In August 2018 Bino and Clare returned to Nepal and visited the project location in the Kavre District. They were unable to visit the villages as the bridge had still not been constructed after being destroyed in the earthquake and with the monsoons lasting longer than usual, were unable to cross the river. Approximately 50 villagers made the trip down to meet them instead. This meeting consisted mainly of men, as the women and children were unable to make the river crossing. Clare describes her experience…
It was incredibly humbling and emotional to finally meet some of these resilient and kind-hearted people. It was also exciting to see for ourselves’ the location of where pipework needs to come from and get to – simply incredible. The engagement of the community is inspiring, and many have agreed to give up land where required for reservoir tanks and community buildings. All the men present reiterated their agreement to provide labour services and anything else required to ensure successful completion of the project. The Water Users Committee is all set up and they held their first committee meeting prior to our arrival. All the community were amazed that these people (us) had traveled all the way from New Zealand and were committed to helping them re-establish their lives. Considering most of these people had never heard of New Zealand before, they certainly know about us now!
After spending many months coordinating and organizing things from New Zealand I now have first-hand knowledge of who (some of!) these people are, and I know the scope of works involved – seeing the distance of required pipework, the heights of the hills and the obstacles in the way of a successful project completion. But I also know the commitment and the resilience of the community who this project is for, and I know they all own their part in this, both now and for many years to come. This is a project that will ensure future generations can continue to live in their villages and support their whanau, and I am so very grateful that we can work with this community.
Another amazing part of the trip was meeting our partner club, The Rotary Club of Kavre-Banepa (see photo left). These kind and generous people with their great senses of humour, have already completed so much incredible work in the area and we are so grateful for their support in partnering with us to ensure this project succeeds. It’s amazing how you can find so much in common with someone a world away.