Club member Paul Eden and his wife Frances have been travelling in Nepal where they have been active in extending the influence of Blenheim South Rotary. Paul was also the prime mover in raising over $5000 for replacement Emergency Response Kits after the Tonga cyclone.
We have the opportunity to put some detail behind Paul and France’s treks to Nepal.
Here are a couple of emails from Paul in Nepal
From Paul Eden
Subject: The best project ever!
5th May 2018
To those who gave us funds for the fireplace project, thanks!
The project has been an outstanding success. It has not only improved the quality of life & health for many
very poor families in this part of Nepal but also significantly reduced the amount of wood burned to create
the same thermal output. It also creates income & employment for the locals.
Our friend Dhana Rai (local school teacher from Jubing) has managed & coordinated the project. He has
identified the most needy within his community & managed the brick production
& fireplace installations. They have installed 53 fireplaces around the community.
The brick production & fireplace installation was done by Moden who was trained
in Pokhara, western Nepal in ceramics & brick manufacture. (Mix together a brew
of clay, salt, sugar & goats hair & bake for 14 days)
You can see an installed fireplace. It comprises firebox, 2 cooking stations,
chimney &flue. The top & bottom of the chimney comes away for cleaning & all
the smoke is flued outside.
A vast improvement on the open fire in the middle of the floor as in the past!
We have been given the grand tour today. We have visited a number of homes to
see the fireplaces & to receive the thanks from the community. It is a humbling
experience. But seeing this first hand & receiving the thanks from these people makes our visit most
Most of the people are from the Beeker caste, they are the poorest
in this area. This group is the one that Dhana has concentrated on
for the fires.
We are hosted at Dhana’s home & treated like Royalty. He is one
of the most-friendly and considerate people I have ever met. No
doubt over the next 2 or 3 days we will be introduced to other
opportunities to assist his community. That is what he does!
Paul n Frances
Tuesday, 8 May 2018 The Royal visit
A couple of years ago Dhana asked if we could help with the construction costs of a
community centre for the Beeker people. The Beekers are the poorest caste in the
We said that we would look at contributing towards the finishing of the building &
suggested that we supply the roofing. At that stage the building was at the foundations.
Later Dhana provided us with photos of progress until it was complete minus roof!
So after an approach to our Rotary Club & donations from family & friends the funds
were sent off. The roofing bought in Kathmandu & transported & portered to Jubing.
We had seen photos of the finished building but not in the flesh, so to say!
Dhana had organised a reception at the community Centre which we thought would
be a few of the locals & a vote of thanks from the committee!
No such luck! It was the full treatment, banners, flags & dancing girls!
I now know how Prince Charles & Camilla feel opening the village fete!
The Beeker have done a great job the building is solid stone double story open hall,
about 20mx12m. It is used for community, educational, health & social occasions.
We were seated at the head of the hall, draped with dozens of Karta (the traditional
presentation for special guests) then tea n biscuits & speeches.
We had speeches from the chairman, the ladies chairman etc, etc. After more tea n bickies we were treated
to a concert of local traditional dance.
Then came the part I thought may come! We were invited to dance!
The whole community was up all dancing around the room! Great!
The meeting wound up with more tea & more speeches. Dhana
translated what they said & also what we said in response. All very
grateful & happy to be able to help the community.
They did not miss the opportunity to say that what they need now to
enhance the facility – it would be lighting! The lighting would consist
of a solar panel, storage battery, wire, switches, bulbs etc. Would not
cost a great sum, I have asked Dhana to run up an estimate!
The rest of the day was spent at the local school, measuring up
windows for a project Jeff & Sandra Sewell want to fund. Also
listening to Dhana explain his dreams for an early childhood learning centre attached to the school.
That may well be a Rotary Foundation Grant project…One for the future!
In the meantime, a few more fireplaces & some lighting for the Beaker Hall.
Bistare, bistare (slowly, slowly)
Paul n Frances
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