Congratulations to all on a remarkable year! Not only has Conscious Connections Foundation raised over $180,000 in response to a wide array of Earthquake Relief Projects, but thanks to your help and support of the Power of 5, we were once again able to continue the education of 98 students for this upcoming year and beyond! The 2nd Annual Joy Attwood College Scholarship is soon to be awarded and there are 3 amazing finalists. This means that another girl will have the chance to pursue her dreams into college, and hopefully beyond! Finally, after a successful three months in Nepal, thanks to Vice President Cameron Conner and Research Associate Grant Gallaher, the entire CCF team now has a more comprehensive and accurate understanding of how CCF’s earthquake response should develop in the future.
Now is the time:
Though 2015 saw its share of disaster and set back, the winding road to recovery has at last set hope and inspiration at the forefront. This shift in the past months connotes a drastic change in the focus of CCF on earthquake relief, we have made the transition from temporary to permanent aid and have turned the corner from immediate relief to long term recovery. People are ready to rebuild, they want their lives back, and it is all we can do to keep pace with them. The following projects are just a few ways in which we are attempting to do so:
The Baseri Clinic
This week CCF representatives in Nepal will gather to finalize the construction design of the Baseri Clinic: the biggest project in the history of our organization will soon be underway, and a goal which so many have striven for over these past nine months will soon be realized! Having raised close to $60,000 for its reconstruction, we have the ability to not only rebuild the clinic, but to do so better than ever before. The Baseri Clinic 2.0 will be built with the most earthquake resistant technique available. Apart from being made to last it will have additional room specifically for maternal health issues, an adjoining exam room, dispensary, office, birthing center, and community room, as well as three full time staff. Better yet, thanks to the hard work and dedication of CCF Board Member Sita Gurung, the Nepalese Government has agreed to pay for the majority of the salaries of these three health workers, with the hope that the success shown by this clinic will serve as a model to others in the area. The Baseri clinic has been reincarnated in many different forms, from its initial one story, three room facility, to a small propped up shack in the months following the earthquake, and now we hope, to this newest vision. Yet no matter what form it has taken, the same spirit has lived on, and we at CCF will do whatever is necessary to allow this spirit to flourish.
Together with our work in Baseri the CCF team has focused on pursing additional projects that have greatly expanded our original horizons, both in terms of geographical reach and our mission to advance “education, healthcare and economic opportunities to marginalized communities and individuals”. Such projects include:
- The Ghat Besi Primary School Reconstruction Project: Ghat Besi is a vibrant community, one that is passionate about education and the cultivation of its village. Though shaken to its core, they are now trying to rebuild. Willing to volunteer time, energy, materials, and full support, this community has shown dedication to the future of their youth, the only assistance we are providing is that of funding. With the help of concerned individuals in the Spokane community, and in partnership with Aurora NW Rotary Club, Ghat Besi will be one of the first communities in the area to rebuild their school in an earthquake resistant way, hopefully serving as an example to neighboring villages, and emphasizing the importance of education. The school to be rebuilt serves around 82 children from Kindergarten to 3rd Grade and is estimated to cost approximately $7,500.
- Kalikasthan Aid Project: Just as of last week CCF wired $2,500 to project managers Ram and Pradeep Karki in Nepal with the goal of purchasing and transporting appropriate food supplies to 73 families in the village of Kalikasthan, all of whom were forced to permanently relocate from their home village of Hakku due to the earthquake, with only that which they could carry on their backs. They have no land to return to and must start all over again.
- Sertung Blanket Project: With the help of community volunteers, CCF has undertaken the distribution of 200 durable winter blankets to several communities in the V.D.C. of Sertung. These blankets will serve approximately 600 individuals living in villages at high altitudes in the mountains which, due to their extremely remote location, have received little aid in response to the earthquake, and nearly none in preparation for winter. As Setung is a three day walk from the nearest road head, each of these 200 blankets will be transported by hand into the mountains and to the villages by local porters.
Now we Look to the Future:
In March, the same CCF team comprised of Denise, Ric, Cameron, and Grant will return to Nepal for a period of approximately six weeks in order to supervise the construction of the clinic, conclude our work on the Model Home Project, follow up on the aid provided to Tsertung and Kalikasthan, and observe the progress of the Ghat Besi Primary School’s reconstruction. As always our hope is to assist those communities that we can, as best we can, until such assistance is no longer necessary at which point CCF can return to its initial areas of cultivation: primarily increasing access to girl’s education and primary healthcare in remote villages.
Despite the incredible work being done by CCF, countless other organizations, the global community, and most importantly the Nepali people themselves, the country is still struggling, and this will continue no matter what we do. No community can be rebuilt overnight, a single life even less so. To rebuild a country takes years, sometimes decades, and our role in this is not merely to speed the process along, but to be able to look back at the end and see that, together, we have made it better than before! As such, we would ask one thing of you who have already given so much: remember that beyond the concerted attention of the global community, in the shadow of the next international story which the world turns an eye to, Nepal, and countless other countries still face insurmountable odds; just because they are no longer in the news gives them no less right to be held in our hearts.
On behalf of all of us at CCF, I would like to thank each and every one of you for the incredible support you have shown us and our friends in Nepal over the past year. The road has been shaky and uncertain, yet you have endured the ride along side us with unbelievable generosity and compassion; it is due to this strength of community and remarkable network of conscious connections that I am truly excited to see what the future holds.
We are continuing to blog about the progress that CCF is making in Nepal so please follow along at www.consciousconnectionsfoundation.org/news and please send us your thoughts and comments.