The government has agreed to build 53 ‘pukka’ (good quality cement and brick) houses with stoves fitted with pipes to remove damaging fumes. This is the result of the villagers’ growing confidence; empowered by the Village Alive Programme, they have lobbied government to improve their living conditions.
One such villager is Mhendra Majhi. Two years ago Mhendra lacked the confidence even to speak in front of people because of the stigma surrounding his leprosy. Now, with the encouragement of the Village Alive project workers, he acts as the leader of a self-help group in the village and runs a thriving business rearing goats and selling their milk!
The local government has already promised to come to the hall three times a month for immunisations, general health check -ups and maternal and child health visits.
Hari Choudury has run the Manara Self Help Group for seven years with great enthusiasm despite facing the effects of leprosy. For this reason he was chosen to be the coordinator of the Village Alive Programme in Manara. With great results already from the first year of the programme we can’t wait to see what lies ahead for Hari and his community!
The Village Alive Programme is a three programme and is part funded by Irish Aid with matched donor funding.
Another very exciting day on our field trip to Lalgadh in South Eastern Nepal, September 2019. Our group travel to visit and meet with the villagers of Odraha, one of the 5 villages in the current Village Alive Programme (VAP)
Here in Odraha village the men are happy to mind their children, the women have work to do! Thanks to VAP a sewing training course is underway along with a new community hall. Among many other improvements is a rise in the number of children going to school.
Irish field trip 2019 to Lalgadh and its surrounding villages – Day 2. The Village Alive Programme is alive and well in Itarharwa where government officials describe a 50% improvement in the state of the village. Hygiene standards drastically rose as a personal cleaning programme was implemented. Women and men are also starting small businesses in mushroom farming, pig keeping and goat rearing. One very happy headmistress describes school attendance increasing by fifty pupils !
The mayor of Itaharwa is a huge supporter of the Village Alive Programme. He shares NLT’s aim to improve the lives of lower caste people.
NLT supports the Village Alive Programme which empowers some of the poorest, most disadvantaged people suffering from leprosy and other debilitating conditions, to transform their own lives and also spearhead improvements to the whole village. In this way, the most rejected people become community leaders.
Day 1 of NLT Irelands visit to Nepal, September 2019.
This is Sarita from Gourishanker Village, Nepal. Because of the Women’s Savings Group set up by the Village Alive Programme in Gourishanker, Sarita received training to farm mushrooms. She is growing the seeds in a dark room of her hut and in a few months can start selling them . This will provide her with income to support her family.
The Village Alive Programme members in Gourishanker have also installed 2 new water pumps in the village, thus making water much more accessible. Our Village Alive Programme is part funded by Irish Aid
We had a wonderful day on Sunday 7th September as we celebrated Nepal Ireland Day 2019 in Farmleigh House, Dublin.
We danced and sang in the Nepalese and Irish traditional style. Both nationalities are warm, open and celebrate in similar ways. Food also plays a celebratory role in these occasions although there are differences in the type of food. However Irish cuisine is generally rapidly changing and becoming much more international, with the inclusion of lots of variety in spices and rices.
During the afternoon at Farmleigh House we were able to talk to the public about our mission. We also had the opportunity to sell our beautiful handicrafts, which are made by the artisans we know and work with in Nepal.