Nepali Village Initiatives - a Rotary Project

The banner photo above is Mt Dhaulagiri (8,167 m.), the seventh highest mountain in the world,
seen from Khopra Ridge above Paudwar village in the Annapurna Conservation Area, Myagdi District, Nepal

 Thanks to Rotarians who visited our House of Friendship booth
and/or Breakout Session at the Convention in Seoul

We look forward to hearing from Clubs that might be interested in joining in further Global Grant applications
to extend our teacher training in Nepal

Read our Newsletter No. 6 below or click here to download the pdf

Ever thought what life might be like in Nepal?

The United Nations calculates a Human Development Index based upon life expectancy, education and personal income.
 Australia ranks second in the world after Norway.  Nepal is the second lowest in Asia / Oceania, exceeding only Afghanistan.
Even Papua New Guinea, Timor Leste, Myanmar (Burma) and Cambodia score higher.

We can afford to help these people!

  •  A small, land-locked country, wedged between two of the largest and most populous nations on Earth.
  • Just north of the Tropic of Cancer, geography ranging from 70 m. above sea level to 8 of the 10 highest mountains in the world including Everest
  • Population 28.5 m. (1.3 times Australia) in 147,000 (2/3 of Victoria)
  • GDP per capita US$ 495, among the lowest in the world (Australia: US$ 50,150 - 13th in the world)
Nepalis are generally happy people despite living in relatively primitive circumstances.  A typical rural household in Nepal might:
  • comprise 5 or 6 people living in a dwelling of one or two rooms (average Australian household: 2.6 persons)
  • derive its food from subsistence farming a landholding of less than a hectare, usually made up of several small plots
  • obtain its water from a communal water tap in the village
  • depend on kerosene for lighting and a wood fire or kerosene stove for cooking
  • share access to communal 'pit' toilet facilities
Until 10 years ago, few villages had either road access or electricity.  While infrastructure development has been rapid in that time, many are still isolated.  Thus Paudwar village, in Myagdi District, is accessed only by narrow trails rising almost 1,000 m. above the nearest road point.

Village people have needs for better education, health services and employment opportunities.  Without the latter, young people are moving to the cities (Kathmandu, Pokhara), causing over-crowding and to loss of prime agricultural land to housing.  With the right opportunities they could continue to enjoy village life.

The goal of the Nepali Village Initiatives Project is to
 foster and assist local Nepali initiatives to address these needs.

The Nepali Village Initiatives Project grew out of a chance meeting at Khopra Ridge in 1993 between an Australian trekking group dubbed the "Annapurna Allstars" and Gyan Bahadur Pun, then Headmaster of Paudwar Secondary School.  Since then the project has supported Paudwar and associated villages in the Myagdi District of Nepal, and the Nepal Wireless Project led by Mahabir Pun.  It has contributed computers, library books and medical supplies; funded the construction of school buildings; funded English medium teaching at Paudwar and Gibung schools (a first among government schools in Nepal); and funded a Development Coordinator who is leading the establishment of the "Khayar Bahrahi Milk Production Co-operative" to develop a dairy farm.

The aid provided by this project to Paudwar village has complemented contributions by a group of Australians associated with the Education Department of Tasmania and by other donors in the United Kingdom, France, Singapore and Japan.  Not all villages enjoy such support, and it is the aim of this project to extend support to even more isolated villages.

The Nepali Village Initiatives project is now endorsed by the Rotary Club of Woodend in Australia and the Rotary Club of Pokhara Annapurna in Nepal, and is registered with Rotary Australia World Community Service (RAWCS), making donations tax deductible. This website outlines the project and offers you an opportunity to contribute.

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