provide access to health care and medicine for the first time in this remote area.
On-going Projects and Future Hopes and Goals.
Continuing support for Dhikure School
Installation of solar units in neighbouring villages
Installation of fire boxes and chimneys into village houses to reduce smoke and fumes.
English lessons for our guides to assist them with employment opportunities and help our group communicate with the Sherpa people.
These projects have all been made possible because of the generosity of many groups and individuals throughout South Canterbury. Our heartfelt thanks are extended to these people.