Dear Hamro Nepal Friends,

On the day of Lhosar (the Gurung New Year’s), as promised,  I am pleased to provide you a brief positive progress report on the reconstruction projects in Nepal, supported through the Hamro Nepal Initiative of the Gurung Society of USA. On behalf of the Gurung Society, I sincerely hope you and your loved ones are in sound health and good spirits. 

Following our last update, I am delighted to give you a positive progress report related to the reconstruction efforts in four districts: primary schools in Gorkha, Sindhupalchowk, and Kavreplanchowk districts and two multi-purpose community centers in Dolakha. 

Firstly, I am delighted to tell you that the two multi-purpose community buildings in the Gaurishankar Conservation Area in Dolakha have been successfully completed!  We are grateful to the communities of Suri and Chankhu villages for working collaboratively with our partner agency, the National Trust for Nature Conservation and becoming our first success story.

Despite unfortunate delays, primarily due to complex regressive politics and cumbersome bureaucratic approval processes, unfortunately typical of our country, I am pleased to tell you that the reconstruction of Bal Kalyan Primary School in Sipapokhari village in Sindhupalchowk district and Indrodaya Lower Secondary School in Kharpachowk village in Kavrepalanchowk district have begun and are progressing steadily (below see photographs)!  Barring any unforeseen challenges, we are confident that the communities of Sipapokhari and Kharpachowk villages, working with our implementing partner agencies – the Nepal National Dalit Social Welfare Organization (NNDSWO) and Strengthened Actions of Governance in Utilization of Natural Resources (SAGUN) will complete the reconstruction of the two school projects by early summer of 2018.

Lastly, I am also thrilled to be able to tell you that our partner, the Chandra Gurung Conservation Foundation (CGCF) is now in the final stage of securing approval for re-building a primary school in Yamgaon, a Gurung village in Gorkha.  The Executive Committee of the National Reconstruction Authority of Nepal is expected to approve the project in early January.  Our partners are as eager as we are to start the construction process – CGCF has already made the necessary arrangements (e.g. identifying suppliers and the site engineer), and in their own initiative, the community of Yamgaon, have cleared the debris from the old school site donating their labor (below see photos).  Both partners expect construction to begin as soon as the permits are granted. Here, the exceptional delay occurred due to the need to find and renegotiate arrangement for a school in a new village in Gorkha. The initial school identified in Ghyachowk village was offered significantly more resources for building a bigger school project by the Japan Development Agency (JICA).  Barring any unforeseen situation, our partners are confident that the new school will be completed by summer of 2018! 

As noted in my earlier communication, despite unfortunate delays, we are confident that our carefully selected reliable partners and communities will utilize your support towards “Building Back Better” the schools and communities in the four districts of rural Nepal.

 

Among other things, we have a better appreciation of what it takes to rebuild after a major natural disaster such as the April 2015 earthquakes.  In brief, we are grateful for tremendous patience, trust and hard work of many in and beyond Nepal who are involved in these collaborative efforts. In particular, we feel fortunate and truly appreciate your help, patience, and trust in these rebuilding efforts. We cannot wait to share news of completed projects, with photographs and testimonials from the people in Nepal, likely by the summer of 2018! Thank you, once again, for your support!

For more on the sad delays surrounding reconstruction, please read this recent Editorial in the Kathmandu Post, a leading-English newspaper of Nepal. 
 
Last but not the least, on behalf of the Gurung Society, I would like to wish you all a peaceful, healthy, happy, and a meaningful 2018! 
 
Below, see a few photographs of completed project in Dolkha and images of work-in progress from Gorkha, Sindhupalchowk, and Kaveplanchowk districts. 
 
Best regards,

Ashok Gurung

(Primary Coordinator of the Hamro Nepal Initiative of the Gurung Society)

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