Our International Committee supports Takukot, a remote mountain village in Nepal, part of the region from which our Gurkha soldiers are recruited. The village has a website, www.takukot-village-nepal.org, which will eventually document the whole village in every detail.
The village, Takukot (Gorkha District), consists of 9 wards, which are widely scattered hamlets, with 7 primary and 2 secondary schools, a village library, several youth clubs, and one guesthouse. The website contains many beautiful photographs (more being added as we receive them) and information about the village, about development projects and problems in Nepal, titles of fiction and non-fiction books from Nepal which help visitors to understand the living conditions and needs of such villages, success stories from people born in Takukot, encouraging letters received by Takukot students from the outside world, and maps explaining how to get there. Anyone who wishes can go there immediately and will receive a warm welcome. Equip yourself for backpackers standards.
We have built a website and new information is being received and added all the time. It is therefore worth your while to re-visit the Takukot website every couple of weeks or every month. You will enjoy it. The village from which our Gurkha soldiers come deserves your support.
Click here for the website www.takukot-village-nepal.org
Our project has three overlapping stages:
1 Immediate: Building friendships with the people of Takukot (in the village, elsewhere in Nepal and abroad), and supplying schools, youth clubs etc with educational goods. Details: below. Development of the website is part of this stage: The resources and needs of the whole village will be documented on the website to provide a solid basis for Stages 2 and 3.
2 Medium term: Infrastructure: water supplies and sanitation etc for several parts of the village. We are now assessing the needs, and have so far established the most urgent needs for Ward 1 (Maikot). Other wards will follow. Our exercise in building close relationships with the citizens of Takukot will help to establish the needs, and the website will be used to document them.
3 Long-term: Battle against poverty in the village so that its people no longer have to seek employment (or military death) elsewhere but find it easier to make a living in the beautiful village in which they were born.
Many Nepalis are forced to work abroad, seperated from their families, often in horrendous conditions. There is an excessive rate of work-related accidents due to unsafe and exploitative working conditions in the host countries, and also an unacceptably high suicide rate among expatriate Nepalis.
This is a long-term project and a long-term relationship. The needs and means to be employed need not be specified at this stage. They will arise organically out of Stage 1 and 2.
What our club needs now:
A) Educational aids to be sent to schools, village library and youth clubs:
– unwanted laptops
– audio-cassette recorders and used or blank cassettes
– digital cameras
– mobile phones
– Ladybird books (for children learning English)
Any equipment, however old, will be welcomed, provided it is in working condition.
B) Volunteers who happen to be going to Kathmandu, e.g. on holidays or business, and are prepared to take one or two of the above items and give them to our representative in Kathmandu.
C) Anybody who has contact to shipping companies (etc) which are willing to donate the odd bit of spare space in their containers, so that we can send heavier items either to Kathmandu itself, or to the port of Chittagong (Bangladesh), from where we will make forwarding arrangements.