Finally getting this update sent on my last visit to Nepal and latest project to support. We weren't able to visit a school that needed help until my last day there and it turned out it wasn't a good fit. Dash lal and I are very particular about what schools we will support, wanting all donations to provide the most benefit. We didn't feel comfortable with the requests they were making (i.e., telling us the computers they wanted would cost $400 each, when we know they are available for $200). So, after I returned to the U.S., Dash lal visited several other schools to discuss their needs and we have now come up with a good fit that we are both comfortable supporting.
Bani Bilas School is located about 6 miles from Katmandu, in a village called Pyan Guan Thecho. The school was rebuilt after the massive earthquake in 2015 by the government along with NGOs.
The next building is currently under construction (nothing gets done very quickly in Nepal!).
The school has more than five hundred students and according to the principal, they all come from very poor families. Dash lal noticed many of the students were barefoot; their families can't afford to buy them shoes. Their families had to pay for their uniforms.
We agreed to help the students up to grade 5 (about 240 students) as that is manageable financially. They are all of the Tamang and Newar castes. We offered to provide them with shoes and book bags. The cost per student for a bag and a pair of shoes is $11. Besides checks, you can always use PayPal to send me your donation—just use my email address.
The principal is in the background.
Dash lal said it is often customary for donated book bags to have the donor's name printed on it. I'd like to have something on the bags that indicates the help is from the U.S., from people who care about them. Please send me any suggestions you think of for a name of us. Something along the lines of "Friends in the U.S." or "Love from the U.S." And if anyone is artistic and wants to come up with a simple logo, that would be even better.
I am planning on going back next spring instead of this fall. Have not experienced Nepal in the spring and would love to trek through the rhododendron forests in bloom. Dash lal, his family, and all the children you have helped throughout the past six years are very grateful. Your generosity has made significant changes in their lives. I continue to feel blessed to have this opportunity to be a conduit between caring people in the U.S. and Nepal. Thank you for your ongoing support.